Elected Mayor of the Koidu City Council representing the All People’s Congress (APC) party, Mayor Saa Emerson Lamina has told the world that Members of Parliament, Paramount Chiefs and Appointed APC Ministers of Kono district have failed to perform their duties both at constituency level and in parliament, adding that the people of Kono do not even feel their presence whether they exist or not.
He was speaking at a well attended Kono conference held over the weekend in the United Kingdom (UK), where he said: “Our paramount chiefs have ceased to perform their traditional functions as natural rulers. On the contrary, they are, in all practical respects, political agents of government. They even select political party candidates of the ruling government instead of the party selecting their candidates.”
The mayor went on to say ministers from Kono are better known for fermenting discord and troubles rather than promoting harmony and development. He said it is generally acknowledged that a house divided against itself will not stand, noting therefore that the lack of unity between politicians, the chiefs, the youth, the generality of Kono society today is characterized by disunity, mistrust, infighting, malaise and lack of focus to defend and protect the interests of the district.
He said, considering the swing nature of Kono district in terms of politics, Sierra Leones history can hardly be completed without acknowledging the active participation of the Konos into the body politics.
The decision of choosing the first Kono man to become a vice presidential running mate he went on was largely influenced by the historical and political agreement between the Konos and APC; adding to the fact that Kono district’s vote was considered crucial in determining the winner of the presidency.
“Those of us, who are on the ground and have been following developments, strongly maintained that the cause of this intolerable state of affairs in Kono can be attributed to external influence and manipulation. Despite all of these, the vast majority of the people of Kono, who still remain silent, are oblivious of the wellbeing of the district” Mayor Emerson stated.
However, the mayor acknowledged government’s significant development projects in the district which include the reconstruction of the Matotoka-Kono road which funds where secured by the last government; the power-tama station for the generation of 12 hour light daily installed at the Simbakor Gbense chiefdom; the paving of some main streets in Koidu which commenced in 2009 and yet to be completed with only 50% done hitherto; the installation of Sola lights provided for few major streets in Koidu City and the vocational institute under construction at Simbakor Gbense Chiefdom.
On the other hand, the APC mayor stated that the people of Kono are unhappy about the implementation of government’s development projects in the district which according to them is too slow compared to other districts, adding that the Kono district’s contribution to the national wealth is not commensurate with the extent of government’s development initiatives in the district.
He went on to say contracts for projects in Kono which are supposed to be awarded to residents in Kono, as provided for in government’s local content policy, are instead given to outsider. The excessive use of force by the police in dealing with civil unrests in Kono the mayor stated is quite unlike what obtains in other areas of the country.
The questionable expulsion from the APC party and its subsequent removal from office of Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana who happens to be our kinsman, as vice president of the country, the unwarranted interference of APC party stalwarts into local (Town, Section and Paramount chieftaincy elections) in contravention of the 2009 Chieftaincy Act of Sierra Leon, the recent illicit mining activities in the heart of Koidu City, that is being carried out by one Israeli born Max Brandwyne in contravention of the Mines and Mineral Act of 2009, despite the unanimous condemnation by NMA and EPA respectively, the unlawful indefinite suspension of the democratically elected Mayor of Koidu City are all issues demonstrating the complete failure of Kono Members of Parliament, paramount chiefs and appointed government ministers.
In completion, Mayor Lamina recommended the need to invoke the divine intervention of the God to help pave the way, to enable them address the multiple problems affecting the Kono district and the nation at large, whiles encouraging all Kono compatriots to give their total and invaluable support to the embattled mayor and other well meaning politicians, technocrats and chiefs of Kono towards the bringing of sustainable developments for the benefits of all and sundry.