"Don’t Misconstrue Assets Acquired By Sir John" – Freddie Blay
The National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay wants Ghanaians to cut the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, widely known as Sir John, some slack over the content of his purported will.
Freddie Blay says it is extremely unfair for anyone to assume the industrious Sir John amassed wealth and acquired assets because he was in political office.
“People have misconstrued and exaggerated it. I have known Sir John, he is my contemporary. He is a lawyer, worked at several places and owned some businesses. I don’t know how he acquired his assets, but I will not be in a hurry to say that, he obtained everything within two years. So we shouldn’t use this to judge Sir John”, he emphasised.
Freddie Blay was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Western Regional NPP delegates conference at Ampain in the Ellembelle District. Ghanaians are outraged and have taken to social media to express dissatisfaction after a purported will of Sir John emerged from the Fourth Estate with portions of the Achimota forest lands allegedly belonging to him at a time the government is giving portions of the Achimota Forest land.
Sir John also disclosed in the will that he also owned land at the Ramsar area in Sakumono in Accra.
Touching specifically on the subject matter of the portions of the will that had to do with State lands Sir John owned, Freddie Blay was convinced the acquisition was not made through dubious means.
He stressed, that his one-time political fellow will not abuse his power as head of the Forestry Commission to obtain land for himself, adding that, the public should exercise some restraint and allow for thorough investigations before making any conclusions.
“Investigations have started as to what it is. Perhaps, it is part of the land that has been given to the [Owoo family] that Sir John might have purchased. It is not that, he as a former CEO of the Forestry Commission has gone to get a place for himself. It is not so.”
The NPP Chairman insists it will also be hasty to rope in the larger NPP into the development and cast corruption-related aspersions against its members.
“Fortunately, it has come out, and it is part of our drive against corruption. If indeed he acquired them illegally, why not? But people shouldn’t make it look as if because Sir John has bought State lands, all NPP members are crooks, and they have all acquired properties illegally”, Freddie Blay advised. Story by: Akwasi Agyei Annim