Former Lands Minister Inusah Fuseini asserts that the British colonial authority adequately compensated the Owoo family, the allodial proprietors of the property that functions as the Achimota Forest Reserve.
According to him, compensation of £4,000 was paid in 1951 and 1957… I am aware that the colonial administration paid 4,000 pounds for the land in 1951, which was an enormous sum of money.
The former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources under the administration of John Mahama said this on Wednesday’s Top Story on Joy FM.
In addition, Mr. Fuseini recalled that in 2013, during his tenure as Lands Minister, a ceremony was organized in the forest to transfer approximately ninety to one hundred acres of land to the Owoo family.
“After doing a research, we all agreed, including the Owoo family, that this was what they were owed. In the forest proper, a ceremony was held to release that portion of the woodland to them. I was there, the Wulomei family was there, the Owoo family was there, my deputy and everyone else was there, and roughly ninety to one hundred acres were given to them,” he stated.
In light of this, Mr. Fuseini argued that the Owoo family is not eligible for additional compensation from the government.
“With the utmost regard for the Owoo family, they have always maintained that they are not entitled to a single cent. Therefore, in his letter, he stated, “I simply maintained that it was on humane grounds with the recognition and acknowledgement that they were the allodial landowners.”
According to his understanding, the Owoo family “has never demanded recompense for the land.”
He asserted, “What they have always said is that because a vast amount of land was taken from them, it deprived them of the benefit of using the land, and now they are almost deprived of their resource. Therefore, the government should reach out to them and determine how it can put them in a better position to continue living as a family.”
Former Lands Minister was also opposed to the government’s decision to declassify Achimota Forest reserves.
He questioned whether the government’s action would prevent additional encroachment on forest lands.
“The ultimate goal of His Excellency John Mahama’s humane decision to return the land to the Owoo family was to safeguard what remained of the forest. “What is the guarantee that there won’t be more encroachment if you don’t safeguard the forest and you simply declassify it?” he questioned.
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