The Ex-Bomi county lawmaker stated that the order from the Public Works ministry that they should locate in 30 days from their residents inherited from their grand-parents violates the norms of good governance and the concept that communities should participate in decision making on issues affecting their livelihood.
He said they have been occupying the places very legally with documents to substantiate their claims. “Before we should be relocated, government should work out a plan of action for just compensation and give us a place to be re-located,” he added.
In a statement to the press, Balloh read from the petition that they received from the Public Works Ministry as follows:: 'We are ordered to remove all works/ structures constructed or under construction within the period of 30 days, commencing from February 5, to March 5,2013.”
It is further stated that the ministry cited the zoning act section 5.9 violations and penalties shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not less than US$500 or both for owners, and US$1,000 or both for contractor plus other fees.
Balloh said, “Our distinguished legislators our attention had been drawn to the allegations and the penalties and specifically the removal order of the ministry on several grounds namely – that the removal order is highly illegal and wrongful on the part of the government because they have not followed the right procedures to affect eviction,” he said.
He added that most of the residents are squatters who are tax payers and were allowed to construct on these properties by the government through the ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, and with the consent of the Monrovia City Corporation.
“The attempt to destroy said properties is intentionally wrongful, premeditated and meant to frustrate the happiness, liberty and the property rights of the Liberian people. The essence of government is to protect the rights of the citizens,” Balloh said.
In a statement to the press, Lawrence Siryon said that government intends to construct a railway at an approximate cost of US$400 million taking into account the distance from Bomi to Monrovia and in so doing wants to destroy property valued at US$50 million.
“Why not abandon such a plan by constructing a port in cape Mount for the use of companies and the business community in Lofa Gbarpolu, Bomi and Grand cape Mount County. This is a country that has been blessed with sufficient rich natural resources,” Siryon said.
“Instead of using US$400 million for the construction of a railway why not use US$100 for the construction of a railway to Monrovia and use the rest for the construction of a dock in Robertsport so as to avoid keeping over 75,000 Liberians out of job, school and dwelling places,” Siryon asked.