Parliament moves to put a halt on land guards activities

February 20, 2017
Source: Eugene Davis/thebftonline.com/Ghana
Parliament moves to put a halt on land guards activities

The Member of Parliament for Gomoa East, Kojo Asemanyi has expressed optimism about the Speaker of Parliament’s decision to charge two committees to bring an everlasting solution to the activities of land guards.

The Speaker of Parliament has authorized both the Committee on Lands and Forestry as well as the Defence and Interior Committee to meet and present their findings to the legislature within a month.

According to Mr Asemanyi, he is confident the move by the Speaker will yield positive results this time around.

“I like the ruling of [Mr.Speaker] and I think something is going to be done about it, that is why I brought it here and we need to do something about it. We don’t live in a jungle, we cannot allow anybody because they are powerful to have their way.

Many people have lost their lives, many people have lost properties because they don’t have money, if government is not on the side of the poor and vulnerable in society, then where are we going.” he asked.

Addressing Parliament with regard to a statement he made on the menace of Land guards, he maintained that land owners resort to the use of land guards in their effort to protect “what they think are rightfully theirs, instead of seeking redress in court.”

He also added that, in many cases the lands people protect have earlier been sold out to other individuals or groups ; “when this  happens, the party that is financially strong, instead of agreeing to resolve the matter in court, use land guards to secure access to the land and continue to work on it until the financially weak party is compelled  to give up.”

Furthermore, he also recounted instances when people collapsed and died on the spot upon seeing what land guards had done to their property.

He also bemoaned activities of land guards which he believes is driving away potential investors from the country.

“If somebody intends to build a factory in Gomoa East and the person finds out that the land that has been given to him, has also been sold to another person and land guards are terrorizing that person, the person will definitely turn back and I have examples of people who have come to my constituency to do one business or the other but there is so much impediment”

Former Deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga, in contributing to the statement urged government to resource the police to enable them combat the scourge of land guards in the country.

He added; “I think government should devote resources in equipping the police to tackle land guard issues.”

The Member of Parliament for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, advocated power to be vested to Lands Commission stressing that absolute power should be given to the Commission to sell off lands, which he reckons would breed transparency.