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Opinions of Saturday, 6 August 2011

Columnist: Damptey, Daniel Danquah

Who Sold Those Plots Of Land Earmarked for a School

Project To Mr. Boateng?

By Executive instrument 61 of 1975, Ghana Government became the owner of all the areas earmarked for the National Sports Complex. Of this area, portions were selected to be used for hospitals, schools, markets and playgrounds. Landlords in these areas covering Tabora, Israel, Alhaji and South Ofankor constituted themselves into the National Sports Complex Area Residents’ Association with the sole aim of fighting against encroachment of reserved areas and also to bring developments to the areas so mentioned.

In a letter dated June 6, 2000, addressed to the Chairperson of the Lands Commission, the then Executives of the Association, made up of Mr. A.L.Akrofi, Chairman, with Major Felix Ofosu- Barko (Rtd.), Lividas and Robert Lamptey, as Executive Members made reference to:
1) Executive Instrument 61 of 1975
2) Presidential Address as reported in the Daily Graphic, (NO.14761) pages One and Three of May 25, 1999.
3) RA/199/45 dated 20th May, 1999 to give legitimacy to Government acquisition of the land.

The Association in the said letter complained bitterly about activities of stubborn encroachers on areas reserved for such facilities and infrastructures and passionately appealed to the Lands Commission to step in and halt the dangerous menace.

This same seemingly lack of strong will by both Government and the Lands Commission to crack the whip on such encroachers is rearing its ugly head again on the more than 33 plots of lands earmarked for schools, markets, hospital and other recreational facilities at Israel. These plots of land have been a subject of litigation amongst some three school owners. The dispute eventually culminated in the placing of injunction on the land when
the late WO1 Mantey, a resident at Israel took Mr Boateng to court at the Cocoa Clinic. The injunction is still in place.

Recently, Government, through the Ga South Municipal Assembly decided to establish a public school on the land in question. A caterpillar graded the whole area which used to be a notorious ground for criminals like wee smokers, pick pockets and other anti social elements.

Residents heaved a sigh of relief when the area was cleared. The profiles of the school projects were put in place, thus giving the assurance that, indeed, government was keen on making Israel and the surrounding areas enjoy a sense of belonging. But what did we see? Mr. Boateng, Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy sent his thugs to destroy the profiles of the building project. When questioned about his action, he claimed to have with him a court judgement and a title deed from the Lands Commission. These two “instruments” according to Mr Boateng, make him the “de facto owner” of the land.
But one may ask: What is the Ga District Municipal Assembly doing about the illegal action of Mr Boateng? Did the Court take into consideration Executive Instrument 61 of 1975 before giving judgement on the case? If indeed the “judgement” is allowed to stand then what is the power of the Government?

This is not the first time the Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy has used the power of money and brute force to achieve his inordinate and overvaulting ambition. He is now using the demolition of the school profile to test the waters. With the connivance of the Dzatsetse of Israel, he has been going to the Israel Football Field and the surrounding plots to issue threats to users of the fields and those with temporary structures to quit the place or face the wrath of his thugs.

But the question is: Who gave or sold the land to Mr. Boateng, Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy? The Lands Commission should come clean of it. Mr. Chairman, have you plotted any land in the name of Mr. Boateng of Crowned Prince Academy? Please, tell us all you know about the said transaction between your Commission and Mr. Boateng. The people of Israel want to hear nothing but the truth.

My quest for answers took me to Nii Ardy Ansah Hill, Secretary to the Divisional and Principal Elders of the Asene Stool, original owners of the lands in question. In a telephone interview, he expressed his disappointment at Government’s inaction in the face of extreme provocation by Mr. Boateng. He was emphatic that the land in question had been mapped up for recreational and other facilities. The Sports Complex captured such facilities in its original plan. He went on to say that if previous and the current Governments no longer have the political will to implement the project, the lands ought to revert to its original owners, which in this case, is the Asene Stool.

When pressed further as to what the Stool would do, he said they will wade into the matter for they will not sit unconcerned for a single individual to thwart the collective will and good of an entire community. “We will not allow any individual to play a yoyo with our land. The land in question is ours and we shall use all legitimate means to reclaim it. Just mark my words”. He rejected the notion that the Stool might have sold the entire piece or parts of the land to Mr Boateng, Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy.

When prompted if he could be quoted, he willingly agreed and even provided his contact information for anyone seeking clarification to do so on mobile number 0208516886.

My search to enable me arrive at the heart of the matter also took me to the Concerned Citizens Association of Israel whose President Mr Edward Quaye minced no words in telling me that Mr Boateng could only commence construction works on the disputed lands over their dead bodies. He told me point blank that, in the coming days, red flags would be flying all over the disputed lands to show that his group meant business. He too can be contacted on 0243014259.

I could not have a chat with the current Chairman of the Land Lords Association who happens to be the Minister in Charge of the Bethel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church at Israel. Nevertheless, I was able to speak and interact with some members of the Association. The overall impression I got from such interactions was that the Association was vehemently opposed to the coup plot being hatched by Mr Boateng with the active connivance of the Dzatsetse of Israel.

The Association has vowed that either a Public School is established at the place in line with the original plan or no individual person would be allowed to ride roughshod over the people of the area

Well, fellow Ghanaians; this is a timely warning to National Security and the Government. We should not play the ostrich and allow the tragedy to occur before we start to apportion blame. The situation at hand is a delicate one. A single individual wants to trample upon the rights of an entire Community. What are the National Security, The Ga South Municipal and the Central Government doing about it?

What sanction has so far been taken against the individual who went and destroyed the building profile of the school project? Is Government telling us that the Israel Community and its environs are so insignificant that a single individual could stand up and thwart its efforts to bring dividends of democracy to the area without attracting any repercussions to the said culprit? Is Prince Boateng a sacred cow? What offence have the people of the area committed to warrant this ill-treatment from someone who thinks he can have every body at his beck and call because of his money? And the Government and the Municipal Assembly are watching helplessly as one individual person is holding a whole community hostage! Why?

A similar situation occurred at Madina and the result was catastrophic. We do not want a repeat of such an incident here. Considering the fact that Nations have gone to war over land and that Communities which used to live together in peace and have a common ancestry have also gone to war over parcels of land, I am appealing to Government to act quickly before the “unexpected’ happens. There is a threat to life and property of the people of Israel, and the sooner Government acted, the better the security of the people of the area would be assured. To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.

The football Field and its adjoining 33 plots of lands belong to Government, which is holding them in trust for the Community. No individual person can claim legitimacy over them. Government should set up a probe so as to unravel the mystery which led to that portion of its land being plotted in the name of an individual. The Lands Commission should come clean of the matter.

All that we are asking is: Who at all sold those plots of Government land to Mr Boateng?

We pause for an answer!!

Daniel Danquah Damptey (
( 0243715297.