Dagbon Forum President , Chief Sintaro Mahama addressing journalists at the Timber market in Tamale
The Dagbon Forum, a youth in Dagbon is calling on the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to launch a special investigation into the unregulated disposal of government lands in Tamale, the Northern region.
The youth group urged the Special Prosecutor to attach the same degree of importance it attached to investigate the alleged disposal of state lands at the Achimota Forest.
“We call for a special investigation to be conducted on all the government lands and properties in the Tamale Metropolis that were disposed of or leased to private individuals between the period 2012 and 2022. This we believe, will surely uncover a serious rot within the system. The people of Northern Region have had enough of the blatant abuse of the powers of the State by self-seeking individuals who are supposed to protect government lands.”
They also called on the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor to as a matter of urgency investigate and call the current leadership of the Northern Regional Lands Commission to order to avoid any possible breach of peace and security in Dagbon as far as the management of Dagbon lands is a concern.
The call by the Dagbon Forum is a result of the alleged sale of part of the approximately 351 acres of Forestry Reserve named ‘Ward I’ in Tamale.
The President of Dagbon Forum who doubles as the Chief of Sakoya in the Mion District of Tidgo Traditional Area, Chief Sintaro Mahama, at a press conference in Tamale disclosed that per an eviction notice to traders at the Timber Market in Aboabo, the forestry reserve has been disposed-off to a private developer.
“We, first of all, wish to put it on record that, such a place in Aboabo named ‘Ward I’ and the entire Forestry area that includes the Aboabo Timber Market is a protected area. The entire Forestry area is under the management of the Forestry Commission as per Ghana Forest Ordinance Act 1927, Cap 157. It is in light of this that we wish to point out that no part of the Forestry Land can be sold or disposed of without an Executive Instrument (EI) that can alter the original arrangement. We are therefore by this, sending a caution that any attempt to encroach on the Forestry land under the pretext of private development will be resisted and challenged by all means possible. Dagbon is yearning for development but not a half-baked concept of development to the benefit of private individuals at the expense of the entire community.”
According to him, Dagbon urgently needs a paradigm shift towards real investment and development opportunities for the public, and the indiscriminate disposal of public lands and properties is no longer going to be tolerated as was the case in the past.
Dagbon youth wearing red bands at the Timber market in Tamale
The Dagbon Forum President claimed that the old Irrigation Development Authority bungalow behind the Catholic Guest House near the Agric traffic light in Tamale where the staff of the Ministry of Agric was living, Sakasaka quarters have been sold out without the involvement of Chiefs as well as government bungalows opposite Tamale Central Hospital in Tishigu where workers residing in them were evicted to make way for the sale.
“ The Sara junction was illegally sold off and is now on hold as a result of agitations. The entire Government lands and bungalows at the old airport in Sagnarigu were disposed of by the then Chairman of the Lands Commission and his cohorts. The Kaladan park was illegally disposed of until the court ruled in the favour of the chiefs.
There was a failed attempt to also dispose of the land of Social Welfare which is now been considered for a clinic likewise an attempt was made to dispose of the land belonging to the Ghana National Fire Service which was fiercely resisted by the gallant men and women of the Service, this particular case is in court.
Nkrumah ‘volli’ has been desecrated and partitioned off to private individuals. Besides the reckless disposal of government lands in Tamale, another rot that caught the attention of Dagbon Forum is the fraudulent lease of lands in and around Tamale. A case in point is the parcel of land belonging to the Forestry Commission which is located between Agric Traffic lights and the old Metropolitan Assembly office.
This parcel of land was illegally planned and leases fraudulently issued by the Lands Commission in 2021. The Forestry Commission has since mounted various signposts around the reserve to ward off the cabal of land grabbers and their perpetrators in the Metropolis,” he said.
He stated that Dagbon Forum’s commitment to supporting real development for the betterment of the people of Dagbon is unquestionable and that Dagbon deserves better and at peace with itself, promoting harmony and a healthy atmosphere of collective benefits under the leadership of Ndan Ya Naa the King of Dagbon Kingdom.
“Stop the land Grabbing now. Enough is enough of the so-called leasing of government lands when they are been sold off,” he charged.
FROM Eric Kombat, Tamale