You can only buy part of Achimota Forest for 2 years – Group

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
Members of ARISE Ghana
Members of ARISE Ghana

The Executive Director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) and a leading member of ARISE Ghana, a newly formed nationalist group, Mensah Thompson, says those who have allegedly acquired plots of lands at the protected Achimota Forest and Sakumono Ramsar Site will only own such lands for the next two years.

According to him, when there is a change of government in 2024, all those who have acquired parts of the Achimota Forest and Sakumono Ramsar Site will lose such lands and all structures built on them will be demolished.

Mr Mensah made the remarks at the maiden press conference of Arise Ghana in Accra on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

He said “If you had purchased part of Achimota forest, you are only buying it for two years. When government changes, we will demolish everything on it.”

He said it was uncalled for for some individuals to use dubious means to acquire lands in the Achimota Forest area, and the Sakumono Ramsar Site. 

Also speaking at the press conference, the General Secretary of All People's Congress (APC), Mordecai Thiombiano, who is also a leading member of the group, demanded the immediate withdrawal of E.I 144 that declassified parts of the Achimota Forest and an end to the grabbing of the Achimota Forest Reserve lands.

“We urge Parliament who are the representatives of the people to institute a bi-partisan probe into the matters relating to the sale of lands in the Achimota Forest immediately,” he said.

In addition he said, “This probe should be transparent and all persons, be they past or present government officials, civil or public servants, and all whose hands are soiled by this shameless grabbing of Achimota Forest lands should be named, shamed and the stolen lands retrieved for the State.”

Mr Thiombiano said the group was surprised by recent reports that a certain E.I 144 seeks to declassify portions of the Achimota Forest as no longer a Forest Reserve.

He described the declassification of parts of the Achimota Forest as a “tragedy of national proportions”, condemning the move by the President.

“To imagine that the Achimota Forest, one of the few surviving nature reserves in Ghana, would become another subject of the State capture of President Akufo-Addo and his cabal of buccaneers in Government, breaks our hearts greatly,” he remarked.