Eleven member SOGASCO Land Dispute Settlement Committee inaugurated
By: Samuel Agbewode
The Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) has inaugurated an eleven-member lands committee in Ho to look into the Sogakope Senior High School (SOGASCO) land dispute, which is creating problems in the school.
The eleven-member committee, which is chaired by the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Ametefe, has been tasked, among others, to determine the boundaries of the Sogakope SHS lands, ascertain whether the government paid compensation in respect of the lands, and determine whether there has been encroachment on the land and endeavour to establish the extent of such encroachment.
The committee would also determine which persons, groups and agencies had encroached on the land, investigate the role of the assembly members, the management and authorities in the encroachment, determine the relationship between the school authorities and the Sogakope District Assembly, investigate allegations of arson and sexual harassment, and determine the general security in and around the school.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, the Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Ford Kamel, said upon assumption of office in the region, the Sogakope SHS land dispute was the first problem he was confronted with, and hoped that with the diverse experience of the members of the committee, a lasting solution would be found to the problem.
Mr. Kamel said he was very optimistic that the committee would deliver up to expectations, and that its final report would serve as a useful input in evolving an effective mechanism for tackling challenges in the educational institutions in the region, and establish congenial relations between the institutions and the communities where they are located.
The Regional Minister urged members of the committee to be transparent and independent in their efforts to address the challenges, as well as to unravel the root causes of the present state of affairs, noting that all alleged violations related to the Sogakope SHS land dispute be referred to the committee to enable it play its role more effectively in the resolution of the impasse.
Mr. Kamel said the situation where some people in the area had gone far beyond acceptable levels was not the best, and that if care was not taken, it would lead to a situation where educational activities would be disrupted to the disadvantage of students who have nothing to do with the situation, and which would be unfortunate, because the students of the school come from all over the country.
A Member of the Council of State, Dr. Bernard Glover, expressed joy over the formation of the committee, saying it was unfortunate that the conflict over the school land had over the years tarnished the image of the area, and advised the members to uphold the truth in their activities in order to ensure peace.
Mr. Henry Ametefe assured the Regional Minister and other stakeholders that the committee members would be diligent in their activities, and directed all persons putting up development projects on the disputed school land to put a stop to such activities.
A High Court Judge, His Lordship Patrick Ayeh, who inaugurated the committee, entreated the members to be candid in their activities, and ensure that the truth would be at the center of the their activities, in order to ensure that justice prevails.
He was happy that no time limit was given to the committee to enable them work more effectively.
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