Aggrieved property owners seek compensation over road construction
They have therefore besieged the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) premises to express indignation about unpaid compensation.
The two groups led by Mr Kwabena Owusu Dome, who is also the Managing Director of Kasapa Sawmill at Okorase-Suhum presented a petition to officials at the Highways to register their frustrations in trying to ensure that compensation due them are paid without further delay.
They outlined the number of times they have been promised by GHA and the Ministry of Finance that their monies would be paid to them.
Mr Owusu Dome said the decision to march to GHA premises and use other legitimate means to demand for the payment of the money is a result of frustrations and hassles they have encountered over the period “in trying to ensure that what is rightfully and legally due us is paid without further delay”.
He said: “For the past five years we have been denied our sources of livelihood, a situation that has led to the death of eight of our colleagues.
“Others too have had their houses and other landed properties confiscated by Banks they owe…We can no longer endure these embarrassment. We will fight for our birth rights.”
He explained that various state bodies including the National Security, Ministry of Roads and Highways, Ministry of Finance, GHA have at different stages promise to intervene for the payment.
He said on April 15, property owners and some officials of National Security held a meeting after which they were assured that President John Dramani Mahama, Minister of Finance and the Chief of Staff have been briefed about their plight.
Mr Owusu Dome said the officials informed us to come back on April 25, for a letter authorising payment of the money but nothing of that sought happened.
“We feel cheated, betrayed, and deceived by government officials,” he said.
A copy of Interim Payment Certificate signed on November 21, 2012 by Mr A. T. Essifie Chief Director at the Ministry of Roads and Highways obtained by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) affirmed that government owes the land owners.
The Interim Payment Certificate was issued to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, which also acknowledged receipt on November 23, 2012.
In an interview with the GNA, Opanyin Joshua Botchway Yemoh aged 102 said, “I was assured that government would compensate me for the destruction of my 30-room house.
Mr Yemoh said government officials asked me to acquire a new land for a house to be constructed for me but that had not been done.
He added: “At my age I cannot work again to acquire new property. I have now been rendered homeless and a squatter.”
The petition was received by Mr Francis Hammond a Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the GHA and gave the assurance that the concerns of the petitioners would be addressed.
He asked them to come back on July 30 for a response.