Mr. Henry Quartey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, has given a 48-hour ultimatum to encroachers within the premises of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to vacate.
The Minister, who doubles as the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), said anyone found loitering within the 200-acre perimeter fenced facility after the deadline would be prosecuted.
He said REGSEC is collaborating with the Adentan Municipal Assembly and the CSIR to remove all unauthorized structures mushrooming within the fenced entity without further delay. Mr. Quartey issued the warning during a media engagement in Accra.
The Minister said REGSEC, with the Adentan Municipal Assembly and the Animal Research Institute (ARI) of CSIR, would subsequently remove every structure on the land.
“The Government of Ghana, under Executive Instrument (E.I. 38), established the CSIR-ARI on an over one-thousand-acre land in 1976 at Adentan-Frafraha with a mandate to conduct research into the development and transfer of livestock and poultry, technologies to communities, farmer groups, private and public organizations. This was to ensure the nation’s long-term food security; and when the Government acquired the land, all owners (including the original owners at Berekuso, Akuapim) were compensated.”Mr. Henry Quartey
However, he said over the years, some unscrupulous persons have made it a habit of selling portions of the land to unsuspecting Ghanaians. The Minister said none of the buildings put up by the encroachers have building permits from the Adentan Municipal Assembly.
CSIR-ARI’s attempt to stop encroachers fail
He said in 2014, CSIR-ARI went to court and obtained a Writ of Possession to evict encroachers from the land, but the exercise did not materialize. Mr. Quartey said in an attempt to stop further encroachment, CSIR-ARI in 2017, acquired a loan to fence off the remaining 200-acre portion of the land.
“Today, the encroachment is even more serious. Large portions of these fences have been broken down by encroachers who have moved into these previously fenced areas to put up single rooms, foundations of houses and walling to demarcate plots for themselves. Land guards have broken down portions of the piggery infrastructure, destroyed four cattle kraals and foundations for buildings have been erected to replace them. Land guards have also built walls and single rooms in front of the Hatchery, Meat Processing House and the Dairy Processing Unit blocking access to these facilities by vehicles.”Mr. Henry Quartey
He said some ongoing experiments have also been destroyed by the land guards, including some donor-sponsored ones. The Minister said the Centre is solving local farmers and Fulani herdsmen clashes, a National Security issue.
“The Cattle Ranching Committee is developing a grazing corridor from the North to the South of Ghana with CSIR-ARI to provide expertise and locally grown nutritious pasture planting materials for the project. Unfortunately, land guards with bulldozers have destroyed all the pasture and materials for this project.”Mr. Henry Quartey
Mr. Quartey said staff of ARI have been beaten up and molested on several occasions by the armed land guards who also threatened to burn down the junior staff quarters. He said members of the Security Council have visited the site and witnessed the aggressive encroachment even on the 200-acre fenced land.
The Minister said according to the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) section 97, the Adentan Municipal Assembly has the power to remove structures that are mushrooming on the CSIR-ARI lands without warning.
However, he said the Assembly and the ARI have issued warnings to developers within the perimeter to stop any development, but the encroachers have ignored these warnings with impunity.
Mr. Quartey said the situation calls for drastic measures to deal with the impunity with which people had encroached on the Land to protect the remaining 200-acre land.