MP Debunks Cannibalism Claims in Jawei
Recent newspaper reports claiming that cannibals are on the loose in Jawei Chiefdom in the eastern district of Kailahun have been debunked as ‘mere alarmist insinuations with no clear evidence to support those claims.’
Hon. Maada Moiwai Momoh, the MP for Constituency 006, says he has got no confirmation of such rumours making the headlines. “I have engaged the authorities but nobody has given me any confirmation of any missing person or the practice of cannibalism,” Hon Moiwa was saying in an exclusive interview with this reporter on Tuesday.
“What I think people are misunderstanding as ‘cannibals’ terrorizing the chiefdom is the rumour that some ritual society members from Liberia are seeking for an absconded colleague in the chiefdom who allegedly escaped from the group. This brought about the scare,” the parliamentarian informs, stating that the whole thing started with a certain hunter in Guma Village who claimed to have come under attack by a group of men. “The claims are that villagers insist they have seen people, numbering about six or so with Liberia ascent on probable human hunt but there has been no report of anybody falling prey to the alleged marauders.”
Hon. Moiwai is one of the MPs that have always been close to his people and champion causes like the robust leadership role he provided in the Ebola crisis in an area where the pandemic hit hard. To this measure, he says he has since told his people to be alert and not underestimate anything. “Except that people outside may want to link issues to old perceptions, there is no tolerance for the disturbance of my people’s peace.”
The people’s representative is however, taunting that in the event anybody sees a group of people, others should be immediately alerted to chase and if possible capture and identify them. “Initially people got a bit panic but everybody is now out and about their normal business,” Moiwai says; and “like in the war against Ebola, we have told them to challenge the situation; report suspicious looking strangers to the chiefdom authorities or the police.”
Asked whether the cannibalism scare has any political undertone, given the fact that there may be those against him that want to give damning impression to outsiders about his stewardship, Moiwai says there is nothing political about threatening the day to day activities of the people. “I contested on a primary in the SLPP. I was not just given the symbol, I won it and politics is all about a battle for supremacy.” He says he doesn’t consider any former opponent as somebody extra. “Even though remnants of opposition to my position may be around, we had long crossed that election bridge; and now is to provide leadership for my people and champion their development aspirations.”
According to Hon. Moiwai he ensured that olive branch was extended with several consultative and reconciliation meetings with stakeholders in the constituency after elections in 2012. Moiwai insists: “Ever since I won the parliamentary election I have been working with everybody and with all the other political party members so I don’t think if anybody can create cannibalism scare in my constituency for political gains.” He said to that effect on Saturday March 12, they will be summoning all chiefs, sub-chiefs, youths and every other stakeholder, including the police to a meeting to put things in place for community policing and to stop people from carrying tantalizing stories about the chiefdom that will attract the press. He also in that light cautioned press against making public unverified stories.
Hon. Moiwai Momoh scored 74. 42% of a total votes cast of 13,202 in 2012, indicating a landslide victory, even though he got a few percent losses to the APC and an independent candidate.
By Kef Dukulay
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