Bryan Acheampong tells Appointments Committee: I knew nothing about Ayawaso violence

A former minister of State in charge of National Security and also Member of Parliament (MP) of Abetifi constituency, Bryan Acheampong, has re-iterated that he neither engineered nor participated in the violence that occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election held on January 31, 2019.

Mr Bryan Acheampong, who has been appointed the Minister Designate for Food and Agriculture told the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday, this week, during his vetting that contrary to public perception, he knew nothing about the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence.

The minister designate, who was being questioned on the subject by the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson argued that the Commission of Enquiry that was appointed to investigate the violence never stated that he (Acheampong) ordered the security men to unleash violence on the people.

“In the 500-plus page report [of the Commission of Inquiry], there wasn’t any part that mentioned that I authorised it. So, everybody including myself was surprised and afraid that my name found expression in the conclusion that I should be reprimanded. That is why the White Paper rejected that recommendation because it failed to establish the factual basis that I authorised that operation,” he said.

Ato Forson, after referencing the violence, asked the nominee to convince him (Ato Forson) that he could be relied upon to serve as Minister of Food and Agriculture and do a good job. However, the startled nominee responded by asking, “….Aah! but Ato, you’re my friend and today you don’t trust me? You should be testifying on my credibility, Eii Ato?”

In response, Mr. Ato Forson said that it wasn’t about credibility and that he was questioning him on behalf of the Ghanaian people and that it was important to ask the necessary questions.

Answering questions on the Agric Ministry, the nominee expressed surprise that a country like Ghana, with a bustling workforce, was unable to produce enough food to feed the nation and has rather been importing food from other countries.

He, however, argued that the Agric sector in the country isn’t attractive for young people to go into farming and that if given the mandate he will do his best to make the Agric sector attractive for young people to go into farming.

Notwithstanding, he will also focus on large scale agriculture because he doesn’t see why the country consumes about 1.5 milllion metric tons of rice a year because she is unable to produce 4.5 million metric tons “for our own consumption, for food resilient, buffer and for export.”

He also expressed surprise at both the food shipment from Ghana and the difficulties the Buffer Stock Company was facing.

Aside from the initial seed money, the food supply company also has additional problems.

“I was surprised myself when I found out that Buffer Stock is struggling. To the extent that they had the opportunity to feed the Free SHS programme, they have supplied quiet a lot, but they are not getting paid in time,” he said.

According to him, when appointed as the sector minister, “this is something that I will push to reverse immediately.”

While being conscious of the present difficulties, he continued, he would vehemently support the Buffer Stock Company’s position. “We need to ensure that Buffer Stock is positioned to deliver us when we get there, Ranking, be assured I am going to work with you to ensure that Buffer Stock is resourced to do what is supposed to do,” he noted.


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