By Edwin G. Wandah
Some citizens of the Township of Johnsonville have sharply reacted to statements attributed to Township Commissioner, Melvin Bettie that the issue regarding land disputes in the township is caused by some individuals (names not mentioned), which has resulted to serious hullaballoo. Two days ago, when four persons of the Johnsonville Township walked into the offices of the INQUIRER Newspaper, they said the situation in the township remains a serious concern with fingers directly pointing at Commissioner Melvin Bettie’s alleged involvement in the illegal sale of private lands.
The men explained that Melvin Bettie was appointed Commissioner of the Township of Johnsonville but that he has been linked to the illegal sale of lands owned by other people.
“Commissioner Bettie has been involved in the sale of over several hundreds of acres of lands, most of which belong to ordinary people of the township,” the men stated.
The men, representing two Interstate-Estates of Josiah Menyongar and John Warner explained that they are also victims of the illegal deals of the Commissioner in the area.
According to them, Commissioner Bettie and Bright who are residents in the township are involved in several illegal deals to deprive peaceful residents of their properties.
The men also accused Commissioner Bettie and Bright of hiring secret gangs to wage attacks on them. They alleged further that on the 30th to the 31st of January; more than fifteen men armed with weapons including single barrel guns attacked them, wounding one of the citizens in the process.
They told the Inquirer that after the citizens arrested one of them and took him to the Johnsonville Police Depot, the culprit was later set free on the order of the Mount Barclay Police Commander identified as Stevens.
Meanwhile, Johnsonville Township Commander, Melvin Bettie, has also refuted the statement made by John B. Haynes and others as rubbish. Commissioner Bettie said that he had never been involved in the sale of lands and is therefore calling on those involved in tarnishing his good reputation to desist or they will face the full weight of the law.