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Opinions of Monday, 7 February 2011

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Re: Returning Ga Dangbe Lands by the Government – I Disagree.

Until when will the NDC government cease to pursue short-sighted populist policies?
The Government's reason for returning the plots of lands to their original owners is
quite infantile and only befits the visionless of the current NDC government. "The
Lands Commission is expected to start the release of unutilized Ga Lands acquired by
the State, to their rightful owners by the end of March 2011", so does the NDC
government directive go.


I am sorry to state without mincing words that most Ghanaian politicians are
mentally blind and sick. Those who are not are unable to see farther than the tip of
their nose. They will do themselves justice by exercising their mental faculties in
a manner befitting intelligent human beings in search of viable solutions to their
umpteen problems. No wonder Ghana is mired and getting drowned in problems and
hence, are always forced to run helplessly to the Whites for advice, financial and
material assistance every now and then. What type of humans are we at all, if I dare
ask?


I am highly flabbergasted at the NDC government being reactively short-sighted,
acting on the spur of the moment in pursuit of her "Better Ghana" agenda. It is as
though the NDC, and to be more specific the government, has no pre-designed
manifesto prior to coming into power. The policy-aimlessness of the government is
quite astonishing. How on earth should the Ga Adange youth, the NDC foot-soldiers,
the Azorka boys and some supposed phone-in serial callers be allowed to hijack the
government? The government is simply flapping her wings in the sea of populism in
the hope of continually retaining power to govern Ghana. What a shame!


The fact that some lands acquired in the Ga area by the government have until today
not been utilized is no way a licence or a justification for them to be returned to
the Ga State. The lands are never to be returned to their individual former owners,
that is, the Ga chiefs. Once they have been acquired and retained by the government
since when only the NDC government can tell, so they must remain. To return them to
their former owners based on the stupid agitation by the Ga youths and the fact that
the lands have since their acquisition not been utilized is as preposterous as the
government is completely myopic.


The Ghana governments, especially the President Atta Mills' NDC government, need
tutorials in the usefulness of the retention of State lands for the benefit of the
State and the future generation. Let me cite examples and reasons why I feel the Ga
lands should under no circumstances be returned to the Ga chiefs as long as they had
genuinely been acquired and retained by the government, either previous or current.
It is noticeable that there are no open public spaces, parks etc. where people can
congregate, play or exercise in our Ghana's big cities, especially Accra and Kumasi.
Have our previous governments and the current one pondered over the health risks or
repercussions of the absence of such fitness parks? Won't any likely adverse health
repercussion emanating from the lack of such spacious public places have a
knock-down effect on the economy whether in the short, medium, or long term?


In all the other areas of Ghana, even since the colonial days, the governments have
been retaining lands onto today. Most of these lands are yet to be put to any viable
use by the government. Most of these lands are currently virgin rain forest and
everybody knows the importance of these forests in relation to the seasonality of
Ghana's rainfall. Have people in these areas started agitating for the release of
the forests to the localities because they have not yet been utilized? The answer is
a BIG NO! Does the entire nation not benefit directly or indirectly from such
forest retentions that help with the rainfall? It is only shorted-sighted
governments who for the benefit of cheap political gains will rush to do what the
NDC are doing.


I quite remember, the people of Oseikrom near Mpasaaso in the Ahafo area would have
starved to death in the 1970s had it not been the lands in retention by the
government. They had cultivated cocoa on all the available arable lands. There
arrived a point where there was no more land for them to plant food crops to feed
themselves. Part of the forest was released to them to cultivate only food crops to
feed themselves. The same thing happened in Kumawu around the same time where the
government was obliged to release part of the forest (called by the locals as
"S3fia") in the Drobonso area to them. These go to explain the foresight the Whites
have and how they can conveniently positively read into the future.


When you go back to the advanced countries, especially the UK, and London to be more
precise, you have several huge parks for public use. Every locality has many open
public spaces, be they parks or otherwise. It is not by any magic wand that their
citizens are healthier with longer lifespan than Ghanaians. It is simply down to the
farsightedness of their governments which incorporates the futuristic view of the
world.


If the government or the Mayors had not retained public lands which in the mind of
the Ghanaian and especially the NDC, were lying idle, how could Britain have
obtained a space to build the impending 2012 Olympic site? That Stratford land had
been acquired by the Borough of Newham Council and left undeveloped for many years
until recently. That is the intelligence of the Whiteman. In the Borough of Newham
Council alone, one can count several open public areas or parks each of which runs
into tens and hundreds of acres. These make it readily possible for the government
or the Council to realise any future projects that may require expanse of land
without difficulty. Do we have any of these in Accra, Tema, Koforidua, Ho, Kumasi,
Sekondi-Takoradi, Sunyani, Tamale or Bolgatanga? No! All the lands are sold out for
the erection of houses.


Will the Ga Adangbe youth, the NDC government; the Lands Department, etc. take a cue
from my explanations to do what is honourable for the sake of Mother Ghana? The
lands are still to be retained for the future use by the future governments for the
future generations. No need for further pursuit of lopsided myopic political
policies by the NDC government. Ghanaians will surely live to regret the dismal
effects of such horrendous short-sighted policies. All those who encroached upon the
government lands, leading to the unreasonable agitations by the Ga Adangbe youths,
culminating in the government's irrational order must be punished accordingly.


Rockson Adofo