By Kebba Jeffang
Speaking to this reporter on the phone on Tuesday, 15th September, 2015, Governor Khan said there was tight of interest and therefore the yard owners of the village had to decide who was to become Alkalo. He said in this process, the majority of the yard owners showed their interest to Sulayman Jawo over Samba Jawo.
He emphasized that “the majority of yard owners have signed for Sulayman. The other side is making noise because they lost. Every village has yard owners and they decide the Alkaloship. The appointment of Sulayman is a process,” said CRR Governor Khan.
However, in contradiction to the Governor’s claim, Mr. Pierre Bah, Chief of Niani District last week said the appointment of the Alkalo is based on the (Local Government) Act and he appointed Sulayman Jawo because it is him who had expressed interest in becoming Alkalo. He said Samba Jawo had never announced his interest for the position to him.
“I appointed the one who expressed his interest to me to be the Alaklo of Kuntaur Fula Kunda,” said the Chief.
A native of the community last week said the villagers wouldn’t be answering to the call of Sulayman if he remains the Alkalo.
Villagers who spoke to Foroyaa yesterday, they disagreed with the statement of both the Governor and Chief indicating that Sulayman is a choice of the district Chief and not the community and that “his appointment doesn’t follow the due process as indicated by the Governor.”
According to section 141 of the Local Government Act “The Secretary of State responsible for Local Government shall appoint an Alkalo in consultation with the Regional Governor and District Seyfo.”
In short, it is the Secretary of State that appoints and the villages have no right to choice. This is the law as it stands at the moment.
When the 1997 constitution was promulgated it provided for the election of Alkalo if need be. But this was repealed in 2001 by the current government.