Achimota Forest Saga: Ga Chiefs caution Akufo-Addo against the Owoo Family
…urged him to rescind decision on Dubious E.I 144
After its initial investigations, the Office of the Ga Mantse, Boni Nii Tackie Adama Latse ll, has demanded the Akufo-Addo administration to rescind the dubious executive instrument E. I 144 that declassified swathes of the Achimota Forest Reserve to allow private development.
In a statement dated the 24th of May, 2022, the overlord of Ga Mashie and the Dzaase expressed shock at the decision by President Akufo-Addo to sell out swathes of the only ecological green belt left in the national capital.
“Boni Nii Tackies Adama Latse ll, Ga Mantse and the Ga Dzaase, express their utmost shock and surprise at the decision by the government to declassify the 361.50 acres Achimota Forest Reserves from being a forest reserve through the passing of Executive Instrument 144 by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abdulai Jinapor,” the Ga Chief fired.
To further reinforce the fraud that Akufo Addo’s E. I 144 seeks to perpetuate, a member of the Osu stool, Nii Odoi Kwao II, insists that the current Owoo family to whom the Akufo-Addo government has supposedly released the 361 acres of the forest reserve lands to does not exist.
In an interview with Accra-based Joy FM, he said the Owoo family is a “scam” and that there is no such family name existing in Osu.
Also, he said, if the government wants to release portions of the Achimota Forest lands to allodial owners, it should be the people of Osu and not the Owoo family.
“It is a scam because the Owoo family does not exist in Osu. That is number one and they are saying that the Owoo family petitioned them. I am telling you there are thousands and thousands of petitions that the Accra people have made to the government…if the government wants to release lands and they are sure they are releasing the lands, it is not to the Owoo family, it should be to the people of Osu,” he said on Wednesday.
Nii Odoi Kwao II said that the man, Nii Owoo died in 1867 without leaving behind any child. Thus, he was not succeeded by any family member.
At the time of the acquisition of the land, Nii Owoo’s sisters’ children presented themselves as successors to the land. However, they were not given ownership of the land, he explained.
“Nii Owoo himself died in 1867 and he had no child at the time of his death, so nobody succeeded him. Nii Owoo has nothing, he joined with the Gbese people. So when this acquisition came in 1921 Nii Owoo’s sisters’ children constituted themselves into a new Nii Owoo family and came for the land. Now when they came, they came on the ticket of the Gbese Mantse because it was the Gbese Mantse who gave him a place as a refugee to live and that place includes part of the Achimota Forest,” he said.
He added for good measure: “if today there is an Owoo family claiming the Achimota Forest land then it is fraud.”
He stated that the Osu stool will seek redress in court and petition the President on the matter.
“We want to go to court. We will be going to court even though we have some reservations and then we will petition the government that fine, if they want to release the land, we are all for it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ga Mantse has warned that it will not tolerate the trend of government cronies attempting to appropriate the Achimota Forest for themselves, saying that is the only forest belt in Accra, and that the Ga people want to keep it as such.
“The Achimota Forest Reserve is the only major existing greenbelt left for Accra and its environs, and such a decision will affect the ecological integrity of the forest and its protection of the water bodies and its natural environment. We, therefore, call on His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Hon. Minister for Lands and Natural Resources to rescind the decision by immediately withdrawing E.I. 144 to protect the ecological integrity of the capital’s forest.”