Considering the contrary accounts by the Chief of Bepo traditional area Nana Attah Kojo Bremibi and Police Service, the Lands And Natural Resources Minister has assured that the government’s probe into the Appiatse explosion will soon clarify all the contradictions surrounding the incident.
Mr. Jinapor’s assurance comes on the back of reports indicating that the truck that was transporting the explosives to Chirano Gold Mines had no police escort contradicting earlier claims by the police.
Nana Attah Kojo Bremibi, the Chief of Bepo Traditional Area, 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 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 Appiatse 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 is not in tandem with 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
The unfortunate explosion has killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 100 others as well as levelling several buildings in the area.
Mr. Jinapor revealed that the government is currently formulating a policy framework for the reconstruction of the Appiate community.