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22.06.2012 Education

Varsity of Energy In Sunyani, Not Fiapre -Traditional Council

By Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah - Daily Graphic
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The Sunyani Traditional Council has said the structures, which are currently being used as the starting point for the newly established University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), are situated on Sunyani stool land and not part of Fiapre town as it is being portrayed by a section of the media.

The council explained that the UENR structures were formerly called Sunyani Forestry School, which, indeed, formed part of Sunyani stool lands that were officially acquired by the colonial government in 1928, with all the documentation at the disposal of the traditional council for the perusal of whoever so wished.

According to members of the council, it, therefore, beat their imagination and are also baffled that for over 100 years, it is now that the chiefs and people of Fiapre are laying claim to the land which was within the Sunyani Master Plan.

However, the Sunyani chiefs said they had no intention whatsoever to take back the land and structures which had been legally acquired by the government.

The council showed to the press, maps and other documents retrieved from the National Archives as prove of their claim, insisting that Sunyani did not have a boundary with Fiapre but rather shared with Nsoatre, Wamfie and Odumase.

Addressing a press conference in Sunyani, Nana Bosoma Nkrawiri II, the Omanhene of the Sunyani Traditional Area, explained that when the authorities of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi took over the Sunyani Forestry School, a couple of years ago for its Faculty of Forest Resources Technology (FFRT) programme, it was still designated, ‘‘Sunyani Campus’’.

Flanked by his divisional chiefs, Nana Nkrawiri further indicated that historically, the people of Fiapre could not claim ownership of any stretch of land in Sunyani since they were settlers, whose primary activity was hunting and farming.

He added that even the current site of the Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) was part of Sunyani lands, pointing out that initially, the traditional council did not want to litigate with the people of Fiapre, for the simple reason that the Catholic authorities would have lost interest in the establishment of the university in the Brong Ahafo Region.

The Omanhene again indicated that it was owing to the fast rate at which Sunyani was growing that Fiapre had become popular as a suburb but not as an independent chiefdom with such an impunity to lay ownership on lands.

He said the council was privy to correspondences the people of Fiapre were sending to the Brong Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council and boards of government institutions requesting them to effect changes in the ownership of the lands, to use the name of Fiapre, in the stead of Sunyani, as the original owners, saying that those attempts would be legitimately resisted.

Asked why the council had waited all this while for Fiapre to lay claims on some lands and had been even accorded the due recognition at functions, especially, those organised by CUCG authorities before taking action now, Nana Nkrawiri explained that the council did not sense any danger, malice or sinister attempt by Fiapre to claim lands.

Rhetorically questioning the people, the Sunyanimanhene asked; “since when did people travelling to the Brong Ahafo Region come to know of the existence of a town called Fiapre, if it had not been part of Sunyani, since time immemorial, and so how could that tradition be departed from?

He alleged that some institutions and companies who were occupying government lands had now resorted to selling portions of those lands and were keeping the proceeds to their chest, with nothing at all coming to the traditional council.

The chiefs used the occasion to appeal to the government to initiate development projects in Sunyani, since the regional capital was battling with old water systems, poor road and street networks, as well as unreliable electricity supply.

Nana Nkrawiri said the people of Sunyani could not point to any current ongoing development project initiated by the government, saying that the citizens could only boast of the same structures and other social amenities that had been established in the past.

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