Her comments come after government’s announcement to review the 1999 Accra Redevelopment Programme which is believed to have been abused under the NPP administration.
According to Miss Owusu, the NDC is deliberately being selective and targeting the NPP officials by restricting the investigations to the period 1999.
She said questions must be asked regarding how President Mills also acquired a state lands in the 1980s.
“It is purely subjective and selective and it is targeted at the New Patriotic Party. We all know what politicking and campaign the NDC did about this land issue in the run up to the 2008 campaign and beyond. It is even in their manifesto. Listening to Okudzeto Ablakwa say that, the people’s greed has caught up with them is most unfortunate. Who’s greed? And that they should have bought on the open market? I want him to ask our President Atta Mills why he didn’t also buy on the open market and acquired a State Land at Ofankor where he currently has his building”.
“That is why I am saying that the period should be opened up because if it is opened up to 85 or even 92, you will find out that most of the people who have acquired Government lands in Accra are NDC functionaries and sympathizers. But they have created the impression that it is only the NPP which was greedy and was grabbing land illegally. They are talking about abuse; I want to know what abuse went on in the acquisition of these particular lands” she fumed.
Meanwhile, a Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has challenged the opposition NPP to mention the name of any NDC minister or appointee who benefited from the 1999 redevelopment policy.
He said President Mills acquired his Ofankor land in Accra, in private life and not as a Government official.
“The issue at stake must not be deliberately distorted. President Mills’ land in Ofankor was given to lecturers in 1976 when Acheampong was Head of State. Professor Mills at the time with others like Professor Dodoo, Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah, and Professor Kwame Arhin, were not Government officials who were supposed to manage the affairs of this country and then shared property among themselves. Madam Ursula is a Lawyer and she should know that when you are likely to be caught in a conflict of interest position, you are very minded to be extremely careful and make sure that you have been transparent in how you go about implementing such policies.”
“The issue is not about people acquiring state lands. The issue is that there was a particular policy, the Accra Redevelopment Policy whose implementation begun in 1999 and that policy has been abused. Why is it that in this debate about the Redevelopment Policy they have not been able to name a single NDC Minister in 1999? It is because President Rawlings at the time made it clear that in this policy, none of my ministers or appointees can benefit. So all the lists that have been published since 1999-2009, not a single NDC person is included and that is what we call decency in governance’ he added.
Meanwhile, government has halted with immediate effect, the “rampant disposal of state lands in some prime areas of Accra” under the Accra Redevelopment Policy. A report from the National Security on the acquisition of such lands has been referred to the Attorney General’s office for advice on the future of the policy.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa confirmed to Citi News on Tuesday October 12, that 15 beneficiaries who paid between GH¢15,000 and GH¢20,000 each for lands at the former International Students Hostel have had their monies refunded.
Some beneficiaries of the State lands under the Kufuor Administration mentioned in the Daily Graphic of Tuesday October 12, included the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Woode; Mr. Freddie Blay, a former First Deputy Speaker of Parliament; Mr. K.T. Hammond, a former Deputy Energy Minister; Ms. Irene Naa Torshie Addo, MP for Tema West; Hajia Alima Mahama, a former Women and Children’s Affairs Minister, and Ms. Oboshie Sai Cofie, a former Minister of Tourism among others.