General News of Saturday, 18 February 2017
Members of Parliament (MPs) have urged the security agencies to take stringent measures.
They said land guards drove land owners away from their lands, destroyed buildings, beat and killed people in their bid to secure the supposed properties of their pay masters.
They said the activities of land guards had rendered so many people homeless and driven away potential investors.
The legislators mentioned multiple sale of lands, inefficient land registration regime, delayed adjudication of land cases, failure of police to arrest land guards and unemployment as the main factors for the increased incident of land guards.
The MP for Gomoa East, Mr Kojo Asemanyi, set the tone for the contribution when he read a statement on the menace of land guards.
He said many people resorted to the services of land guards instead of going to the court to protect their lands.
Mr Asemanyi mentioned his constituency as one of the areas that had fallen victim to the nefarious activities of land guards.
“For many years, some reckless individuals have come together to form land guard groups and have been terrorising the people in such areas as Buduburam, Nyanyano and Fete Kakraba,” he said.
Mr Asemanyi said many people had lost their lives, others their property and others still had had to abandon their projects, thus losing their investments as a result.
“These groups patrol the developing sites day and night and pounce on anyone they see at any construction sites, seizing working tools and beating up both landowners and workers,” he said.
Mr Asemanyi said what was more frightening was that the land guard groups now seemed institutionalised, with some security personnel shielding them as they operate.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, said the activities of land guards, who possess fire arms, inflict harm and trespass on property were criminal.
She said the police had a responsibility to deal with the menace of land guards, saying “the earlier we deal with the menace, the better.”
Ms Safo called for the improvement of the land administration system to facilitate land registration to discourage the use of land guards.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Mr James Avedzi, blamed land owners for multiple sale of lands and buyers for failing to verify the status of land before making purchases.
He said the land guards could be daring, and indicated that despite having genuine land documents, the land guards demanded digging fees from land owners.
The MP for Builsa North and former Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr James Agalga, said the menace of land guards “needs urgent attention of the government and citizens.”
He recalled the brutal murder of Kwaku Ninja in Ablekuma in the 1990s as an example, and indicated that land guards still visited mayhem on people.l with the menace of land guards in the country.