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Don’t make Sir John’s case a rallying cry for the NPP’s corruption – Freddie Blay

Mr Freddie Blay, the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has advised the general public not to exaggerate the concerns surrounding the late Former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie’s alleged illicit acquisition of state property (Sir John).

He further stated that this incident should not be viewed as representative of the NPP’s and its government officials’ overall behavior in office.

Mr Blay told journalists on the sidelines of the NPP’s Western Region elections on Sunday, May 29, that government land grabs by officials had been a problem in Ghana since the days of the country’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

According to him, the time has come to enact specific rules prohibiting such behavior.

“If you want to talk about the NDC… there are people who have never worked in their lives who joined the party, and before you know it, they have various mansions, apartments, and several of them have never worked in their lives,” he stated.

“Fortunately, [Sir John’s issue] has surfaced; it is part of our ongoing effort to combat corruption; if he obtained them illegally, why not let the axe fall?” On the other hand, don’t make it seem like this is an NPP corruption slogan. When you want to talk about sharing government lands from Nkrumah’s days to now, there have been estates, there have been bungalows, lands of which some people have taken in one way or the other, we need to make a law against that, that you go into government you should never buy government lands, and, let us do that now.

“Don’t make it appear that because Sir John bought lands, all NPP members are crooks who have illegally acquired property.”

“I have a car; does that mean I went out to steal to acquire a car? I have a building, possibly several buildings; does that mean that as the Party’s chairman and a member of the GNPC Board of Directors, I have been a thief?”

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said it was looking into a rumored will in which Mr Owusu Afriyie’s relatives are to be given some Achimota Forest land, which has become a hot topic in recent days as a result of an Executive Instrument signed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuf-Addo to declassify portions of the forest.

“I give my portion of land that I jointly own at the Achimota Forest in the name of DML Limited to Elizabeth Asare Boateng who is domiciled in the United States at the time of making this will forever,” the late public official, popularly known as Sir John, stated in point g. of his will, as captured on social media.

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