The small community of Israel near Alhaji and Lominava has enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere until some few years ago when armed robbers on “Okada” laid siege and held the people hostage by robbing them of their valuables. Men on “okada” brandishing machetes and other dangerous weapons accosted their victims, most of them students going to attend lectures at Pentecost University and disposed them of their mobile phones and lap-tops.
It was either your life or those two items. In all cases, their victims chose the first option. Who say “life no sweet”? Life sweet paa oo. My brothers and sisters, whether there is noko fio or no noko fio, I say “Life sweet well-well”.
The incidents I have narrated happened about three or four years ago. It disrupted night life and affected dawn broadcasts by men and women from different religious organizations who were bent on converting people to Christ.
But having enjoyed such a brief period of respite, another trouble seems to be brewing out over a portion of land which “houses” the Football Field and its surrounding areas. Let me re-iterate that the Football Field has served as a rallying point for the people, irrespective of one’s religious, tribal or political affiliation. The ownership of the Field is not in doubt. The community owns it and Mr. Michael Nkrumah, aka “Master” held it in trust for the people of Israel.
But recently, this rallying point has come under frontal attacks from various angles. At the arrowhead of this group are the Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy and his protégé, who happens to be the Chief of the town. This portion of land has been the subject of litigation between two factions – Mr. Michael Nkrumah and the Proprietor of Cosmos Schools on one side and the Proprietor of Crown Prince on the other side.
Mr. Michael Nkrumah was the Founder and Proprietor of the famous St Michael International School at Kajaano, Osu in the seventies and eighties. It carved a niche for itself in Sports and academics. It was forced to close down when the land lady decided to take over the structures being used for the school.
Mr. Michael, aka Master then came to Israel and bought the land including the portion being used as the football field from the Chief of Darkuman, with the intention of re-establishing the St Michael International School. I have cited documents duly authenticated by the Chief of Darkuman, attesting to Mr. Michael Nkrumah ownership of the land. Some portions of the land were also sold to the Proprietress of Cosmos Schools.
The Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy emerged from nowhere brandishing a so-called “title deed” purported to have been issued by the Lands Commission, which to him, makes him the sole and actual owner of the land. Naturally, the other party did not take things lying low and a long legal battle ensued. Master, as he was popularly known to his admirers had then started putting structures to re-kindle his dream of starting St Michaels International School at Israel. But his dream suffered a pre-matured “birth” when the Crown Prince Academy Proprietor sent his thugs to raze all the structures to the ground. The only permanent structure left on Master’ side of the land was a single room where he resided.
Michael Nkrumah never recovered from the blow. He had spent all he had on his pet dream and when the structures were demolished by hard-hearted owner of Crown Prince Academy, down burst his mighty heart. He went to bed one night and was taken seriously ill. He was rushed to the hospital, but died on the way before he could receive medical help. He was buried on Saturday, 9TH July, 2011.
But even in death, the Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy would never allow the soul of the departed Michael Nkrumah rest in peace. He has, since Friday, 22nd July been harassing and threatening fire and brimstone on the youth who use the football field to practice and other traders who have erected make-shift structures to earn some legitimate source of living. That Friday, he ordered his thugs to destroy a container on a portion of the disputed land. He told the people that he was giving them four days to get off the football field and also to remove all structures from the disputed land.
The following Saturday, he made three trips to the place to ensure that his directive had sunk into the ears of his “tenants”. On the third occasion, he was accompanied by the Chief of Israel whose brother had sold the land to the late Michael Nkrumah and who himself was a signatory to the transaction. The Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy announced to the hearing of those who cared to listen that he was not going to tolerate nonsense from anybody and that he was going to fence off the football field from the other portions of the disputed territory. To drum it into the tympanic membrane of those around that he meant business, he came along with a surveyor, who plunged into action immediately to impress his ‘boss’ that he deserves the emolument he has been promised.
