The community of Kuntaur FulaKunda, Niani district in the Central River Region-North (CRR-N) is into conflict as to who is to occupy the position of Alkalo after the Chief’s appointee was not supported by the many villagers.
This incident happened after the demise of the then village Alkalo Dickorr Jawo in June.
Informing Foroyaa on Wednesday, September 09, 2015, a village native preferring anonymity told this reporter that the community is in a conflict. He explained that the former Alkalo Dickorr Jawo passed away on 12 June, 2015, just a week before the fast month (Ramadan).
He said, just one week after the demise of Mr. Jawo when they were even observing the seven days charity, the District Chief came to the village to discuss about the successor to Dikorr Jawo, but that the village elders suggested to him to wait until after the forty days charity as that is how they do it traditionally.
He added that the Chief later came back to appoint one Sulayman Jawo as the Alkalo, which he said caused the conflict “because the majority of the villagers do not like the appointed person to be the village head.”
The source added that yesterday, Wednesday, the situation in the village was quite tense and became serious at one stage.
He explained that the village association had written to the regional Governor in Janjangbureh and that they are waiting for his response.
According to him, the villagers said they will not be answering to the call of the Alkalo appointed by the District Chief.
Commenting on the issue, Mr. Pierre Bah, Chief of Niani District, when contacted on the phone, said the appointment of Alkalo is based on the (Local Government) Act. He said he appointed Sulayman Jawo because it is him who has 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.
However, when he was also contacted on the phone, Samba Jawo, said the statement from the Chief was not correct. He maintained that he had expressed his interest to become Alkalo to the Chief, citing the village Imam as a witness. He said the villagers want him to become the Alkalo, that’s why he has accepted.
Sulayman Jawo, the appointed Alako was also contacted but declined to make any comment on the issue unless a reporter goes to the ground.
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.