A group calling itself the Coalition of La Associations, COLA, has called on the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to as a matter of urgency to release Airport Hills Lands known as (Kpeletso) which the military is annexing to the La Traditional Council.
The group said not single acknowledgement has been given in response to the registry of their displeasure against the wanton scramble and “stealing” of La lands under the guise of compulsory acquisition by politicians and the Ghana Armed Forces saying is a sign of gross disregard and disrespect to their culture and the Chiefs of La.
COLA also noted that Airport Hills lands known as “Kpeletso” a revered deity of the natives has been destroyed by the Ghana Armed Forces. The coalition added that the Ghana Armed Forces negatively engaged in the looting of large acreage of prime lands belonging to the people of La far in excess of what was originally acquired for their use.
The Coalition noted with the indiscipline of the military by their disregard for rule of law and custom of the people of La and cautioned the military to ward off from their lands in order to forestall peaceful co-existence between them.
According to the group, the government, through the military, Lands Commission and other agencies have been conniving to take over lands that belong to the people of La.
The group said this in Accra when they protested and petitioned the government to return their lands which were compulsorily acquired from them.
The protesters began their protest walk from the La market through some principal streets of La and Osu and ended at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources where they submitted their petition to the sector Minister.
The demonstrators clad in red amidst drumming and chanting of war songs wielded placards some of which read; Mr President we deserve better, our Chiefs deserves better, Nana remembers the past, give us Trade Fair Lands among others.
Submitting the petition, the second Vice Chairman of the Coalition, Cornelius Adjetey, stated that several petitions written to the President over the years on the matter have not yielded any dividend.
According to him, the government has treated the people of La unjustly by taking over their lands and unilaterally extending lease periods. “We are resolved, that we shall not allow the use of unconstitutional, illegal, irregular or clandestine methods to steal our lands and will resist the same by every means possible,” he pointed.
Mr Adjetey calls for the arrest and prosecution of individuals, government officials who illegally appropriate their lands together with their collaborators and perpetrators within the Lands Commission. He further urged the government to put measures in place to pay all overdue compensations on their land that were acquired compulsorily.
Mr Adjetey proposed that the government should enter into an agreement with the La Traditional Council on all redevelopment issues with local content in perspective, especially with the projects of Ghana International Trade Fair, Airport City and Energy City Projects.
Receiving the petition, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, expressed gratitude to the La Youth and their leaders for a peaceful demonstration. He assured them that their petition will be given the necessary and needed attention it requires.
Mr Owusu Bio also urged them to be calm and the sector Ministry will work on their petition by conveying their message to the President.