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Charting a way forward for Koya Chiefdom

Charting a way forward for Koya Chiefdom

It was the day that they’ve waited for.  After months of planning and preparations, the prestigious Williams Hall at the Greenbelt Holiday Inn was the location for the Koya Descendants Convention.

As they arrived from different parts of the USA, it was evident they came with one purpose. They came together as concerned descendants of Koya Chiefdom to formally launch the International Committee for the Economic and Political Advancement of Koya Chiefdom (ICEPAK) organization in an effort to strengthen and advance values that hold their community together.

Addressing delegates, chairman, James (Allsaints) Macauley, wasted no time in reminding members about the importance of the occasion. “That we can gather here as citizens of Koya Chiefdom to discuss the economic and political development of our chiefdom speaks volumes of our desire to contribute to the development of Koya” he underscored. In outlining the aims and objectives of the organization, Macauley urged all present to work hard to protect and defend the political and economic development of their chiefdom.”

Responding to a question I posed about the importance of their newly formed organization for Koya Chiefdom, secretary general, Mohamed Bah proudly tells me, “we need to establish a diverse, fair, coherent and transparent approach to solving the chiefdom issues… that is why those that will be encouraged and called upon to serve will be those who in theory and practice, will not only be guided by ICEPAK’s values but will seek the interest of the chiefdom.”  The 2007 elections decision to assign Mawoma, Matheneh and Rokel sections of Koya Chiefdom to Masimera Chiefdom is an issue that members of ICEPAK have had to contend with.

Visiting his family in the United States was Kabba Kargbo, chairman of Koya Development Association who updated members present on some of the thorny issues that the chiefdom continues to experience. In response to chairman Kargbo’s remarks, Sheka Kamara of the Philadelphia delegation, pledged ICEPAK’s support for meaningful intervention.

Recognizing that success is not just empty words and much more is needed to address the issues that the chiefdom is presently grappling with, financial secretary, Abu Bundu Kalokoh reminded all to fulfill their financial obligations because “the strength of any organization depends on the collection and proper management of financial resources.”

In an effort to show inclusiveness and to foster the democratic process, members present unanimously ratified ICEPAK’s articles of engagement which seeks to guide them in their deliberations as they chart a way forward for all citizens of Koya chiefdom.

Prior to the conclusion of the convention, two sub-committees, economic and political were formed to explore strategic ways of harnessing the various skills and expertise that each member bring that will ultimately develop the chiefdom. Members of the economic committee include Adiatu Jalloh, Abu Bundu Kaloko, Mohamed Bah, Anthony G. McMillon and Mariama Lowe-Bangura.

Mohamed Bangura, Abdulai Kargbo, Ramatu Kamara, Abdul Kabba Kargbo, James (Allsaints) Macauley, Sheka M. Kamara, Kadie Thulla and Abdul Karim Conteh are members of the political committee. Asked what his impressions were of the convention, Mohamed Bangura, president of Koya Progressive Association told me “it is a great day to see our brothers and sisters come together to discuss the future of our chiefdom.” He also called upon members to continue the good work and be active in the affairs of the association.

Courtesy of Anthony Kamara, Jnr – The Patriotic Vanguard

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