Tuesday, October 3

Sukutarians want Ministry of Interior to provide submitted investigative report of Salagi land crisis

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By Kebba Ansu Manneh

Scores of aggrieved families of Sukuta whose lands allegedly grabbed by the government of The Gambia and turned into Salagi Housing Estate have called on the Ministry of Interior to publish the submitted investigative report conducted on Salagi land crisis in 2019.

They made this request among other at a press conference held in Sukuta Salagi on Sunday 19th June 2022, where they accused the Ministry of Local Government and Lands for blocking the publication of a report that the entire people of Sukuta and beyond are waiting for the past two years of its completion.

Speaking at the presser, Gibril Bojang, a representative of the aggrieved families expressed the community’s disappointment regarding Interior panel of investigation on the Sukuta-Salagi lands. He expressed that the panel completed its investigations more than two years without any report publish.

According to him, the people of Sukuta remained grateful to the government for establishing the panel on the land crisis, arguing that Interior Ministry failed to publish the outcome report of the investigation simply because of the interference of the Departments of Physical Planning and Lands who continued to clandestinely allocate lands belonging to people of Sukuta.

He emphasised that the outcome of this investigative panel is not known still, and “nobody knows what the conclusion is. This is very sad a panel that was established by the Ministry of Interior has to be undermined by some officials,”

“Equally,” he continued, “it is very sad to see that same it is same Interior Ministry conniving with Ministry of Local and Government to use the police against the innocent citizens of Sukuta whose only crime is to claim their rightful lands. It is still the same Ministry of Interior responsible for the panel of investigation that is still ganging up with Local Government and used the police to demolish our structures after knowing the whole truth about Sukuta Salagi, this can only be defined as selective justice.”

Bojang recalled that in 2019, Ministry of Interior held a meeting with the aggrieved families at the compound of the Alkalo and this meeting was witnessed by the Chief, Elders and Youths, noting that the community leaders were asked to prevail on the youths because anyone found wanting will face the consequences.

However, he made it clear that aggrieved families of Sukuta-Salagi have no problem with the government regarding the continuous allocation of their lands, adding that their problems are with the land grabbers masquerading as officials of physical planning and Lands who are allocating lands belonging to the people of Sukuta to their family members, friends and girlfriends.

Abdoulie Cham, another member of the aggrieved families disclosed that most of the youths of Sukuta are living in congested households and cannot afford to buy compounds for themselves, and there only hope is their inherited farmlands which are only places they can build their homes.

He challenged the Ministry of Interior to publish its panel investigative report that was solely designed to solve the Sukuta Salagi land crisis. He adduced that failure to publish the report by the Ministry of Interior will only heighten the tensions between natives and officials of Physical Planning and Lands.

He expressed disappointment towards the Interior Ministry for not publishing the report up till to date, alleging that there are suspected officials at the Physical Planning and Lands that are undermining and blocking the publication of a document meant to solved Salagi land crises.

“It’s sad to see poor families of Sukuta going all out seeking justice through the right channel but only to realised that government itself is undermining the panel set-up to uncover the truth at Salagi land crisis.”

On its own, Lamin Jatta called on President Adama Barrow and the new Minister of Local Government honourable Abba Sanyang to prevail on the Ministry of Interior to publish the investigative report of the Salagi land crisis.

He accused officials of Local Government and Lands for selling all the reserved lands in Sukuta Salagi including the reserved lands of a market and a hospital, noting that a land reserved for the hospital has been divided into two, one side sold to  Dr. Yankuba Gassama and another sold to one Mr. Sillah.

“All we are asking government is to return all the empty plots of land that are in Salagi to us (aggrieved families). We don’t have any problems with those who already built their compounds but anyone who don’t put up a structure please back-off from our lands,” Lamin Jatta, warned on behalf of the aggrieved families of Sukuta.

between The Gambian and private enterprise,” he added.