By Frederick V Kanneh, IO, MLGRD……
Tankoro Chiefdom, Kono District, 4 September 2021 -The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Amb. Tamba Lamina has encouraged Paramount Chiefs not just to consider themselves as traditional leaders but that they are critical agents of change and development in local governance.
Minister Lamina made this statement during the official opening of a multipurpose ultra modern hall built by the Tankoro Chiefdom Administration under the leadership of Paramount Chief Paul Ngaba Saquee V of Tankoro Chiefdom in Kono District. The Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, was a keynote speaker at the occasion.
“During my 26 months as Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, this is the second time that I am witnessing such a huge testimony of development from Paramount Chiefs across Sierra Leone. The first was a massive guest house in Rotifunk and now a multipurpose ultra modern centre, so these are proofs to show that Paramount Chiefs should no longer be considered as only traditional leaders, but as important agents of change and development in this country,” he reiterated.
He observed that since 2004 when the Local Government Act came into being, Local Councils were placed in superior positions over Chieftaincy, but that the New Direction Government of President Bio has realized that the two entities should work as partners rather than one playing superior role over the other.
He added that over the years, both the Central Government and donor partners have shied away from allocating funds to Chiefdom Administration because there was no effective accountability system, but the Government has decided to recruit Chiefdom Development Officers that would be acting in that capacity.
He stressed on the importance of the multipurpose ultra modern centre to residents of Kono District lauded PC Paul Ngaba Saquee V for his contribution.
In his keynote address, the Vice President Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, entreated other Chiefdom Administrations to emulate Tankoro Chiefdom, adding that the New Direction Government has invested so much in health, education, amongst others, which are possible areas to tap from for chiefdom development.
“Paopa means development and progression, so any Paramount Chief who embraces development in their Chiefdoms are considered members of the paopa family. Therefore, PC Paul Ngaba Saquee V, is now one of the true sons of the family because of what he has done,” he said.
Dr. Jalloh highlighted several developmental projects that are about to unfold in the Kono District ranging from agriculture, education, health to road construction.
He appealed to the sons and daughters of the District to build on their capacities and encouraged mining companies to be giving priority to residents of Kono in terms of employment.
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Frederick V Kanneh
Information Officer MLGRD