We must be aggressive in dealing with land guards

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THE aggressive manner in which government is combating illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey, has brought in its wake some successes.  At least we know that some of our water bodies which are used by communities for consumption and domestic purposes are becoming clean following the all-out war against illegal mining in the country.

WHAT has also contributed so far to the galamsey success is the political will by the Akufo-Addo administration to deal with the creature called galamsey.  And this is where Today is happy at the news that government has set up a committee to draw up a plan to address vigilantism over land.

THE Lands and Natural Minister, John Peter Amewu, who made this public last week, indicated that the menace would be tackled form a policy angle while National Security deals with the security aspect.  This indeed is good news to hear.

LAND vigilantism, which otherwise is known as land guards, is a pervasive practice, especially in the nation’s capital—Accra.  The nefarious activities of these hoodlums who call themselves land-guards have led to the loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties.

TODAY citizens particularly in Accra dread to buy lands from chiefs and their associated Asafoatses.  Their fear stems from the fact that eventually such lands sold by the chiefs would be litigated upon where some owners would be compelled to resort to engaging the services of these so-called land guards to protect their lands.

LIKE galamsey, land vigilantism is an illegal venture.  The 1992 Constitution frowns upon activities of land guards and that clearly means that they are liable for arrest and prosecution.  But what has been the order of the day?

RATHER these land guards have been goaded on to continue with their criminal activities.  They have become so frightening that some of them have in their possession all manner of guns which they use to carry out their operations.  This is what we have allowed these land guards to become—fearless, and terrorising hard working Ghanaians who have legally acquired lands to build their houses.

NOW what we are hearing is that the menace is spreading to other parts of the country.  And that is a real worry!

BUT who do we blame.   In our view we must blame nobody but ourselves for allowing land vigilantism to become such a monster in this country.

LIKE the galamsey war, this land vigilantism war that is going to be waged soon will not be that easy, more especially when these land guards operate under umbrella groups which are well coordinated.  That is the more reason why Today believes we must all get involved in helping to root out the land guard menace.

THAT will equally require the services of our security agencies particularly as many of these land guards have guns and other offensives weapons.

IT is in the light of the above that Today is recommending that we take the fight to the land guards.  Our security agencies must be well resourced to deal with them since they can strike at anytime of the day.     

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