The Ga Dangme Council, a pressure group of eminent Ga citizens, has appealed to government to extend the deadline for the notice of submission of claims on the Coastal Land, from Marine Drive in Osu to Baiden Powell Hall in Ga Mashie, from December this year to June 30, next year.
The council said the extension would ensure transparency and allow all stakeholders to make input into the Marine Drive Investment project, for which government acquired the beach land from Osu to Ga Mashie, by an Executive Instrument.
Dr. K.B. Astante, a retired diplomat, made the appeal on behalf of the council, at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
He said the council had earlier submitted a petition to the government, asking for a decrease in government acquired land so that the remaining could be used for the development of the communities.
The retired diplomat said while the council appreciated government’s effort to utilise the coastal land for tourism attraction, there were legitimate concerns about the design of the proposed project, and the exclusion of the landowners from discussing the project.
Dr. Asante said, the council was particularly concerned about the plan to acquire 243 acres of land for tourism project, while people of communities from whom the land was acquired lacked economic and social infrastructures.
He said the communities lacked affordable housing, schools, clinics, markets and cultural and heritage centres.
Dr. Asante asked government to abide by Article 20 (1) of the 1992 constitution, which stated that government acquired lands must be used for public benefit, but should not be sold to private and foreign investors.
He said government’s continual sale of public lands, acquired compulsorily from the Ga Dangbe people to private investors would not promote peace.
Dr. Asante advocated the creation of a Ga Dangbe Development Trust Fund with a 30 per cent equity coming from private developers on public lands in the Ga Dangbe area.
He said money accrued to the fund would be used for development, education and promotion of Ga Dangbe culture and heritage.
By Lawrence Markwei