President Ernest Bai Koroma has re-engaged Senior Officials of the Ministry of Lands Country Planning and the Environment, the Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Councillors and Headmen of Leicester and authorities at the University of sierra Leone to ensure lasting solution to the issue of land grabbing at Fourah Bay College real estate.
Recalling the last meeting, President Koroma said it was agreed that they all go back to the drawing board to see how to resolve the land issue which the community said they are entitled to some portion.
The president said based on that the Fourah Bay College authorities claimed that because of the encroachment, they could not implement the new infrastructural development project.
President Koroma urged the major stakeholders not to compromise anything that has to do with the development of Fourah Bay College especially the implementation of the BADEA project.
The president maintained that it was also agreed that areas that are being encroached on and also lands which the communities feel should be given to them for development purposes and not for personal development be considered.
President Koroma emphasized that the principal objective of the exercise which is to ensure that the College develops and forges ahead.
President Koroma described Fourah Bay College as the country’s pride and they should ensure that the College regains its past glory including restoring the estate to its original status.
This he reiterated will benefit the government, Sierra Leoneans and the country and not only members of the community.
The president reiterated that Fourah Bay College is the country’s pride as it is the first tertiary institution in West Africa, adding that for it to be in such a form today, is unacceptable.
The Minister of Lands Country Planning and the Environment Musa Tarawally said they were given a task by the president to resolve the issue of encroachment on Fourah Bay College land. He disclosed that the constituted committee met with the Fourah Bay College Administration and they all agreed on a plan.
He pointed out that the ministry has now surveyed the whole estate and it was discovered that the encroachment will not deter the implementation of the BADEA infrastructural development project.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Sahr Gbamanja told president Koroma that he has tried on several occasions to make an intervention in the issue which he said has lingered for over four years.
Professor Gbamanja further intimated the president that they have gone to the Oversight Committee several times and disclosed that clearing of woodland is still going on to build structures around the Guma Valley area. The Deputy vice Chancellor noted with dismay that the communities have even removed the pegs that were installed by the Ministry of Lands during the survey.
The member of parliament for constituency Ninety-Two Hon. Pateh Bah described the BADEA project as very important adding that concerns raised by the communities are valid.