Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Following the persistent illegal construction of structures in and around Freetown, the Minister of Lands and Country Planning and the Environment, Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay has issued a stern warning to the general public not to build without building permit from the ministry as government would have no option but to demolish such illegal buildings. The minister advised the public to first cross check with the ministry before doing any land transaction noting that government would take possession of all state lands illegally acquired by the public. Dr. Bobson Sesay said his ministry is not only responsible for allocating state lands but also to plan communities to reflect modern settlements with basic infrastructure, including good road network, health centers, recreational facilities, schools, cemeteries, and community centers among others. The minister and his officials were addressing Head woman of Rokel Village Madam Yamindae Langley, the former headman Mr. Tunde Coker and the elders of the Rokel community at his Youyi Building office. Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay said that God created land to be inherited by mankind and not to be sold for personal gains, adding that those in the habit of selling government ‘lands’ for personal gains would continue to live in misery on earth and in hell. The lands minister said most people who sell land are always in the courts and end up badly with nothing to show of the wealth they have amassed over the years. He said it has become a common practice among tribal authorities, headmen and councilors to embark on the illegal sale of state lands rather than protecting the land for future infrastructural development, but stressed that government would continue to clamp down heavily on defaulters and prosecute those in that practice. The Headwoman of Rokel village Madam Yamindae Langley thanked the minister for inviting them to his office, and praised the ministry for its timely intervention at the Sima Town Section of Rokel, where large acres of land have been cleared by certain individuals for house construction.