These prominent sons and daughters of Ga Dangme have fears that the Marine Drive Project will not serve the interest of the public.
This is because the Ga Dangme Council led by Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle and 33 other prominent sons and daughters of Ga Dangme have strongly objected to the project.
Even though the main custodians of the land, the Gbese and Osu Stools have given their blessings for the project, some other prominent sons and daughters of Ga Dangme have fears that the Marine Drive Project will not serve the interest of the public.
Some of the Ga Dangme natives opposed to the project are; Mr. A. K. Armah, Hon. Justice V. C. R. A. C. Crabbe, Rev. Prof. Seth Ayettey, Prof. Ablade Glover, Mrs. Comfort Melody Slater, Prof. Atukwei Okai, Prof. Nii Amon Kotei and Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey.
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The rest are Mr. Bright Akwetey, Mr. E. Oko Adjetey, Mr. J. E. Allotey-Pappoe, Mr. Charles Sagoe, Dr. J. B. K. Allotey, Ms. Virginia Hesse, Rear Admiral Arthur Riby Sampa Nuno (Rtd), Maj. Gen. Joseph Narh Adinkrah (Rtd), Maj. Gen. Nii Carl Coleman (Rtd), Maj. Benjamin M. Akuete (Rtd), Ms. Ophelia Ablorh, Mr. Emmanuel Ashley and Dr. Nii Kwaku Sowa.
Others are Prof. Nii Noi Dowuona, Mrs. Sarah Mills-Okaikoi, Mr. Oko Tetteh, Prof. Patience Mensah, Mr. George Hansen, Mr. Chris Adom, Mr. Michael Nii Yemo Yemofio, Mr. Davis Nii Amaa Ollennu, Mr. Bortei Borquaye and Mr. Eugene Welford Armah.
They have since petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and copied the Speaker of Parliament, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the United Nations and some government officials and institutions to immediately halt the project.
The petition dated March 10, 2017, signed by the aforementioned sons and daughters of Ga Dangme Council, is demanding from the President to revoke Executive Instrument (E. I) 59 which was used by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration to compulsory acquire the 248 acres tract of land for the Marine Drive Project.
According to the petitioners, the reason for the acquisition of the large tract of coastal land in Accra for the Marine Drive Project under E. I. 59 is not for public purposes as there is an overriding consideration for such acquisitions.
“Rather, the E. I. 59 has been used to practically hand over the said piece of land to private persons or entities for private gain. Council therefore urges that Government should revoke E. I. 59 because it is inimical to public interest as envisaged and described in the Constitution,” the petition stated.
The petitioners also want the Government to review the process of acquisition of the said 248 acres tract of land for the Marine Drive Project by consulting with all interested parties such as the Ga Traditional Council, Osu Traditional Council, James Town Traditional Council, Ga Dangme Organisations and Community Leaders to elicit their views and active participation in the whole process.
“This will ensure equity and their consent for peaceful transfer and use of the land,” the petition said.
They further want the Government to pay particular attention to the injunction of the UN Expert Group on Indigenous Groups and the
Environment that calls upon “States to pay particular attention to the right to health and cultural rights of the indigenous peoples, which may be infringed upon by activities threatening their environment and or disregarding the spiritual and cultural significance they give to their ancestral lands.”
The Marine Drive project which covers an area of 200 acres stretching from the Osu Christianborg Castle beach front to the Baiden Powell, near the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum aims to make the area of the city a trade and economic hub in the West African sub-region.
The multi million-dollar project is expected to be executed on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis in line with government’s PPP policy approved in 2011.
The Marine Drive project will have tourist resorts with facilities such as hotels, shopping malls, casinos, office complex and theme parks among others.
Other components in the project include a mini-golf course, 15-floor office complex for the Ministry of Tourism, conference and exhibition centres as well as a recreational centre and a beach football pitch.