The Lands Commission seeks to recover a state land that has been sold to the presidential candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Akwasi Addai Odike.
The people residing there have been asked to vacate the area or have their properties demolished. They were given a notice last week to that effect. The land is said to be about six acres and it is located around the Santasi roundabout. The people residing or doing their businesses around the land are said to number about 2,000. Akwasi Addai, who says he is the leaseholder for the site is currently going through the necessary protocol of acquiring a court order in order to hasten the vacation of the occupants.
According to Odike, he needs the land to start a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) testing project, which was meant to start since December 2015. He also said he has gone through all the process of acquiring a building permit and for starting the project also.
“It is not only the DVLA testing project that will be sited on the land, but also an office accommodation for the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC),” Odike said.
In as much as he has planned for this, the occupants seem to have been taken unawares and are worried they might not be able to comply. The spokesman of the occupants, Mr Owusu Kwarteng said that in spite of their knowledge of Odike’s plans, and since they do not own the land, the government should be considerate enough to give them a little more time to sort themselves out.
“We need ample time to quit the site. Some of us have been here for the past 25 years and built our livelihoods on this land. Relocation cannot be done overnight. That is why we are appealing for some time to get prepared,” he said.
The squatters also revealed that they were not aware of the order by a Kumasi court last year for removal of trespassers from all state lands in the regional capital, until last Thursday when the Lands Commission gave them the quit notice.