By Tabora Bojang
A taskforce comprising members of the Brufut Sports Committee, the Brufut diaspora committee and the interim VDC sub committee on Saturday called a press conference to highlight what they called the serious and growing state of deprivation of Brufut native lands as well as demanding for judicious usage of the remaining lands for community benefit.
The press briefing was held at the Strasser football field, itself a bone of contention between the new authorities and the youths of the town who want to use it as a recreation center.
Abass Manneh, head of the Task Force described as heartless a continuous government policy which has robbed Brufut of its lands all in the name of projects.
“First we lost vast lands to the Brusubi housing projects, another vast land to Taf Brufut Gardens project and the Brufut heights which was sold to affluent people right under our nose.
All these were lands belonging to our fathers who were told these lands were either TDA or reserved lands. But they ended up becoming residencies without any due or adequate compensation to the community of Brufut,” Abass Manneh told journalists.
He further explained that up to this day, Brufut has no standard football field, market or taxi park.
“We called you here to highlight these injustices and to project our plans to use the lands grabbed by former President Jammeh which were recommended to be given back for community use,” he said.
“We are now sending a clear message to the government to look into the Janneh commission’s recommendation and act on the interest of the community,” Manneh said.
Manneh said the previous government and its close cronies have been very unfair to the people of Brufut by taking over several landed properties without any due compensation.
Manneh added that despite these huge investments, the town is still denied of social amenities including health, education, markets, poor road network, and lack of multipurpose or sporting facilities.
Lamin Basse Bojang, the chairperson of the Brufut sports committee singled out the Strasser football field as the only last hope of the youths in their search for a football field and a multipurpose centre.
Bojang said the sports committee in consultation with the VDC subcommittee, Brufut task force and Diaspora Association are working to ensure that the Strasser football field be given back to the youths for sports activities and related matters since the community can no longer continue to depend on the school playing grounds.
Momodou Jallow, secretary general of the Recovery Committee said the youths are convinced that with dialogue, peace, and stability their demands, challenges, and constraints will be a top priority for government to avoid any reoccurrences of violence as happened in other parts of the country.
The committee said it will work to make sure these landed properties are recovered and given public title deeds for the utility of Brufut and not private interest.