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Interior Minister recommends setting-up of a committee to resolve Nkwanta Land dispute

By Iddi Yire

Accra, Dec 08, GNA – Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior, has recommended the setting-up of a committee to help resolve the ongoing land dispute in the Nkwanta South Municipality, which has led to the death of over 11 people.

He said the recent clashes in Nkwanta South Municipality, which had led to the death of over 11 people was because of a land dispute.

The Minister, on behalf of the Government, extended his condolences to all the bereaved families who had lost their loved ones.

Mr Dery made the recommendation on the floor of Parliament in his remarks in response to a statement by Geoffrey Kini, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkwanta South.

The Minister commended Mr Kini, the maker of the statement and other contributors for their views and efforts to ensure that there was peace and security in Nkwanta.

“Mr Speaker, I want to place on record my appreciation for the positive contributions that have been made and to start by saying that lives have been lost. Mr Speaker, and up to 11 and beyond. Mr Speaker, even one loss of life is one too many,” he stated.

He said some of the corpses had been released after autopsy and that two have now been preserved.

He reiterated that the Nkwanta clashes were a perennial problem and that it was a land problem.

He appealed to stakeholders to attempt to deal with that fundamental issue of the land matter.

“Three tribes claiming lands, conflict about boundaries; if we continue to play ostrich, from time to time, there will be these eruptions,” he said.

The Minister recalled that on the 20th of November, the Police had a report that there was an exchange of gunfire at the market and that when the Police went there, they had already lost some lives.

He said on November 21, he was compelled to impose a curfew on the Nkwanta South Municipality to ensure peace and security and to protect lives and property in the area.

He noted that the curfew had its own negative impacts; namely free movement of goods and services and therefore, food foodstuff.

He said some people who had breached curfew hours had been sent to court, convicted, and fined.

He said there was some calm in Nkwanta and that the National Peace Council had come in to help resolve the land dispute.

He said the Government would be sending the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to the area to find out what they could do to ameliorate the situation.

He reiterated the need for the setting up of Committee, which would have the Lands Commission on it to deal with the underlying land problem at Nkwanta.

Mr Dery said the Government would be involving the MPs of the areas in its peace building efforts.

The MPs from the Oti Region; namely Mr Kofi Iddie Adams, NDC MP for Buem; Mr John Oti Bless, NDC MP for Nkwanta North and Madam Helen Adjoa Ntorso, NDC MP for Krachi-West, in their contributions urged the Government to ensure the speedy resolution of the Nkwanta land dispute for peace to return to the area.

GNA

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