Tuesday, December 6

Sotokoi residents ask gov’t to address land disputes

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Already, some built houses in the area have demolished by a Sudanese national called Abdou Majid, owner of Unity Properties Estate Agency.

Residents of Kombo Sotokoi have called on the government to address the land dispute before it goes out of control, adding that land disputes have become a cause for concern for most Gambians today.

Haddijatou Njie, a victim of land grabbing said, her land has been demolished and now she is calling on the government to address the land disputes in the country.

“I saw all our properties have been demolished,” Haddijatou Njie said. “I asked who demolished our properties and for what reason, then I was told it was Omar Bojang, a native of Brufut who claimed ownership of the lands.”

However, Madam Njie said, if they (victims) contact Omar Bojang and Abdou Magid, they would tell us “get out there, you don’t have anything there.”

She questioned how “a native of Brusubi claim ownership of our lands in Sotokoi?” She added Omar Bojang claimed ownership for about 450 meters land that belongs to them.

Madam Njie said: “We bought our lands from Lamin Gaye the owner of the land.”

“We have started building our lands,” Haddijatou Njie said. “I believe the country has laws and how can someone demolish our lands without giving us any information?”

She said, Omar Bojang demolished their lands and sold them to Abdou Magid the owner of Unity Properties Estate.
She added: If that is the case, I believe they should have informed us because none of us acquired a land illegally.”

“It is very sad! If you go to the Physical Planning they will tell you everything was based on law,” Madam Njie said. “We want Bojang to take us to court if he really believes he is the right owner of the properties he claimed.”

Haddijatou Njie said she is not moving from her property and she is ready to challenge the matter at the court.

Abdoulie Manneh, another land owner whose building was also demolished said they are ready to do anything to get their lands back.

He said the land that Omar Bojang sold to Abdou Magid of Unity Properties, the documents were never issued by the alkalo of Sotokoi but he provided documents from Brusubi.

He said how can someone buy a land in Sotokoi and get the documents in Brusubi? We have spoken to the kabilo and the alkalo before we would start to take any action,” Abdoulie Manneh said.

He added that some of them bought their lands for over two decades. “Now Bojang is claiming ownership of our lands and he started demolishing our lands,” Abdou Manneh said.

Dodou Bojang, a member of Jawara Kunda Council of elders, attested Lamin Gaye was given the land in the 1980s by the village elders for cashew plantation.