Time to deal with land guards!

The incidences of land guards visiting mayhem on Ghanaians in communities across the country have become common and legendary.

Land guards are armed groups of people who often terrorise land owners, mostly resulting in the loss of lives and properties.

The phenomenon of land guards did not begin today or recently. Successive governments have tried to end the menace through various approaches but persistent cases of rampaging groups violently attacking residents in communities suggests all efforts have failed.

Earlier this year, about 32 armed land guards attacked innocent residents at Adjiriganno, a suburb of Accra, vandalising properties, tormenting and obstructing property owners from embarking on any developmental project on their lands.

The land guards whose modus operanda is to lay claim to some tract of lands that have not been developed in the area, and with deadly weapons such as cutlasses, sledge hammers and crowbars, sticks attack anyone they found on it. These unprovoked attacks have resulted in deaths and maiming of innocent people

Some chiefs and elders in several communities including that of Abehenease near Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region had cause to complain that land guards, who have become gangs of criminals, have warded off potential investors with their activities.

Clearly, such barbaric acts of lawlessness cannot and must not be allowed to continue in a country where we have collectively subscribed to the rule of law, protection of lives and properties of citizens.

It is on the back of these developments that the Ghanaian Times finds the declaration of war by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr John Peter Amewu against land guards as a step in the right direction.

He said as part of government’s efforts to address the current challenges in the land tenure system, the ministry was set to ‘wage war’ against the menace which, if allowed to continue, could derail development policies such as the One village, One dam.

He was convinced that the menace could no longer be allowed to exist because it posed a security threat and flies in the face of rule of law.

We are convinced that this is the hour to bring to an end this ‘land terrorism’ being perpetrated against innocent Ghanaians by violent thugs.

We appeal to the ministry to engage all relevant stakeholders including key security agencies to ensure “the war is fought and won” with little or no casualties.

We are also looking out for prompt prosecution of all offenders to deter others from taking up arms to conduct illegal operations.

The fight against land guards cannot wait. A lot has already been lost but this effort to end it must be sustained and supported.

 

 

 

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