In a strong worded message at the weekly press briefing at the Ministry of Information yesterday, the Minister of Lands and Country Planning Captain Benjamin Davies disclosed that his Ministry has been mandated by the Office of the President to demolish every structure beyond the contour line.
Talking about the world environmental day the Minister described the occupation of residents at the ‘Sugar Loaf’ mountain as a ‘big slap’ in the face of the government, after dauntless efforts to inform them about the dangers of illegal habitation of demarcated areas.
He said the people of that area are ill bent on endangering the forest reserve by woefully clearing the vegetation in order to erect houses and makeshift ‘Panbody’ structures with little or no facility like light and water supply, thereby aggravating water scarcity and global warming.
“I have been mandated by the President of Sierra Leone to take action to restore the forest reserve and water catchment areas especially the ‘Sugar Loaf’ area to ensure maximum water supply” he stated.
He disclosed that a task force has already been setup by his Ministry to accomplish the exercise soon.
The decision he noted was a very difficult one but said the government was voted into office to put measures and procedures in place to get over any odd development in the interest of national development.
“Those on the hills or valleys or beyond the contour lines must start relocating now or else there will be no sacred cow” he warned.
He also used the opportunity to call on every land owner to take their land documents to his Ministry now for verification and to be input in the computer.
He however cautioned the land owners about some 419ners going around soliciting money from people for the said verification.
In another development the acting Chairman of the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC) R. A Ceaser maintained that only PMDC, SLPP and APC maintained offices in the regions which he said is one of the criteria to operate as a political party in Sierra Leone.
He lambasted the ruling SLPP and APC political parties for not complying with the PPRC financial policy and promised to invoke section 31 of the PPRC Act which gives them the power to institute a legal suit against any political party which fails to fulfill its financial obligation to his commission.
Failing to adhere to such obligation, he warned, defaulting political parties would be taken to the Supreme Court for constitutional interpretation which would be followed by deregistration of any party found wanton.