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02.03.2006 Regional News

Association worried by harassment over land


Accra, March 02, GNA - Members of the Atomic Junction Garages and Traders Associations have called on the Ga East District Assembly to clarify the ownership of the parcel of land encircling the Atomic Junction area in Madina to avoid an eminent communal clash between them and some impostors.

The association said though it is public knowledge that the parcel of land in question, which spans the Kofi Annan Street behind the Star Oil Filling Station to the Mobil Gas Station on the Atomic Junction-Kwabenya Road, is public land that had been earmarked for special community projects, some individuals and groups of persons are claiming title to it.

Nana Peter Kwame Owusu, President of the Association, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday that as a result of such claims and harassments, members of the Association comprising traders, shop-owners and fitters had in recent times suffered a slump in their business activities.

"Over the past week, about four separate developers and persons claiming title to the land have led land guards and even armed police to the site to demolish structures belonging to some members of the Association with a view to developing the place.'' He said Alhaji Sorgho Amadu, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina-Abokobi, had stated during the formal opening of "NO TURN HERBAL CLINIC at Atomic Junction last October that the area in question was public property.

Alhaji Sorgho appealed to members of the Association to be vigilant and report any threats of encroachers to Ga East District Assembly or the appropriate quarters.

Nana owusu said these impostors, possessing fictitious documents, had even begun threatening to forcibly eject members of the association with land guards and armed police.

In some cases, he said, these persons had demolished structures belonging to some members of the association and they have vowed to resist any further encroachments on the land.

Nana Owusu appealed to the Ga East District Assembly and Mr Sorgho for clarification to determine the real owners of the land. "What we want to know is whether that parcel of land is a public or private property. If it is a public land, are the authorities aware that it is being developed as private property by impostors, and what should be done to salvage it from such illegal claimants to the land"? he asked.

Nana Owusu welcomed the coming into being of the Land Administration Project under which all property, their locations and owners would be computerised to clarify their ownership and land use rights with a view to reducing disputes and conflicts.

The project will among other things keep records of all lands and property as well as modernise some of the existing 100 laws on land administration in conformity with modern trends.

The land Administration Project will also help individuals and traditional rulers to redefine the boundaries of their lands and protect their owners from losing their lands to others.

"What members of the association would like to know or possibly see is a public notice declaring that that area is public property and that any person who purchases or releases any parcel of land at Atomic Junction does so at his or her own risk," Nana Owusu said. He expressed regret that a well-known public land was being turned into a private property without any reaction from the Ga East Rural District Assembly or the MP for the area and called for their immediate reaction to the problem to avert imminent communal clash or conflict.