Ashaiman residents battle gov over land
By: Richard Attenkah, Ashaiman
The chiefs, tribal heads and residents of Ashaiman have vowed not to go to the polls in the December 7, 2012 general elections if the government refuses to heed their call for the release of a parcel of land for the construction of offices and government departments they badly need in the area.
The land in question, located near the Afariwa junction along the Tema-Akosombo highway, has been a bone of contention between the people of Ashaiman and the Tema Development Corporation (TMA) for some time now. The latter claims the disputed has been sold to the Free Zones Board.
Addressing a press conference at Ashaiman on Tuesday, Alhaji Masawudu Moro, Chief of Beriberi in Tema and Ashaiman, said because the population of Ashaiman was growing rapidly, there was the need for the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA) to construct key facilities for the development of the area.
According to him, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the Municipal Education and Health directorates, as well as the only court in the area, all operate from rented apartments.
“Many of you may not know this, but it is very true that as big as Ashaiman is, it does not have a well constructed hospital to handle emergency cases if we ever get any disaster on our hands.
“The only post office which served us and residents of neighbouring areas is no more, as the owner of the property where the post office was, has taken back his property, perhaps, to inform us that it was high time we owned our own and stopped renting.
“One key issue I also want to touch on is our market. Every space in Ashaiman has been occupied by our market women. This situation has compelled those who could not get space to move onto the street to do business. The situation is very disturbing, and the earlier something is done about it, the better,” Alhaji Masawudu Moro noted.
Explaining further, Alhaji Masawudu Moro said it was unfortunate that at a time the people of Ashaiman needed land for development, “what they have has been taken away to construct bungalows for staff of the Free Zones Board.”
He said initially, they threatened to hit the streets to demonstrate against what they described as ‘government denying them of their share of the national cake,’ but some top government officials intervened and asked them to remain calm, but nothing had come out of it.
Later on, he said, they went to discuss the issue with three top government officials, namely, Mr. E. T. Mensah, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, and Mr. Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister, and yet, to no avail.
He explained: “We discussed these issues with Mr. E. T. Mensah, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Mr. Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister.
“Slowly, but surely, we are watching these developments by the day, and wish to say that we are not the least happy at all with what is happening in Ashaiman.” According to them, from the way things were going, they had every cause to believe that they had been denied their share of the national cake, which they described as unfortunate.
Alhaji Masawudu Moro continued that even though they were sympathisers of the ruling party, it did not mean that they had lost their heads and minds, saying they deserved their share of the national cake. “No land, no vote. And no ballot boxes in Ashaiman, come this year’s general elections in December,” he said.
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