As protest against Kroo tribal head continues…

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Minister of Local Government calls for cease-fire

February 27, 2017 Max A Konneh, MLGRD

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Maya Moiwo Kaiakai, his Deputy, Hadiru Ibrahim Kalokoh and some Senior Management Staff of the ministry have engaged representatives of the Kroo Descendant Development Union on issues bordering protest made by them, following the appointment of the new Kroo Tribal Headman, Prinsto.

Addressing members of the group at the conference hall of his ministry, the Minister of Local Government said they thought it necessary to engage and elicit the reservations and opinion of the protesters with a view to charting the way forward and bringing a lasting solution to the brouhaha.

The meeting, he noted was a further demonstration of their desire to dispel the misconception that the ministry is insensitive to their plight and grievances.

He said government is very mindful of the decisions it makes and the need to promote peace and harmony among communities as well as women’s participation in governance.

“No amount of anger and animosity can solve the problem,” he said, while admonishing members of the Kroo tribe to exercise patience and desist from all forms of ‘mudslinging and verbal media attacks.

He cautioned them to observe a cease-fire, find a common ground through mutual understanding and work towards charting the way forward.

The Minister promised to hold further discussions with parties concerned to ensure an amicable settlement of the matter.

 In his contribution, the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Hadiru Kalokoh ,thanked the visitors for responding to their invitation and intimated the gathering that the normal procedures and processes were followed before appointing the Kroo Tribal Head, Prinsto in consultation with a seven-man Committee earlier approved by the Kroo tribesmen.

He said five thematic areas were considered including those which prescribed that a tribal head should not hold any position in a political party and any one vying for that position must have vast knowledge of the language, customs and tradition of his tribe and the ability to understand and interpret government’s policies.

He said the decision to appoint Prinsto was based on rules and regulations governing the ministry and not on the basis of favouritism.

His ministry, he said is not averse to the Kroo descendants’ decision to choose their head man but followed procedures that have been applied to other tribes in the past.

 “We don’t want to set a precedent that cannot be followed, he told the gathering,” he said.

The Deputy Minister reiterated that the ministry did not reject the protesters choice, Mrs. Ajua Morris because of her gender or political affiliation but purely on the basis of set procedures and criteria. 

On the issue of the seven-man Committee, the Deputy Minister said they refused to the union’s proposal to dissolve the committee because of what he called inconsistencies on their part, adding that there was also wrangling among them as to who will receive the ministry’s correspondences.

 Although a notable nominee, who understands the tradition and culture of the Kroo tribe, failed to show up during the interview, Mr. Kalokoh said they were able to go through the other criteria and took the necessary action.

 The Chairman of the Committee of Five of the Kroo Descendant Development Union, Rev. Tully Wales thanked management of the ministry for inviting them. He said they rejected the appointment of Mr.

 Prinsto as their Head Man on the grounds that majority of his compatriots are not in favour of his appointment; the interview board was not properly constituted as there were no representatives from the Kroo ethnic group;  the newly appointed Headman has no idea of the culture and tradition of the Kroo tribe and has not been showing concern and interest in the welfare and activities of their union and compatriots.

He accused the ministry of being biased and failing to respond to their decision to dissolve the hitherto constituted seven-man committee. He therefore called on the ministry to withdraw their letter of appointment to the appointee and allow them to go through the normal process of electing the candidate of their choice.