Yoni Chieftaincy brouhaha … Ruling Houses boycott fake declarations
Three and half ruling houses in the de-amalgamated Yoni Mamaila Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District northern region, on Sunday 1st May 2022, boycotted the bedeviled declarations for the much-coveted throne of the Chiefdom. The protesting ruling houses included the Bumneh ruling house, Gbasha ruling house, Mankontta ruling house and part of the Kondor ruling house. Making matters worse, a fake aspirant, Abdul Rhazak Kamara was used to declare for the Gbassah Ruling house to give a semblance of validity to the process.
Umaro Sanpha Q. Kamara from the Bumneh ruling house described the declarations as “highly manipulated and void”, adding that there was also a huge dose of intimidation displayed by the unnecessary deployment of armed police and military men, which scared away people from taking part in the process.
The aggrieved ruling houses pointed out that they had petitioned the 2020 gazette used for the conduct of the declarations instead pof the 2021 gazette on the basis that it was outdated. He underscored that the 2021 gazette was supposed to have been used as was the case in the Masankoi and Polie chiefdoms of the same districts.
“They used the 2020 gazette as a planned ploy to manipulate the process in favour of Osman Kondor Kamara, who represented only a minute portion of the Kondor ruling house”, said Tejan Ali Kamara, Secretary General of the Council of the four ruling houses of the chiefdom.
He accused the police and the military of threatening and preventing Tribal Authorities and the local people from accessing the venue for declarations.
He reflected on what he described as a “long-drawn and frustrating journey”, dating back in 2018 when they first protested against the process due to foul play in the review of the gazette. “We wrote letters to the then Provincial Secretary, the District Officer, the Minister of Local Government, the Director of Local Government, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and the then Regent Chief, Pa Kapr Sanka Koroma”, he revealed.
He said during that time, when the Gazette was revised, the Treasury Clerk assured them that 216 local tax books were sold, which should have produced a total of 1,080 Tribal Authorities (TAs) at a ratio of five TAs per book, which was not the case after the publication of the Gazette.
“However, when the Gazette was released, 1,902 TAs were published”, he disclosed, adding that 888 TAs could not be accounted for from the sales; and that the ceremonial Chief got 320 TAs, which warranted them to make a protest to the then Local Government Minister, Anthony Brewa. “Even though the minister ordered a review of the process, it never took place, unlike in the neighboring chiefdom of Yeleh”, he lashed out. The review, he said, was nullified as a result of a fictitious letter written by the then Regent Chief, Pa Kapr Sanka, falsely stating that all the ruling houses had accepted the Gazette.
Recently, on 21st and 22nd March 2022 a revision of the gazette was purportedly done, using the contentious 2020 gazette instead of the 2021, amidst heavy police intimidation, which rendered the process null and void.
The late Paramount Chief, PC Bai Shebora Kondor 2nd was crowned from the Kondor ruling house, which he said had held the throne three times in the past.
Before de-amalgamation, Yoni Mamaila, then Yoni Mamaila and Yoni Mabanta, had twelve sections. After the separation of the two chiefdoms, Yoni Mamaila was left with eight sections.
The protesting ruling houses have vowed to fight the cause of justice to ensure transparency, fair play and sustainable development in the chiefdom.
By Abdul kuyateh
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