The chiefs and people of the Atuabo and Anokye communities in the Ellembele district are demanding the immediate legislation of the land they gave Ghana Gas to put up the Gas infrastructure seen today.
According to them, the bottles of local gin (akpeteshie) given them by Ghana Gas did not guarantee them ownership of the land and insisted the company goes through the “right process”.
Tufuhene of Anorchie, Mr. Robert Mensah said the right processes were not followed from the beginning because “we were happy such a project was coming to our land. We knew Dr. Sipa Yankey and most especially the Energy Minister, Armah Kofi Boah were coming from the Nzema Land.
“We gave them that respect. We told them they should finish with the first phase of the project then come to sit down with us for the due processes to begin, but now the project is at the completion stage and nobody seems to care. The akpeteshie they gave to us cannot guarantee their ownership of the land.”
After the first phase of the project was completed, the paramount chief’s attempt to get management to sit down for due processes to begin proved futile as they made him [paramount chief] appear to the outside world as “stalling the project”
At a press conference, it was revealed that the ill-treatment given to the chiefs and people of the two communities by management of the gas project. Also, there was no release of compensation for some farmers including the Tufuhene and the Awuale Kpanyinle whose coconut trees were cut down after two years. Even those who were paid were not given any documentary evidence.
Meanwhile, spokesperson for Ghana Gas, Alfred Ogbamey has rubbished the allegations saying, ““It is certainly not true, it certainly cannot be true, that all we did was to come with some schnapps and go on the land and that they’ve called us for various or five meetings and we’ve not been coming. I am telling you on record that I was with the chief at the meeting barely a month and a week ago. The chief cannot claim not to know me, he knows me very well and he knows the community… They are up to something.”
He added that a valuation board is currently looking into the matter. ‘But we are aware that the land valuation board with the active participation of the chiefs and people of various communities are working on it , and remember we are working in various communities , more than these three communities because the onshore pipeline passes through so many communities before it gets to Takoradi. That process has been ongoing and we are not in charge of it and the chiefs and people know.’
Currently, a two-week injunction filed by Awulae Kpanyinle III, has been placed on the gas project by the Sekondi High Court.
The court is expected to continue hearing the case on the injunction tomorrow.
Business World (with notes from citifmonline)