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General News Tue, 30 Nov 2010

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Tuba Residents Cry Foul

Residents of Tuba, a sprawling Accra suburb affected by the recent demolishing exercise, including Daudu Kwachu, the National Democratic Congress Organizer (NDC) in the area, are crying foul over the loss of their properties which were at different stages of completion.

The local politician averred that if the exercise was a way of saying “thank you” to the efforts he made to bring the party back to power, then he would take a second thought and advise his people accordingly.

The Deputy Communications Director of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Philip Abban, was aggrieved over the demolition of his magnificent hotel and vowed to contest government over the act if those affected were not compensated.

The residents accused government of failing to honour electioneering campaign promises that it would return Ga lands which were acquired by government but are not being used for the purposes which they were acquired.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, the angry residents said that if government failed to heed their cry for reinstatement, they would have no option than to march to the Castle with their bags and baggage.

The secretary to the Chief of Kokrobite, Daniel Nii Ardey Tagoe, regretted that Tuba, a predominantly Muslim community and a stronghold of the NDC, had been badly hit by the government it voted into power.

He described the act as barbaric and called on government to find a way of resolving the thorny problem at hand.

Nii Tagoe observed that it was unfair on the part of government to carry out a demolition exercise without prior notice to occupants or owners of the land.

He recalled how the Supreme Military Council (SMC) forcibly acquired the land.

“In 1979 under the SMC regime, a group of state security men invaded Tuba and arrested our chiefs in their quest to get the Tuba lands. Upon their release, the government, then through compulsory acquisition via Executive Instrument, took over the large vast Tuba lands ostensibly to use it for the Weija Irrigation Project (WIP).”

He stated that out of fear, the chiefs could not challenge the government’s decision.

When Ghana returned to constitutional rule in 1992, government was petitioned in 1993 to regularize the process and compensate the chiefs and people of Tuba if government decided to maintain the lands for the irrigation project.

Government then set up a working committee chaired by the then Lands and Forestry Minister, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, (now national NDC chairman) to formalize the petition.

However, the committee had barely started work when government began selling parcels of the land to individual developers, forfeiting the purpose for which the land was acquired.

In 1998, the working committee came out with a recommendation which clearly spelt out government’s desire not to use the land for the project anymore, due to massive encroachment on the land and asked government to revert the lands to its original owners.

In the said recommendation, the committee ordered the revocation of the Executive Instrument (EI 61) that instructed the seizure of the lands for the Weija Irrigation Project.

It further indicated that after the revocation of the EI, the authority was mandated to have a satisfactory arrangement with land owners over the management of the irrigation structures on part of the land vested under the EI 61.

Ruby Mantey, a mother of three, whose three-bedroom unit was affected, told DAILY GUIDE that her rent had expired.

She has up to Christmas to evacuate her room so she took loan from the bank to complete her house to move in with her children. She said she was shocked to learn that her house, which she really went through hell to build, has been demolished just a week after completion.

About a week ago, the Tuba community woke up to a horrifying spectacle of demolition of over 200 houses, with over 300 persons including women and children displaced.

Nii Ardey Nkpa VII, the overlord of Tuba, Daniel Akewety Tackie, Nii Ardey Ansa, Samuel Ansa Takie, Nii Asase, Otabil Jackson, T. T Armarh, Nii Armatey I, and Naomi Takie from the Ardey family went to support the aggrieved persons.

Source: Daily Guide Network

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