Local Gov’t Minister, Tamba J.S. Lamina announcing the reinstatement of the Chief
Sembehun village, Bagruwa Chiefdom, Moyamba District, 30 March, 2021- The leadership of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) including the Minister, Deputy Minister, Permanent Secretary and Director together with the Minister of Internal Affairs and other stakeholders have reinstated the Paramount Chief of Bagruwa Chiefdom, Robert Coker Ceilolo Papapwe 111, after he narrowly escaped from the Chiefdom in November 2018.
It may be recalled that in November, 2018, Paramount Chief Papapwe narrowly escaped death from an angry mob armed with machetes, axes, and other crude weapons who accused him and some other chiefdom authorities of alleged murder and cannibalism following the disappearance of a fisherman whose remains were found in a river. The incident escalated to the burning of his property including two cars, two houses and other belongings. The Sierra Leone police have investigated the matter and found out that the allegations against him were false.
In his keynote address, the Local Gov’t Minister, Tamba J.S. Lamina, said Sierra Leone is a law abiding country and that after the allegations against the paramount chief, an investigation was mounted into the issue which later proved that the allegations were false and that the youths only used circumstantial evidences against him. He added that the law can only prove someone guilty of a crime after being proven beyond all reasonable doubts but not based on opinions.
He recalled that some weeks ago, the Local Government Ministry called a meeting in Moyamba where all the parties were updated on the outcome of the investigation and the Government’s decision to reinstate Chief Papapwe to his Chiefdom.
“This chiefdom has been under a Care Taker Set-Up since the Paramount Chief was away and what we have observed here today indicates that there is no law and order in this chiefdom. At this point, I would like to thank all those that were serving in either the nine-man or six-man committees, but as of this moment, all committees are disbanded with immediate effect. Paramount Chief Robert Coker Ceilolo Papapwe 111 is the only recognized paramount Chief of this chiefdom,” he announced.
He urged the residents of the chiefdom to be law-abiding and accept the Government’s decision on the said matter, adding that the Government has invested so much into peace and stability of this country and that no one would be allowed to jeopardize it.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, David Maurice Panda-Noah, said there are procedures to follow when someone is aggrieved rather than taking the laws into their hands. He pointed out that Bagruwa Chiefdom needs a lot of development, but that developmental projects can never strive in an environment that is not peaceful.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, David Maurice Panda-Noah giving his statement
“You are in this environment with your relatives which mean if you don’t make it governable, it will negatively affect them. I am imploring you all to support the paramount chief and make this chiefdom peaceful,” he emphasized.
He ended by reiterating that the strong arm of the law will fall heavily on anyone who tries to disturb the peace of the chiefdom.
Notwithstanding the meeting and need for people to be law-abiding, some irate youths went on the rampage and started pelting stones at Government Officials.
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Frederick V. Kanneh