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15.03.2006 Regional News

Association wants clarification over Atomic Junction Lands


Accra, March 15, GNA - Members of the Atomic Junction Garages and Traders Association (AJGTA)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 was 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, was public land earmarked for specific community projects, some individuals and groups of persons were 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 Amadu Sorgho, Member of Parliament for Madina-Abokobi, had stated categorically during the formal opening of "NO TURN HERBAL CLINIC" at Atomic Junction last October that the area in question was public property.

Alhaji Sorgho had at that time appealed to members of the Association to be vigilant and report any threats of encroachers to the assembly or the appropriate quarters.

Nana Owusu said these impostors, possessing fictitious documents, had been threatening to forcibly take over the lands, adding that members of the association had therefore, vowed to resist any further encroachments on the land.

He appealed to the 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 assembly or the MP for the area and called for an immediate solution to the problem to avert imminent communal clash.