Volta Regional House of Chiefs recommends compulsory acquisition of disputed land

Togbe Afede XIV Good

Togbe Afede XIV Good

Ho, April 18, GNA -The Volta Regional House of Chiefs on Thursday asked government to consider compulsory acquisition of the disputed Alavanyo-Nkonya land to restore peace to the area.

‘We shall support government in anything it will do to bring peace. We are embarrassed by the situation,’ Togbe Afede XIV President of the House said.

This was among other decisions taken by the House at its first emergency meeting prompted by renewed hostilities between the two traditional areas since December 29, 2012 in which five people had so far been killed with three others nursing gunshot wounds.

The meeting also aimed at welcoming the new Regional Minister, Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey- Agbo and the Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Francis Ganyaglo.

The House also decided to exclude Togbe Tsedze Atakora VII, Paramount Chief of Alavanyo and Nana Okotor Kofi III Paramount Chief of Nkonya   from the House should there be any future hostilities in their traditional juridictions.

Members decided to constitute a committee to get the chiefs and elders of the two traditional areas to sue for permanent peace.

The two paramount chiefs were also made to pledge their commitment to peace before the House.

Togbe Tsedze Atakora said a Peace Mediation Committee into the conflict from 2004 to 2009 had succeeded in restoring peace and cordiality to their communities with a lot of ‘goodwill’ from Ghana and abroad until December 2012.

Togbe Tsedze Atakora said it was unfortunate that the positive dividends and ‘goodwill’ which were achieved have been undone.

He however expressed hope that renewed initiatives would help bring permanent peace saying the situation from 1983-2004 were worse.

Nana Okotor Kofi on his part expressed frustration that soon after the two paramount chiefs held meetings with stakeholders to resolve the matter they were greeted with new skirmishes back home.

‘The young men are not listening to the elders,’ he said and expressed the hope that the Regional Minister would interact with the youth to resolve the conflict.

He promised that he and his people will support efforts by government to resolve the matter.

The Nkonya and Alavanyo land dispute dates back to 1923 resulting in clashes and several Court decisions which had failed to bring peace.

An initiative by the Regional Coordinating Council and the Clergy in 2004 saw the establishment of a Peace Mediating Committee with structures in both communities to first end hostilities and work for permanent peace.

The initiative allowed people of both communities to work out the processes for restoring peace between them.

The peace initiative succeeded in getting two surveyors to identify the area in dispute.

In 2009 there was a meeting of representatives from both sides in Alavanyo to have a look at the graphic representation of the disputed land and to approve the surveyors drawings which they did.

The representatives were to consult their people and decide on what to do with the portion of land in dispute and convey the outcome of their consultations to the Peace Mediation Committee for a final peace agreement to be reached.