Local Government Minister speaks against irregularities in PC elections

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By Frederick V. Kanneh,Information Officer,MLGCA

Minister of Local Government and Community Affairs, Amb Tamba Lamina, has expressed dismay over how some processes of Paramount Chieftaincy elections are carried out.

“I want to be sitting here today to welcome you all in the normal way, but I can’t. The reason for this is our Ministry has faced embarrassment because our functionaries and those that we rely on in the Regions to perform their duties diligently and ensure that we are effective in the Regions have not been able to do so,” Amb. Tamba Lamina stated while saying that it was on that note that the Ministry summoned all provincial Secretaries and some District Officers to such a meeting.

He continued that the Ministry had once engaged all Provincial Secretaries and District Officers on how to professionally conduct elections, adding that the reason for such is elections that are not managed well always have a direct reflection on the Ministry referencing the issue of Kwami Bai Krim Chiefdom as the height of embarrassment that the Ministry has ever faced. He said understandably the people were angry, they ventilated and if that meeting had not been held in the vicinity of the Ministry, stones would have been pelted at him and other senior staff, which would have been a further embarrassment to the Ministry, Government, and by extension the President.

He maintained that the Ministry believes that its officers are capable of conducting Paramount Chieftaincy elections and that it’s a surprise for him to see things go the other way of late, adding that there are instances where the Ministry has even had more than two stakeholders meetings that involve resources of the Ministry but there are still mistakes in some of the election processes.

However, he admitted that he is aware of the pressure on the officers during those elections, but at the same time, they have the scope to do explicit research before they conduct elections and they should not just depend on what appears before then at the time of the elections.

He gave instances of how he had handled people coming to manipulate their ways to have the right to Chieftaincy through thorough research and the fact that his conscience is always clear. He said the process is guided by law so there is no way the officers should allow to be dictated to by aspirants or any other stakeholders. 

He ended by saying that the engagement was not only to talk about the processes of the past elections, but also about the new ones that are coming up.

The Permanent Secretary of MLGCA, Thomas B Lansana, who Chaired the engagement also took time out to explain to the Provincial Administrators that the Ministry had received several complaints of irregularities in recent Paramount Chieftaincy Elections but the Ministry would not address those concerns without the presence of the  Provincial Secretaries who oversee the said elections, adding that the meeting was to know the issues and find a permanent way forward.

The engagement later focused on dealing with all the issues Region by Region where the Provincial Secretaries and their District Officers explained and allowed comments from other Administrators, Representatives from the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone ( ECSL), and the leadership of the Local Government Ministry including the Deputy Minister, Alfred Moi Jamiru, Director of Local Government, Brima Newman Combay and the Deputy Secretary, Alusine A. Joque.

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