The Chief Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Prof. Patrick Agbesinyale has refuted claims suggesting that the government engages the services of Landguards to assist in reclaiming encroached government lands.
The Tamale South MP, Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini has alleged that the government has confessed to entering into a contract with land guards.
According to him, the Chief Director of the Ministry Prof. Patrick Agbesinyale at a Parliamentary Select Committee meeting on 10th July, 2023 disclosed before the committee saying, “I think the idea was that anytime the Government apparatus; the police, military among others are seen going out there to claim lands, you know the hullabaloo and backlash the Government receives. So, what they do is that you would set up somebody like this and the Government would literally be hiding behind it so he can reclaim government lands.”
However, appearing before the Public Account Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 Prof. Agbesinyale elaborated his statement to the committee, “I think I take exception to that reportage.”
“I think land guard unfortunately is a terminology that all of us don’t want to be associated with, at least we know what land guards are, they are illegal entities that operate and engage in all forms of criminal activities, I can’t imagine saying the government uses land guards,” he explained.
The Chief Director added that “We cannot attribute land guards to our respectable security agencies, it’s unfair and I personally take a very strong exception to that, because I never mentioned land guard in my submission to the committee, I never”, he concluded.
The Ministry and three of its Agencies led by the Deputy Minister Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio, on behalf of the sector Minister, appeared before the PAC to explain some infractions that were recorded by the Auditor General during the 2020 accounting year.
The Agencies are Lands & Forestry Commissions, as well as the office of the Administrator of Stool Lands.