Kpenoe calls for relocation of 66 Artillery shooting range

By Lorlornyofm May 22, 2019 05:58

Kpenoe calls for relocation of 66 Artillery shooting range

The chiefs and elders of Kpenoe Traditional Area in the Ho Municipality have called on government and the Military High Command to relocate the shooting range of the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho.

Togbe Kotoku XI, Paramount Chief of the area at a press conference, said the call had become necessary because bullets from the range were flying into homes and farms endangering lives of the people.

He showed a couple of bullets to the media, said to have been picked from the community, putting the locals in constant fear.

The Paramount Chief also alleged non-payment of compensation to the allodial landowners and military brutality on community members on their farms and asked government to intervene.

He said the community observed that the military had extended the 483.84 acres of land it acquired through an executive instrument in 1972 to over 1000 acres without the consent of the people.

The Paramount Chief said the Traditional area needed land for its ever growing population for farming and other commercial activities and reiterated the call to relocate the rifle range.

“We have noted that the Military has erected boundary pillars and extended the land area to over 1000 without our consent. Those are places our grandfathers and fathers had cocoa and coffee farms. Our population has increased and we need the land for farming,” Togbe Kotoku stated.

He added that, “we are not getting any benefit from the Military. They are rather making our people poorer. We do not have a single soldier from Kpenoe and we are not allowed to till our land or crack stones there. We must survive too.”

Mr Elikplim Atidiga, a farmer, who was allegedly tortured with electric wire by military personnel on his farm, told the media he sustained injuries at the foot, head and back and made a report to the Military Police who said they were investigating the case.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Bernard B. Pantoah, Commanding Officer, 66 Artillery Regiment, told the GNA it was not true the Military extended the land and that there was a “mistake on the executive instrument document” and insisted the original land size as captured on the site plan was a little over 1000 acres.

He said checks from the Lands Commission confirmed the 1000 acre land size and payment of compensation to the landowners.

The Commanding Officer said the Regiment was conducting regular patrols in the area and confirmed that it was investigating an alleged assault case on a farmer by personnel of the Regiment.

He said it was not true that bullets were flying into the communities because the range had a stop butt as a safety and security mechanism and asked the people to stay away from the land.


By Lorlornyofm May 22, 2019 05:58
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