The Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, believes the decision to remove the reserve status from parts of the Achimota forest is tantamount to selling the land.
Speaking on The Point of View on Citi TV, Mr. Suhuyini said he did not think the family the land was being returned to will maintain the forest cover.
“The family will not keep it as a forest reserve, will they? They will sell it. So whoever put it out there that the government was selling the Achimota forest, to a very large extent, got it right.”
Mr. Suhuyini also said the Executive Instrument, E.I. 144, declassifying portions of the Achimota forest as a reserve, was a red flag in itself.
“If the government had not issued the E.I. declassifying that area, one would have been forgiven to still think that whatever development will take place, they will still be in consultation with the Forestry Commission and will be ecologically friendly to whatever will remain of the forest.”
The E.I. is in relation to 361 acres of Achimota forest that the government is returning to its custodial owners, the Owoo family.
While, the government has also said there is an accompanying E.I., 154, which says the area of the forest returned shall remain a forest reserve, among other safeguards, Mr. Suhuyini said these are vague assurances.
“How many people in this city have built without a building permit? How many communities have sprung up without any plan?”
“Over the years, we do know that we don’t follow these things, but what we know has served as well is that when an area is declared a forest reserve, certain developments don’t take place there,” he said.