19.04.2005 General News

Govt would return lands to rightful owners

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Accra, April 19 GNA - Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister, on Tuesday re-stated Government's pledge to return all Government acquired lands for which no compensation had been paid to the rightful owners.

He, however, stressed that each case would have to be determined on its own merit since a blanket application would lead to chaos. "I wish to confirm today that some of the cases have been examined and as we speak now two of such areas are about to be released to their owners, and I mean very soon," Sheikh Quaye said at the Greater Accra Region People's Assembly for the chiefs and the people in the Region. The People's Assembly concept, which was introduced by the Government four years ago, is to provide the platform for citizens to question the Executive about its policies and programmes.

The forum attracted a large number of people from all walks of life, who asked Ministers of State questions, made contributions and suggestions for the smooth running of the country.

Sheikh Quaye said land litigation and chieftaincy disputes had tended to hinder Government policies, adding that these were areas where the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration had not been able to arrive at quick decisions because of several claimants and disputes. He appealed to the chiefs to unite to enable the Government to see its way clear in solving the disputes.

The Regional Minister commended the Police, Military and Security Agencies for combating crime in the Region, saying the arrest of some notorious robbers who had been on wanted list of the Police for a long time pointed to the fact that they were making progress in the fight against the criminals.

The function was nearly marred when some angry members of the United Petty Traders Association became agitated and started chanting war song against the AMA Chief Executive, Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson outside the Teacher's Hall for not providing them a place to do their business.

They also accused the AMA Chief Executive of rendering their members jobless and pushing them into debt to suppliers and banks as a result of the decongestion exercise carried out by the Assembly. The Regional Police Commander, ACP Kofi Boakye was able to cool the nerves of the angry hawkers and the meeting went on smoothly. Many of the questions on the floor centred on waste disposal, sanitation, water, health and land disputes within the various electoral areas and assemblies.

They also called on the Government upgrade educational infrastructure within the various communities to provide quality teaching and learning in the area. 19 April 05

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