By Newman C. A Dotse:
// It has emerged that the barbaric demolition embarked upon at the Amrahia Dairy farms by the officials of Lands Commission was to create enough space within the portion released to the original custodians of the land by the state, for sharing among themselves and their aficionados.
A document intercepted by this paper indicates that Lands Commission alone has appropriated 250 acres which forms part of the portion cut for the people of Danfa, Kweiman and Amrahia at the dairy farms at the blind side of the President who authorized the release of the 40% to the various families that contributed directly to the compulsory acquisition scheme.
Surprisingly, the portion demolished recently, happens to be the exact portion earmarked for sharing by the officials of Lands Commission, which is approximately 250 acres. These same officials are also determined to develop a scheme that will further enable them shortchange the owners of the scanty portion left.
Laughably, these Lands Commission officials connived with some officials at the Lands Ministry to forcefully take what is meant for the people by adopting a rather disgraceful method of calculating the 40% due the people.
They claim 40% of 385 acres is 88 acres; and 40% of 300 acres is 68; and the question is, what are they going to do with the difference? They have also marked some portions encroached portions which are going to be kept by them.
The chiefs of the above mentioned communities claim portions marked as encroached portions were sold by One Clement Gyato and some Lands Commission officials, hence the resolve by Lands Commission to protect themselves from being exposed, by taking charge of those portions. Portions marked as encroached areas have no structures on them.
Such encroached portions existed before the 40% was released to the original custodians, yet, there was no demolition at those areas except portions that were given to indigenes by the chiefs for housing purposes. A large portion at Danfa, where demolitions were carried out by the Land Commission and their appendage, Clement Gyato, was also marked as encroached area. How could a bare land be marked as an encroached area when there were no structures on it?
According to a Lands Commission official, and an official at the Lands Ministry, portions marked as an encroached areas were supposed to be part of areas that were earmarked for the three communities, to make it a complete 40% but their resolve to shortchange the chiefs and their elders forced them to lay claim to the so- called encroached areas.
The portion demolished at the farm is now being claimed by Lands Commission for the purposes of their so-called affordable housing. Let’s admit that indeed, that portion was going to be used for affordable housing. The question here is; must we destroy houses built by the masses with their hard earned money even in the face of these present harsh economic situations, all in the name of parochial interest of some few people?
The Citizen would like to know the last time government built houses that were made affordable to the poor masses. Again, this paper would like to know if Lands Commission is entitled to a share of every parcel of land the state deems fit to release to the original custodians; and whether they have the right to seize any land without proper negotiations with the land owners.
Information available to The Citizen indicates that the said 250 acres have already been shared on paper among Lands Commission officials, and some other government appointees.