Villagers Demand President’s Explanation As Sifoe Land Dispute Reaches State House
Monday, December 13, 2010
The villagers of Sifoe last week sent a letter to the Office of the President of the republic requesting to know how and who allocated their communal farmlands to Mr Ahmed Amar, a purported investor from the United States of America, The Daily News reveals.
"The people who are said to be conducting activities on our land are in the persons of Ahmed Amar, Abdul Bangura, a Sierra Leonean and Mr Joof a surveyor at the Lands Office," the copy of the letter made available to The Daily News alleges.
Over the disputed land, a meeting between the six affected clans; Jabang, Jatta, Demba, Touray, Jarjue, and Gitteh, and the American national Amar was recently held at the Alkalo’s residence.
Mr Amar claimed to have acquired the said plot - measuring 500 x 500 square kilometers - from the government of The Gambia. He said he is in the country to invest at the invitation of the government.
He further told the villagers that his land documents bear the signatures of the secretary-general to the president Dr Njogu Bah, and permanent secretary at the ministry of Local Government and Lands Mr Saikou Sanyang.
But according to the villagers, they have contacted Mr Saikou Sanyang who admitted that he allocated the vehicle to the officials to survey the said land, but denied knowledge of the allocation of the land.
The villagers further said that neither the Alkalo nor the district chief was aware of Amar’s acquisition of the said land.
At the climax of the meeting Mr Amar was to furnish the Alkalo with the said documents, but until the time of going to press, this was not done.
"Mr President," in very clear terms, the village write, "we really want to know who allocated our land to Ahmed Amar without our prior knowledge or the authorities concerned as well as if he is in the country at the invitation of the State and whether the ministry of Local Government and Lands authorised him to acquire our family lands without our consent as we are making this request with utmost respect and concern."
Author: Alieu Darboe