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Regional News of Wednesday, 8 January 2003

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Somanya Teak farmers petition President

Accra (Greater Accra) - Eight-five causal workers of Bonsuvonberg Farms of Ogome-Kplade near Somanya in the Eastern Region on Tuesday petitioned President John Agyekum Kufuor to intervene in a protracted land dispute between the management and the traditional authorities.

They said the dispute had affected the management and administration of the teak farm, which started large scale production in 1994 and appealed to the President to institute an investigation into the circumstances delaying the signing of land agreement between the parties.

Stating reasons for the dispute at a Press Conference in Accra, a representative of the Workers Executive Board, Abdul Karim said the Chief of Ogome Kplade Nene Akpatsu Aza II has launched series of attacks on management and workers to force them to sign the agreement.

Karim said the Chief had also banned the management of the plantation from entering the farm until all issues concerning the registration and payment of compensation were dealt with.

He said the workers were yet to receive a response from an earlier appeal to the Eastern Regional Minister, the Minister of Forestry and Mines and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

He also appealed to the Chief and people of Ogome Kplade and the management to consider peaceful settlement of the misunderstanding in the interest of the workers who are mostly from the Kplade community.