Sandaru Town, Penguya Chiefdom, Kailahun District, 4 March, 2022- The entire leadership of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) headed by Minister Amb.Tamba Lamina, and other stakeholders including the Internal Affairs’ Minister, Resident Minister of the Eastern Region, 2nd Infantry Brigade Commander, Representative of the Office of National Security have officially reinstated Paramount Chief (PC) Samuel Sheku Jibila of Penguya Chiefdom.
PC Jibila left his Chiefdom in 2018 following a conflict with his Chiefdom residents that left his house and other properties destroyed. MLGRD in response set up an investigative inquiry team that went into the Chiefdom on a week-long ‘leave no stone unturn’ investigation. The team later forwarded it reports to the Ministry which was taken to the President for his final recommendations. Amongst other recommendations, MLGRD was directed to reinstate the Chief after extensive engagements with the stakeholders and residents of the said Chiefdom.
In his statement, Minister Lamina stated that Paramount Chieftaincy is an entrenched clause in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone and that it takes a lot of legal processes to elect or remove Paramount Chief. He said his presence with other Government’s stakeholders in the Chiefdom was a continuation of the peace talk his Ministry had started long ago in respect of PC Jibila.
He continued that all allegations made against PC Jibila were careful looked into by the independence body and recommendation of reinstating him stood tall amongst others since his removal from the Chiefdom was illegal.
However, Minister Lamina assured that PC Jibila had gone through stringent orientation and admonishment as to how he should rule his people. He disclosed that in addition to the signs of remorse that PC Jibila showed, he had refunded the 50 million Leones that the Chiefdom residents accused him of embezzling and that the said amount is going to be deposited into the Chiefdom’s account.
“The crimes that PC Jibila allegedly committed were forgiveable crimes according to the report and recommendations of the administrative inquiry team, so I want to use this opportunity to entreat all those who felt aggrieved with what happened to forgive PC Jibila whilst I assure you that he is now a new person owing to the orientations and admonishments that he had gone through,” he stated.
The Penguya Chiefdom Youths Leader, Mohamed Sam King, ask for forgiveness from the Paramount Chief by stating that they over reacted by chasing him away from the Chiefdom but promised such will never happen again.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, David Panda Noah said he was the happiest man in the gathering because Penguya is the Chiefdom he hailed from and that it would be a shame if he failed to restore peace to his Chiefdom as a head of internal security. He appealed to the residents of the Chiefdom to embrace peace and allow the Government to develop same.
In his short remarks, the Permanent Secretary of MLGRD Thomas B. Lansana, entreated the Council of Paramount Chiefs to be playing active roles in preventing some conflicts between Paramount Chiefs and their subjects by way of identifying, mediating and solving the early sings of same.
All other Government’s stakeholders including the Director of Local Government spoke uniformly about the good effects of the reinstatement of the Chief and the its importance to the development of Penguya Chiefdom.