Fresh war on land guards as Akufo-Addo sets up 'land guard committee'

Fresh war on land guards as Akufo-Addo sets up 'land guard committee'
Source: Ghana|
Date: 09-11-2017 Time: 01:11:22:pm

President Akufo-Addo has declared war on land thugs blamed for loss of lives and properties in parts of the country.

The government has set up a committee to draw up a plan to address vigilantism over land, a pervasive practice in developing areas.

The Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu disclosed the constitution of the committee to JOYNEWS.

The menace, he said, will be tackled from a policy issue while National Security takes up the security component of the menace.

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John Peter Amewu

A fresh test case awaits the committee following the butchering of a 52-year-old commercial driver at Kasoa in the Central region by persons suspected to be land guards.

The son of the late driver said the guards stormed their home at Opeikuma at about 7:00pm Wednesday and murdered his father.

"I got scared and run out of the house" he said after the guards roughed up residents. He took refuge at a police station and begged them to come to their aid.

But at the police station, he said, "no one attended to us". After an hour, he was informed his father had been murdered.

The Kasoa District Police has picked up two persons after the incident.

Land guards are hired thugs to protect property of persons who believe they are legitimate owners of land.

It has come about because chiefs and land owners sometimes sell land to multiple unsuspecting buyers leading to a fight over who rightfully owns the property.

Sometimes legitimate land owners have to pay off thugs in the neighborhood to be allowed to build on their property.

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Photo:Some angry land guards have burnt down a Church at Okpoi Gonno on the Spintex Road in Accra.

Litigation over land is slow and the process of registering landed property at Lands Commission is fraught with bureaucratic bottlenecks which fuels bribery.

There are few reports of arrest of thugs leading to successful prosecutions and the police have sometimes been accused of shielding the thugs.

After several years of a persisting menace, government has signaled a coordinated effort to rid the country of land vigilantism.

Hints of a coming war on land guards were dropped by NPP MP Kennedy Agyapong after he claimed the exit of CID boss was a signal of an impending government clamp down of the thugs.

The Akufo-Addo government will be bouyed by the progress of another war on illegal mining declared August 1, 2017.


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