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06.05.2009 Regional News

Rival Chiefs Claim Nungua Stool Lands

By Lawrence Markwei -
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Nii Odai Ayiku IV, a claimant to the Nungua Stool, has described the handing over of a portion of Nungua Stool land to Nii Odaifio Welentsi III a rival claimant, as improper since he is not the legitimate chief of Nungua. He has, therefore, appealed to the President to take the necessary steps to have the land returned to the proper custodians of the Nungua stool land.

“Any purported action in respect of any part of the Nungua land that does not involve the Mantse is virtually a nullity,” he said.

Nii Ayiku's objection was contained in a statement read at a press conference  by Nii Afotey Ahwa II, Nungua Seitse (Stool Father), on behalf of Nii Ayiku and his Elders in response to the release of unused government-acquired land to the Nungua Stool.

He said the government's action of handing over the land to Nii Welentsi by implication meant that it had picked a chief for Nungua.

“The government's decision to return the land may be described as noble and laudable, but we were shocked to learn that the land had been released into wrong hands.”

He said when the Nungua Traditional Authority had hint of the Ministry's intention to hand over the land and realised that he and his elders were not the designated party to receive the land, they petitioned the Ministry.

Nii Ayiku said though the Minister promised the delegation that he would call off the programme to allow for further deliberation on the issue” “we were shocked and dismayed when it got to our attention that the Minister and other faction have met to formally append their signatures to documents covering the release of the stool lands.”

He said that action resulted in a state of anarchy and confusion at Nungua “as irate youth took to the streets of Nungua to register their protest through demonstrations, threatening to attack those so called elder”.

Nii Ayiku said the choice of who to hand over the land to, is precipitated by the fact that “virtually all the parcels of land released by the government had already been sold by recipients that is why we believed it had been released to them.”

He asked the recipients to come clean over the allegation that the land had already been sold out to Trassaco, an estate developer,” instead of throwing dust into our eyes by saying that Trassaco have been asked to service the land to add value to it.”

On April 16, government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, handed 60 per cent of unused government acquired land to Nii Welentsi.

The land was originally acquired for then University College of the Gold Coast and the directorate of veterinary services, for research into animal husbandry, his release was in line with the government's commitment to return state acquired but unused land to their original owners.

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