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Open Letter To The President

Sun, 7 Feb 2010 Source: Sangaparee, Clement

CHECK THESE ILLEGAL COLLECTION OF MONIES FROM CARGO TRUCK DRIVERS CARRYING LUMBER




The president of the Republic of Ghana launched a national forest plantation development programme dubbed “Greening the Environment for a Better Ghana at Abofour in the Offinso North District in Ashanti on the 20th January, 2010. The president directed the National Security apparatus to strengthen security networks to ensure the swift arrest and prosecution of illegal logers and chainsaw operators since the country’s forest resources which were estimated at 8.2 million hectares in 1900 have now been reduced to just 1.2 million hectares in 2010.





FOREST PERMITS AND WOOD SELLERS





I am using the pages of the media to make a very passionate appeal to His Excellency President J.E.A. Mills to back his decision with directives to the Wood and Lumber sellers to issue official forest permits to all Cargo Truck drivers carrying lumber in the country to avoid the ILLEGAL COLLECTION of huge sums of monies by some forest officials from unsuspecting cargo truck drivers who carry lumber from the Sokoban wood village in Kumasi and Boete Timber market in Obuasi as well as other parts of the country to the North for building purposes. Cargo truck drivers are forced to pay between Gh¢1,000 and Gh¢2,000 per vehicle without official receipts by some unpatriotic forest officials after they threaten such drivers with arrests and prosecutions. Most drivers after paying such huge monies quickly turn round to blame the President by saying that he is rather building a “BITTER GHANA” instead of a BETTER GHANA, so as an NDC activist,, I cannot sit down and fold my arms, I cannot get lorry fare to travel to the Castle in Accra and tell the president, so the shortest way to do so is to inform the President through the media because I have not been employed yet, but I know that BETTER DAYS ARE COMING. The illegal activities of these unpatriotic forest officials is an open secret nationwide and we must not joke with them at all. The National and Regional managers of the forest commission should be ordered to issue official booklets to wood vendors nationwide, so that whoever purchases lumber or other wood products must be issued with official receipts as well as forest permits to avoid the ILLEGAL COLLECTION OF HUGE sums of monies from cargo truck drivers carrying lumber from the South to the North as well as other parts of the country. If this is not done, immediately, the president will be compelled to agree with these aggrieved lumber carrying cargo truck drivers that he is really building a BITTER GHANA instead of a BETTER GHANA, if he were to be in their shoes, because these drivers pay thousands of Ghana cedis without official receipts issued to them and when that happens, what do we call it? Day Light Extortion of the highest order by some unpatriotic forest officials in the name of the NDC government, so Mr. President over to you, and the Earlier the Better, Act fast. Just because of the illegal activities of these unpatriotic forest officials, the NDC popularity is waning very fast among lumber carrying cargo drivers and their families as well as their clients who purchase the lumber and load them on these cargo trucks for development projects in the country.




SEIZED LUMBER


When officials of the forest commission seizes lumber from the forest or chainsaw operators, the lumber is used by most officials instead of selling the lumber and keeping the proceeds into Government chest. These proceeds from the sales of seized lumber are kept in the chests of these forest officials. I suggest that seized lumber must be given to schools, District Assemblies and Government Hospitals to put up buildings nationwide otherwise most forest officials would be lining their pockets in the name of the government, whilst the ordinary people suffer daily and blame President Mills. These forest officials are so notorious that they operate daily on the Kumasi – Wa highway and the Kintampo – Tamale highways. Are they trying to prevent Northerners from buying wood products from the South to build their houses or what?


Since when did the Ghana government direct them to harass genuine developers from the North?


These unpatriotic Forest officials must come out and explain for all Ghanaians to know.


In building a Better Ghana, the government should act swiftly to address the genuine grievances of law abiding citizens by protecting them from harassments and intimidations in the hands of public officers like these Forest Officials who always serve themselves illegally and pretend to be serving the public. They stand condemned.

I hope the President will listen to this my serious advice.


………………………….


Clement Sangaparee


E-mail: clementsang@yahoo.com

Columnist: Sangaparee, Clement