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Feature Article of Saturday, 26 May 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

The People Of Osu Must Demand Their Land Back

From Jake Obestebi-Lamptey & Co.

By Kofi Thompson

Whiles the people of Manya Krobo struggle to survive - as their lives are made a complete misery by an acute water shortage - as usual, instead of working to have the plight of ordinary Ghanaians (such as Manya Krobo's inhabitants) ameliorated, Ghana's ruling elites are focused on their own personal wealth-creation concerns.

Pretty much left to their own devices, Manya Krobo's poor inhabitants, like many of Ghana's ordinary people, are experiencing what for them must be a version of hell on earth.

Meanwhile, as they and other ordinary Ghanaians suffer their collective nightmare, in our nation's capital, Accra, the Supreme Court of Ghana finally delivered a judgement in favour of the chairperson of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Obestebi-Lamptey.

The Supreme Court found in favour of Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, in a dispute over the ownership of a ministerial bungalow.

The judges of the Supreme Court ruled that Jake Obestebi-Lamptey can keep the ministerial bungalow just off Independence Avenue, which he continued to occupy whiles the NPP was in power - because he knew he would eventually be buying it - although he had resigned from the NPP regime, to take part in the primaries to select the party's candidate for the 2008 presidential election.

Readers will recall that before the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of President Mills came to power in January 2009, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey was taken to court by Dr. Omane Boamah and Samuel Okudzato-Ablakwa - over a government bungalow, which President Kufuor's NPP regime allocated and sold to him: at a point in time when he was no longer a government minister, and technically ought not to have been living in it, in the first place.

Yet, before they came to power in January 2001, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey and his party colleagues, told Ghanaians, that having made their individual personal fortunes, they were seeking power not to increase their personal net worth, but to serve the people of Ghana.

It was something that resonated with many Ghanaians, and was a key campaign message that must have won the NPP many votes in places like Manya Krobo and Osu (from whom the land on which Mr. Obestebi-Lamptey's government-owned bungalow stands, was acquired by the British colonial government of the Gold Coast), in the December 2000 presidential and presidential and parliamentary elections.

The lack of concern by our ruling elites over the plight of ordinary Ghanaians, such as the parched inhabitants of Manya Krobo, as they wrangle over government-owned bungalows, illustrates perfectly, how over the years since the overthrow of President Nkrumah, in February 1966, many of those who have ruled our nation, have asset-stripped the enterprise Ghana with complete impunity.

Perhaps the question we must pose is, where is the interest of the people of Osu, in all this - and who is protecting that interest: as state-acquired land that ought to revert to them again, is divvied up and shared by sly politicians (from across the spectrum) and the rest of our perfidious ruling elites?

Since his party might return power again after the December 2012 polls, the people of Osu must rise up now, and demand what rightly ought to be returned back to them, by the Jake Obestebi-Lampteys of Ghana's political world - and demonstrate against what amounts to the purlioning of their birthright, by selfish and greedy politicians. A word to the wise...

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