Monday, July 22, 2024

Task Force Committees Promise Unbiased Investigation into Land Allocations

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By: Dawda Baldeh

The two task force committees unveiled to investigate Tambi Wetlands at Cape Point and Jeshwang, as well as irregularities within government-designated layouts, have pledged a thorough and impartial investigation into land allocation allegations across the country.

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Their mandate is to investigate illegal activities comprehensively and recommend appropriate actions to rectify the situation and prevent future occurrences.

These initiatives aim to address longstanding issues, streamline processes, and ensure equitable access to land for all Gambians.

Speaking to journalists at the committee’s inaugural meeting yesterday, the chairmen solemnly promised to serve the country’s interests.

Baimas Taal, Chairman of the Tambi Wetland Task Force Committee, expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve the country.

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“We will ensure that we do our utmost best to fulfill the task force’s purpose without bias,” he said.

He continued, “We will support you, Minister, in achieving this goal.”

Mindful of the challenges ahead regarding land issues in the country, these committees are dedicated to serving the nation.

Kebba Njie, Chairman of the Government Layouts Task Force, acknowledged the complexities of their task and reiterated their commitment to serving the public interest by delivering a timely report to aid ongoing government reforms.

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He emphasized that proper implementation of land policy is crucial for the country’s development.

“We are honored to have been chosen to serve the people. Land issues are not unique to The Gambia; they are a global concern, and we are prepared to contribute to their resolution,” he told reporters.

Njie highlighted ongoing conflicts stemming from land disputes worldwide as a pressing issue needing urgent attention.

He noted that despite existing development in some areas, adherence to the law remains paramount, and they will recommend eviction of any property erected without due process of land allocation.

“I have no reservations about carrying out my duties. It’s a challenging task, but we are prepared,” he emphasized.

Hamat NK Bah, Minister of Lands, Regional Government, and Religious Affairs, underscored that the establishment of these task forces demonstrates the government’s commitment to addressing land disputes nationwide.

He identified escalating land conflicts as a troubling trend that must be addressed to prevent violent confrontations.

“Land crises are on the rise daily, which is alarming,” he stated.

Bah questioned why stealing a car results in charges but stealing land often goes unpunished.

“People are defrauding Gambians of millions under the guise of agencies,” he lamented.

The Minister assured the committees that the government will implement any recommendations they propose after their investigation.

“Whether you are a minister, director, or permanent secretary, you have no authority to allocate land without due process,” he stressed.

Bah continued, “We have observed instances of double land allocations by individuals who disregard the law. Some individuals blatantly flout the law when it comes to land.”

He emphasized that people take land issues seriously and promised to diligently implement the committees’ recommendations for the country’s betterment.

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