Accra, Oct. 11, GNA - Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, the Paramount Chief of Osu and President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, has commended the government’s efforts to restore sanity into stool land administration.
He said this would bring about peace, trust, respect and dignity, not only among stool land owners, but also cordiality between government, chiefs and traditional councils across the country.
Nii Dowuona VI, gave the commendation when Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, together with some Directors of the Ministry as well as Officials from the Lands Commission, paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Osu, Accra.
He thanked the Ministry for the presentation of some computers and accessories to support the effective operation of the Secretariat of the Osu Stool lands, and pledged his full support to every effort by the government to transform the lives of all Ghanaians.
He however condemned the present chaotic state of indiscriminate sale and lease of stool lands by persons who did not qualify to do so, leading to the issue of land guards and numerous court suits.
Nii Dowuona said “although our forefathers lived well with government and gave out lots of our lands to it, in return for royalties and some courtesies and privileges”, adding that the State had failed over the years to honour their obligation.
He said royalties payable to the Stool by the government had remained in huge arrears, compelling the Chiefs to drag some issues on sales of lands to the Courts for amicable settlement, a situation which had created enmity between the Osu Traditional Council and the Lands Commission.
Nii Dowuona VI said there had been numerous illegal sale and leases of Osu Stool lands by previous governments and some persons at the Lands Commission without their involvement or consultations which had created several confusion among both groups.
“We need to sit down with the people involved to restructure how things ought to be done to streamline our land administration system, to ensure a win-win situation”, he said.
He expressed the hope that with the current steps being taken by government to encourage all traditional authorities to set up secretariats to appropriately manage their stool land issues, all the challenges being encountered would soon be a thing of the past.
The people of Osu, he said, even though lived in the national capital, were currently very handicapped in numerous areas such as education, development and employment, saying with the prompt payment of royalties due them by the government, these challenges would be readily resolved.
He thanked the Minister and his entourage for the courtesy accorded the Osu Stool, and expressed the hope that it would mark the beginning of change and improved relationship with the government.
Mr Amewu wished the Chief well during his term of office, and gave the assurance that the government was committed to work with Traditional leaders, to ensure a well-developed land administration system and also address the issue of land guards for good.
He however advised that a formal complaint concerning the payment of outstanding arrears in royalties be made to through the Ministry, which he would follow-up to ensure an amicable solution, and subsequently liaise closely to work on problem areas to bring about peace.