Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information (right) shaking hands with PRINPAG President Edwin Arthur

The President of the Private Newspaper Publishers Association, Ghana (PRINPAG), Mr. Andrew Edwin Arthur, has defended the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah following allegations levelled against him by former Minister for Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng had alleged in a 37-page report on illegal mining to the Chief of Staff, that the Information Minister had orchestrated a clandestine meeting to plot against him in the fight against illegal mining.

The former minister of state who was also the Chairman of the now-dissolved Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (ICIM) claimed Mr. Oppong Nkrumah organised a meeting of journalists affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to ‘destroy’ him on the galamsey fight.

However, in an interview with Accra-based Adom FM last Thursday, Mr. Edwin Arthur clarified that the event in question was a training programme organized by PRINPAG in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana (BoG) on financial reporting.

The PRINPAG President stressed that the meeting had no connection to any malicious intent towards Prof. Frimpong-Boateng.

“As President of PRINPAG, I threw an invitation to the Minister for Information to be the Guest of Honor for our training program at the Forest Hotel in Dodowa. So, we wrote a proposal to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to assist us train our members in financial reporting.

“On top of it, I personally wrote the letter inviting the Honorable Kojo Oppong Nkrumah to deliver a keynote address as part of our event together with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) President at the time, Mr. Affail Monney. So, I was taken aback by Professor Frimpong-Boateng’s allegation that it was gathering to scheme against the fight against illegal mining. That is clearly untrue,” he said.

Mr. Edwin Arthur also expressed disappointment at the false claims made by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, pointing out that neither Prof. Frimpong-Boateng’s name nor the issue of illegal mining was mentioned during the event.

The report also made several allegations against some government and political party officials who allegedly made various attempts to thwart the former Minister’s efforts in clamping down on illegal mining in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah has since denied the allegation as false and a fabricated account to court public disaffection against his person.

He said it goes against his principles and upbringing to hurt others questioning the feasibility and prudence of a scenario of getting both NPP and NDC affiliated journalists to work against a colleague Minister.