Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Njaluahun Chiefdom Amalgamation Saga



The post-paramount chieftaincy election activities in the Njaluahun Chiefdom, Kailahun District have taken new dimension leading to the creation of another chiefdom in that district.

Since the election of the new paramount chief, PC James Sheriff Coker-Jajua on the 11th December, 2009 at the Chiefdom headquarter town of Segbwema, there has been acts of disobedience from the side of the people of Old Jahn Chiefdom which comprises two sections against the new paramount chief-elect Njaluahun Chiefdom.

Njaluahun has twelve sections and it is a Class A chiefdom which depends mainly on mining and agriculture activities. The Jahn Old Chiefdom and the Old Njaluahun Chiefdom are amalgamated chiefdoms and according to the new Paramount Chieftaincy Act of 2009 which says where the chiefdom concerned is an amalgamated chiefdom, the declaration officer shall ensure that the conduct of the election of a paramount chief for that chiefdom is done on a rotational crowning basis.

This section of the Act was implemented by the Provincial Secretary East, S.K. Brima and the two Assessor Chiefs, P.C Alhaji Momoh Fowai of Dama Chiefdom in the Kenema District and PC Musa Ngombu Kla Kallon of Jawie Chiefdom Kailahun District.

During the declaration of rights on 9th November 2009 symbols were only awarded to the rightful candidates from the Jahn Ngbortor ruling house.

According to the Provincial Secretary, East, he was only been guided by the new Chieftaincy Act of 2009.

Jahn and Njaluahun, he said, are amalgamated chiefdoms and that it was the turn of the Jahn chiefdom to hold the crown.

The decision by the Provincial Secretary did not go down well with the Njaluahun people who, according to source, have ruled for more than 110 years.

The disgruntled Njaluahun people reported the matter to the government through the Minister of State, East, Hon. William Juana Smith who emphatically stated that the two chiefdoms were not amalgamated but that Jahn with only two sections were added to the Njaluahun.

Later, the Jajua, Gbow and the Betuwai ruling houses were also given symbols in Kenema for them to fully participate in the paramount chieftaincy election which was rescheduled for the 11th December 2009 in Segbwema.

Before the election, the people of Jahn, upon discovering documents confirming the amalgamation of Jahn-Njaluahun chiefdoms went ahead and petitioned the action of the PS in the High Court of Bo which was presided over by Justice Naomi Tunis while Sahr Quee Kamanda served as their solicitor.

According to the findings in the high court, the people of Njaluahun won the case because there were no proofs that the two chiefdoms were amalgamated.

The high court threw the case out of court and ordered the electoral commission to go ahead with the Njaluahun Paramount Chieftaincy election.

One of the brains behind the acts of disobedience who is also a human right activist, Foday Musa, told our reported in Kenema that their lawyer was influenced by politicians such as John Benjamin and others for him not to say the truth in court.

According to investigation mounted by this press in that chiefdom, the people of Old Jahn Chiefdom with two sections, Jonga and Fallay, on 26th December 2009 held a meeting at their chiefdom head quarter town of Gbeika to reflect on the history of their existence.

Appreciative of the provision of the Chieftaincy Act of 2009, confident of the fact that Jahn was a chiefdom in it own right and with its own paramount chief up to 1927, concluded that the Old Jahn Chiefdom was blended/Amalgamated with Njaluahun Chiefdom.

In that meeting the people of Jonga and Fallay sections expressed their dissatisfaction about the inconsistencies of the provincial secretary, East, S.K Brima. They also expressed their disgust over the undue influence of some politicians into the paramount chieftaincy election procedure.

“We were equally appalled by the unfriendly treatment meted out to the Jahn people,” they said.

A resolution was also taken in the meeting at Gbeika Jonga and Fallay section (Old Jahn Chiefdom) in the Njaluahun Chiefdom that effective 26th December 2009 they would cease to consider/regard themselves as part of Ngaluahun chiefdom but rather Jahn Chiefdom; that they shall henceforth have no chiefdom political/administrative relationship with Njaluation until the issue of amalgamation of Jahn and Njaluahun Chiefdom is addressed; that just as they did not participate in the paramount chieftaincy election, they do not recognize the defacto n paramount chief as a ruler for them and that any request, information or communication from old Njaluahun to Old Jahn chiefdom will not be considered important or valid.

The resolution further stated that they will not allow any team from Old Njaluahun to assess them for tax payment neither pay tax through them, that any chief (section village headquarters) who does not take instructions from the caretaker committee of the Old Jahn Chiefdom shall be replaced with immediate effect; that a committee of a nine- man including the two section chiefs is set on the day of the meeting headed by chief J.B Fobay, Section Chief of Jonga to oversee the old Jahn Chiefdom and that the paramount chief of Njaluahun Chiefdom with which Jahn is amalgamated stand petitioned until the amalgamation issue is resolved in a court of law.

According to sources close to the chiefdom, the 3 candidates from Ngbortor ruling house of Jahn Chiefdom and the one hundred four (104) chiefdom councilors boycotted the 11th December 2009 Njaluahun Paramount Chieftaincy election at Segbwema.

Speaking to the paramount chief elect through his phone line number 076-623688, P.C James Sheriff Coker Jajua said he was presently residing in Freetown because of those ugly developments in the Njaluahun Chiefdom.

He said since his election as the new paramount chief of Nualuahun Chiefdom he has not performed any official functions.

He said he has ordered the former Regent Chief who doubles as Chiefdom Speaker Chief Alhaji Sheku Senesie to take care of the chiefdom until the president Hon. His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma recognizes him as paramount chief of Njaluahun Chiefdom.

He described the act of the Jahn people as inhuman and enemies to the development of their beloved chiefdom and disclosed that the regent chief and the treasury clerk of the chiefdom have made written report to the Local Government and Rural Development minister, Alhaji Dauda Kamara through the Minister of State, Hon. William Juana Smith for the attention of the Government.

He called on his people to embrace peace and be law abiding and to forget about those petty jealousies that can hinder the growth of the chiefdom.

He disclosed that the Permanent Secretary of Local Government ministry Alhaji Lansana Koroma has instructed the provincial secretary, East to thoroughly investigate the matter by inviting the Jahn people to Kenema.


Written by Amadu Barrie in Kenema Wednesday, 20 January 2010


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is only one way of resolving this problem - abolish this paramount chieftaincy system. The system continues to cause so much damage, has outlived its usefulness, and should have no place in modern Sierra Leone.

Anonymous said...

if you are suggesting of abolishing the paramount chieftaincy,it simply mean you very stupid,and you not a true sierra leonean.Even the modern westen world, you consider to be civilized,have systems of local government.the solution to the paramout chieftaincy,is disamalgamation.