The Members of Parliament (MPs) from both divides and the chief executives of local assemblies in the Gomoa and Effutu areas in the Central Region have set up a bipartisan committee to address the escalating land dispute between the Gomoa and Effutu communities.
The committee will thoroughly investigate the underlying administrative and traditional boundary issues to resolve the dispute between the chiefs and people of the two areas.
“As political leaders, we hold the responsibility of preserving the cultural heritage and security of our communities in order to attract investment to the enclave,” they said.
The committee members are the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament; the NPP member for Gomoa Central, Naana Eyiah; the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Gomoa East, and the NDC MP for Gomoa West, Richard Gyan-Mensah.
The local assembly leaders are the Chief Executive for Gomoa Central, Kojo Otoo; the DCE for Gomoa West, Bismark B. Nkum; the MCE for Effutu, Alhaji Zubairu Kassim, and the DCE for Gomoa East, Solomon Quarm.
To affirm their commitment, the four leaders each appended their signatures to the agreement they had reached.
In a joint statement read at a press conference in Parliament yesterday, Mr Afenyo-Markin, who spoke on behalf of other committee members, said they carefully considered the concerns surrounding the Gomoa-Effutu land dispute and recognised the necessity for proactive measures to address the challenges at hand.
The communique was issued after a joint meeting held last Sunday and attended by all of the MPs and chief executives.
In line with their commitment, the committee would meet the paramount chiefs, the Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, the Local Government and the Interior to resolve traditional boundary issues.
“As representatives of our constituents and advocates for peace and stability, we stand united in our unwavering commitment to resolving this issue and safeguarding the ancestral lands of all chiefs within our respective areas.
“We assure the chiefs within our respective areas that we will utilise our influence and authority to protect their ancestral lands from any unjust encroachment.
“Our commitment to maintaining peace, unity and the well-being of our constituents remains steadfast and paramount,” he said.
To ensure a fair and comprehensive resolution, he said, the leaders emphasised the importance of engaging with all relevant chiefs and opinion leaders to foster an environment of constructive dialogue and mutual understanding.
Throughout the process, he said they remained dedicated to conducting themselves with the highest level of integrity, treating all parties involved or affected with fairness and respect.
“Acknowledging the significance of transparency and impartiality, we strive to protect the rights and reputations of all individuals throughout the resolution process.
“Furthermore, to urgently alleviate rising tensions and promote a peaceful environment, we acknowledge the importance of engaging with paramount chiefs, along with relevant government bodies such as the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Local Government, and the Ministry of Interior,” he said.
No partisan affiliation
Mr Afenyo-Markin said the committee would actively engage with other relevant stakeholders, including the Lands Commission, potential estate developers and leaders of businesses within the affected areas.
“Our objective is to emphasise the need for caution and adherence to legal and regulatory frameworks, protecting the interests of all parties involved.
“This issue transcends partisan affiliations, requiring a united approach from all political leaders,” he said.
He assured that: “Our joint position is clear, as no one, including ourselves or any other individual, will be used to take away the lands of any chief”.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to protecting their interests and preserving the rich heritage of our communities,” he assured, and urged the chiefs in the two areas to remain calm.
“We will utilise our influence, authority and the appropriate government bodies to ensure that their ancestral lands are safeguarded from any unjust encroachment,” he said.