Mr Henry Quartey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, says no encroacher will be allowed to return to the premises of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Animal Research Institute (CSIR-AARI).
“Nobody would be allowed to come back here. It is the property of CSIR-ARI and it is up to them to decide what to do with it. But I can assure you that the lands would not be allocated or distributed back to people to come and build here privately,” he said.
The Minister made the comments on Wednesday when the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and Adentan Municipal Assembly embarked on a demolishing exercise of unauthorised structures within the CSIR-ARI enclave at Adentan-Frafraha.
The demolition follows a 48-hour ultimatum issued by Mr Quartey to encroachers within the 200-acre fenced facility of CSIR-ARI to vacate or be forced to.
The exercise which began at 0400 hours on Monday has led to the destruction of hundreds of unauthorised structures with scores of people displaced.
The operation was carried out together with personnel from the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Ghana Ambulance Service, Ghana Immigration Service, amongst others.
Scores of people gathered on grounds which was once their home to witness the demolishing exercise, whilst others tried to salvage their items.
Many of them looked sombre, with several others expressing disappointment and lamenting over the destruction of their properties.
“Unless God intervenes, we have nowhere to go. The Minister should have mercy on us,” some displaced residents lamented.
Some encroachers who resided in kiosks decided not to wait for the demolishing exercise to reach their doorstep and made efforts to carry their “homes” and belongings from the grounds.
Mr Quartey, who is also Chairman of REGSEC, said even after the exercise had ended, security agencies would make necessary arrangements to protect staff of CSIR-ARI and the lands.
He noted that an additional 900 acres of land belonging to CSIR-ARI had been encroached holding between 3,000 to 4,000 buildings.
The Minister urged the Landlords Association to engage CSIR-ARI and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to discuss how to regularise the 900-acre land that had been encroached to allow owners of properties to receive legal documents.
“This step will be like a relief for those who have lived around for 20 to 30 years and not knowing what their fate is; but today I can assure them that we will make strong recommendations for them to be able to regularise or rather their documents regularised for them.