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The Owoo family which is said to be the custodial owners of lands presently serving as the Achimota forest says it has suffered grave historical injustice over the non-payment of compensation to it for the State’s acquisition in 1927.

The family said it has consistently requested that successive governments enable it to repossess the land, but that had not been done until recent news from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources that the government is ceding control of 361 acres of the land which is part of the forest to them.

The news has been received with mixed reactions with some claiming that the only entitlement the family has over the land is just about 90 acres and not 361.

But the family in a statement addressing the issue said the decision on the acreage due them was taken together with technical negotiators and experts.

“The Owoo Family has always maintained that compensation has not been paid for the 1927 acquisition, and the acreage due the Owoo family was arrived at through a long-standing negotiation which in many respects predates the current administration. This was done with the active involvement of various State technical negotiators and agencies,” the family said.

Persons taking on the government for ceding ownership of the land to the forest argue that since it is only adjoining to the remaining forest reserve, the ecological integrity of the forest will be compromised, however, the family has given assurances that “we commit to conducting ourselves in a manner which will not compromise the ecological integrity of the adjoining forest reserve and call on the public to please disregard any misleading contributions to the ongoing public discussions.”

Read their full statement below:

RE: ACHIMOTA FOREST AND MATTERS ARISING

We, the Owoo Family, have restrained ourselves from participating in the ongoing debate as a result of good advice and judgment.

We however reluctantly wish to set a few records straight as follows;

1. The Owoo Family, the pre-acquisition owners, of all the land acquired in 1921 and 1927 for the Achimota School, have suffered grave historical injustice;

2. The family have had to, in the past, accept and/or acquiesce to terms to enable it to move on which it strongly believes have been unfair and unjust;

3. The much talked about 19th August 2016 ceremony which has been erroneously stated in the public as an occasion when the land was released to the Owoo family is false and misleading. That ceremony was a sod-cutting ceremony for the development of the Achimota Forest into an Eco-Tourism park. The Owoo Family were mere invitees/guest;

4. The Owoo Family has always maintained that compensation has not been paid for the 1927 acquisition; and

5. The acreage due the Owoo family was arrived at through a long-standing negotiations which in many respects predates the current administration. This was done with the active involvement of various State technical negotiators and agencies.

The Owoo family has petitioned all governments in the fourth republican dispensation and indeed is yet to take possession of any parcel of land to date.

We commit to conducting ourselves in a manner which will not compromise the ecological integrity of the adjoining forest reserve and call on the general public to please disregard any misleading contributions to the ongoing public discussions.

END

John Kwartey Nee Owoo, Francis Kwatei Nee Owoo, Nii Kwate Owoo, George Kwatey Owoo, Frank Nii Kwartey Owoo, Nat Holly Nii Owoo, George Annan Owoo.

PRINCIPAL ELDERS
OWOO FAMILY
ACCRA

In a related development, Former Lands Minister, Inusah Fuseini says the Owoo family, the allodial owners of the land that serves as the Achimota Forest Reserve was duly compensated, by the British colonial government, for the land.

According to him, “compensation was paid, £4000 pounds then in 1951, 1957…I am aware that the colonial government paid four thousand pounds for the land and that was a huge amount of money in 1951.”

Read Also>>> ACHIMOTA FOREST SAGA: OWOO FAMILY WAS COMPENSATED WITH £4000 IN 1951 – INUSAH FUSEINI

The former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources under the erstwhile John Mahama Administration made this revelation on Joy FM’s Top Story, Wednesday.

Read Also >>> “PRESERVE INTEGRITY OF ENTIRETY OF ACHIMOTA FOREST RESERVE”- ENVIRONMENTALISTS TO PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO

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