Ernest Frimpong

Forensic pathologist Prof. Paul Osei Sampene has strongly condemned the comments made by the parliamentary candidate of the New Patriotic Party in the Amenfi East constituency, Ernest Frimpong whose video has gone viral on social media.

In the video, Ernest Frimpong was seen addressing a forum with individuals believed to be small scale miners, allegedly advising them to fight back military officers who visit their sites to forcefully remove them.

Prof. Sampene who has done considerable research into harmful effects of illegal mining expressed his disgust and disappointment with Frimpong’s remarks, stating that such words should not come from someone who aspires to join Ghana’s respected house of legislature.

“What I heard is sickening, very sad, very devastating, very horrible, and very disgusting especially coming from someone who aspires to be a parliamentary candidate to lead a constituency”,” he said on Abusua FM’s news analysis program Bresosem.

Prof. Sampene contended that any country that fears God and respects the law should not allow Frimpong the opportunity to serve as a parliamentarian.

“Any serious country where laws work and they fear God, to say such a direct message, this man should not be given the opportunity to serve in this country as a parliamentarian”, he emphasized.

He advised that Frimpong’s chances of becoming an MP should be stripped off, even if delegates of the NPP voted for him to represent them.

When asked whether he had given up on his research into the effects of illegal mining due to Frimpong’s comments, Prof. Sampene indicated that he had actually intensified his work, expanding its scope.

He disclosed, “I have not given up about the research am doing as far as Galamsey is concerned. As we speak now, I am still doing what am doing, this time making it a bit larger and bigger than what I did”.

Prof. Sampene highlighted the difficulties he faces in his research, including getting ethics approval and securing funding as significant challenges in his research.

“It is not easy getting ethics approval and the amount involve in the work”

“You will go to a hospital and they will tell you the patients at the various hospitals are not ready to give you whatever you want… so you need to motivate patients to participate. In Ghana, it is not sufficient to simply emphasize the importance of the research; rather, financial incentives are necessary to motivate patients to cooperate”

Prof. Sampene’s ground breaking researches about the effects of chemicals used in illegal mining on the fetuses of pregnant women has featured prominently in the anti-galamsey reports done by Ghana’s GJA best journalist Erastus Asare Donkor and EIB’s reporter Isaac Bediako Justice.

The work which gave leads into the possibility of causing children to be born with major physical defects also contributed to the bite with which government and other researchers begun to tackle the health effects of illegal mining and the chemicals used in their trade, on the environment and the lives of both immediate and remote communities.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Kwadwo Owusu