CHIEFTAINCY DISPUTES UNDERMING ECONOMIC DEVELOPNENT OF WESTERN REGION
By: CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI
Chieftaincy disputes continue to be one of the major problems undermining peace, security and economic development in the Western Region, the Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo has lamented.
Addressing the second general meeting of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, he said “one of the outstanding problems which all my predecessors had talked about is chieftaincy disputes”.
Mr. Aidoo mentioned the areas that were afflicted by the disputes; include Atuabo, Wassa Fiase, and Princess town, Akitakye Sefwi Wiaso, Wassa Amenfi, Agyambra and Eastern Nzema.
The Regional Minister told the house that another by-product of chieftaincy disputes in the region is land litigation. The conflicts over land, he said had been overwhelming because most boundaries had sometimes been subjects of disputes. “Some of the major land disputes have occurred between the Inchaban stool and the Department of Social Welfare, the Fijal stool and Archbishop Porters Girls School and another one over the Buffer zone created for the Second Battalion of Infantry (2BN),”Mr. Aidoo reported.
The Western Regional Minister told the chiefs that with the oil discovery in the region; all stakeholders must join hands and ensure that the people derived maximum benefits from the industry when full operations begin next year.
“This is not the time to argue about the location of the oil. What we need to do is to position our selves and take advantage of the industry and all allied businesses to improve our lot and develop the region, “he told the chiefs.
He mentioned that one critical consideration for the chiefs and the region is to encourage the youth to pursue courses that will generate opportunities for them to participate fully in the oil industry.
“We therefore encourage our youth to work hard at school and support them to gain admission into tertiary institutions where courses on petrol- chemical engineering are offered. This is one way we can ensure that our people can compete effectively with others on the job market,” he added.
Mr. Aidoo identified the unprecedented sale of lands by some chiefs around the catchman area of the oil field another problem facing the Western Region. Some of the chiefs he observed were setting the lands without any consideration for the future interest for the next generations.
He added,” These lands are being acquired without any proper plans to put up development projects in these areas to improve the life of the people.” Mr. Aidoo warned that some Chief who have already made some unapproved sales of some land might forfeit them one day.
“It is within government’s development plan to compulsorily acquire lands near the oil fields. When this become feasible all chiefs who have made unapproved sales of lands in their areas may be compelled to refund the money,” he revealed.
Ghanaian Times Page: 23 Friday, October, 30, 2009