The Deputy General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), has justified the takeover of the Kintampo Waterfall by the Invisible Forces, a vigilante group affiliated to the governing party.
They had become managers of the facility without expertise in swimming, search and rescue exercise.
The management of the Kintampo Waterfall has become a subject of debate after 19 people lost their lives under bizarre circumstances on Sunday.
Swimming, search and rescue are key requirements in the management of famous tourists’ centers, such as beaches and even the least size swimming pool.
A tree was said to have crashed the revelers, mostly students, who had gone to the Waterfall for an excursion.
Questions, have been raised about the competence and the professionalism of the managers of the facility during the incident.
It has been argued that, the deaths could have been minimized, if the managers were professionals.
But Nana Obiri Boahene; the Deputy General Secretary, is suggesting the takeover is nothing more than sweet revenge for what happened to him in 2009.
According to him, his company managed the Kintampo Waterfall in 2008, until hoodlums in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) forcibly took over the facility in 2009, when the party won elections.
“Those who want to probe further should find out what happened in 2009… NDC activists, NDC hoodlums, NDC sympathizers invaded the place, chased my workers out, beat them up, vandalised the place, broke into offices and they used the police. No police man was able to touch them,” he said.
The management of the Kintampo Waterfall, has become a subject of debate after 19 people lost their lives under bizarre circumstances last Sunday.
It emerged that the Invisible Forces, a militia group within the NPP, had added the Waterfall to the list of assets it took over immediately the NPP won power in 2016.
Without any training and competence in managing a tourist facility, critics have blamed the militia group for last Sunday’s national disaster.
But Obiri Boahene, has mounted a spirited defence for the militia group, even though he claims the party did not sanction the takeover.
“We don’t know anything about it. The party is not involved. The party has never directed, instigated, encouraged, facilitated any individual to takeover,” he said.
“Personally, speaking for myself, and what happened to me in 2009, I don’t think there is anything wrong if for one reason or another some NPP sympathisers have taken over in a tit-for-tat affair,” he added.
He argued those questioning the competence and professionalism of the Invisible Forces to manage the facility should have done same when the NDC hoodlums took over in 2009.
The Waterfall has, however, been shut pending further investigations into the circumstances surrounding the disaster.
In the aftermath of the incident, the Chief of Kyeremankomam, where the site is located, lamented that the tour guides in place were chased away by persons believed to be supporters of the NPP some weeks before the accident.
But in a Citi News interview, the NPP’s Deputy Regional Secretary, Kofi Ofosu Boateng, said he was not privy to any actions in line with the chief’s allegations, and further challenged him to provide evidence to that effect.
“If there was such an event, I think the constituency probably would have been in the know and forwarded concerns, but as we speak now, I do not have anything on my desk that tells us that such persons at our end might have carried out an act of that nature. We are in constant touch with our constituency people and if there is anything of that nature, we would have been in the know.”
Mr. Boateng, said he was not going to pass judgment on the chief’s allegation, but said, “if the chief there thinks that some persons had gone there to take over the place, the onus lies on him the more to provide hard evidence, otherwise let’s leave it to the public to judge.”
In the meantime, the Kintampo waterfalls site, has been closed down indefinitely by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, to enable thorough security and safety checks at the site.
The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS), has also called for the arrest and prosecution of persons who allegedly forcefully took over management of the Kintampo Waterfalls without authorization.