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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

“Anyone who stands in my way will be crushed” …Lands Minister spits fire

HomeAYV News“Anyone who stands in my way will be crushed” …Lands Minister spits...

“Anyone who stands in my way will be crushed” …Lands Minister spits fire

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Minister Sandy went on to say since his appointment in May last year, he has possessed and reclaimed 2,800 acres of state land in the Western Area from land grabbers, especially at Gloucester Saddle.

He said the difference between himself and his predecessors is that he is putting words into action.

The minister went on to articulate that his priority is the interest of the people and the state and that he is proud to continue to change the land administration system in the country.

He honestly confessed that land administration in the Western Area is a big challenge and that from May 2018 to now when he was appointed he has been fighting tooth and nail with land grabbers to sanitize the system vowing that he would never encourage land grabbers.

He made the statement at the two-day Land Use Planning Conference for the Western Area Peninsula on the theme: ‘Saving Forests-Saving Lives’, organized by the Sierra Leone Conservation Society in collaboration with other stakeholders like Bird Life International, Darwin Initiative and the MAVA Foundation at the Hill Valley Hotel, Signal Hill Road, Congo Cross in Freetown.                                                                                                                          

Amidst deafening applauses, the lands minister furthered that some people like chiefs, headmen and councilors have attempted to usurp his powers and challenging his authority and asked the rhetoric question “who are they?”

He also vowed to strengthen the environmental aspect of the Ministry disclosing that 70% of the time he is in the field and accused some lawyers of preparing land deals in connivance with councilors and village heads reiterating, “nobody will stifle my work.”

Dr. Sandy also recalled that Motema at Regent was a disaster prone area, assured that there is land for every citizen reiterating that inspite of the threat of violence and lawlessness in the country, he would execute his mandate to the fullest underlining that now is action time and revealed that next week the  Ministry would demolish unauthorized structures along the Green Belt between Regent and Grafton citing the fuel stations that have been constructed in the area.

He went on to intimate that people even have the audacity to encroach on military lands including firing ranges and block waterways, that on 20th February this year he demolished structures at Orogu affirming that we need to do things the right way, that Grafton has been designated an industrial zone, that although sand mining is necessary for the development of the country, there should be a fine line between development and the environment reiterating that anyone who stands in his way would be crushed.

Dr. Sandy also accused the media of disservice to the nation as most times they publish/broadcast unbiased and unsubstantiated stories without getting the other side and stressed that he is passionate about his work and the advancement of the country.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Earlier, Tommy Garnet of Land That We Love, an environmental movement, asserted that inspite in the increase in the number of environmental NGOs in the country over the years, not much has been done, linked the Ebola outbreak in the country to among others deforestation, lamented that the country is losing the battle against deforestation and other environmental issues but appealed to all not to give up and to do things differently.

Statements were also made by representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone among others.

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