The GaDangme Council has recommended for the Government to focus on establishing vocational and technical training institutions in the northern regions of Ghana to enable the youth, particularly young ladies migrating to the national capital for menial jobs to acquire business skills.
That would be a better option for stemming the regular flow of teeming youths into the national capital for non-existent jobs, than a proposed construction of a hostel for kayayei (female head porters) in Accra.
The Council has in a statement therefore, urged the government not to go ahead with the advertised construction of the hostel for the head porters but return the land earmarked for the hostel project to its owners, in line with constitutional provisions on land acquisition and usage by the State.
The Council, in the statement signed by its president and former Attorney-General Ayikoi Otoo, and Registrar, Dr. Emmanuel Lamptey, also noted that “to construct hostels for Head Porters is to encourage more
unskilled female youth to migrate southwards because accommodation would be assured.”
“In our view, however, the safest solution to the challenges confronting those who migrate to cities particularly Accra, the capital, is the provision of vocational and technical skills within the Regions where they migrate from. When that is done, the migrants having acquired skills, can go into local industries applying their vocational and technical skills to run their small-scale businesses instead of moving South for non-existent jobs and becoming a burden on both central and local governments.”
Return our lands as you did for Kumasi
“Our immediate concern is that although the Constitution and other laws were used to either vest GaDangme lands in Government for its management and for compulsory acquisitions, yet the injunction that where the land is not used for the purpose for which it was acquired it should be returned to its original owners, is more honoured in its breach than the observance.
“Again whilst vested lands can be devested and the land returned to its owners which we saw recently explicitly demonstrated when parts of Kumasi lands were devested and returned to the Asantehene, same has not happened to many vested lands in Accra. The land on which the Kaayayei hostel is to be constructed was originally compulsorily acquired by the Government of Ghana for development into a recreational area, which would have included stadium, restaurants, cafeteria, boating and yatch club, open-air cinema, hotel and restaurant, boat hiring, botanical gardens, public swimming pool, birds aviary, public tennis courts, bamboo bush hut, children play grounds, sight-seeing terraces, paddle boat hiring, cricket oval, badminton courts, volley-ball and football pitches, net-ball, basket-ball and hockey pitches and boat racing etc.
“A scheme known as Korle Lagoon Recreational Planning Scheme was developed to capture the above. Another project called the Accra Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP) was approved and funds were sourced from Kuwait, aimed at improving the ecology of the Lagoon by eliminating the material inflows that are clogging the river basin through sanitation control. The project did not yield the expected dividends due to activities of those then residing at Sodom and Gomorrah. Eventually, the land use was changed to a Market when Makola could no longer accommodate traders.
“Today, with the commencement of the construction of hostels, it is ample testimony that the original purpose has been abandoned. That being the case, the Council is of a strong conviction that in accordance with the Constitution and laws, the land should be returned to the original owners. The injustice involved in what is happening is that the Ga lands are to be used to resettle non-indigenes whilst there are several homeless indigenes living on the streets fighting for space and accommodation at Bukom, James Town, Chorkor and generally along the coast with no room for expansion. Even with the Government Estates which provide accommodation, the beneficiaries have embarked on massive extensions thereby rendering it impossible for there to be open spaces for social gathering.
“Therefore, since these indigenes also require land for construction and settlement, we propose that the land in question, be handed over to the Greater-Accra Regional Lands Commission to be held in trust and with the collaboration of the composite Ga, Gbese and Korle Stools and James Town Stool and the GaDangme Council for same to be parcelled out to deserving indigenes to use to provide accommodation for themselves.”
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