of Kerewan, Makumbya, Lamin and Mandinaring villages in the Kombo North
district, has disclosed that the elders of the allied communities are strongly
appealing to the government and other relevant stakeholders to intervene and
settle the long-standing land dispute between the four villages, mainly at
Babylon before it get out of hand.
During a recent meeting at Mandinaring organized by the four villages, Kebba Jammeh said they have tried to seek audience with relevant authorities in attempt to settle the issue but proved futile.
He said the matter needs immediate negotiation, saying “Babylon is not a settlement of its own. It is under the mentioned four villages.
Babylon, a settlement that neighbored the four communities was gripped by ongoing land dispute for some years now. Some eleven years ago, a group of angry protesters attacked the Babylon settlement and set some houses ablazed, saying they were reclaiming their lands from Lamin Jarju.
Mr. Jammeh accused Lamin Jarju of selling some of the lands belonging to the four communities, saying he has been claiming ownership of hundreds of lands within the villages.
“In fact, he has claimed to be the Alkalo of Lamin Babylon which is not even recognized by the regional governor,” he said.
The five-hour long meeting was meant to sensitize the various communities about their land dispute which has been hindering development. The meeting was meant to set out tangible solutions to address the matter.
According to Mr. Jammeh, they have been working in resolving the dispute since the former government.
“If the matter is not well tackled, it can escalate into incontrollable confrontation.”
Kerewan Alkalo Abdoulie Jarju called on the government to immediately intervene so as settle the problem, saying, “We don’t want what happened at Faraba to repeat again. We are urging the land owners to keep patience and allow the government to settle the problem.”
He said Lamin Jarju will not be allowed to continue issuing lands to people that those not belong to him. “We believe that Mr. Jarju has highly influential people both in the former and current regime who are supporting him.”
Ebrima Colley of Makumbaya equally expressed concern over the long-standing land dispute, while urging authorities to intervene and solve the issue before it escalates. “Dozens of my colleagues were jailed for almost two years because of this land problem. The lands are owned by the natives of these four villages so Lamin has no right or whatsoever to claim their ownership.”