Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Obiri Boahen has refuted allegations that the party’s Invincible Forces have forcefully taken over the Kintampo Falls and have run it poorly, and the shoddy maintenance of the facility may have partly contributed to the death of some 18 students there recently.
“I doubt if the Invincible Forces have taken over the management of the Kintampo Falls. I don’t have any information to that effect,” he told Class FM’s Emefa Apawu on Monday, March 20.
Mr Boahen who expressed grief over the loss of lives at the waterfall emphasised: “Our boys have not done that and our boys will not do that …”
He was reacting to allegations by Nana Essah Boakuro, a traditional ruler in Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region, who had alleged that the professional managers of the facility were chased away by the Invincible Forces following the party’s victory in the 2016 elections.
He indicated: “Some people claiming to be Invincible Forces of NPP in the area took over the facility and all efforts to get them out have been unsuccessful.”
He was of the opinion that those in charge should be able to read early warning signals and close the facility as and when there is imminent danger. He explained that there were times the facility had to be closed due to bad weather or other factors.
Asked by the host whether the persons manning the place were professionals, he answered in the negative, explaining: “They are ordinary people roaming Kintampo town.
“It belongs to Ghana and I am the custodian of the land. We have been taking good care of it on behalf of the people with the help of the municipal assembly, so any individual or party has no right to control that area. It is not party property.”
He lamented, however, the failure of managers of the waterfall who fail to issue receipts or render proper accounts to authorities.
For him, even though the accident was of natural causes, proper management and early warning signs by competent managers could have helped.
The dead, together with some 22 others who are seriously injured, were swimming at the base of the Kintampo Waterfall when a tree fell on them following an earlier rainstorm in the area. The incident is said to have happened on Sunday March 19 at about 4:30pm.
Fifteen of the deceased are from the Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and three from the University of Energy and Natural Resources.
Relatives of victims of the accident have been handed the remains of their loved ones who died in the tragedy.