Okyehene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin offered free lands to squatters who were occupying infrastructure belonging to his own palace, so they could build their own homes, as he intends pulling down portions of the palace to allow for expansion, Mr D. M. Ofori-Atta, Secretary to the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council, Ofori Panin Fie, has said.
In a statement denying reports that the traditional leader intended demolishing 500 homes around the palace to the way for its expansion, Mr Ofori-Atta said: “It became necessary in the year 2014 to serve notices of eviction to squatters around the palace, these are residents of houses constructed by and owned by the Ofori Panin Stool to serve as quarters for domestic staff and officials of the palace. Strictly speaking, these are part of the Ofori Panin Palace infrastructure”.
Her said: “Upon humanitarian consideration, His Royal Majesty the Okyehene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, ordered that those affected be given assistance to rent houses and those who wanted to build houses be given land at no cost”.
Below is the full statement from Ofori Panin Fie:
8th August, 2018
The Ofori Panin Fie has found it necessary to react to news reports with regards to alleged demolition of 500 houses in Kyebi, ostensibly to pave way for expansion of the Ofori Panin Palace.
This also relates to a statement attributed to a certain Daniel Aboagye of a group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Okyeman, claiming to represent the interest of residents who are to be evicted as part of the palace expansion project.
Amongst other things going round, is specific reference in the media of an alleged attempt to expand the Ofori Panin Palace twice the size of the Manhyia Palace. This is also directly linked to failed attempts to sow seeds of discord between the Ofori Panin Fie and the Manhyia Palace.
In consideration of the interest and concerns generated in public discussion, it is imperative to make the following clarifications.
i) That the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Council has no such policy to expand the Ofori Panin Fie.
ii)That the Council has not served notice of eviction to 500 residents of Kyebi.
iii) That His Royal Majesty the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin in the year 2007 began a process of extensive renovation of the Ofori Panin Palace.
iv)That in consequence of the above, it became necessary in the year 2014 to serve notices of eviction to squatters around the palace, these are residents of houses constructed by and owned by the Ofori Panin Stool to serve as quarters for domestic staff and officials of the palace. Strictly speaking, these are part of the Ofori Panin Palace infrastructure.
Upon humanitarian consideration, His Royal Majesty the Okyehene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, ordered that those affected be given assistance to rent houses and those who wanted to build houses be given land at no cost.
The report that over 500 houses are to be demolished is preposterous and irresponsible, but, however, not surprising. We see it as a drop in the ocean amongst several attempts to denigrate the person of the Okyehene, and being part of the agenda to court public disaffection for the Ofori Panin Stool and Okyeman.
It is interesting to note that the Ofori Panin Palace is sandwiched between major roads, thus, any possible expansion will be limited in scope by any consideration. Also the housing unit in Kyebi counts just over two thousand! For the media to report that over 500 houses are to be broken down for palace expansion is irresponsible.
We do not fail to see behind all these organised interests who have sustained efforts to undermine Okyeman.
The so-called Concerned Citizens of Okyeman and Daniel Aboagye are the faces of the forces of mischief and puppets of narrow aims and should be ignored.
The media is once again reminded that the Ofori Panin Fie is open to provide clarification on all issues and are advised to refer to its Secretariat before going to press.
Signed: D. M. OFORI-ATTA SECRETARY AKYEM ABUAKWA TRADITIONAL COUNCIL, OFORI PANIN FIE, KYEBI