Liberia: Special Presidential Committee Conducts Survey Of Disputed Land in Ganta
Ganta – In continuation of its activities, the Special Presidential Committee to mediate Nimba land conflicts was in Nimba County over the weekend where the technical team conducted cadastral surveys on disputed parcels of land in Ganta.
The places surveyed are among major sources of conflicts over land in the City.
The first survey was carried out in a place called the Sacleapea Parking in central Gompa City where about five families are claiming ownership entirely or portions of the disputed property. The contending parties include Mr. Fred Suah, on one hand, Aleo Donzo, Ansumana Jarbateh, Morliee Kromah, and Donti Mulba Donzo, on the other side.
A Press release issued by the Special Presidential Committee said the Technical Team was headed by Attorney J. Adams Manobah, Sr., Chairman of the Liberia Land Authority and Co-Chairperson of the Special Presidential Committee.
According to the release each contending party was given the opportunity to substantiate their claims by identifying the portion of the property the party is claiming. Next was the actual survey conducted by the Liberia Land Authority using Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments. The team took coordinates from the metes and bounds of each identified point by the claimants.
The team wishes to report that the exercise was carried out under a peaceful atmosphere with full cooperation of all parties in the presence of residents of the City, including the County and City officials, the media and onlookers.
Another survey was carried out in a place called the Old Market area, on which former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared eminent domain. Since the relocation of the former market to the newly built market building, some residents occupying the land are yet to vacate the area. In addition to the survey, the team enumerated all structures on the land. The land area of the old market is about five (5) acres.
The release disclosed that the Technical Team also surveyed the land on which the new Gompa General Market is located. It can be recalled the five acres of land was offered the Government by traditional leaders for the purpose of the market. The Committee noted that the survey became necessary as a result of alleged encroachment by some individuals claiming portion of the land and claims and counterclaims by the Liberia Marketing association and the City Corporation of Gompa.
Meanwhile, the Special Presidential Committee is encouraging any other individual or groups having claims to these parcels of land in question to make their concerns known on or before October 15, 2021, including the forwarding of their ownership and or title deeds or documents.
At the end survey activities on Saturday, October 2, 2021, Attorney Manobah, Sr. and team had a brief meeting with the stakeholders and the media. Honorable Manobah said the team will compile its report for submission to the bigger Presidential Committee headed by Internal Affairs Minister Honorable Varney A. Sirleaf. He disclosed that part of the Committee’s engagement will be a return to Gompa City for a power point presentation of the findings.
He was quick to clarify that Saturday’s exercise was in no way a verdict or conclusion of the mediation process, rather a verification exercise.
Attorney Manobah, Sr. thanked the parties for the high level of cooperation, noting that President Weah’s desire in finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the land conflict in Gompa is well on course.
He called on the parties and other residents to remain calm as the resolution process unfolds.
Other members of the technical team who visited Gompa City over the weekend are Assistant Internal Affairs Minister for Technical Services Honorable Losene Sanyon, Chairman of Nimba Kwado Mr. Isaac Dahn, Dr. George Zobah of the Liberia Council of Churches, Shiek Abdullai Mansaray, Chairman of the National Muslim Council and D. Emmanuel Wheinyue, Technical Focal Person/Office of the Minister of Internal Affairs, among others.
In May this year, President Weah constituted 15-member Special Committee to mediate lingering land disputes in Nimba County towards finding an amicable solution.
The Committee was charged with the responsibility to, amongst other things, fully investigate reported land dispute in Nimba County, particularly in Gompa, establish the root cause(s) of the recent violence in the county, and make recommendations for resolution.
President Weah appointed the Minister of Internal Affairs, Honorable Varney A. Sirleaf as Chair the Committee while the Chairman of the Liberia Land Authority Attorney J. Adams Manobah, Sr. was appointed the co-chairperson.
Members of the Committee include the President of the Nimba County Bar Association; Chairman of the Liberian Council of Churches; head the Liberia Muslim Council; Chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia and President of the National Civil Society Union of Liberia.
Other members are Bishop Isaac Winker, Sheikh Abubakar Mory D. Sumaworo, Grand Mufti Republic of Liberia, Chairman of Nimba KWADO, Former Superintendent Dorr Cooper, and Sekou Kalasco Jomanday Damaro as Liaison.
Senators Prince Y. Johnson and Jeremiah Koon of Nimba County are members, while Presidential Legal Advisor, Cllr. Archibald Bernard, serves as Advisor to the Committee.