National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, encourages Ghanaians to be lenient with former Forestry Commission CEO Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also known as Sir John, regarding the contents of his putative will.
It is absolutely unfair, according to Freddie Blay, to conclude that Sir John earned wealth and acquired properties due to his political office.
People have misinterpreted and overstated it. Sir John is a contemporary; I have known him. He is a lawyer who has held several positions and founded enterprises. I don’t know how he earned his assets, but I won’t rush to assert that he did so within two years. Therefore, we should not use this to evaluate Sir John, he said.
Freddie Blay addressed the media at Ampain, Ellembelle District, on the fringes of the Western Regional NPP Delegates Conference.
Ghanaians are outraged and have taken to social media to express their discontent after a purported will of Sir John emerged from the Fourth Estate with portions of the Achimota forest lands allegedly belonging to him at the same time the government is distributing portions of the Achimota Forest land.
Sir John revealed in his will that he also owned land in the Ramsar neighborhood of Sakumono, Accra.
Freddie Blay was satisfied that the State holdings in Sir John’s will were not acquired by questionable ways. He was referring specifically to the provisions of the will that dealt with the State lands Sir John held.
He emphasized that his former political colleague would not use his position as president of the Forestry Commission to acquire land for himself, adding that the public should exercise restraint and await the results of a comprehensive investigation before drawing any judgments.
“Investigations have begun to determine what it is. Sir John may have acquired a portion of the land that has been granted to the [family of Owoo]. As the former CEO of the Forestry Commission, he has gone to secure a position for himself. It is not true.
The NPP Chairman insists it will also be hasty to rope in the larger NPP into the situation and cast corruption-related aspersions against its members.
“Thankfully, it has been revealed, and it is part of our fight against corruption. Why not, if he truly acquired them illegally? But people shouldn’t assume that all NPP members are thieves and have illegally acquired property because Sir John bought State lands, said Freddie Blay.