By Lamin Cham
The flag-bearer of the Gambia Action Party, General Lamin Bojang, has said the idea of allocating plots to National Assembly Members in Yundum is “a misguided policy” that will not help stop the growing land disputes in the Kombos.
Last month, the Village Development Committee of New Yundum asked the government to return land on which it allocated plots to the Assembly members claiming it was dubiously taken from the community. Officials of the Ministry of Lands however said the land was legally acquired as compensation to the state when the rightful owner wanted to turn its use to residential instead of farming.
But addressing a press conference called to debunk assertions made by officials from the Lands ministry over disputed lands in Brufut, Gen Bojang said allocating land to NAMs outside their constituencies does not make sense. “I think if you want to allocate land to empower NAMs, the most sensible thing is to allocate them places in the communities they come from or are representing. Is it the people of Yundum who elected all these NAMs?” the GAP leader asked.
According to General Bojang government officials are flouting the land tenure system in the Kombos and depriving communities of their land through abuse of office and “empty claims” that all land belongs to government . “All these land disputes in the Kombos have one root -government officials conniving with certain people to rob communities of land and hiding behind false official language. A government that cares for its people should instead work for the interest of the general public and not otherwise”, he warned.
Bojang added that all these things are happening only in Kombo and not elsewhere. “Who would dare to take land belonging to the people of Baddibu or Niumi? Just look at what is happening in Salagi, the destruction of people’s properties,” he lamented.
However General Bojang assured the people of Kombo that his party will work with them shoulder-to-shoulder to ensure that justice prevailed and their interests are protected.
Turning to the Brufut case, Bojang said the desire and resolve of the people to use the land situated at the entrance of the Brufut Heights as a multi-purpose sports centre is non-negotiable.
He accused officials of the Ministry of Lands of dubiously interfering and making false decisions on land matters that only divides people.