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15.12.2005 Regional News

Paramount of Ada against unlawful exploitation of Songhor lagoon

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Accra, Dec. 15, GNA- Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, Paramount Chief of Ada Traditional Area, said on Thursday that it was wrong for any person or group of persons to exploit any natural resource in the traditional area without consent. He was reacting to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which he said was signed between Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) and four of the Okor clans of Ada, namely: Tekperbiawe, Lomobiawe, Adibiawe and Dangmebiawe.

A press release issued by Mr Jonathan Dokutso, Secretary for Nana Akuaku in Accra said the MOU authorised PEF to promote joint venture development of Songhor Lagoon and adjoin lands of nearly 30,000 acres, without prior attention to the Paramount Chief who is also the President of the Ada Traditional Council. It said Nene Akuaku had traditional oversight and authority over the lagoon and other natural resources in the area.

The statement said: " It is trite knowledge that the Songhor lagoon is not owned by any single clan. It is owned by the Ada State. This community ownership is graded. In practice, Terkperbiawe and the Paramountcy own much more than the rest." It said the paramount chief was the administrator while Terperbiawe clan is the guardian, adding, " One of the practical manifestations of this situation is in the sharing of the salt tribute.

The statement cited an agreement over the exploitation of the Songhor lagoon with the vacuum Salt Industries Limited in 1971, which was endorsed by the then Paramount Chief, Nene Dakeh II. It said although the lagoon is situated within the traditional area, it is available for the benefit of the country. "Nene is by this release not putting any spokes on the exploitation of the songhor lagoon resource, but that he wishes that harmony, direction and legality are exhibited in the exploitation of the natural resources in the Ada Traditional Area.

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