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10.05.2006 Regional News

GaDangme Council grouse over

By Accra mail - Atiku Iddrisu
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The Ga Dangme Council, an ethnic pressure group, has criticized the government for not addressing the concerns of the movement over the "indiscriminate" sale of Ga lands by the Lands Commission.
The movement has demanded the payment of outstanding compensation for lands for public purposes, including the Trade Fair Site, the Teshie Nungua Estates and the Asutsuare Sugar Cane Plantation. The GaDangme Council also demanded a clear national policy on the naming of national landmarks and called for the repeal of PNDC Law 287 that compulsorily acquired the Ada Songhor Land.

The President of the GaDangme Council, Mr. K.B. Asante, speaking last Saturday at a durbar in Accra, said a great proportion of GaDangme lands have been taken over by government for national development with little or no compensation paid in some cases.

He noted that many of those lands have not been used for the intended purposes and said whilst the law requires that such lands be returned to their original owners, the Land Commission, instead, chose to allocate such lands to private individuals for various fees.

Mr. Asante told newsmen that a little over a year ago the people of GaDangme, at the end of a peaceful protest march, presented a memorandum to President Kufuor and the Speaker of Parliament on a number of issues including concerns over GaDangme lands and the naming of national landmarks in Accra.

He lamented that while the President and the Speaker of Parliament did not acknowledge receipt of the memorandum, portions of GaDangme lands - the subject of their complaints - are being given to influential people "who may have to decide on our concerns."

The beneficiaries, he alleged, include the Chief Justice Mr. George Kingsley Acquah and the Speaker of Parliament Mr. Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes. He challenged the Chairman of the Lands Commission to come out and deny the allegation.

On the compulsory acquisition of the Ada Songhor Lagoon by the government, the Ga Dangme Council said there are other salt producing sites in other parts of the country and therefore sees it as discriminatory for the government to single out the Ada Songhor Lagoon for compulsory acquisition