Tensions rising over squatter settlements: Premier Veke

Premier Anthony Veke. Photo credit: SIBC

Premier Veke. Photo credit: SIBC.

TENSIONS are rising as advancement of illegal squattering off the city boundary onto Guadalcanal Provincial lands worsening and reaching critical level.

That was according to the New Premier for Guadalcanal Province, Anthony Veke.

Veke told Radio New Zealand International (RNZI) last week that the worsening squatter problem is once again reaching critical levels.

When RNZI asked of if there’s any risk of violence or tension might arise from this current situation Veke said:

“Well I don’t want to be seen that I am advocating some type of behavior here but the chances of the recurrence of incidents that we don’t want is there.

“There is potential of disagreements, there is potential of conflicts and we can’t rule out conflicts between the land-owning tribes the people who claim they own the land and the people who are squattering on those lands.

“We have to foresee the risks that are ahead of us and if we want Solomon Island and Guadalcanal for that matter to be peaceful we have to address those issues that are ahead of those situations,” he revealed.

“My government and people want the squatters off provincial and alienated land around the city limits but calls for national government intervention are falling on deaf ears.

“The situation is getting worse at the moment.

“The level of migration into Honiara continues to increase and as Honiara experiences heavy influx of people the squattering around the town boundary also increases.

“The increasing problem at the moment has put a lot of pressure on the provincial governments to make sure that we set some strategies or measures or controls in getting people squattering within the provincial jurisdiction.

“We believe this is not the role of the provincial government only it is the role of the central government, Honiara city council and any other authority that is responsible in the influx of people coming.

“So my belief is that the problem is getting worse and it needs the attention of the relevant authorities,” he said.

Veke added that the people of Guadalcanal would like to see that if people are coming from other provinces because of opportunities here in Honiara then they should be within Honiara’s jurisdiction not in Guadalcanal.

“The fact that they are going out of Honiara’s jurisdiction is not welcoming from the people of Guadalcanal.

“So the people feel that the squattering within Guadalcanal jurisdiction is not right and those people who are squattering within Guadalcanal land should be able to go back to where they can go and Honiara is the only place that they can go.

“People feel that they should leave those lands and we know that some of those lands are alienated and they are owned by investors, some private individuals but my government and also the people we don’t want to see increase of squattering in those or on those lands,” he said.

Premier Veke said that his government have been calling on the national government to assist in addressing the matter for a while but futile.

“We have been calling on the government to assist in addressing this matter for a while. The government is not responding as we expected but we can’t stop bringing this matter to their attention.

“It is the interest of my people and as far as my government is concerned we have to represent the wishes of my people.

“So there is a very slow and maybe even lack of commitment on the part of the central government and other authorities in addressing this issue which is to me I feel that it is not right for relevant authorities and the central government to brush aside the issue of squattering on Guadalcanal’s land or on Guadalcanal’s jurisdiction there has to be some kind of seriousness in addressing this issue of squattering on GP’s jurisdiction,” he said.

By Admin/News Desk

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