By Joseph Milton Lebbie..
The District Officer, Bonthe, Sulaiman Kallon, is reported to be fermenting trouble in Jong Chiefdom by refusing to announce the winner of the Nyandehun Mototie village chieftaincy election held since February this year.
According to the Head of the Office of National Security (ONS) in Bonthe, Bundu Abu Bakarr Sesay, the issue which has become a security threat has been discussed in the District Security Committee (DISEC) and the District Officer has been advised to announce the winner of the election as he has failed to give to the committee a convincing reason for not announcing the winner of the election.
In an interview, the ONS boss explained that the only reason the District Officer has so far given to the committee for not announcing the winner of the election is that the election was chaotic and that the winner, Alusine Pieh Sharka’s supporters jubilated just after the counting without waiting for him to formally declare Sharka the winner, an excuse which the ONS boss described as not valid as most of those who supervised the election including the Town Chief of Mattru, Edna Tucker, described the election as free, fair and peaceful, not chaotic as claimed by the District Officer.
“If that election was chaotic as claimed by the District Officer, how did the whole exercise proceed to the point of counting the results with Alusine Pieh Sharka scoring 143 votes, defeating Joe Abu Powie who scored 142 votes?” the ONS chief asked, wondering why the District Officer decided to use only the chiefdom police, and not the Sierra Leone Police as he was earlier advised.
Bundu Sesay further informed the Global Times that the matter has been discussed by the Provincial Security Committee (PROSEC) which has sent a team to investigate the matter and the team has advised that the District Officer officially declare the winner of the election and that anybody who feels aggrieved must go to the court of law to seek redress but that the District Officer is yet to do so but keeps insisting on the conduct of another election which Alusine Sharka and his group who scored the highest votes have categorically refused to accept.
The ONS chief continued that Sharka and his followers have written a strongly-worded protest letter to the Paramount Chief of Jong, Alie Badara Sheriff, copying the ONS office, the Local Government Ministry, the Resident Minister, South, the Southern Regional Police Commander and other authorities concerned demanding the formal declaration of the winner of the election and making their position clear that they are not prepared for any other election.
Bundu Sessay concluded by calling on the Local Government Ministry to promptly intervene and prevail on the District Officer to officially announce the winner of the Nyandehun Mototie Village chieftaincy election as early as possible in the interest of peace and security in the chiefdom as the more he keeps delaying the official announcement of the winner of the election, the more trouble he keeps brewing in Jong Chiefdom and the Bonthe District in general.
When contacted for his response, the District Officer refused to comment, saying the civil service ordnance does not allow him to talk to the press without permission from his higher authorities.