Mr. Kalokoh averred that ethnic and cultural differences in some amalgamated chiefdoms are causing conflicts which is not helpful to the people and for social harmony needed for development. Some of the former Chiefdoms in the amalgamated chiefdoms have not been able to produce Paramount Chiefs since the time of amalgamation; and he said to date because of their size and population. Some Paramount Chiefs do not have interest and control over the parts of the chiefdom they do not hail from. “This resulted to the neglect and underdevelopment of those areas, and in some cases, people in the affected parts of the amalgamated chiefdom resorted to civil disobedience as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction with the unhappy union they found themselves in.
Consultant of the De-amalgamation process, Mr. Aiah Joseph Lebbie said over the years there have been tensions, animosity and instability among the people in some amalgamated chiefdoms.
He said in some parts of the amalgamated chiefdoms have experienced domination and oppression by the larger parts of the amalgam.
“Paramount Chieftaincy Elections in these chiefdoms were often characterised by rancour and the marginalisation and victimisation of ruling houses from smaller components. Some ruling houses have become virtually extinct. There is now greater recognition for self-determination and self-rule in most of the amalgamated chiefdoms.”
Mr. Lebbie said even though the Chieftaincy Act of 2009 made provisions for Rotational Crowning of Paramount Chiefs in amalgamated chiefdoms, tensions and animosity still manifested themselves at Paramount Chief Elections.
“The wide spate of pre and post-election protests and judicial injunctions were testimonies to the rancor that surrounded Paramount Chief Elections. Representations from people in amalgamated chiefdoms were made to the Ministry of Local Government over the years; to put an end to the unhappy marriage they found themselves in.”
He said appeals were made to Government to de-amalgamate chiefdoms to foster peace, stability and social harmony among the people in the chiefdoms. Since the chiefdom is the administrative unit for development in the provinces, the more chiefdoms that are currently tied in a miserable union are provided with independence status, the better the happiness of the people concerned.
The Consultant said this resulted to peace, stability, social harmony and a healthy spirit of competition for development at the chiefdom level.
“It is important to note that 80 chiefdoms were amalgamated in the North, 30 chiefdoms in the South and nine chiefdoms in the East. De-amalgamation has raised political and or regional sentiments, since more chiefdom were de-amalgamated in the North than in the South and East.”
Mr. Lebbie said at the end the De-amalgamation exercise resulted in the re-creation of 41 chiefdoms in addition to the existing 149, which now amount to 190 chiefdoms country wide.
“To ensure effective governance of the country, it is necessary to undertake some administrative re-adjustments and changes. The administrative re-adjustments and changes that have been undertaken by Government saw the re-establishment of Karene District and the division of Koinadugu District into two districts of Koinadugu and Falaba Districts.”
He said with the re-establishment of Karene District and the establishment of Falaba District, Government has declared these two districts as localities. “There is now a Karene District Council with its principal offices located in Kamakwie Town and a Falaba District Council with its Offices in Mongo Town. Port Loko Town which is the Headquarters of the North-Western Province has been declared by government as a locality in line with the other Provincial Headquarters in the country.”