February 25, 2015 By Victoria Saffa
Some residents of Konike Chiefdom in the Tonkolili District, northern Sierra Leone, have described their Paramount Chief Bai Kurr Kanagbaro III as a 21st century tyrant and oppressor who is ready to stampede anyone who dares to oppose his alleged misrule.
A section chief who begged for anonymity described the traditional ruler as a nightmare and one who employs dictatorial means to control his subjects.
He alleged that PC Kanagbaro III was forcefully subjecting his subjects to hard labour without any incentive, without any sign of respect for the rights and dignity of the people.
He further alleged that since he took the staff of office “without the proper procedure, election or coronation”, the chief had abandoned the people for three years, only to reappear during the outbreak of the Ebola viral disease.
He again alleged that the traditional ruler would usually force his subjects to construct feeder roads in nearby villages with workers required to use their farming tools, without any food or incentive.
He claimed that whoever challenges the chief’s authority would be beaten and detained in a secret detention centre, as they would be treated inhumanely.
Another inhabitant, who is an elderly woman in the chiefdom, Madam Mariama Kamara, said the chief would act like a demigod who can do whatever and get away with it.
She alleged that the chief had installed in his compound solar lights meant for the chiefdom and that he only bought few Veronica buckets and gallons of chlorine for the fight against the Ebola virus.
When contacted for his reaction via his cell phone, the Paramount Chief responded in a rather aggressive mood.
“Go and write what you want to write. I owe no obligation to you or anyone else. If you want me to respond, go and bring all the people you interviewed and let them repeat everything they told you about me.”