By Newman A.C Dotse-
-/ Two Lands Commission officials who initiated the barbaric demolition of plush houses at the dairy farms enclave belonging to the people of Amrahia, Danfa and Kweiman have apparently deserted their various offices and gone into hiding to avoid being served with a contempt of court writ.
The chiefs and elders of the above mentioned communities cited the executive secretary, Mr. James Dadson and his chairman, Mr. Alex Quaynoo as brains behind the unwarranted demolition that occurred two weeks ago, to the surprise of the stakeholders who were part of the negotiation prior to the release of the 40% eventually allocated to the three communities in November 2020, contrary to the orders of the high court.
An official statement issued by the executive secretary of Lands Commission prior to the demolition has it that, the commission intends to embark on demolition of structures on the 40% of the dairy farms lands officially released to the original custodians by the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, through his vice, Dr. Bawumia two years ago.
The chiefs were surprised to have noted that such statement emanated from the executive secretary of Lands Commission, Mr. James Dadson, who was with them throughout the release process. It’s shocking to the chiefs to have noted that he subtly disregarded the president’s directive to the extent of nursing this rather upsurd ambition.
The Chiefs say it is therefore a shock to them when on Wednesday, 18th January this year, a security task force led by some officials of the Lands Commission moved into where the chiefs believe was given to them to demolish buildings in a bid to secure a huge portion for themselves at the blind side of the President.
According to the chiefs, they have even filed a suit against Lands Commission and the Attorney General, and had secured injunction against the commission over some anomalies on this same subject matter, to which they obviously failed to file a defense; yet, they have strangely defied the orders of the court and embarked on this rather annoying, lawless and wicked act.
The arbitrary actions by the two Lands Commission officials angered the chiefs, necessitating their resolve to go back to the law court over contempt of the orders of the court.
However, some New Patriotic Party (NPP) executives and known activists who were abreast of Lands Commission’s attitude towards the custodians of the said land, have expressed their frustration at the exercise by a joint Police and National Security task force led by officers of the Lands Commission.
According to them, the exercise has the potentials of making government unpopular, considering the timing of the exercise and unacceptable rationale behind the act.
The Chiefs, who believe the exercise is being instigated by some government officials with parochial interest, say, they will resist the attempt to take over their lands with their last breath.
A known New Patriotic Party (NPP) activist, Ben Atiaka, in an interview, expressed great disappointment in government for allowing such an exercise to go on knowing very well that the land in question had been given to the people.
According to Nii Ashirifi Ashong I, Manklalo of Amrahia, government, and for that matter the Lands Commission, could have engaged the chiefs and traditional leaders in the area for possible solutions and that demolishing peoples’ properties is not the right thing to do, looking at the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the lands, and the current economic hardship on the citizenry.
In December 2020, government through the vice President, Dr Alhaji Mahmoud Bawumia, issued a white paper for the release of 40% of lands acquired from the people of Amrahia, Danfa and Kweiman for dairy farms to be given back to the original custodians.
The Chiefs say, they were not informed about the exercise that brought investments of their subjects down the drain.
Some individuals, whose properties were destroyed, could not bear the pains of seeing their monies go down the drain but the security personnel present will not give them a chance to salvage anything.
Some journalists who tried filming with their phones had their phones seized.
However, officials of the Lands Commission will not speak to reporters who wanted to find out the rationale behind the exercise.
According to the affected residents and property owners, they believe some big men at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and other big portfolio holders of the current NPP government have connived with Lands Commission to take over lands officially released to the people of Amrahia, Danfa and Kweiman, with the help of national security and the police, contrary to the directives of the president of the republic of Ghana.