Irate youth of La and members of the La Traditional Council on Thursday stormed the La Wireless area in Accra to register their protest against a building project to house would-be foreign delegates to the 50th independence anniversary next year. The Chief Nii Dr Kpobi Tettey Tsuru III, Clan Heads, Elders and youth of the town demanded why the project should continue after they had a month earlier served notice for a halt of the project, which was then at foundation level.
They explained that Government through the [email protected] Secretariat had given the site originally acquired for a telecommunications project to a private estate developer without any reference or consultation with the allodial owners of the land.
The incensed youth put a large "Stop Work" notice sign at the site and later transferred it to the main entrance to stop the developer from going further with work on the project, which is about to reach the lintel level.
Many of the workers at the site stopped work and took to their heels or sat to observe as Nii Dr Tsuru, with backing from Clan Elders of the town and the youth, toured the site and explained their concerns to journalists.
La District Commander of Police ASP Nyamekye Adane-Ameyaw and his men, who were at the site to provide security, left the site before the warning notice board was fixed.
The Commander explained that he was waiting for further instructions from his superiors because the project was a government one.
Nii Dr Tsuru in a chat with journalists said the people of La had served a similar notice in early September and were at a loss why the project continued despite the warning.
"La people want the land to build their own houses. If the land is available, the town is appealing to the Government to give the land back to us. We must also say that this is not the fault of the present Government," Nii Dr Tsuru said.
He said the Traditional Council did not understand why the building continued when the Council was yet to receive the response from the appropriate authorities promised in a letter from Charles Wereko-Brobby, Head of the [email protected] 50 Project, on its concerns raised on the lack of consultation on the change in the use of the Wireless Project site. Prof. Ablade Glover, a Member of the La Reconciliation Committee, described the progress of the project as stealing of the land from the people of La, re-emphasising that the land must be returned to the people.
He said the law that prevented the stoppage of a building project at the lintel level applied only in Accra, adding that the youth of La would utilise every possible means to prevent the project from reaching the lintel level.
The Dzasetse (Chief Kingmaker) of La, Nii Odotei Adjei, said the Council would not sit down to be taken for a ride.
He described a letter purported to have been written from the [email protected] Secretariat offering to build a palace for the La Chief and two billion cedis without any consultations with the Traditional Council as an insult.
Nii Amasa Namoale, MP Dadekotopon, said the youth would retreat and regroup to strategise on what action to prevent further work on the project. "We'll make sure the work is stopped," he said.