Two presidential candidates clash over land reform issue
Two independent presidential candidates have clashed here over land distribution, with one vowing to buy and distribute private properties to poor people while the other contends that Liberia is a democratic state that must not be run as a socialist or communist state.
During a presidential debate held by Ducor Debate in Tubmanburg, Bomi County over the weekend, Oscar Xperience presidential candidate Sen. Oscar Cooper said if he is elected Liberia’s next president, he will take or buy lands from their original owners due to landowners’ alleged failure to develop them.
Sen. Cooper argues that it is unfair for some people to keep lands for 40 to 50 years without developing them while others do not have any piece of land.“My government will buy land back from owners and distribute it so that poor people who don’t have land [can] have land too,” Sen. Cooper says.
However, independent presidential candidate Rev. Yakpazuwo Mantor who also spoke at the presidential debate, vehemently rejected Mr. Oscar Cooper’s statement, adding that government doesn’t own any land in Liberia.
Rev. Mantor adds that all tribes have land areas and that the country was made of tribal empires where every family had their own land.He wonders why Sen. Cooper would want to take people’s land from them and make it to become government property. He warns that Liberia is not a socialist or communist country, adding that the country is a democratic country wherein people willingly came to Liberia.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley