The Minority in Parliament has asked the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, to substantiate a claim he made to the effect that some Ghanaians who are unhappy with the country’s military cooperation deal with the United States, are plotting to blow up Ghana’s oil pipelines in the Western Region.
According to Mr Agyarko, the disgruntled politicians have been engaging youths of the Western Region to cause disaffection for the operators of the oil fields, similar to what happens in Nigeria’s Delta State.
He made the comment in Houston, Texas, USA, at a meeting with some oil companies on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). He said the disgruntled politicians had polluted the minds of the youths to the point of inciting them to blow up facilities within the oil enclave.
But the Minority, in a statement signed by John Abdulai Jinapor, Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusegu; and former Deputy Minister of Power, said: “Surprisingly, the Minister failed then to substantiate his claims and has still not provided a scintilla of evidence to back his assertion. The Minority in Parliament considers the Minister's statement as having the obvious potential to scare away investors and negatively impact the Oil and Gas sector”.
It added: “If Mr Agyarko's allegations remain unsubstantiated, it will go down in history as the most reckless, unpatriotic, self-destructive and treacherous statement ever made by a Cabinet Minister against Ghana's economic progress and national interest.
“So far, it does appear that Mr Agyarko's remarks are fantastically unnationalistic, spurious and outrageous. It is a tragedy that the man who the taxpayer pays to protect and promote our energy sector can engage in such abhorrent, disgraceful and ‘own-goal’ sabotage of our country’s well-being.
“Since the discovery of oil in commercial quantities, successive governments have continued to harness the human resource of the country to ensure productive investments in the Oil and Gas sector for the benefit of the entire citizenry. To this end, the Atta Mills/John Mahama-led administration saw to the successful production of first oil from the Jubilee fields, construction of three FPSOs, as well as establishment of an ultra-modern Gas Processing Plant with the aim of adding value to our oil.
“We, therefore, call on the Minister, to, as a matter of urgency, substantiate and cause the arrest and prosecution of those politicians he knows to be conspiring to blow up our Oil and Gas installations. If the Minister fails to provide the necessary evidence by close of week, we demand that National Security takes the appropriate steps to invite the Minister for interrogation. We expect our institutions charged with the duty to protect life and property including our natural resources to be up and , especially in the face of such grave threats. This is certainly not a matter to be ignored or swept under the carpet.
“The Minority, hereby serves notice that should the Minister and the National Security Apparatus fail to discharge their moral and legal obligations in this matter, we will trigger processes in Parliament to compel the Minister to assist the House protect our Oil and Gas resources as is expected of a responsible Minority and any Parliament worth its salt.”