“The days of imposing village Alkalos are over”

By Alhagi Sora

These are the words of the residents of Jalambang village, West Coast Region who called on the Minister of Lands and Regional Government to rescind his re-appointment of Lamin Jatta as village head.

Lamin Jatta, commonly known as Mondo was removed by former president Yahya Jammeh as village head during the political impasse. 

The villagers who matched to the ministry of Lands last Thursday were chanting ”you cannot impose our head on us, we rather go through election”.

“We are strongly calling on minister for Local Government to reverse its decision and re-appoint former Alkalo Ebrima Bah as the village Alkalo,” whose ancestors they say is a founder of Jalambang Village and is the choice of the people.

“The era of Imposing village Alkalos has passed. We are now in the era of democratic dispensation, thus we are calling on the government particularly the Minister for Local Government to reverse its decision or allow us to vote and select the person that the villagers prefer,” the villagers told journalists.

Also speaking to reporters, Ebrima Bah, a native of Jalambang village, described the minister’s action of dismissing Alkalo Ebrima Bah as unacceptable.

According to him, the current Alkalo is not supported by the people. “We are now enjoying a new democratic dispensation so we want the minister including the government to know that the era of imposing an Alkalo on a certain community is over. The people have already voted and have written to the minister telling him that they trust Ebrima Bah who was appointed Alkalo recently and more over he is a native of Jalambang and his family owns the village as his grandparents are the first settlers of the village,” Mr. Bah told reporters.

The former village Alkalo, Ebrima Bah, lamented the critical conditions prevailing in the village. The village he said was founded by his grandfather who ruled for 36 years and died and later his father took up the leadership of the village. “When he (Lamin Jatta) was removed as Alkalo after the election, the villagers decided to call a meeting and unanimously agreed that the village should be given back to its founder and that’s why I was appointed as Alkalo by the Jalambang people,” he noted.

“When I received a dismissal letter from the deputy Governor of WCR, I went back and informed the villagers about the development. The Jalambang community said they don’t want Lamin Jatta as their Alkalo, and as we are now in a democracy, he will not rule them,” the former Jalambang Alkalo added.

Other speakers include Bubacarr Cham and Isatou Jobe both from Jalambang village who expressed similar sentiments. They also called on the local government minister to reverse its decision and reappoint Ebrima Bah as the choice of the village.