Aloysious T. Makor
The Mandingo Community according to our Ganta correspondent is not pleased because the Liberian government has exercised its Eminent Domain power on a land they claimed is there’s.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during the recent July 26 Independence celebration in the county said the Ganta Market Ground, one of the areas in contention in the Nimba Land dispute, was a public property and that it was the right of the government to decide what to be done with the area, but the decision has sparked concerns amongst members of the Mandingo Community, describing the president’s latest action as worrisome.
The spokesperson of the Mandingo community in Ganta, Mohammed B. Keita told our reporter that the declaration by the president was unfair to them.
Keita, in an interview with The Analyst in Ganta recently, said the land in question was not a public land, rather a private land because they are people who have legitimate deeds, and as such, he said, it would be inappropriate should it be taken from them.
As they have been saying from time immemorial since the land issue erupted several years ago, the spokesman said all of those who are making claims to the land are in possession of the proper deeds to substantiate their claims.
Some of those who according to him possess proper deeds to the land include Mamadu Dorleh, Asumana Keita, Musa Jabayeh, and Musa Kromah among others, adding “all of those I named are confused because of the government’s decision to make the land a public property.”
“If the government can take a land given to the Mandingos and use it as public vicinity, then it means that the government is taking side with one group.”
More than that, according to Keita, those he claimed to be the legitimate owners of the land would be clear to present the deeds to the government if they were provided the chance to do that.
“If the government can ask them to produce their documents for the land, they will be in high spirit to present them to national government. They are awaiting the special presidential committee on land dispute to come out with its findings,” as well as articulating the views and aspiration of his people.
Keita did not hide the intention of the Mandingo community as to what they are capable of doing, saying that they will protest through legal process if any development was to take place on the disputed spot, and vowed that they will waste no time in challenging the government in a court of competent jurisdiction.
According to Keita, they will relax whatever action necessary if the government undertakes any project on the land, but will resist individuals who might want to carry on project on the land.
More besides, he said, due to the fact that the government instructed the special presidential land dispute committee to settle the numerous properties disputes in the county, this was why they have decided to channel their plight through the committee, but added that they will take different trend if the committee comes out with findings that will not go down with them.