The lawyer on Tuesday, May 17, posted on his Facebook page that the forest reserve has been sold after an Executive Instrument went viral indicating that portions of it had been declassified and returned to its original owners, the Owoo Family.
“Bye Bye Achimota Forest. Sold!! What is this??!!!,” he wrote on his Facebook page. The post has since been deleted.
Bentil later ate a humble pie after veteran journalist Kweku Baako Jnr challenged him on his claim.
Kweku Baako Jnr had wondered if the recent report of the alleged sale of the forest reserve was not the same as the one that got Cabinet approval for a PPP in September 2013 while additional quizzing if it is not the same development surrounding the latest move.
Responding to the seasoned journalist, Kofi Bentil mentioned that the government’s way of doing things was always shrouded in secrecy.
He disclosed that it was difficult getting information from the government leading himself and others to ‘float balloons’ around from ‘unreliable sources’.
“Senior [Kweku Baako], the problem in this nation is that government prefers to operate in secret until we smoke information out.
“We are Unreliably informed that there’s a deal to sell off the forest. We need info but it seems we have to do RTI or float balloons like this for feedback,” he replied.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kofi Bentil has since deleted the post from his Facebook page.
Social media platforms particularly Twitter had ‘Achimota Forest’ trending number one on Tuesday after an Executive Instrument about the Achimota Forest Reserve went viral.
In the said E.I 144, a portion of the Achimota Forest by presidential order had been declared as ceased from being recognized as a forest reserve effective May 1, 2022.
It also detailed that District Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority must prepare a master plan for the development of the land and submit to the Lands Minister for approval.
Again the District Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority has been tasked to take into consideration the protection of the ecological integrity of an adjoining forest reserve while preparing the master plan.
Meanwhile, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor has dismissed claims that the Achimota Forest has been sold off.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Mr Jinapor said that the “Achimota Forest has not and will not be sold.”