The traditional leadership of three communities in the Adentan and La-Nkwantanan Municipalities in the Greater Accra region have forcely taken possession of some acres of land they freely donated to the government in 1970 for the purposes of a National Diary Farm.
Led by the Chief of Amrahia, Nii Ashong Kojo III, and supported by the Stool Father of Danfa, Nii David Dzane Amassah and the Youth Chief of Danfa, Gbetse Nii Ababio, the youth of Amrahia, Danfa and Kweiman, numbering over a 100, claded in NPP and NDC T-shirts used excavators and bulldozers to grade portions of the land that they claim is their share of the bargain.
They have forcefully claimed possession of the land due to what they have described as the “government’s undue delay” in respecting an agreement that both sides had reached amicably.
According to Nii Ashong Kojo III, when the Busia government approached the leadership of the community in 1970 for a land to start a national diary farm project, the community willingly gave out some 1700 areas without hesitation. It was with the expectation that among others the farm would open up the community for development.
However, several years down the lane, successive governments have not been able to bring the project to fruition, yet all attempts to retrieve the land have not been successful with successive governments.
He said even though they have found some luck with the current government of Nana Akufo-Addo which has led to some amicable agreements after series of meetings with the relevant state agencies, it appears some officials of the government are deliberately refusing to release documentations on the land to the traditional authorities.
“Because the Busia government didn’t pay anything for the land at the time, and the land has not been used for the intended purpose, the current government has agreed to compensate us by sharing the land with us 50-50, and this has been put on paper. So we don’t understand why they don’t want to give the papers to us,” Nii Ashong Kojo III stated in an interview.
This, according to him is what informed their decision to come and forcefully take over their portion of the land because they need to open up the community for development and for jobs for their people.
The land is jointly owned by three traditional authorities namely, Armahia traditional area – under the Adenta Municipality and Danfa and Kweiman traditional areas under the Madina La-Nkwatanang Municipality.
Announcing their intention at a press conference on Saturday, November 21,2020, and just before the commencement of the ‘taking over’ excercise, Nii Ashong Kojo III, insisted that since the government have failed to utilize the land for the intended purpose, it is just right for the custodians to take back their land.
He led the community in traditional prayers – seeking the gods to touch the hearts of the officials of government who are responsible for handing over the documents to them.
Providing further justifications for their actions, the Stool Father of Danfa, Nii David Dzane Amassah, said, the land was released to the government on September 18, 1970, by then Prime Minister, Dr K.A Busia’s administration but has since been abandoned.
“Successive Chiefs of the respective traditional areas have had series of meetings with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to return the land to us, but this was never successful till the Akufo-Addo government finally approved the land documents for us,” he said.
He said they have the rights to take back their land under the laws of Ghana and that they have done all that is legally necessary to repossess what their forefathers left for them.
The Youth Chief of Danfa, Gbetse Nii Ababaio, who also represented the Danfa Mantse – Nii Dzane Tsuru Afutu Brempong IV, explained that the youth were in branded T-shirts of the two leading political parties in the country because they do not want the issue to be politicized or their actions misconstrued as favoring one political party against the other, especially in this season of intense political campaigning in the country.
He blamed some Ministers of the current government, including the Minister for Landa and Natural Resources, Kwasi Ansu-Cheremeh and the Minister for Agriculture, Owusu Afriyie…. for the undue delay, claiming that the ministers are scheming to grab the lands and share it among themselves.
“Such illegal acquisition would not be countenanced by the Chiefs and people of this area. The move to take full possession of our land is to ensure that we preserve the future for our children,” the youth chief stated.
He said all Farm lands in the area have now been turned into residential communities and so if the government has been unable to use the land for the intended purpose, the best it ought to do was to return it.
He noted that they are not embarking on any illegal act and that what they are doing was only to repossess what their forefathers have willingly given out to government for Dairy Farms but could not use for the purpose.
“We are not doing politics but we are only sending signals that the youth of these communities will not sit for politicians to take over our land,” he stated.
By Jeorge Wilson Kingson // ghananewsonline.com.gh