Revoke lease to private developers on Ridge Experimental School Land – Associations petitioned Lands Commission
Sunyani, April 25, 2022
The Sunyani For Development Association (SFDA) and the Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA) have in one accord petitioned the Lands Commission, Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority to immediately revoke the lease, permit or so granted to a private developer taking over the Ridge Experimental School Land in Sunyani for private businesses.
The groups further called on the Sunyani Municipal Assembly and other responsible agency involved in granting lease or permit or any authority to the private individual or group for whichever purpose to immediately stop any intended encroachments of the said land or face full rigorous of the law.
The call was contained in a press release jointly signed by Mr. Atta Akoto Senior, SYDA President, Dr. Vida Korang (Mrs), SFDA secretary, Mr. Mike Korang, SFDA Executive Member and other executives of the Associations and copied the media in Sunyani.
SYDA and SFDA are registered non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious organizations that promote the positive and sustainable socio-economic development of Sunyani to improve livelihoods of residents, the release stated.
According to the release, the Ridge school is a public School in Sunyani which has been in existence since 1960 and has produced many scholars who have made significant contributions to national and global development.
The release said attention of the Associations have been drawn on an attempted encroachment or takeover of part of the School land by individual developers.
It alleged “the Sunyani Municipal Assembly (SMA) claims that the land space around the Ridge School area has been rezoned, leading to the school losing part of its land, which is now being encroached on by an individual”.
The release stated “we have had engagements with all the significant stakeholders including the Ridge School Management Committee (SMC), the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the Alumni Representatives, some members of Sunyani Traditional Council, youth and other bodies”.
In pursuance of promoting the present and future educational interests of the good people of Sunyani, the SYDA and SFDA note that the school land was provided by Nananom of the Sunyani Traditional Council about seven decades ago for educational purposes, the release stated.
It added information available indicates that part of the Ridge School land has been leased by officialdom to an individual developer who has infact deposited construction materials including large quantities of sand and concrete blocks ready to commence development on the land.
The release noted “the claim by the SMA does not only deny the Ridge School the needed space for expansion and development, but it also robs the good people of Sunyani of future educational opportunities that will result from inadequate land for educational infrastructure”.
“We therefore find this action by the SMA very strange, paradoxical, counterproductive and dysfunctional, that a Municipal Assembly which has the development of education as a core mandate will rather take away public school land and allow an individual to use it”.
It added “some officialdom is alleged to have threatened authorities of the Ridge School to stay off the land being encroached/take-over” and the groups considered any of such actions as anti-development, retrogressive and intimidating, which should not be countenanced.
Why should public officials who have decided to be patriotic citizens and not spectators and who have the courage and moral to legitimately protect the rights of present and future generation against the ills of some individuals be threatened, the release quizzed.
The release further explained Sunyani is experiencing high urbanization growth rate which requires adequate land space for the provision of socio-economic infrastructure like schools, hospitals, police station and recreational ground, saying land space has been a challenge to the effective implementation of laudable government initiatives such as the Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) as well as Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Science Resource Centres and Public Libraries.
It said the available public lands such as the unused Ridge School land could accommodate such progressive developmental projects for the benefit of the people of Sunyani.
Regrettably, Sunyani is unimaginably fast losing its public lands reserved for common goods to private individuals in ways that are inimical to the socio-economic development of the city, to the extent that is very difficult to find space for emerging government projects, the release said.
The disregard for the common good of the people and impunity with which some of these anti-development actions are carried out could not simply happen at the blind side of land administrators, city planners, political and administrative officialdom.
According to the release, cognisance of the above developments on the improper and anti-development land use in Sunyani, and in the interest of the education and socio-economic development of present and future generation of the good people of Sunyani, SYDA and SFDA have come to the firm opinion that the attempted encroachment/takeover of part of the Ridge School land, if allowed will completely work against the interest of Ridge School and the long-term educational needs of the people of Sunyani.
We therefore make the following clarion call that “the Ridge School land was given for a public good and so the individual(s) purporting to be encroaching/taking over any portion of the School land in Sunyani should stay off the land”.
“Any attempt to develop the school land shall be fully resisted by the progressive forces of development”.
The release emphasized Sunyani is fast losing its lands, the generational heritage and legacy of Nananom.
“Officialdoms are with impunity becoming complicit in taking away public lands in Sunyani without recourse to Nananom who are the true custodians of the lands, thus destroying the heritage and legacy of Nananom”.
“Nananom, your subjects are anxiously waiting and hold high expectations on you to protect them, defend them from what rightly belong to us”.
They therefore humbly appeal to the Sunyani Traditional Council and Nananom to act and act fast and decisively on this and any other land that is improperly being given out to individuals against the interest of the people of Sunyani.
The release advise any individual(s) and group(s) to desist from intimidating or threatening the Ridge School authorities or individuals of any group who are legitimately protecting the Ridge School land.
It said the progressive forces of development will, without fear or favour and within the laws of Ghana, fiercely resist any such unpatriotic and retrogressive action.
“We are resolute on this matter, and that no influence, political or otherwise shall prevail against our determination in protecting the Ridge School land from any encroachment/takeover”.
The release stressed education is key to the development of Sunyani and the country at large, and we call on everyone to act in ways that promote the education of the present and future generation, SYDA and SFDA reiterate our call on the Sunyani Traditional Council and Nananom, residents of Sunyani and all progressive citizens of Ghana to join hands with us to protect the Ridge School land from encroachment under any guise.
This is the time to heed the call by the President of the Republic to be patriotic citizens and not spectators.
Atta Akoto Senior (President, SYDA)) 024 2368 505
Dr. Mrs. Vida Korang (Executive Secretary, SFDA) 055 139 7405
Mr Mike Korang (Executive Member SFDA) 020 677-2185