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Fatou Jaw-Manneh Describes Lands Ministry’s Compensation as a Criminal Act

Fatou Jaw Manneh, a Native of Sukuta
Fatou Jaw Manneh, a Native of Sukuta

By Arfang M.S. Camara

Madam Fatou Jaw-Manneh, a Sukutarian described the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government’s recent move to compensate the people of Sukuta with 324 plots as a criminal act.

She told journalists that the government’s said compensation of plots to the people of Sukuta through the Ministry of Lands to is in fact not real, adding that that move would be a criminal act.

The former U.S. based Gambian journalist cum former president of the Gambia Press Union was speaking in an interview with journalists while reporting to the Brusubi police station, following their arrest and subsequent bail recently, over a tussle with the Physical Planning over land in Salaji.

The tussle over land, which resulted to violence between the Sukutarians and the PIU officers who accompanied Physical Planning to the Salaji land area, led to the arrest of 16 Sukutarians who were later bailed by their people.

The arrestees were charged for resisting a demolition exercise that took place at the Salaji Layout area, a place Sukuta claims as theirs.

Fatou Jaw-Manneh and others reported to the police station while on bail and learned that their bail period has extended to 23rd of this month.

Speaking to journalists, Madam Jaw-Manneh rebuked claims that she was among those compensated and claimed this to be untrue.

“I want to make it very clear that I did not receive any compensation from the Physical Planning because what they did was to take your land and give it to others. That is not compensation; instead, they are trying to knock our heads, as members of the community, together, she revealed.

According to her, both the Permanent Secretary Buba Sanyang, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands Jerry Sanyang, and Kebba Ceesay from Physical Planning are the people behind this.

“They came and took people’s land, telling us that they were going to build a market or schools and at the end of the day they took those lands and sold them to other people,” she said.

Furthermore, she said the government should ensure that citizens live in harmony,. However, on the contrary, they are the ones creating chaos between the new settlers and the old settler.

Lamin Cham, fondly called Lamboy, said “Physical Planning was behind all these problems. They used the security forces against us, arresting us on no grounds.”

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