Afenyo-Markin defends Osafo-Maafo’s controversial comment on Aisha Huang
Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has justified the controversial comments by the senior minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, which many say, suggested the trial of ‘galamsey queen’, Aisha Huang, was compromised to save Ghana’s bilateral relations with China.
Yaw Osafo Maafo, while addressing a town hall in the US, had said jailing the Chinese national, who was standing trial for illegal mining, would not have made either Ghanaians or the government happy because it would not have solved Ghana’s economic problems.
He noted the two countries had good relations and that when issues of Aisha’s kind come up “a lot goes on in the background”.
Critics have consequently chastised the government for letting go a Chinese ‘criminal’ for favours in the form of deals like the Sinohydro, which the senior minister cited as one of the deals the two countries have reached.
But the Effutu MP contends the comments by the senior minister was taken out of context as can sometimes happen in communication.
“Sometimes in communication, the media pick you out of context or sometimes in making a point it could be misconstrued”, the MP said on TV3 New Day Tuesday.
He argued Osafo-Maafo never said the government did not want to prosecute Aisha because of the Sinohydro deal.
According to him Osafo-Maafo meant to say that it was not in the interest of Ghanaians for the government to waste time prosecuting Aisha instead of growing the economy.
“Osafo-Maafo was saying that us focus on relationships and focus on matters that will put food on our table, than to get into petty issues”, he said, claiming the message was clear enough for all to appreciate.
He added that the “behind the scenes” dealings the senior minister was talking about had nothing to do with the $2 billion Sinohydro deal for which Aisha Huang’s case could be linked to.