A member of the Osu Traditional Council, Nii Odoi Kwao II, has said many of the chieftaincy disputes in the Ga communities are fueled by a desire to grab lands in prime areas of the city and sell them.
Land grabbing is the contentious issue of large-scale land acquisitions and involves the buying or leasing of large parcels of land by domestic and transnational companies, governments, and individuals.
Speaking to Ghanaweb in an exclusive interview, Nii Odoi Kwao II said Ga chieftaincy disputes persist because of people’s quest to amass wealth through selling lands as many see this as an easy way to make money.
“One of the main reasons why these things are still lingering on is about land and the quest for people to make easy money.
“You will see people parading themselves as one elder or the other with [Ga] names…with beads on their wrists and on their legs like the slaves who were before and they go about. All is about land. And that has caused these problems,” he said.
Almost every Ga community in Ghana is bedevilled with one chieftaincy dispute or the other. Mostly two or more groups or clans claim ownership of a stool or an area that another clan or group is already ruling over.
Surprise and contentious installations of chiefs is a common feature in many Ga communities.
Speaking on the issue to Ghanaweb, Nii Kwao II said there is a need for the state to take a more proactive step in the matter since the many disputes stifle development in communities within the capital, Accra.
“There have been a group of people – mostly surveyors and lawyers – who have come together to dupe people. Because Accra is the capital of Ghana, land is an issue; so these people have come together and what they do is that if they want a place, they will like to get an indigenous person who is not connected to the royalty in any way and then use their money to support that person to become somebody within that clan that owns any land or things like that and then they use that to bring that confusion,” he explained the decades-long conflict in Ga.
Nii Kwao II, who is the Forerunner of the Osu Paramount Chief, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI, said it was unfortunate that the law courts sometimes rule in favour of imposters that wrestle lands and authority from legitimate clans.
He has advised the government to involve chiefs more systematically in the governance process to prevent disputes and the issue of land grabbing in Accra.