February 3, 2015 By Alusine Sesay
Traditional rulers across the country have damned the action of the president to lift inter-district and inter-chiefdom traveling ban imposed as a measure to curtail the movement of people and prevent the spread of the Ebola virus disease.
In his broadcast to the nation on Thursday 22 January this year, President Ernest Bai Koroma noted that: “We are now entering a transition phase. Given the progress being made against the disease, we must take action to enable economic and social recovery. First, restrictions on movement will be eased to support economic activity. As such, there will no longer be any district or chiefdom level restrictions on movement. No quarantines or restrictions on movement above the household level will be imposed either by government or local authorities.”
Presenting their recommendations at the just concluded consultative meeting organized by the Mano River Union, Chairman Council of Paramount Chiefs, Charles Caulker, called on President Koroma to restore the ban on inter-district and inter-chiefdom movement until the disease is gotten rid of across the country.
He said they were not consulted before the president announced the decision as they would have decided otherwise if they had been consulted, noting that arguments propounded that people were constrained to transport goods from one point to the other were exaggerated.
Chief Caulker lamented that there was frequent political interference in the implementation of chiefdom by-laws, accusing some lawmakers of breaching the by-laws in favour of their constituents.
Among the challenges the traditional rulers highlighted was lack of sufficient funds to undertake effective work at chiefdom level, lack of mobility and communication and poor road network.
They recommended that women be included in the burial teams to give dignified care to female dead bodies before they are taken to the grave sites.