Over 2,000 salt producers say they have lost their businesses after they were attacked by suspected land guards at Dampase in the Gomoa East District of the Central Region over a boundary dispute.
Property running into thousands of Ghana cedis were affected by the attack.
The salt producers have threatened to fight back if authorities fail to address their issues.
Speaking to Citi News, leader of the salt producers, Abusuapanyin Kofi Ephraim noted that the activities of these persons purported to be land guards are hampering the progress of their work, adding that government must deal with the situation to prevent further violence.
“Gomoa Nyanyano stool lands belong to Gomoa Nyanyano people. And we will not hesitate to fight them back if they attack us again. For about two weeks they were spying on our land and finally, they attacked us,” Abusuapanyin Ephraim said.
According to him, the Gomoa Nyanyano stool land has installed a legitimate chief in Dampase and thus have the right to the ownership of the land in that enclave.
“We have a chief at Dampase in the person of Nene Oheme, so we own the land,” he added.
He noted that if the government fails to intervene in the matter they will be forced to retaliate.
“We [people of Gomoa Nyanyano] are over 25,000, and we outnumber them, so we will not hesitate to fight them. We can mobilise our people to fight them,” Abusuapanyin Ephraim told Citi News.
Some salt producers who were affected by the activities of the land guards shared their frustration with Citi News, saying they have been kicked out of business as a result of the attacks.
“Gomoa Nyanyano and Dampase have been in existence for almost 700 years, and it is surprising to see these land guards terrorizing us. The land guards have destroyed our salt farm and even our warehouse where we keep our salt. Over two thousand people risk losing their job as a result of that. If the government fails to act we will take the law into our own hands,” Kwodwo Pupron of the salt producers said in a Citi News interview.
The leadership of the salt producers say an age-old boundary dispute between Gomoa Nyanyano stool lands which encompasses Dampase and its environs and the Ga South area is the reason for the constant attacks by persons suspected to be land guards.
The boundary dispute between Gomoa Nyanyano which encompasses Dampase and the Ga South area has been lingering for ages.
Sources close to Citi News said the boundary dispute has created tension in the area with individual developers who buy land in that enclave left at the mercy of land guards and the two assemblies over who has the right to collect property rate.
But the Member of Parliament for Gomoa East, Desmond Degraft Paitoo and the Assembly Member for Dampase believes it is time to bring up the matter on the floor of Parliament over who has the right of ownership.
“It is time to raise the argument on the floor of Parliament over the boundary dispute which has destroyed a lot of properties. I believe that is the only way to solve this problem,” Degraft Paitoo said.
The District Chief Executive for Gomoa East, Solomon Darko Quarm, who is also the Head of the District Security Council blamed institutions that have been tasked with the responsibility of giving clear-cut directives on the boundary issues for not doing enough.
He accused the Greater Accra Regional Police Command of carrying out the demolition exercise despite being aware that the area is under Gomoa East.
“I blame our state institutions whose job it is to properly demarcate the areas under which each area fall, but they are sitting unconcerned and watching till something bad happens,” DCE Solomon Darko Quarm said.
“I am surprised by the initiative taken by the Greater Accra Regional Police Command in carrying out the demolition knowing very well that the area in question is under Gomoa East,” the DCE said.