The Central Committee of CSIR Local Unions (CCCLU) is appealing to President Akufo-Addo to immediately intervene and halt all activities of encroachers of the research lands at Pokuase in the Ga West Municipal Assembly.
According to the National Chairman of the Union, Michael Amoo Gyasi, Ghana stands to lose its only research lands if measures are taken to stop the activities of the encroachers.
Addressing the media at a press conference, Mr. Gyasi said “There are no other research lands in the country meant for research works apart from the Pokuase Lands. If Government does not help us secure it, its loss will not only create unemployment but leave the toil of our predecessors will be in vain”.
He added that lands acquired by the Government to enhance its activities are being encroached upon by some of its appointees, companies as well as individuals.
He added that under the pretext of constructing 25,000 units of affordable housing by the Ministry of Works and Housing, some unknown faces including Government appointees have stolen portions of the CSIR lands.
According to him, all attempts to prevent their nefarious and illegal activities proved futile.
“Several wprkers who visited the land to perform their legitimate duties were injured and brutalized by land guards stationed on the site by some powerful authorities. This attracted the attention of the Vice President; Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who formed a multi-disciplinary committee at his behest to bring a foreclosure to the issue but these encroachers gets worse by the day,” he disclosed.
Speaking on the terms of reference; Mr. Gyasi mentioned that the collating of relevant documents, field inspections to assess ground situation among others were part of the duties assigned the committee members selected by Vice President Dr. Bawumia.
The National Chairman also revealed that the Ministry of Works and Housing on January 9 alerted the Director General of CSIR of the unauthorised settlement of Frankpauls Ventures Limited adding that the organization be asked to vacate the site.
He stressed that CSIR will not surrender its unexpired lease to the Ga Municipal Assembly to enable direct grant to the Thumbay Groupby the Lands Commission.
He said “Apart from the platform for the construction of an ultra-modern Science and Technology University which was shamefully destroyed, the land was being used for the conservation of N’dama cattle which has a tolerant gene against the trypanosomiasis disease plaguing cattle in Africa”
Mr. Gyasi noted that the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural Research Institute (BINARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) recently had to depend on the CSIR for pasture research materials to enable them meet their contractual agreement with partners in Kenya.
He added that if measures are not taken, the Pokuase Station will not only lose the Animal Research Institute but also the Crop and Food Research Institutes which contributes in diverse ways to the development of Ghana’s agriculture and food security.
He stated that Thumbay Group, Frankpauls Ventures and other private developers have secured their lease from the Lands Commission whiles CSIR who originally occupies it is yet to be served its after waiting for seven (7) months.
Deputy General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Andrews Tagoe mentioned that the Land Guards who have taken over the CSIR lands have in their possession, pepper spray among other harmful tool and this has frightened the workers from reporting to work.
He said “The confidence levels of our staffs are down. They go to work and meet grades, excavators among others on the land. It dampens their spirit to work.
He continued, “The Vice President’s gave a directive on 30th May, 2019 for his committee members to comply with but nothing happened”.
The Local Union says it is looking up to the Akufo-Addo led admission to help save the encroached CSIR Lands.