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Yes, I displayed wrong picture –Afenyo-Markin

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The Majority Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu Constituency, Mr Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, has apologised for remarks he made on issues related to the recent tidal waves which struck parts of the Volta Region.

The MP, yesterday, specifically rendered an apology over an image he presented purporting to be people winning sand at the Keta beach, which he later found out to be untrue.

Mr Afenyo-Markin indicated that the website that published the image had pulled it down, so it was only fair that he withdrew his comments and apologised.

He said mistakes were bound to happen and that he had no intention of misleading the public.

He indicated that his intentions were to provide documents in relation to the issue and allow to stakeholders interrogate it, and proffer solutions.

“Upon further due diligence, the very website, Cover Ghana, that published the article and accompanied the picture with it and dated it has since pulled it down. It is only fair and proper to sincerely withdraw that picture and apologise for adding that as part of our findings.

“I mean we all make mistakes sometimes. I couldn’t have reasonably taken that step to mislead. If it were so, I would not have handed over the entire research findings to the press.”

It would be recalled that on Friday, November 12, 2021, during a news conference on the recent sea erosion in Ketu South, Keta, Anlo and South Tongu constituencies in the coastal area of the Volta Region, the Majority Leader said residents of Keta were the cause of the erosion due to sand winning.

He then displayed a picture of several tipper trucks lined up on a coastline loading sand and used that to demonstrate that the people of Keta were engaged in serious sand winning business at the beach.

Dissatisfied with the allegations that sand winning was the cause of the tidal wave that had displaced over 4,000 people in the region, the Members of Parliament for Elembele, Mr Emmanuel Kofi-Amarh Bual, and the Member for South Dayi, Mr Rockson-Nelson Etsey Dafeamekpor, challenged Mr Afenyo-Markin to provide the source of the picture.

At yesterday’s press briefing, the Efutu Legislator apologised, but indicated he still stood by the position he made on Friday, regarding the issue.

He said that the country needed to find a permanent solution to the issue, by way of bringing all stakeholders together to jaw jaw.

He reiterated another point he made on Friday that distributing blankets, food items and others were good, but they were temporary.

“If you give somebody blanket and he has no place, no home, where is he going to sleep? If you give somebody food item and the person has nowhere to cook, where is he going to cook?” he asked.

He indicated that temporary reliefs were okay, but the issue needed to be addressed once and for all.

He was of the view that all stakeholders in the region should take steps and work with the law enforcement wing of the assemblies in the region to enforce laws on sand winning, because experts had indicated that sand winning exposes the landmarks and caused harm to the inhabitants.

He indicated that in order to show how passionate he was on finding a permanent solution to the issue, he had filed an urgent question where he was asking the Minister for Works and Housing when the construction of the Blekusu sea defense project phase two in the Volta Region would commence, having regards to the rampaging effects of the recent tidal wave.

Mr Afenyo-Markin said he believed that the question would cause a national debate and get the authorities to act.

“I believe that once this is brought to the mainstream, and the Minister comes to answer questions, we would then be able to hold the Minister’s feet to the file, regarding the answers he will give, and then further push the Finance Ministry to make available funds to finance the project.”

He said the Speaker had admitted the question, and it would be considered after the budget.

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