By Elisha Hardingnel
President Dr Julius Maada Bio, on Saturday 11th June 2022 recognized, coronate and handed over staffs as symbols of authority to eight new Paramount Chiefs while also entreating them to be peace ambassadors in their various chiefdoms.
PC Kandeh Bamba II of Tambakha Yogbangie Chiefdom in the Karene District, PC Sheku Terenah Tongos Neya Konkoroba Franko Lai Marrah III of Neya Chiefdom in the Falaba District, PC Bai Shebora Thelleh III of Yoni Mamailla Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District, PC Masakma Madibie II of Kafe Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District, PC Kandeh Gbanka III of Ngowahun in the Bombali District, PC Bai Makarie N’kolo II of Gbanti Chiefdom in the Bombali District; PC Rtd Captain Prince Lansana Wonnie Bio V of Sogbini Chiefdom in the Bonthe District, and PC Alie Musa III of Mafindor Chiefdom in the Kono District were all recognized and went through coronation to serve their people in their respective chiefdoms.
“My administration has ensured that the institution of Paramount Chieftaincy is insulated from the challenging national politics. I have also ensured that under my supervision, the issues of central Government political manipulation of Paramount Chieftaincy elections are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
“Therefore, let me assure you all that the institution of Paramount Chieftaincy will continue to regain its past glory of being one that guarantees only official and rightful families compete among themselves in our various Chiefdoms across this Country,” said President Bio.
President Bio noted that the institution of Chieftaincy was and would remain a critical element of the administration of the State and reassured, especially the Paramount Chief elects that the sustainability of country’s nascent democracy and promotion of effective and community-national development could not have taken roots without their full and active involvement.
“On an occasion like this, I want to publicly recognize and express my sincere appreciation to all Paramount Chiefs across the country. As Paramount Chiefs, you provide the superstructure or foundation on which I and my team in the Executive arm of Government rely to function and execute the mandate of planning and delivering vital services as well as leading sustainable national development,” he said.
While presenting the new Paramount Chiefs to President Bio, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Tamba Lamina, said chieftaincy in the country was the foundation for governance since the colonial era. He further noted that in 2018 President Dr Julius Maada Bio promised to restore the dignity and respect that traditional rulers deserved, noting that the event was a testament to that commitment.
The Minister confirmed to the gathering that the process leading to the election of those traditional leaders was transparent and peaceful, noting that that was a sign of good leadership backed by decent democratic principles.
“The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone gives the President the authority to recognize and coronate elected Paramount Chiefs. On that note, therefore, I humbly call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio to hand over the various staff of authority to our Paramount Chiefs. Thank you very much,” he concluded.
Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of his colleagues, PC Masakma Madibie II of Kafe Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District extended appreciation to the President and his Government for his leadership roles in governing the nation, saying that he had seen a lot of tangible development since the SLPP took office in 2018.
He also thanked the Council of Paramount Chiefs for their guidance throughout the entire process and promised that they would work with the Council and the central Government for nation-building.