Parliament asked to investigate land guard menace

Prof. Mike Ocquaye,Speaker of Parliament.

Prof. Mike Ocquaye,Speaker of Parliament.

Gomoa East Member of Parliament, Mr. Kojo Asemanyi, has expressed disgust at the spate of land guards activities his constituency in particular and the country as a whole.

According to him, the activities of land guards had served as a de-motivational factor to persons who wish to invest in areas prone to land guard activities.

“Recently, a friend of mine made a very sad remark about Buduburam and I quote: ‘As for that place, I would not accept a parcel of land there, even if it is a gift’ because of the land guard menace, he narrated.

In a statement in Parliament yesterday, Mr. Asemanyi said land guard activity was on the rise because individuals and organisations had lost confidence in the land administration system in the country.

He said land guards have become nefarious resulting in violent clashes that has led to incidents of homelessness and wanton destruction of property and at times death.

Focusing on his constituency where he said the menace was rife, Mr. Asemanyi said land guards patrol developing sites day and night and pounce on anyone they se at any construction site terrorising land owners and their workers in the process.

According to him, land guard groups now seem institutionalised with some security personnel recognising them and in some cases shielding them.

“It is in line with this that I am calling upon this honourable House to, as a matter of urgency, begin investigations into the activities of these groups, and where possible, initiate policies that would permanently bring the activities of these illegal groups to an end” he prayed the Speaker, Professor Mike Oquaye.

Mr. James Agalga, MP for Builsa North and a former Deputy Interior Minister, commenting on the matter said the country has not done enough to curb activities of land guards many years after two police officers were brutally murdered by land guards in Ablekuma, a suburb of Accra.

He said it was critical the judiciary dealt with land related matters judiciously to settle disputes, which necessitate the birth of these groups, and the need for the security agencies to be resourced to respond to land guard activities in the country.

Mr. Matthew Nyindam, the deputy Majority Chief Whip, in his contribution, admitted that there were challenges but said that should not embolden anyone to take the laws into their hands.

He also linked the development to institutional failure and added that the government was committed to ensuring that there was a sound land administration regime to deal with land guard activism.

The Speaker, in his ruling referred the matter to the Lands and Interior Committees of Parliament to deliberate on and report to the House in a month’s time.

He said the work of the committees would be publicised to provide information on how to deal with the issue and co-opt the maker of the statement as a member to the joint Committee to have a permanent and a more sustainable way of dealing with land guards.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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