‘Our Democracy Had Been Corrupted’

President Adama Barrow explains why Gambians have been hurt during the Jammeh’s dictatorship.

“As a country, we have been hurt because the foundation of our democracy had been shaken and corrupted,” a statement State House quoted Mr. Barrow as saying. “The former government abused the rights of the citizens and many communities lost their land for political or dubious reasons,” President Barrow says while presiding over the swearing-in ceremony of Land Commission.

Gambian leader says the Land Commission has been set up to look into the challenges of land administration in order to address conflicts emanating from land matters in the country.

Raymond Sock, a Justice of the Supreme Court of The Gambia, chairs the Commission. Mr. Sock is assisted by four other members who are either retired or career civil servants with vast experience in land matters.

The Commission, the President says, is necessitated by the need to address the numerous land-related problems orchestrated under the former government.

President Describes the event as “another milestone in our effort to put the country on the right path in ensuring that conflicts emanating from land administration are addressed.”

President Barrow says the Commission is not mandated to serve as an appeal court or handle land cases that are either in court or already adjudicated. It has an advisory role policy on matters relating to land administration to ensure that the policies are implemented and there is transparency in land allocation.

“Its role includes investigating disputes, assessing premium of properties, monitoring the registration of properties and matters of national boundaries working closely with the Ministry,” he says, adding that the tasks of the commission are important parts of the strategic priorities of the National Development Plan in “restoring good governance, respect for human rights, the rule of law, and empowering citizens through decentralization and local governance’’.

President said the Commission members have been entrusted to guide the country in land administration in order to promote peace and stability. He emphasises that integrity, professional ability, and experience are among the qualities required to command respect, trust and preserve confidence in the execution of their tasks.

Justice Raymond Sock, Chairman of the Commission, describes their appointment as indicative of the confidence the President has in their ability to carry out the mandate of the Commission.

Other members of the commission include: Buba Barry, former Director of Lands and Surveys; Momodou S. Jobe, former Senior Physical Planning Officer and Director General of Gambia Tourism Board; Nancy Nyang, retired Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President; Kemo Conteh, Director of Local Governance, Ministry of Lands and Regional Government.


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