Politics

Be circumspect about Sir John’s will; none of us will live to be stones – Former Aide

A former aide of late NPP stalwart, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’, has expressed his reservations about the ‘unbridled public commentaries’ on the will of his former boss.

Charles Owusu, a former assistant of Sir John, said he is appalled by the way Ghanaians have criticized Sir John, following the publication of a document, purported to be his will.

Speaking in an interview with Asempa FM’s Philip Osei-Bonsu (OB) on Ekosiisen on Monday, he lamented in the local twi dialect, about the manner in which the will of his late boss, has become an item of public ridicule on social media.

According to him, throughout his life, he has never witnessed such a distasteful scene where the will of a deceased is treated with gross contempt.

He therefore urged Ghanaians to be cautious in discussing the matters related to the late former Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Sir John; adding that, dead men do not talk.

“When he was alive, we all knew him. The most painful thing is that, if he were alive, I’m not sure all these issues will come to the public domain. I’m not sure we’ll level the kind of allegations we’re throwing at him. But dead men don’t talk.

Where he’s lying now, he cannot speak for himself. He can’t do anything for himself. So people should say whatever they like. But as long as we’re in the land of the living as human beings, let’s know that he has seen his end and is gone. The rest of us will not live as stones forever. We’ll all go one day”, he stressed.

The comments by Charles Owusu follow the ongoing public discussions on a document, believed to be the will of the late lawyer and politician, Sir John.

Be circumspect about Sir John's will; none of us will live to be stones - Former Aide
Former Forestry Commission CEO, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’

On Sunday, May 22, an excerpt of the document was leaked on social media, generating a lot of public sentiments. The sentiments were further deepened, after the Fourth Estate’s Manasseh Azure Awuni, published what he described as the ‘full details’ of the will.

The publication by the award-winning investigative journalist incensed many Ghanaians on social media, with many critics accusing the late Forestry Commission CEO of greedily amassing wealth for himself and his relatives.

Be circumspect about Sir John's will; none of us will live to be stones - Former Aide
Award-winning investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni

But in reaction to the discussions, the Lands Ministry said it is investigating claims that the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, gifted part of the Achimota Forest lands to his relatives.

“The Ministry takes a serious view of the allegations and has requested for all documents relating to the lands in question as part of an initial inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the claims,” it said in a statement.

Touching on the move by the Lands Ministry to probe the allegations, Charles Owusu stated that he will assist with the Ministry’s probe, if he is invited in that regard.

Find below Charles Owusu’s interview with OB on Asempa FM on Ekosiisen on Monday, May 23

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has highlighted the environmental effects of government’s decision to reclassify the Achimota Forest Reserve as a commercial or residential zone.

In a statement, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers noted that the Achimota Forest is the only existing “greenbelt” in the country’s capital.

“Any decision by the government to reclassify it as a commercial or residential zone, even if only a part of it, will not serve the ecological value effect but, on the contrary, jeopardise the essence of the forest as a reserved area and will open it up to further abuse and non-ecological use.

It is our belief that if any part of the Achimota Forest is released to any original owner and committed to any use either than its present use, it will set in motion a catalytic action of demands for the return of whole or parts of the about 265 Forest reserves across the country to original landowners”, the Minority said.


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