President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has declared war on land thugs blamed for loss of lives and properties in parts of the country.

The government has set up a committee to draw up a plan to address vigilantism over land, a pervasive practice in developing areas.

Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, disclosed the constitution of the committee to Joy News.

The menace, he said, will be tackled from a policy issue while National Security takes up the security component of the menace.

A fresh test case awaits the committee following the butchering of a 52-year-old commercial driver at Kasoa in the Central Region by persons suspected to be land guards.

 

The son of the late driver said the land guards stormed their home at Opeikuma at about 7:00 p.m., last Wednesday and murdered his father.

 

“I got scared and ran out of the house,” he said after the guards roughed up residents. He took refuge at a police station and begged them to come to their aid.

But at the police station, he said, “no one attended to us”. After an hour, he was informed his father had been murdered.

 

The Kasoa District Police has picked up two persons after the incident.

Land guards are hired thugs to protect property of persons who believe they are legitimate owners of land.

It has come about because chiefs and land owners sometimes sell land to multiple unsuspecting buyers leading to a fight over who rightfully owns the property.

Sometimes legitimate land owners have to pay off thugs in the neighbourhood to be allowed to build on their property.

 

Litigation over land is slow and the process of registering landed property at Lands Commission is fraught with bureaucratic bottlenecks which fuels bribery.

There are few reports of arrest of thugs leading to successful prosecutions and the police have sometimes been accused of shielding the thugs.

After several years of a persisting menace, government has signalled a coordinated effort to rid the country of land vigilantism.

The Akufo-Addo government will be buoyed by the progress of another war on illegal mining declared August 1, 2017.

 

Story: News Desk