By Sylvester Samba.
Stakeholders in Koinadugu district have stating openly that development will not be seen in that part of the country if the following disputed issues remain unresolved.
On Saturday, August 18, 2018 at a one-day dialogue session in Kabala organized by the Inclusive District Committee in collaboration with National Framework for Inclusive Governance and Local Development, the following disputed issues were identified; land dispute between families and individuals, conflict emanating from chieftaincy rivalry, political indifferences and tribal conflicts, among others.
In his statement, host Paramount Chief of Wara Wara Yagala Chiefdom, Gbawuru Mansaray 111, said the dialogue was timely as there are lots of issues to be addressed in the post-election era. “We were expecting such meeting as elections are now over and all of us should work together for inclusive governance” Chief Mansaray emphasized.
He said it has been very difficult for traditional leaders to work with the District Council to collect revenue because they were not working together
The new Chairman of Koinadugu District Council, Mr. Alex Sorie Conteh referred to the dialogue as a blessing in disguise, adding that if they are not united, it will be very difficult for communities to develop.
Mr. Sorie Conteh said the primary objective of the meeting is to promote district cohesion, peace and unity and a robust revenue mobilization. He informed stakeholders present that all of them will be held responsible if they fail to restore peace and development in the district.
The Executive Director, Fambul Tok International-Sierra Leone, John Caulker said the whole idea of the dialogue is to create space for stakeholders to discuss pertinent issues affecting the district. “There are lots of potentials in the district, but if activities remain uncoordinated you will not realise anything… Therefore part of the meeting will give you an opportunity on how to resolve issues and work towards joint revenue mobilization,” Caulker stressed.
He said President Bio, in his commitment to national cohesion promised in Parliament, the setting up of an Independent National Peace and Cohesion Commission which will be charged with the responsibility of bringing peace and unity in communities. He mentioned UNDP’s project which aimed at restoring peace especially in post election hotspot communities in the next three months
Paramount Chief Foday Umaru Jalloh of Kalian Chiefdom called for election related/land dispute issues to be resolved immediately by the Inclusive Committee. He explained that his colleague chiefs have lots of problems in collecting revenue. He called for a joint revenue collection with District Council. District Officer, Koinadugu, Ajina Mansaray in his remarks lamented over political atmosphere in the district. He said there are lots of issues worth addressing, including tribe supremacy, boundary and land ownership/disputes. He called on Fambul Tok through the Committee to work closely with other structures to resolve the issues. Hon. Foday Lamin Kabba of Constituency 044, Sengbe chiefdom acknowledged the work of Fambul Tok for the past years in the district. He called on every indigene in the district to be peaceful and work towards development. The dialogue session was fruitful as action points and way forward was reached. Some of them include maintaining cohesion in communities, transparency and accountability in relation to equitable distribution of resources and monitoring of development projects.