Achimota School alumni petition President over encroachment on lands

The ALUMNI of Achimota Senior High School (SHS), have petitioned the President to place a moratorium on construction activities and sale of lands belonging to the school.

Signed by over 1,500 people, including some staff, the petition appealed to the President to secure the school lands that had been encroached upon and called for the prosecution of persons involved in the sale of such lands.

Copies of the petition were submitted to Parliament, the Judicial Service, Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, urging them to assist the school in securing and protecting its lands purchased by government in 1921.

Speaking to the media after presenting the petition at the Office of the President yesterday, Mr. Neil Armstrong-Mortagbe, an old student said it was time for the nation to reclaim lands of the school for posterity’s sake.

According to him, there was the urgent need for government to investigate the sales and encroachments, as well as stop the issuance of permits and registration of lands belonging to the school, while ensuring full disclosure of all transactions relating to the acquisitions.

He said the decision to appeal to President and other relevant stakeholders stemmed from the seriousness of the situation.

Mr. Armstrong-Mortagbe revealed that at least five had died in the area since evictees of Sodom and Gomorrah Old Fadama also took over some parts of the school a few months ago.

“The western compound of the school has been encroached upon by estate developers who have turned the place into a residential area, depriving students of the necessary facilities for learning,” he said.

Mr. Armstrong-Mortagbe described the situation as “disturbing”, stressing that a report by The Ghanaian Times in July, indicated that the encroachment had reached its pinnacle where private developers were threatening staff of the school to quit their bungalows for possible takeover.

He said though the AMA intervened a couple of weeks ago to demolish some unauthorised structures, the encroachment seemed far from being resolved as squatters kept invading the school.

According to him, a bold step by security agencies to secure the geographic boundaries of the school’s land and constantly monitor activities around the school would prevent such occurrences and stop the encroachment.

Mr. Felix Adjei-Bisa said that the encroachment began decades ago, and had led to litigation at the court between the developers and the school authorities.

He said a court injunction had been placed on both the developers and the school authority, stopping them from developing the land, but the developers had continued with their construction activities.

“It is, therefore, with grave concern that we call on the state to ensure strict compliance of the court order, for the mean time, while resolving other matters related to the encroachment,” he said.

By Charles Amankwa                 

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