Somalia Drive Residents Refute Media Report

Some residents of the Somalia Drive whose homes are expected to be demolished by government have refuted reports that they had earlier received funds for relocation from the government and that they were given sufficient notice to vacate the area said to be Liberia’s Industrial Park.

The area to be affected is located on the Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) Road in Gardnersville. It is expected to be demolished by the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) based upon a request from the National Investment Commission (NIC).

Yesterday, it was reported that residents were told to move some months back and that the residents were also compensated by the Government of Liberia (GOL) in a bid to move their structures from around the LPRC fence as a major investment was to shortly come to that part of the community.

But some of the residents that spoke to this paper yesterday said the information is not true. They claimed that they have not received any money from government towards this exercise.

They said they were not occupying the areas illegally because they have legitimate deeds to prove ownership.

The residents said that it is rather unfortunate that they have been referred to as illegal squatters or people who are illegally occupying such land. They said they have records to show legitimate ownership.

One resident who spoke to truth FM this week made similar claim of legitimate ownership. He said the land he occupies was sold to him by the Lewis family, said to have some relationship with former Chief Justice Johnnie Lewis.

On reported planned demonstration, as called by MulbahMorlu of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), one resident said they were not part of that, as they preferred dialogue to confrontation. He said some of those involved are not property owners.

A notice to Vacate, issued by the ministry of Public Works, the residents were asked to remove all illegal structures from within the confines of the real property of the Industrial Park of the Republic of Liberia, on or before June 5, 2015. The notice further said, “Your current occupancy of the Industrial Park is in violation of the Zoning and Land Use Classification Laws of Liberia.”