The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, says the government’s investigations into the Appiate explosion will clarify contradictions surrounding the incident.
Mr. Jinapor’s assurance comes in the wake of reports suggesting that the truck that was transporting the explosives to Chirano Gold Mines had no police escort as suggested by the police.
The Chief of Bepo Traditional Area, Nana Attah Kojo Bremibi, who made the claim during a working visit by Mr. Jinapor and the Works and Housing Minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye to Appiate, said information available to him had shows that the truck had no police escort.
“What I want to tell the Minister is that the tanker that was carrying the explosives had no police escort. People in Appiate were around when the tanker was entering the town. When the accident happened, it was in the full glare of the people so if anyone should say there was a police escort, that will be false. If indeed there was a police escort, the question will be where were the police at the time? If anybody wants to challenge this, we would want the individual to come before us to do so,” the Chief had said.
His claim contradicts the Director-General of the Police Public Affairs Department, ACP Kwesi Ofori’s claim that the Tarkwa Divisional Police duly signed and approved a police escort for the truck.
Responding to Nana Attah Kojo Bremibi, Mr. Jinapor said the government’s investigative team will unravel the truth about the incident.
“I appreciate his [Chief’s] point and that is why the government has set up various investigative apparatus to investigate this incident and report exactly what happened. It will obviously be inescapable for the committee or the investigative apparatus not to speak to him as a chief and not to take eyewitness account. As I speak to you, there is a team from the Ministry interviewing residents of the community and eyewitness accounts and out of which I believe we will get the final report which will tell us exactly what happened,” he said on Eyewitness News.
The explosion has killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 100 others as well as leveling several buildings in the area.
Mr. Jinapor said the government is currently formulating a policy framework for the reconstruction of the Appiate community.