Osafo-Maafo advised Akufo-Addo against the completion of Boankra Inland Port – Bantama youth alleges

Presidential Advisor caught on tape making ethnocentric comments

Osafo-Maafo questions the contribution of Ashantis toward Ghana’s independence

Batama Youth Association accuses govt of abandoning major developmental projects in the Ashanti Region

The Bantama Youth Association has accused Presidential Adviser, Nana Yaw Osafo-Mafo of being the reason the construction of the Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal (BILT) project near Kumasi has been stalled.

They alleged that they are convinced the Presidential Advisor, Nana Yaw Osafo-Maafo advised the president against the construction of the inland after leaked audio of the presidential adviser stated the people of Ashanti did not contribute to Ghana’s independence fight.

The Bantama youth were reacting to a publication of a secret tape recording in which the presidential advisor is heard making some ethnocentric comments.

In the said tape which has recently gone viral, the presidential advisor during a meeting with delegates of the New Patriotic Party in the Eastern Region, questioned the contribution of the Ashanti people while touting the Akyem tribe as having led the fight for independence.

Mr Osafo-Maafo who was speaking to the delegates ahead of the NPP’s recently held regional elections entreated the delegates to vote for an Akyem candidate while emphasizing the contributions of the tribe to the party.

Reacting to this, the youth have accused the presidential adviser to be the reason the NPP administration has failed to embark on developmental projects in the region.

In a press conference held on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the spokesperson of a pressure group calling itself Bantama Youth Association, Kwame Awuah Nimfour said: “…What Osafo-Maafo said brought our mind back to a time when the President Akufo-Addo came to the Ashanti Region along with Asantehene to cut sod for the Inland Port which was started by the Kufuor administration. Ladies and Gentlemen the Boankra inland port, since Asantehene commissioned it we haven’t seen any progress since then till date.

“We have discovered that the presidential adviser to Akufo-Addo, Osafo-Maafo was the one who advised the president to stop the project since we from the Ashanti Region have not contributed towards Ghana’s independence.”

In November 2020, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo together with the Asantehene cut sod for the construction of the $330 million Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal (BILT) project near Kumasi on 5th November 2020.

Initiated by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) in the 1990s and previously called the Boankra Inland Port, the BILT project was purposed to create a dry port as an extension to the Tema Port.

The project, which will be completed in 2023, is expected to increase the movement of goods and services in the country and also facilitate transit trade between Ghana and the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

However, concerns have been raised about the project as many have alleged that the project has been abandoned by the Akufo-Addo government.

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