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Stop the transfer of ownership of the Achimota Forest - OneGhana Movement

BY: Graphic Online
President Akufo-Addo recently signed an Executive Instrument to declassify portions of the Achimota Forest
President Akufo-Addo recently signed an Executive Instrument to declassify portions of the Achimota Forest

Pressure group OneGhana Movement has called for the immediate cessation of all processes intended to transfer portions of the State's interests in the Achimota Forest into private hands.

The group in a statement says while it notes with deep concern recent developments surrounding the Forest, it is further “disturbed by developments that apparently suggest that portions of the land may have already been disposed-of.”

“Issues bordering on conflict of interest appear to surface following reports that portions of the land may have been directly or indirectly sold to the former Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, whose responsibility among others, was to protect our forest reserves.

“We wish to state in no uncertain terms that we are against any form of diversification of the State's interest in the Achimota Forest given that the Achimota Forest represents the last frontier of the green belt within the Accra City metropolis. Our forest cover as a country is fast depleting and the entire ecological state of the city is undoubtedly in danger. In this respect, we call on Government to protect and preserve the State's interest in the Achimota Forest in perpetuity for the current and future generations of our Motherland.”

Read also: Special Prosecutor probes Sir John’s alleged acquisition of Achimota Forest, Ramsar site lands

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According to the OneGhana Movement, “Government attempts to transfer parts of the forest to private individuals is even more disconcerting given the fact that the Supreme Court has clearly decided that Government is under no legal obligation to return lands that were previously vested in the State prior to the 1992 constitution, into private hands. Therefore, there is neither legal pressure nor necessity to justify any action to give away the State's interest in the Achimota Forest. We consider the action and posturing by Government so far as imprudent and ill- considered for the collective good of Ghana. We call on His Excellency the President to take immediate steps to reverse all actions taken so far and fully restore the State's complete control and ownership over the entire Achimota Forest.

“The leaked information on the past sale of State lands only affirms that the abuse of power by the ruling political elite will remain a feature of our governance unless we diffuse the excessive power reposed in a partisan presidency. It is a cold reminder of the need for reform of critical portions of our constitution to minimise or mitigate the wanton abuse of executive power. We continue to call for responsible governance anchored on service to the people of Ghana.

“We support actions initiated by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and well-meaning Ghanaians, who have placed portions of the issues before the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP). We will continue to monitor the situation and respond appropriately when required.

“God bless our homeland Ghana.”