By Abdul Malik Bangura
During the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th November 2019, Karlu Town in YKK Chiefdom, Pujehun District, Southern Province of Sierra Leone was a place of overwhelming celebration as hundreds of people drawn from far and near gathered to celebrate one of their own, Ambassador Omrie Micheal Golley.
Ambassador Omrie Micheal Golley, who previously served as Sierra Leone Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea has his ancestral roots from Karlu Town where his great – grandmother, Mama Sando Gaye, was a chief in that township.
During the weekend celebration in that part of the country, the Saturday 23rd November 2019 programme saw the arrival of the entourage of Ambassador Omrie Golley for the very first time in Karlu Town as hundreds laid siege on the streets with native dancers leading the Ambassador from the entrance of the village to the house of the Paramount Chief of YKK Chiefdom, Honourable Paramount Chief Matilda Yayu Lansana-Minah V.
At the residence of the Paramount Chief on the night of Saturday, several cultural dancers gathered with variety of groups playing their native Mende songs. This was also accompanied by a wake keeping ceremony held by both the Muslims and Christians.
Meanwhile, in the morning hours of Sunday 24th November, Ambassador Omrie Michael Golley’s homecoming continued with a church service by Christians in the compound of the Paramount Chief which was held in tandem with Muslim Quran recitation at the Karlu Town Mosque.
In addition, at the official welcoming ceremony held at the Karlu Court Barray, several dignitaries gathered. Many from far chiefdoms and districts like Kenema in the East of Sierra Leone, Bo the provincial headquarters of Southern Sierra Leone, Moyamba and Bonthe both Southern Region districts were present. Paramount Chiefs and their representatives from other chiefdoms in the Pujehun District were also present at the Karlu Town Court Barry to welcome their own.
The official programme was chaired by the iron lady Honourable Paramount Chief Matilda Yayu Lansana-Minah V of YKK Chiefdom, who also happens to be the Paramount Chief Member of Parliament (PCMP) of Pujehun District in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament. During her opening statement, she spoke about the need for development in what she referred to as the “Waajerian” communities. This she said, Kharlu Town and its environs are on the banks on the River Waanje.
Honourable PC Matilda Yayu Lansana-Minah V, who has been on her throne since 1986, spoke about the need to shift away from fishing in the Waanje River to people of YKK Chiefdom now embarking on agricultural activities amongst others. She praised Save the Children for its contribution in renovating the schools in Karlu Town and then hailed the Government for the setting-up of a modern hospital facility in that part of the country.
Notwithstanding, however, Honourable PC Matilda Yayu Lansana-Minah V spoke passionately about the challenges the people are fraught with. She mentioned the unbearable burden of gari processing. She also spoke about the need for developmental collaboration amongst youth and women groups.
The Chiefdom Development Plan was highlighted by Mr. Cecil P.O. Macauley who detailed their main targets in three categories. The categories he said are: agriculture, mechanized farming, and modes of trading. He called for assistance so that their main targets could be achieved for the development of YKK Chiefdom.
Meanwhile, in his response, Ambassador Omrie Golley assured the people of Karlu Town and by extension YKK Chiefdom and the entire Pujehun District of his fullest support towards their development. He said that he will work with Mr Cecil P.O. Macauley and his team, together with other notables in the district, to actualize the plans for developing the chiefdom within the shortest possible time.
Ambassador Golley also mentioned his ancestral roots traced from that part of the country, detailing that his father had also come to pay libation to their ancestral deceased family members, some 40 years ago.
At the welcoming ceremony, several others spoke including the visiting Paramount Chiefs, the Pujehun District Descendant Association representative, Women’s representative of YKK Chiefdom and the Youths representative of YKK Chiefdom.
Following the welcoming ceremony, the pouring of libation was done by Honourable PC Matilda Yayu Lansana-Minah V and Ambassador Omrie Golley at the family interment site in Karlu Town, YKK Chiefdom, Pujehun District. Entertainment climaxed the two days event.