Lands and Regional Government Ministry Reacts

Following the publication of the story captioned “Lands Minister, PS “Not aware of Appointment of Kuntaur Fula Kunda Alkalo” in the Foroyaa issue No 180, dated 1 October 2015, the permanent secretary at ministry of lands and regional government sent the reaction below:

SUBJ: MISREPRESENTATION OF DISCUSSIONS WITH FOROYAA JOURNALIST ON SEPTEMBER 30TH 2015

Pursuant to our (Editor/P.S. Sanyang) brief telephone talk on 1st October, 2015 relative to above captioned subject matter, I write to set the records straight hoping that it would be given equal opportunity in terms of publication for public consumption. The Thursday October 1st Edition of FOROYAA which carried the front page news caption “Lands Minister, PS not aware of Appointment of Kuntaur FulaKunda Alkalo” is not only wholly incorrect, but also as misleading and not representative of the account of the discussions that both the Honourable Minister and myself held with your correspondent.

The correspondent asked us as to whether or not we were aware of the “Alkalo problem in kuntaur Fula Kunda as well as the questioning but non detention of some members of Fula Kunda community relative to the issue of the Alkaloshlp”. We made it crystal and abundantly clear to him that we were not aware of such. This obviously, is a far cry from what he wrote and was carried by FOROYAA. It is inconceivable that we could have said that we were not aware of the appointment of the Alkalo as this Office, on the 24th August

2015, vide letter Ref: 31/135/01(100) wrote to the Governor of Central River Region conveying the Honourable Minister’s approval of the Governor’s recommendation vide letter hailing from his Office Ref: GCRR/0067 (78) recommending the appointment of Alhagy Sulayman Jawo as Alkalo. The Governors recommendation itself was a function of recommendation of the District Seyfo of Niani who rigorously followed specific provisions of The Local Government Act 2002 (Revised) in terms of due processes for such action. The long and short of it is that we NEVER told the journalist what the paper carried: much to my chagrin. The Ministry has been in the loop. May be the journalist mixed apples and oranges and that is why I have written to set the records straight hoping that it would be carried by FOROYAA.

EDITOR’S NOTE

The point is quite explicit. The permanent secretary has said it all. He and the minister are fully aware of the appointment of the alkalo. In fact, the permanent secretary said in his rejoinder that it is the minister who endorsed the appointment of the alkalo. That’s it. That’s the point Foroyaa wanted confirmed; that it was the minister who appointed the alkalo. So debating on what was said at the interview now becomes irrelevant.

Furthermore, Foroyaa wanted to know whether in appointing the alkalo the minister took into consideration traditional lines in accordance with section 142(2) of the Local Government Act, which states that the Minister shall, in appointing an alkalo, “take into account traditional lines of inheritance.”

It is the view of Foroyaa that appointment of an alkalo by a minister is alien to democratic values; it has nothing to do with African tradition. It is a monarchical practice that should be dispensed with.