Workers at the CSIR have, in vigilante fashion, pulled down a billboard said to have been put up by the Ga West Municipal Assembly on a disputed land earmarked for the resettlement of displaced Old Fadama residents.
With passionate chants, the workers tore down the billboard Thursday with their bare hands, threatening if unapproved structures are put on the disputed land ten times by the Assembly they would suffer the same fate.
Thursday’s billboard demolition is a degeneration of tense relationship between the CSIR and the Assembly occasioned by the Assembly’s decision to resettle residents of Old Fadama there.
The Metropolitan Assembly is planning to use part of the Pokuase lands to temporarily house the Old Fadama residents whose makeshift structures were demolished by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
They were hitherto staying at the banks of the Odaw river until earth moving machines ripped through their houses last Saturday.
But the CSIR has maintained it will resist any attempt by the Assembly to use any part of the land for resettlement. They say the said land is being used for research activities and would not be given out.
On Thursday, the CSIR’s intent on resisting any encroachment was made manifest when they tore down a billboard said to have been mounted by the Ga West Assembly.
“It is a sign of a lot more to come. We want to send the message out to all the people who have any intention of forcefully taking our land that whatever they do, if they erect billboard ten times we will mobilise ten times and pull them down. Along with that we are mobilising and taking all the legal action that will support this cause,” Officer in charge of the Pokuase Research Station Dr. Charles Domozor told Joy News Editor Dzifa Bampoh.
He did not understand why the billboard will be mounted under the cover of darkness at a time they had already made their decision not to accept any encroachment.
Other workers of the CSIR stationed at the Airport West had already gone on a protest march indicating their preparedness to fight for their lands.
Dr Domozor told Joy News there is a court injunction preventing the AMA and the Ga West Municipality from using the land.
He said the CSIR workers are ready to resign en masse if the hardwork put into the research activity on the said land is to be destroyed.
But the MCE Mr Samuel Attuquaye Quaye said the land on which the billboard was mounted is not owned by the CSIR.
He would rather workers of the CSIR cooled down as negotiations begin between directors of the CSIR and government officials.
He explained that the court injunction which Dr Domozor was referring to, only applied to the AMA and not the Ga West Assembly
Mr Quaye added that government has the power to acquire any land compulsorily and pay adequate compensation for it.
He called for better dialogue rather than agitation.
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