The Chief of Israel revealed his cantankerous nature when he told the people that the Crown Prince Academy owner has given him that portion of the disputed land where the late Michael Nkrumah’s one room building was located and that he would pull down the building within the next three days. As at Monday, the building was still intact.
Followers of the unfolding drama, particularly those who use the field and are aware of the genesis of the whole “show” are amazed at the behaviour of the Chief of Israel. Here was a man, whom they claim, during the life time of the late “Master” was a regular visitor to his place and the two were often seen together in most places. They told me in plain language that “Ghana Must Go” might have changed hands to warrant the recent change of attitude in the Chief.
They went further to state that the Chief was behaving like party delegates who are often called upon to determine the fate of political gladiators. They said the “man” cannot be trusted and alluded to the fact that sometime in 2005, the Chief organized some touts to be collecting illegal tools from transporters and other road users on his behalf. This illegal toll collection went unabated for about five days until they were flushed out by a military patrol team.
But can someone educate me on this? I know for certain that all that portion of land including that of Israel was acquired by Government to be used for the Race Course Project. But when it was realized that Government lacked the political will to implement the project, the chiefs of the affected lands started selling them off. Thus, to the best of my knowledge, Government has not taken any decision to grant title deeds to buyers of those lands.
Therefore, how could the Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy claim to be the legitimate owner of that disputed portion of land? If there is any such title deed from the Lands Commission, that piece of paper is worth less than a tissue paper. It is not genuine. And if he continues to brandish it as his legitimate claim to the land, he must be arrested for using a fake document which is likely to cause fear and panic amongst the citizenry of Israel. Government must also take steps to discipline perpetrators of such heinous crime to serve as a deterrent to such fraudsters who are parading the corridors of the Lands Commission.
It is at this juncture pertinent to state that because of the way the Chief of Israel was selling public lands, sometimes selling the same plot of land to two or more people, the Land-lords Association of Israel managed to secure a court injunction to restrain the Chief from any further sale of the disputed lands around the football field.
Some few years back, Government acquired some portions of that land to be used for a School project. The area was cleared and mapped out for the start of the project. But overnight, touts from the stable of the Proprietor of Crown Prince Academy raided the place and destroyed everything systematically put in place to ensure the effective take off of the project. And if I may ask, what action has Government taken against the Proprietor for thwarting the laudable efforts of Government to establish a school for hose living from Abeka Motorway to Alhaji, Israel, Lominava, Sowutuom and its environs? Is he a sacred cow?
I am not a rumour monger, neither am I a “dooms monger”. But I detest injustice, which I had fought against all my life. I am only alerting the Security Agencies about the ominous signs and threats to life and peace at the small Israel Community. No individual person can claim to be the sole owner of a football field which has served the community in diverse ways. We should not play the ostrich and wait for what happened at Medina to occur at Israel we take action to nip the threat to peace in the bud.
This “Troubler of Israel” is at it again, doing what he knows best. He claims he has won a court case against Mr Nkrumah and therefore resorted into demolishing peoples’ property on the disputed land. The irony of the whole show of shame is that the illegal demolition exercise was supervised by the Ghana Police. None of the parties involved was served notice to appear in court. Checks at the various Landlords Associations and the late Mr Nkrumah’s family have confirmed that. The Mr Ray Kakraba Quarshie, lawyer to the Plaintiff was also not served. No bailiff served the affected parties notice of demolition. There was no court order and that made the demolition illegal. Why then should the Ghana Police supervise such an illegal demolition?
But when the Landlords Association organized a Press Conference to set the record straight heavily armed Police men and officers led by Mile Seven Police Commander, came to disrupt the peaceful protest. But the Police supervised an illegal demolition exercise!
In conclusion, let me re-iterate that the Proprietress of Crown Prince Academy is not God and should not profess to be that. He should desist from trampling on other people’s right as he has been doing and getting away with it because of his money. The Courts are there. The recognized institutions and structures should be allowed to perform their duties without let or hindrance. There should be no under-current tactics. There, and then only, can the problem be resolved
Let peace reign in Israel.