The Informer (Monrovia)

9 January 2013

Liberia: Commissioner Bettie Warns Illegal Land Dealers

The Commissioner of the Township of Johnsonville, Montserrado County, Mr. Melvin Bettie, has sounded a strong caveat to unscrupulous land dealers in Johnsonville Township to immediately desist.

He expressed concern that the issue of land sale in the township is becoming rampant and as such, called on those indulged in the practice to desist immediately or be exposed. Mr. Bettie said those who have the problem of land should channel their grievances through the court system which is the rightful arbiter of disputes.

Mr. Bettie made the assertion when he hosted a Christmas party for the children of Johnsonville which brought together several children of the township, including well-wishers and other government officials.

He told the gathering that for this year, he will focus on development activities instead of concentrating on land disputes. Since he took over the administration as Commissioner of the Township, he has received several complaints from residents concerning those selling land illegally.

Mr. Bettie said he has put into place mechanisms by employing several persons responsible to inspect the entire community to watch out for those illegally selling lands in the community without proper documentation.

The Johnsonville Commissioner also cautioned authorities at the national documentation to be vigilant to thoroughly investigate documents carried to them before granting permit.

"Several persons in the community are crafting deeds for illegal possession of land", he said.

He said he knows the illegal land sellers because he has been living in the area for so many years and will do everything possible to make sure that those selling land will be brought to public ridicule when caught. "My land inspectors are working to make sure illegal land dealers are exposed.

Since Johnsonville became a township, Mr. Bettie said, there has never being a town hall or an office to host the Commissioner or other officials of the township, but his administration has engaged a good office and is striving this year to begin the construction of the Johnsonville Town Hall which foundation was laid since the 70s.

Speaking further, Mr. Bettie said that he is ready to work and call on the citizens to roll their sleeves to work, because his activities will be focused on road construction and how to unite the citizens through sports and other relevant activities.

"I have engaged the services of some young people who are now working on the Johnsonville road closing pot holes through a self help initiative."

On the issue of security in the area, Commissioner Bettie lauded the effort of the Police Director who he said has changed the entire police officers in the Johnsonville Township some of whom, he said have interfered in some land disputes because of their long services in the township and position as police officers.

He lauded the Police Director for imposing the 10:00 pm regulation on motorcyclist. He said the issue of motorcyclists has in the past posed serious problems for residents in which some young motor riders were killed for their bikes while some got wounded, but since the new regulation of motorcyclists, there has been complete relief.

An elder of the township thanked the Commissioner for his farsightedness and called on him to do more to improve the township. He said since the township came into being, it has not had a Commissioner who has that audacity to unite the people. He called on other government officials to do their utmost to emulate the good examples of Commissioner Bettie.

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