A bipartisan group of four Members of Parliament from the Central Region have teamed up in a concerted effort to resolve a potentially explosive land dispute over the exact borderlines between the Gomoa and Effutu enclaves.
The land dispute predates Ghana’s political independence from British rule and has periodically resurfaced, sparking varied degrees of tension and acrimony, with some criminally minded folks exploiting the disunity for their personal interests.
The dispute over the land boundaries affects four constituencies: Effutu, Gomoa Central, Gomoa East and Gomoa West. In some cases, the administrative and traditional boundaries between the communities are interwoven and in other cases the tension has been sparked by sinister minded rumor-mongers.
Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Member of Parliament for the Effutu Constituency and Deputy Majority Leader took the initiative to bring together Members of Parliament for all the affected constituencies and and the respective Municipal and District Chief Executives to resolve the dispute with the involvement of the traditional authorities and relevant Government institutions and agencies.
“We have a common enemy and therefore the need for us as political leaders to put aside our partisan differences so we work as a team in the collective interest of our people and I am very grateful for the respect and cooperation demonstrated by my colleagues; my NPP sister the Honourable Naana Eyiah, MP for Gomoa Central and Deputy Minister for Interior, and my two brothers from the NDC Honourable Desmond D. Paitoo, the MP for Gomoa East and Honourable Richard Gyan-Mensah, the MP Gomoah West plus the respective District and Municipal Chief Executives”, Afenyo-Markin explained on the sidelines of a joint press conference held by the four Parliamentarians.
The press conference was held by the four Members of Parliament with the support of Alhaji Zubairu Kassim the Municipal Chief Executive for Effutu, Kojo Otoo the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Gomoa Central, Bismark B. Nkum the DCE for Gomah West and Solomom Quarm, the DCE for Gomoa East.
Below is a statement issued and signed on Monday July 11, 2023 by all four Parliamentarians and all for Municipal and District Chief Executives:
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the media. Thank you for joining us for this significant press conference.
We, the political leaders gathered here, (the undersigned political leaders) comprising four Members of Parliament and four Municipal and District Chief Executives, are here today to address the escalating land dispute between the Gomoa and Effutu communities. As representatives of our constituents and advocates for peace and stability, we stand united in our unwavering commitment to resolving this issue and safeguarding the ancestral lands of all Chiefs within our respective areas.
At a joint meeting held yesterday, attended by all of us present here, we carefully considered the concerns surrounding the aforementioned land dispute and recognised the necessity for proactive measures to address the challenges at hand. To ensure a fair and comprehensive resolution, we emphasised the importance of engaging with all relevant Chiefs and opinion leaders, fostering an environment of constructive dialogue and mutual understanding.
Throughout this process, we remain dedicated to conducting ourselves with the highest level of integrity, treating all parties involved or affected with fairness and respect. Acknowledging the significance of transparency and impartiality, we strive to protect the rights and reputations of all individuals throughout the resolution process.
Furthermore, to urgently alleviate rising tensions and promote a peaceful environment, we acknowledge the importance of engaging with Paramount Chiefs, along with relevant government bodies such as the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Local Government, and the Ministry of Interior. By involving these stakeholders, we aim to comprehensively address administrative and traditional boundary issues, fostering a coordinated effort towards a lasting solution.
We will actively engage with other relevant stakeholders, including the Lands Commission, potential estate developers, and leaders of businesses within the affected areas. Our objective is to emphasize the need for caution and adherence to legal and regulatory frameworks, protecting the interests of all parties involved.
This issue transcends partisan affiliations, requiring a united approach from all political leaders. With this in mind, we intend to establish a bipartisan committee dedicated to thoroughly investigating the underlying concerns, ensuring an impartial and comprehensive approach to resolving the dispute.
As political leaders, we hold the responsibility of preserving the cultural heritage and security of our communities. We assure the Chiefs within our respective areas that we will utilize our influence and authority to protect their ancestral lands from any unjust encroachment. Our commitment to maintaining peace, unity, and the well-being of our constituents remains steadfast and paramount.
In conclusion, our joint position is clear: no one, including ourselves or any other individual, will be used to take away the lands of any chief. We are steadfast in our commitment to protecting their interests and preserving the rich heritage of our communities.
We extend our assurances to the Chiefs that they should all remain calm and that we will utilise our influence, authority, and the appropriate government bodies to ensure that their ancestral lands are safeguarded from any unjust encroachment. Our dedication to maintaining peace, unity, and the well-being of our constituents remains sacrosanct and unwavering.
Together, let us embark on this journey towards a just and equitable resolution. We call upon all stakeholders, community members, and citizens to join us in fostering an environment of peace, respect, and cooperation. Let us work together to create a future where our communities thrive, our cultural heritage is preserved, and our people flourish
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, thank you for your kind attention.
Signed on 10th July 2023 by:
Alexander, Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, MP, Deputy Majority Leader
Naana Eyiah, MP, Gomoa Central and Deputy Minister for Interior
Desmond D. Paitoo, MP, Gomoa East
Richard Gyan-Mensah, MP Gomoah West
Kojo Otoo, DCE, Gomoa Central
Bismark B. Nkum – Gomah West DCE
Alhaji Zubairu Kassim, MCE, Effutu
Solomom Quarm, DCE, Gomoa East