The Okyehene Amoatia Ofori Panin’s Akwansrahene Baffour Asiedu Bekeo and the Okyeman taskforce have been accused of land grabbing with impunity within the Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region.
According to sources, the Akwansrahene and the taskforce have been going round the Ayensuano District intimidating Chiefs and other individuals, grabbing their lands using the name of Okyehene.
The source revealed that the Akwansrahene and the taskforce perpetrates their activities in the night by picking the lands with drone to check if the owner has registered it or not.
If it turned out that the land is not registered, the Akwansrahene will take pocession of the land and intimidate the owners that the land belong to Okyehene.
People within the Ayensuano District who spoked on condition of anonymity revealed that the activites of Akwansrahene and the taskforce has affected farmers in the district adding that most farmers have lost their farmlands which has in turn negatively affected their livelihood.
Pictures and videos sighted by this reporter shows how the taskforce were grading farmlands while the farmers look on but could not even speak their minds because they were made to believe that it was the Okyehene who was developing those lands.
The source stated that after successfully grading those lands the Akwansrahene who then ask the owners to produce their documents knowing very well that the owners have not registered those lands as such have no documents.
The source further revealed that the Akwansrahene will then claim the lands and sell them to rich developers at exhortbitant amount and direct them to the Okyehene Lands Secretariat for documentation.
A resident who also spoke on condition of anonymity revealed that the Mpunuahene whose mandate is to oversee land issues in Okyeman has been rendered powerless thereby paving way for the Akwansrahene to perpetrate his agenda.
The source accused the Akwansrahene of using guns and vehicles with no registration numbers thereby making it scary for the people to confront them.
They have therefore appealed to security authorities to ensure that the Taskforce desist from using vehicles without registration numbers.
Meanwhile, sources close to Ofori panin fie have indicated that, despite ditectives from the Okyehene to stop these illigal activities by the Akwansrahene and the task force who parade Ayensuano District with guns, the task force continue to grade farmlands in this hard time.
One of the residents commended Okyehene for some laudable initiatives meant to protect land and Forest in the Eastern Region citing the Okyeman Environmental Foundation which is a charitable organization dedicated to addressing the environmental issues within Okyeman and beyond.
The main goal of the foundation is to build public interest in biodiversity, sponsor and assist organizations indulging in environmental preservation.
Residents appealed to the Okyehene to call the Akwansrahene and the taskforce to order adding that their activities are giving negative impression about the Okyehene.
According to the residents many believed that the Akwansrahene was working under the instruction of the Okyehene. However his activities has compelled some of them to let the people know that the Okyehene has no hands in the dealings of the Akwansrahene who is doing it to enrich himself.
It will be recalled that in August 2022 a delegation of United Nations (UN) Agencies called on Okyehene Osagyefo Amoati Ofori Panin at Ofori Panin Fie in Kyebi to present a project that will restore degraded lands and create awareness on best Agroforestry practices in the region.
As part of the project, 3 million trees were expected to be planted over the next three years under the environmental component to restore degraded lands and create awareness on quality agroforestry practices, as well as support the Okyenhene’s vision to plant 25 million trees by 2024 in the Akyem Abuakwa State.
The Okyehene during the visit expressed worries over the impact of environmental degradation on the ecological system, and its subsequent effect on developmental growth.
He said local authorities must be given the sole prerogative in tackling issues such as galamsey, deforestation, and illegal timber logging.
“To ensure sustainability of the nation’s rich natural resources and biodiversity, there was a need for local community ownership in their management” he indicated.
The Okyehene’s statement has compelled many to question his involvement and how he will treat the matter at hand.
Another video sighted shows how acres of farmlands and trees have been destroyed while one of the taskforce was preventing a lady from taking videos of the destroyed farmland and trees.
All efforts were made to contact the Akwansrahehe on phone yielded no results.