RESIDENTS OF Kewonu, one of the numerous islands in Ada, have embarked on a demonstration against Trasacco Company Limited for attempting to take over their land, which they have been occupying for over 100 years.
According to them, the land was given to their great grandfathers by Nene Tetteyga I, the then chief of Ada Foa, before it was passed on to their fathers and now them. Amidst singing and dancing, the residents, including men, women and the youth, tied red bands around the fence wall being constructed by Trasacco, while the workers, site engineer and other staff members of Trasaco Company present, stood to observe the unfolding events.
In an interview with the paper, Emmanuel Gisegbe, Chief Linguist to Nene Tetteyga IV, the current chief of Ada Foa, said the people of Kewonu had occupied the land for over 100 years, ever since the late Nene Tetteyga I, Ada Foa Mantse, released the land to their great grandfathers. He noted that they had been living there with their wives and children all their lives, fishing, trading and managing their day to day businesses, saying some of them had not even traveled out of the area in their entire lives.
He explained that an unknown person sold the land to Trasacco, and the company is forcing the residents to vacate the land, and that they do not even know where they were being sent to. Mr. Emmanuel Gisegbe continued that the rightful owner of the land, Nene Tetteyga IV, had instructed the villagers not to move from the land until he returns from Accra to establish what the whole issue is all about.
Nene Tetteyga IV’s linguist said he was surprised that someone could go behind the chief and sell out all these parcels of land that do not belong to him to the company to come and evict them from the land without even talking to the people on the issue or giving them notice. He added that even if Nene Tetteyga IV agrees to sell the land to the Accra-based company, the people would have to be resettled before work can begin on their present place of abode.
Some of the residents, who spoke with the paper, expressed shock at the attitude of the company to just send its staff or representatives to the land without meeting the people to have a discussion with them on how to get them out of the place. Michael Nutsuga, a resident of the area, told this reporter that the village is where he has lived all his life, adding he schooled there in a private school built with bamboo and palm branches.
“Now that this company is threatening to evict all of us from here without giving us an alternative place for us to stay, what are we going to do with our families?” Mr. Nutsuga queried. John Nurudeen Ahortu, District Chief Executive of the Ada District Assembly, told the paper in a telephone interview that he was aware that Trasacco Company Limited had acquired the land from the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), which is the rightful owner of the land in question. He, however, explained that according to the contract agreement, the company was expected to relocate all the residents on the island before it can start any development on the land.
Source: The Chronicle
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