The La Traditional Council has invoked its 99 deities to punish any individual who encroaches or puts up any structure on a yet-to-be-delineated tract of land at Tse-Addo, in the La Dadekotopon municipality.
This is part of series of demonstrations aimed at the recovery of their lands which they claim have been encroached by the military.
The protests, which started around 10am yesterday, at the Military Cemetery towards the Adams Mahama Roundabout, finally ended at the Lands Commission. It was led by members of the Coalition of Associations in La (COLA) and some elders of the Council.
They held placards with inscriptions such as “We respect the men in uniform don’t disrespect us,” “Rule of law,” “No La lands, no peace,” “citizens will win,” among others.
Before the protest kicked-off, the priest and elders of the Council performed some prayer and traditional rites on the land.
The La Traditional Council had held negotiations with the government, represented by the former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, over the issue of La lands being annexed and encroached by the military.
In November last year, the military and senior officials of the Lands Commission, who were parties to the negotiations, were supposed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the LA Traditional Council, which did not happen.
The parties were asked to exercise restraint by halting all activities on the land until the agreement was firmed up and boundaries of the La Stool and the military delineated.
However, the military have moved in to work on the land, with truckloads of building materials spotted within the embargoed area.
This situation forced the youth of La onto the streets in protest against the failure of the government to order the military to halt its encroachment, pending final demarcation of the disputed area.
In an interview with the media after the protest, the spokesperson for COLA, Jeffrey Tetteh, said the Council had invoked the gods of La to fight on their behalf, urging President Akufo-Addo must act immediately to resolve the growing tension at La.
“Information we have picked is that the Executive Secretary to the Lands Commission called and demanded that the lands should not be released to the people of La because he has some connivance with the military. We are actually calling on the President to do the right thing,” he stated.
“We are saying that anybody who will not allow us, we have now invoked the gods to deal with the person. Whoever comes to the land to work will face the wrath of the gods of La. We have not invoked curses,” Mr Tetteh added.
At the Lands Commission, the protesters met with the Minister of Land and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, who assured them that his office and the government will do the needful in the interest of the country.
“I am here at the Lands Commission on a working visit as part of familiarisation with the Ministry. I have had a fruitful and intense discussion with the leadership of the Commission and we’ve been examining literally all the issues relating to land administration in Ghana,” he said.
“Little did I know I will be accosted the way you have done. But want I want to say is let us all exercise constraint, let us all be patient, act in accordance with the law and also respect public order. The assurance I want to give to the La Traditional Council and the people of the Greater Accra Region is that the President is committed to ensuring that this age-old difficult, controversial issues of land administration in Accra is dealt with substantially,” he added.
“Just be patient and give us some time. Ultimately, be rest assured that we’ll be guided by fairness and integrity and whatever we do will be in the interest of the country,” the Minister further assured.