By Juldeh Njie
A Bojang Kunda family in Brikama has voiced anger and dissatisfaction over the recent demolition of their compound on the highway leading to Kitty village in the West Coast Region.
The demolition exercise, allegedly led by members of Physical Planning on the orders of Social Security, has caused a row as residents claim the land has been theirs since time immemorial.
The landlord Musa Bojang alleged that he has been confronted with series of threats by one official from Social Security to vacate the place, claiming his family has been the legal owners of the land for a century.
He said the land in dispute was turned into an orchard in 1985 before any building was erected there in 1997.
Bojang alleged that in 2004 some officials claiming to be from of social security visited the place claiming that government sent them and wanted to build an estate on the said land and that the owners will be compensated. “They never compensated us. At that time they took all our land except the one where our houses are,” he alleged.
“This social security official has been coming to us on many occasions telling us to vacate the land. We have been living here even before social security itself came into existence,” he added.
Saikou Bakary Bojang, the eldest in the family, alleged that they were even threatened to leave the land in a week or they will be forcefully evacuated without any compensation.
“This is how we were pushing and pulling with the social security official until recently when he came with some PIU officers to demolish the entire house. When they came I was not home but when my brother contacted me I told him not to react,” he said.
He said despite insisting the land was his, physical planning went on to demolish the land without any hesitation.
He said since 1997 they have been paying tax for the said land and that his newly constructed house has been vandalized without any justification.
“I have informed my lawyer about the incident and hopefully we will soon report the matter to the court,” he added.
Fansumana Bojang, alias Mike, called on the government to keep an eye on several demolitions taking place and take appropriate measures to stop it.
He said they lost the greater part of their land to an Estate Agency and the remaining portion was meant for their residence, adding: “We also want to know whether there was any court order for the demolition.”
Contacted for comment, the police PRO Conta said that he is not aware of the demolition exercise at this particular site. He said landlords are informed before nay demolition takes place.. He further maintained that police officers don’t lead demolitions; they only just escort the team.