When a warning was issued by the Greater Accra Regional Minister Henry Quartey that encroachers on the Animal Research Institute (ARI) land at the Adenta Municipality in Accra to vacate the place before a demolition, they ignored the announcement.
The encroachers remained obstinate expecting that it will follow the way of previous warnings – no action.
This one was different. A Henry Quartey was leading the charge and the project was accomplished.
We live in a country where laws are largely breached. Even when warnings are issued, the people ignore them because they know nothing would happen.
The government, as represented by an appendage of the foremost research institution in the country, ARI of the Council For Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR) has lost 800 acres to encroachers.
The remaining 200 acres, which the ARI has walled as a protection, are also being encroached upon. If this is not impudence, we do not what description else to give the action of the encroachers.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister and the Regional Coordinating Council have done what is expected of them. After all, they have been entrusted with the management of a region. Unfortunately, it is a region infested with unquantifiable level of indiscipline from the lowest level of society to the highest, which is why encroachers will start stealing state land without the law enforcement department being called upon to stop the nonsense.
The idea is that when they manage to get to a certain level of the encroachment, they would enjoy a pardon as those now occupying the 800 acres are.
Even after the authorities of the ARI managed to wall the remaining land, the encroachers have the effrontery to lock their sights on it.
What the Greater Accra Regional Security Council should do now is provide security for the ARI. The encroachers, who have land guards at their beck and call, can organise the hoodlums to visit harm on them.
Being an animal research institute, the ARI, by its terms of reference, must have fallow land for the grazing of its livestock. Otherwise, we would have suggested that the ARI quickly occupies the land by putting up structures on it.
The fallow land would be targeted by the daredevil land guards. They can be stopped only through a 24/7 security provided by the state.
We cannot sign off this commentary without commending the manner in which the operation was carried out.
It was a dawn activity involving the various arms of national security including ambulance, the outcome of which was uneventful and successful.
Bravo to the regional minister, who like the platoon commander, led his men into battle without having to fire a shot.
We have learnt that those occupying the 800 acres of land have been asked to make contact with the regional coordinating council to discuss modalities for regularising their occupancy. What a humane window for them but others should not think that would remain a template of acquiring state lands. As early as possible, those who encroach upon state lands must be evicted before they establish tap roots and court public sympathy, when action is to be taken against them.