The demonstrations being staged by residents of four communities in the Eastern Region against the former First Lady and president of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM) Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings are not likely to move her to grant them their desire.
The wife of former President Rawlings has been fingered by the residents in a land lease scandal involving large tracts of land of up to about 770.74 acres originally belonging to four different communities – Adoagyiri, Owuraku, Ntoaso and Akwamu.
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A similar agitation in 2016 by opinion leaders who spoke vociferously against the action of Mrs. Rawlings who is bent on passing on the land to a private developer yielded no result.
The disgruntled residents claimed document covering the lease agreement signed between Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and Nana Kodua Kesse II on September 1st 3013, shows that the former First Lady obtained the 770.74 acres of land for GHC 3,850.00 which translates into about GHC5 per acre for a year for fifty (50) years.
Nana Konadu Agyeman–Rawlings is said to have registered the affected land with the lands registry on November 4th 2013, with the land registry with deed number EA 17330.
The Adoagyiiri Chief’s palace, the Presbyterian Church, the St Martin’s Senior High School and a clinic are all huge properties and buildings within the parcel of land claimed by Nana Konadu Agyeman–Rawlings and her company.
Rev. Seth Tetteh Ackonor who owns a church on the affected land in Akwamu lamented: “I am 66 years now. The Nsawam cannery came to meet us here. Even my father and mother were born here. If the government acquired it, and if the factory is not working, how can they then sell it? Telling us to quit?’’.
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He noted, “this time at least a building plot, that is, 100 X 70 sells currently for GH₵5000 so how can Nana Konadu buy an acre of land which is about five plots for less than GH₵ 5 in 2013 from the government of Ghana? That is free and not for sale. She was first lady for 19 years, 31DWM and the rest, what does she want again? Taking this small portion from us? Why this covetousness?’’
The man of God also questioned the principles of former President Rawlings which he thinks are contrary to what his wife is doing whiles he remains silent.
Otuosiribour Safo Kankam I, the Adoagyiri Mawerehene, remarked: “They preach accountability, probity and so on. This transaction shows clearly that when we talk about corruption, they are involved. If at all government wanted to sell off our lands to a private individual, we the chiefs and our people who are original landlords should have been consulted. Something wrong has definitely taken place.”
Another resident of Akwamu, who runs a private clinic, Dr. Sevor stated, “There is going to be a lot of chaos in this community if Mrs. Rawlings insists on taking the land from the people because people are not going to sleep.”
He added, “I personally registered my own parcel of land for my clinic at the same lands commission and Konadu should know that this land here cannot sell for GH₵5 per acre”.
The affected chiefs and people have asked for the support of the general public in getting their voices heard and in putting pressure on government to avoid the intended eviction from their bona fide lands by Nana Konadu Agyeman–Rawlings.