Land guard phenomenon presents danger, insecurity

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
  Some demolished structures
Some demolished structures

There is heightened fear among residents of Pantang, Parakuo, Adansi, Ablajei, Boi, Akporman and other surrounding communities in the Ga East Municipality due to the activities of land guards.

The guards have adopted a scorched-earth policy of demolishing buildings in the areas whose owners do not toe their line and they do this amid intimidation, threats and blackmail.

Their activities are being sponsored, the Daily Graphic learnt, by rival claimants to lands who are said to have won judgements from the Supreme Court affirming them as rightful owners of the lands in question.

At the time of the Daily Graphic’s visit to the area, the land guards had demolished more than 25 buildings at various stages of completion; a situation that is currently causing panic and fear among the residents.

Also demolished by the land guards was an events centre and the maintenance section of a factory that were under construction.

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“They are going round demolishing walls and houses under the backing of a Supreme Court judgement. They then sell the confiscated lands to other people who go ahead to develop the lands under their protection,” a resident of the area, Mr David Ankapong Gray, said.

Pay or face demolition

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Mr Gray said the land guards had given residents in the area an ultimatum demanding money for their lands or else see their structures pulled down.

“Those yet to develop their lands have been ordered to pay GH¢60,000, while those at various stages of completion are to pay GH¢30,000, with those who have already completed their buildings asked to pay GH¢20,000.

Meanwhile, the land guards have even taken over areas that are not part of their so-called ‘judgement lands’ and are wreaking havoc,’’ Mr Gray added.

Another resident, Mr Stephen Eku, said even if a claimant had judgement given in their favour for a land, the landowner had no right to demolish properties of residents who were not party to the court action.

“What they have to do is sit with us for settlement instead of using land guards to terrorise us,’’ he said.

Deal with the land guards

Mr Eku appealed to the police to improve security in the area and also deal with the land guards without fear or favour.

According to him, on February 8, 2019, the police arrested some land guards in the act of demolishing his wall, but they were later released.

“Even when they were arrested in the act of demolishing my property they were later freed. We are still wondering why the land guards were set free,” he said.