Angry former Member of Parliaments (MPs) for Ashaiman Constituency and the traditional authorities have vented their spleen on some workers of Murphy Ghana Ltd, a real estate company who were allegedly demarcating lands at Community 21 for sale. The chiefs, led by the Regent of the area, Nii Annan Adzor I and some youth of Ashaiman, chased out the workers who were clearing and demarcating the controversial lands located at Ashaiman. They wondered why land ceded to government for the construction of bungalows for workers of the Ghana Free Zone Board (GFZB) could now be sold to individuals. The about 152 acres of land at Community 21 forms part of those compulsorily acquired by the colonial government in 1952 for development by the Tema Development Corporation (TDC). In 1972, the TDC failed to develop the lands and they were therefore leased to some farmers for about 21 years. In 1997, the government of Ghana declared the said land a Free Zone residential enclave in accordance with Section 7(1) of the Free Zones Law, (Act 504, 1995). The move by government was opposed by farmers operating on the land and some leaders in Ashaiman, who believed the land could have been developed to decongest Ashaiman. However, the GFZB used the military in 2012 to demolish all structures on the land and ejected traders and artisans who had virtually turned the area into a market. The chiefs, former MPs and youth of Ashaiman say they suspect foul play in the deal. According to them, the land could be used by the current government which intends to implement the one factory-one district policy. Clad in red arm bands, the angry chiefs, former MPs and youth invaded the land, chased the workers out of the land and pulled down billboards of the company and threatened to fight with their blood. “That is the only land left for Ashaiman to expand and construct developmental projects under the one-district-one-factory policy promised by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,” Nii Annan Adzor I declared. He called on the President to investigate the Ghana Free Zones Board and the company over issues surrounding the acquisition of the said land. Franklin Aheto, former MP of Ashaiman, said the Assembly could construct market, court complex and other developmental projects on the land to ease congestion. “When we got to TDC we realized that the land had been allocated to the Ghana Free Zone Board by a constitutional instrument in 1995. But the fact is that after our investigations Free Zone Board has never paid a dime for the land and in fact they never knew they even had land in the area,” the former MP noted. According to him, the land must be released to the assembly to enhance development in the area. “I know the Ghana Free Zones Board is not mandated to sell lands. We are not fighting any government, we are not fighting anybody but all that we are requesting is the land to be returned to the chiefs or Assembly for the development of Ashaiman,” Mr. Franklin Aheto added.
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