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23.10.2008 NPP News

Ga-Dangme Association puts its trust in NPP to handle land issues

By The Statesman

The  Ga-Dangme Forward Association has sharply rebuked the NDC, the Palaver newspaper, and members of the "defunct Ga-Dangme Council' for playing politics with an issue as contentious as the matter of previously state-acquired Ga lands in the Greater Accra region.

Rather, in a press release issued to the media, the GDFA reminded journalists that the unutilised state-owned lands that the NPP recently returned to the Ga people were originally seized during the First Republic, during an entirely different regime, and that the NPP had been working throughout the presidency of J.A. Kufuor to restore Ga ownership to the plots.

'We wish to set the records straight that those of us who are royals and land owners have been involved in series of meetings since the inception of this Government in 2001,' said the press release. 'We have in our hands documents to prove this.

We know the delays have been caused by internal chieftaincy and family disputes, changes in Ministerial portfolios, exercise of optimum care in land matters and the inherited land maladministration.'

The GDFA bemoaned the fact that some members of the Ga-Dangme Council have politicised these land issues by suggesting that the NPP's restoration of the lands is an election-year ploy.

'For Mr. [Bright] Akwetey to have opined that this gesture of goodwill is a political gimmick is rather hypocritical to say the least,' said the release.

'The political colorization of every good act of Government by its opponents is rather unfortunate. We have noted over the years how Bright Akwetey, Josiah Ayeh [former NDC General Secretary] and others have tried to hide behind the Ga-Dangme Council to pursue the tribal political agenda of Ex-President Rawlings and his NDC.'

Recognising the seriousness of these land issues, the GDFA called upon Gas to place their trust in the NPP government, and their flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.

'As indigenes we appreciate the concerns of our fellow Ga-Dangmes that more needs to be done in terms of land release and management in our area and the nation as a whole.

In spite of these concerns we believe the best way to have our needs met is to first and foremost acknowledge and express our appreciation to a Government that is listening enough to have met some of them.

And from that position of goodwill we can ask for more rather than to be confrontational as if the problem is new or was created by the NPP Government.

'At this juncture we call on all well-meaning Ga-Dangmes to vote massively for a candidate who was born and bred alongside our indigenous people, speaks our language and understands the challenges of the Ga-Dangme people very well.

He is also married to a beautiful woman whose father is a Ga and the mother, Dangme.

He is the man who has demonstrated through his first love that he is the one we can trust to ensure fairness in the administration of lands in the Greater Accra Region when he becomes our next President, i.e. Nii Akufo Addo as he has been christened by Ga Mantse.'

The GDFA also blasted what they called the NDC"s 'shameless attempt to play politics with our concerns,' highlighting some of the failures of the NDC regime.

'If there was any one Government that gave the Ga-Dangme people a raw deal, then it is the P/NDC,' said the release.

 'A clear example of the numerous inhuman acts the NDC perpetrated against the Ga-Dangme people was the way and manner they plundered the following parcels of land acquired for:

Achimota School, Christian Methodist School at Aplaku, Star Hotel Lands in Cantonments, Kantamanto Railways, REDCO near Madina, La beach hotel to International Generics who are close associates of the Rawlingses just to mention a few.'The issue of land can be very sensitive and that of Ga-Dangme is no exception. Land dispute is the number one cause of wars the world over; we therefore call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to handle the Ga lands issue with a lot of circumspection and decorum devoid of unbridled politicisation.'