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14.01.2005 General News

Over a century old land dispute settled

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Opon Valley (WR), Jan. 14, GNA - The chiefs and people of Opon Valley and Japa in the Wassa-Amanfi East District of the Western Region, and Mampoma and Kayireku in the Twifo-Hemang-Lower-Denkyira District of the Central Region, on Thursday smoked the peace pipe to settle a 114 year-old land dispute, at a colourful ceremony at Opon Valley.

Part of the land, which is about 26 square kilometres and is yet to be demarcated between the four communities, will now be used to cultivate oil palm as part of the President's Special Initiative on the crop, to enhance their socio-economic development.

Several attempts made to have the case settled as far back as 1955, proved futile and the disputing communities, kept contesting judgments rendered with regard to the ownership of the land, at the law courts. The acting District Chief Executives (DCE) for Wassa-Amenfi East and the Twifo-Hemang lower Denkyira districts, in this regard, initiated moves in 2003 to have the case settled amicably.

To seal the settlement of the dispute, the chiefs of the four communities, Nana Kwesi Bisseh II, of Opon Valley, Nana Adarkwah Yiadom II, of Japa, Nana Boakyehene of Mampoma and Nana Kwame Baduo II, of Kayireku signed a memorandum of understanding with the two District Assemblies, amidst the pouring of libation and the slaughtering of a cow. Speaking at the function, the acting DCE for Twifo-Hemang-Lower-Denkyira, Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom said he initiated the settlement process because disputes retarded development and expressed his appreciation to the chiefs for their cooperation, which made an amicable settlement possible.

He also expressed appreciation to his colleague from the Western Region, Mr Samuel Alberto Tekyi, and the Omanhene of the Amanfi traditional area Kasapreko Kwame Bassanyin III, for the part they played in the settlement.

Speaking in turns, the chiefs admitted that the dispute had cost them a lot and pledged to do away with such disputes, Nana Yiadom, particularly expressed regret that the monies used for the litigation could have been channelled into the education of their children "some of who would have been lawyers and judges by now".

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