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General News Tue, 29 Apr 1997

Brong Ahafo House Of Chiefs Want Right Of Lands

Sunyani The Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs has called for the repeal of Executive Instrument NO 46 of 1961 which has vested some lands in the region in the president on behalf of some stools. The House said provisions of the instrument are no more relevant in the present local government administration under which the areas concerned have established traditional councils with gazetted paramount chiefs as presidents.

The call was contained in a statement read at a press conference by Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi-Ampem, president of the House at Sunyani. Quoting a paper presented by Osahene Kwakye Aterkyi, Kukuomhene at a recent workshop on Ghana's draft land policy, the House said the initiation and execution of Executive Instrument 46 was mainly to curb conflicts between the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions in the absence of well established traditional councils at the time.

It cited the case of the Northern and Upper regions where some lands were vested in the president under similar executive instruments but ''these have been divested under section 257 (2) of the 1992 constitution without mentioning the Brong Ahafo region''. The chiefs said ''this development has placed stool lands in the region in an anomalous position", describing it as ''very unfair because the question of stool lands ownership in Ahafo and elsewhere in the region remains unsettled''.

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It also appealed to the Asantehene to divest chiefs of the Kumasi traditional council area of any interests in such lands by sanctioning the transfer of ownership to the various paramountcies he has created or concurred to create. The chiefs said that with the elevation of the so called caretaker chiefs to paramountcy, it becomes incongruous that the paramount chiefs should hold subservient positions in relation to the clan chiefs in their areas. It described the situation as very unfair, saying an omanhene without domain is like a "parliamentarian without a constituency".

The chiefs said the Asantehene could confirm in an appropriate customary way or in writing his oral statement to the various stools he has elevated that the stools should own the lands in their possession.

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