V/R: Rampant encroachment and sales of state lands at South Tongu – Concerned Citizens of Tongu raise red flag 

South Tongu District Assembly signpost
South Tongu District Assembly signpost

The Concerned citizens of Tongu has expressed worry and disappointment on what they described as rampant encroachment and illegal sales of state lands in the District Capital of South Tongu in the Volta Region of Ghana.

According to the Concerned citizens of Tongu, as a results of the above unfortunate development, 100s of parcel of building plots belonging to the Land commission for the development of the district have being encroached on, a situations of which will sooner or later affects the development processes of the district.

The group also criticized the Fieve Traditional Land Secretariat to have deviated from their core mandate. According to them, they feel the Land Secretariat is to collaborate with the state agencies to manage land resources effectively in Tongu and especially, South Tongu. “However, it appears, the Fievie Land Secretariat has deviated from its core mandate. Their main agenda now is rather grab and sell existing state designated land space to private developers without any recourse to lay down rules.”

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In a press statement issued by the leaders of the group thus; Mr. Kove Joe-Yaw – Chairman, Mr. Wisdom Yaw Vinyo – Secretary and Mr. Francis Kenneth Diamenu- Public Relations Officer said, “The attention of CCT (concerned citizens of Tongu) has been drawn to online publications by the Ghana web and my joy online indicating that some individual officials of South Tongu District Assembly as well as some individuals from the Fievie Traditional area are allegedly engage in selling designated land space belonging to the Land commission in South Tongu District. According to the news, ‘’some parcels of government land at Sogakope in the South Tongu District are being encroached on by a faceless developer without authorization from the land commission. The land measured about nine building plots is situated behind the official residence of the District Chief Executive and close to the banks of the river Volta”. The news further explained that “An unannounced visit to the area by the officials of the Volta regional lands commission led by the chairperson, Mama Dzidoase (I), saw construction works busily erecting concrete structures on the parts of the land. When probed about the identity of the developer, the workers claimed no knowledge of the person but only mentioned one Samuel Ofori, as the foreman who brought them to the site but was currently on admission at hospital.”

According to them, “Mama Dzidoase (I) in her briefing the media on the development, observed that the mysterious developer entered four out of the nine plots of land and also connected electricity from the residence of the District Chief Executive to power water pump on site. She revealed that some plots of the land were allegedly allocated to the paramount chief of the area by the DCE without recourse to the commission. As a result, Mama Dzidoase (I) directed the acting regional lands officer, Mr. Jonathan Kwabla to engage the DCE on the development, as she ordered workers off site’’

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CCT wishes to express its strongest disappointment in the above development and want to bring to the attention of the public that:

As a results of the above unfortunate development, 100s of parcel of building plots belonging to the Land commission for the development of the district have being encroached on, a situations of which will sooner or later affects the development processes of the district.

“We are aware that, before a town assumes a district capital, one condition is the available of  land space for the building of administrative facilities and normally, in the fight for a district capital, the indigenous people make sacrifices to provide land space to the state; as it were, for the construction of offices and the needed establishments.” They said.

“In South Tongu as we know today, that honor has been bestowed on Fievie Traditional Area for the key rules it played in creation of South Tongu District. In our case, we have been fortunate that we have had what we deemed as Fievie Land Secretariat. To CCT, we feel the Land Secretariat is to collaborate with the state agencies to manage land resources effectively in Tongu and especially, South Tongu. However, it appears, the Fievie Land Secretariat has deviated from its core mandate. Their main agenda now is rather grab and sell existing state designated land space to private developers without any recourse to lay down rules.”

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CCT as a development oriented Civil Society Organization, is highly interested in this unfortunate situation and would like to draw the attention of Fievie Land Secretariat among others things that:

  1. According to the 1992 Republican Constitution, all natural resources are held in trust by the president of the Republic of Ghana.
  2. The Secretariat is not above the state agency that is responsible for land management and administration in the district and needs to cooperate with the state agencies in dealing with matters related to state designated land spaces in the district.
  3. The Secretariat should collaborate with the state agencies to map out all lands that fall within their jurisdiction as a traditional area
  4. The Secretariat and / or Fievie traditional authority should demand compensation from the state for all designated land space it legally acquired from them instead of engaging in state land grabbing.
  5. In all this, we would like to admonish all Traditional Areas to seek the assistance of the District Assembly to map out land banks.

Maxwell Lukutor supports Volta Regional and the South Tongu Secretariats of NDC

We are also calling on the District Assembly and/ or Volta regional land commission to:

  • To properly engage to dialogue on the issues affecting the management of state’s designated land space in South Tongu.
  • Properly secure and protect all the designated state lands under their custody.
  •  Consider the establishment of land banks in the district and Make adequate resource to the Town and Country planning Department to undertake this exercise.
  • Constitute committee of inquiry to unveil faces behind the unauthorized sales of state lands and

Use every legal tools and processes to retrieve all the stolen lands and prosecute the culprits

  • Arrange to pay all the outstanding compensations for all designated r land space acquired from the Fievie Traditional Authority.

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We would like to entreat all citizen to visualize the prospects of South Tongu becoming Municipal Assembly and position for development in that direction.

Let us understand that the prospects of oil industry in Keta Basin will naturally position Sogakofe to be the Eastern Corridor Oil Capital. We cannot renegades on this enviable position. In conclusion, CCT would like to assured planning Volta region land commission and South Tongu district assembly their supports in various endeavors to protect the state’s designated land space for development and posterities.

Photo of construction activities on the site.  

READ BELOW THE PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE CONCERNED CITIZENS OF TONGU

SOURCE: Coverghana.com.gh

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