The Quesrion as to which family is the rightful owner of Takoradi lands is still hanging as members of the nana Kofi Arko family of the Ekissi Abusua of Kwesimintsim are also claiming that they own the lands.
This has come about apparently because of the sale of lands in the oil city of late.
It will be recalled that members of the Essil Kwaw house also of the Ekissi Royal Stool of Kwesimintsim
near Takoradi, recently organized a press conference claiming to be the rightful owners of the lands.
The family members claimed that after an application of search at the Lands Commission in 2012, it was revealed that areas like Windy Ridge, Takoradi Airport as well as the Market Circle belong to them.
According to them, the government of the then Gold Coast acquired the Takoradi Airport or aerodrome site, Windy Ridge and Market Circle for its utilization under the Takoradi Town Acquisition of 1947.
They indicated that apart from an amount of 52 pounds and ten shillings paid in bits when the land for the aerodrome was unilaterally annexed by the government of the Gold Coast, no royalties had been paid to the stool family.
However, members of the Nana Kofi Arko family stormed the offices of DAILY GUIDE in Takoradi yesterday insisting that they were the rightful owners of the lands and that they had been receiving royalties from the government and other investors operating in the area.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Kwame Nuhu, the current family head, indicated that there were four Ekissi families in Kwesimintsim but members of the Nana Kofi Arko house, were the elders.
He pointed out that the fact that the Essil Kwaw house belonged to the Ekisi Royal family did not make them the owners of the Takoradi lands, but rather members of the Nana Arko house.
“We are the rightful owners of Takoradi lands and we have all the documents to prove”, Mr. Kwame Nuhu stressed.
He explained that somewhere in the 1440s – during ‘the scramble for lands’ in the Gold Coast – one Nana Kwesi Esuman, the first family head of the Ekissi family, settled at Effia near Takoradi with his son, Kofi Arko and nephew, Nana Awortwe Kwaw.
He asserted that later Kofi Arko and Nana Awortwe Kwaw settled at Kwesimintsim and Awodon – presently called Tanokrom – and managed to create settlements in other areas, including Windy Ridge and New Site.
He pointed out that at that time, it was the current location of the Forestry Commission near the Harbour that was called Takoradi but areas such as Windy Ridge, Effia, New Site, Takoradi Polytechnic area and Tanokrom, belonged to the Nana Kofi Arko family.
He added that Nana Kwesi Essuman died in 1936 and was succeeded by Nana Kofi Arko and because he (Kofi Arko) was popular, his name was adopted by the family members, hence the “Nana Kofi Arko family or house” of the Ekissi Royal Stool of Kwesimintsim.
He indicated that during the slave trade, the whites came and settled at some parts of Awodon and because they could not pronounce the name well, they called the place Windy Ridge.
Mr. Kwame Nuhu underscored that at a point the then chief of New Takoradi,
Nana Busumakura II and his people who were moved from the Takoradi harbour area to their current place to pave way for the construction of the Port in 1928, claimed that the lands at Tanokrom belonged to them.
He said later the case went to court and judgement was given in favour of the Nana Kofi Arko family.
“So let me stress that the Takoradi lands belong to us the members of the Nana Kofi Arko house of the Ekissi family of Kwesimintsim and no other family”, he added.
Source: Emmanuel Opoku/Daily Guide
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