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AKORAS IN UPROAR: ACHIMOTA CAN’T CONDONE ENCROACHERS

General News

The Old Achimotans’ Association has expressed displeasure with the board for regularising unauthorised use of Achimota School lands and has decided to challenge the OAA president, Professor Ernest Aryeetey.

The Old Achimotans’ Association has expressed displeasure with the board for regularising unauthorised use of Achimota School lands and has decided to challenge the OAA president, Professor Ernest Aryeetey.

 

According to aggrieved Akoras, as past students of the school are known, they were horrified to hear that permission had been sought to “regularise” encroachers on school lands.

“Achimota School cannot regularise anything for these encroachers,” the protesters insist. They describe the encroachers as trespassers who have no rights to the land.

“We [Old Achimotans] went to court and asserted our right, which was upheld, and we now want to throw away those rights?” a vexed Akora asked.

“We might as well hand over the rest of the school land to the encroachers if we now want to grant rights they did not have in the first place after our rights have been pronounced on emphatically by a court of the land.”

Scant reason

Professor Aryeetey has offered some explanation for the decision by referring to a number of events, including a stakeholder meeting in March 2016 where the OAA executive committee assembled over 100 Akoras, the board and management of Achimota School, and other stakeholders from the Ghana Education Service.

At that meeting, Professor Aryeetey said, it was decided that the OAA would support Achimota School however it could to regain control of use of its lands.

In this regard, the OAA agreed to assist the school in pursuing various actions through the courts to regain control. It was further agreed that the school would work with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to evict all squatters living or working in properties owned by the school.

Politics intrudes

Professor Aryeetey described the social and political implications if the school was to pursue drastic measures and demolish all illegal structures on the land. But some members disagree with this line of argument, as they claim it will be difficult for the matter to turn political.

They questioned how the problem affects Achimotans politically. “We don’t need votes from any quarters, neither are we a political party,” an Akora said.

Professor Aryeetey highlighted steps being taken by the school. “I am also aware that the school board is working with the Okaikoi North Metro Assembly to develop a masterplan and intends to appoint a transactions advisor …

“It is the masterplan which will determine what structures can remain on Achimota School lands. Where it is obvious that a particular use of the land is incompatible with the mission of the school, or inconveniences the school, the structure will either not be permitted if proposed, or not be allowed to stand where development has already taken place,” he said.

But many disgruntled Akoras continue to demand answers and are expected to air their grievances at the next OAA annual general meeting on April 7.