Nana Odiasempa Antwi Obugyei, Kontihene of Ejura, has called on government to reclaim all state lands that have been taken over illegally by individuals.
He said the interest of the state should be paramount above the parochial selfish individual interests, because those lands when developed, will benefit the entire nation rather than individuals.
Nana Odiasempa Antwi Obugyei made the call in an interview with journalists in Accra, following comments made by some state officials that the collapsed building at Nii Boi town has no permit.
The officials had explained that that land stretching to Santa Maria was meant for the construction of an ultra-modern international sports complex, but had been taken over by individuals.
But Nana Odiasempa Obugyei is of the view that, the State with all its machinery, should be able to reclaim all such lands without fear or favor, or any political inclination.
According to the Kontihene, in giving a human face to this move, government should serve between five and 10 years notice to all such people who have built on state lands before moving in.
This, he said, will give them enough time to re-locate.
He said the problem persists, because of the lack of political will by successive governments not to incur the wrath of voters because of fear of losing elections.
Nana Odiasempa Obugyei, however, said state lands are state lands, and even if it will take government hundreds of years to develop them, they should remain as such, because the state is bigger than the individual.
He further urged government to pass a law that will bar any state official from purchasing any state property, because being in government is to serve the interest of all, but not for personal aggrandisement.
He said all should be treated equally before the law, and not for some few people to lord it over others, adding that people have become so indiscipline, because of the notion that when they build on a state land to a certain level, it cannot be demolished.
He urged the courts to deal decisively with such issues without fear or favour, to serve as deterrent to others.
According to the Kontihene, the cost of government projects goes up because government hasw to negotiate for the release of lands from traditional authorities for projects meant to benefit the entire nation, because certain individuals have taken over state lands meant for such projects.
Nana Odiasempa Antwi Obugyei, therefore, urged government to strengthen state agencies charged with the responsibility of holding in trust government lands, to perform their functions effectively.
“This is a national call without political connotation, to make Ghana a better place for all,” the traditional leader said.
He blamed city authorities for sitting aloof when these buildings were springing up, and said if the authorities had acted promptly, the country would not have been where it is today.