The Coalition of La Association (COLA), an advocacy group which promotes and spearheads the social and economic development of the people of La in the Greater Accra region has called on government to pay compensation or return unused and undeveloped lands which have not been used for its intended purpose.
According to the group, areas such as the Burma Camp, Headquarters of the Southern Command, Ghana Civil Aviation, lands at Adenta-Osenaman and the site for Dairy farm project at Amrahia and Kweiman respectively, acquired by government, the group said no compensation have been paid and thus warned that if by 30th of September, 2020 government shows a lukewarm attitude to this burning issues, COLA will embark on a massive demonstration.
The Association says government cannot take their lands and forcefully seize lands without a proper acquisition and brutalize and oppress the people of La on their own lands.
Presenting a petition dated 6th August, 2020 and signed by the Executive Secretary Dr Albert Tetteh Botchway to the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr. Ishmael Ashitey, the Vice President of the Coalition of La Association (COLA), Mr. Daniel M.K. Okpoti said other areas that government have trampled upon includes Trade Fair site, University of Ghana, Presbyterian Boys School (PRESEC) and the Madina Department of Social Welfare.
“Governments have acquired land for various purposes such as offices, ministries, departments, commissions, military bases, camps and installations”, he mentioned and yet no compensation have been paid to the La Stool hence the people of La are aggrieved by the way government handles lands within the jurisdiction of La.
In the petition, the Executive Secretary said government have failed to resolve the allodial owners of the land and pointed out that some groups of La in the bid to fight for their rights on land related issues were brutalized and severely beaten up by the military and government agents because of their presence on the land, adding further that the military have ignored all warnings of encroachment on the lands.
Citing an incidence along the beach, the Executive Secretary, said the La Youth have established the Laboma beach which have created jobs, boost tourism activities, enhanced recreation and generate employment, the military in this regard have severally confronted management of the beach claiming that the facility was built on a military trainingdepot.
He however reminded government in a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) in the year 2016-2017 that authorities will engage and cooperate with the traditional authorities to ensure that all issues relating to La hands will be resolve as undeveloped and unused stool lands will be returned to the allodial owners.
“It was also discussed that compensation will be paid to support the La Royal Stool”, he said, adding that COLA and the people of La are asking government to treat La with respect and dignity.
Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey received the petition for government and assured them that it will be sent to the appropriate authorities for further action and thanked them for the peaceful gesture.