President George Manneh Weah has promised to check with the Liberia Land Authority to verify the ownership of lands currently being occupy by squatters for so many years in Unification Town Margibi County.The aimed of the verification is part of efforts to make the squatters the official owners of said properties in the area.
His commitment to the residents was an immediate response to a request made through their lawmaker, Margibi County District Two Rep. Irvin Jones last Thursday, 20 February at the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion and construction of a four – lane ELWA to Roberts International Airport (RIA) Highway.
“Let me inform Honorable Jones that I will check with the Land Authority to make sure that those that were squatting for so many years will have a place officially,” he said as the gathering cheered his response during the program at Unification Town.
However, President Weah says he can’t do it alone, telling Rep. Jones that since the lawmaker is a members of the House of Representatives he will be [heading] this initiative for his people, which includes working with Foreign Affairs Minister Gbehzohngar Milton Findley for some information.
In a rather jovial expression, President Weah said Mr. Findley had informed him that his father was a lawyer and so he has some of the documents with him, adding “so you can check with him.”
Earlier making the appeal, Rep. Jones said the people have been residing on the land under the squatter right scheme for over 60 years.According to him, there are over 20,000 residents in Unification Town, adding of that number, “Only three of the residents in Unification Town have legitimate deeds to the property that they currently occupy.”
Rep. Jones explained further that one of those legitimate deeds was signed in 1970 by late President William V.S. Tubman, and another belonging to the Johnson family was signed by late President William R. Tolbert in 1975, while “The Catholic Church also claims that she has a legitimate deed.”On behalf of the residents of Unification Town, Rep. Jones pleaded with President Weah to give them legitimacy to the land.By Winston W. Parley