13 April 2018

Sierra Leone: Bio Urges Paramount Chiefs to Be Apolitical

President Bio met with Paramount Chiefs yesterday

President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio has admonished Paramount Chiefs that they should not allow politics to overshadow their chiefdom responsibilities, but rather to provide leadership in their respective chiefdoms.

President Bio was speaking yesterday at the Miattia Conference Centre in Freetown where the Council of Paramount Chiefs organised a one day conference to congratulate the new president and assure him of their support.

Bio told the traditional rulers that they are key to the maintenance of peace and stability in the country as the institution of paramount chieftaincy was very sacred and must be respected by state institutions, adding that paramount chiefs must be directly involved in the decentralisation process to make it work.

He noted that was pleased to interact with paramount chiefs and assured them of a good working relationship.

"You are playing an important role in your respective communities and so you should not allow politics to take over your activities. It is significant to note that paramount chiefs are the cornerstones to peace building. My government should make sure that we work with paramount chiefs at various levels," he said.

Representative of Tribal Headmen, Chief Mathew Young, said they were pleased with President Bio because he hails from the institution of chieftaincy as his father was a paramount chief.

"We are very much proud of you Mr. President and we want to endorse you as our president. You are the President of Sierra Leone, so I want you to accommodate those who voted for you and those who were against you," said Chief Young.

Chairman Council of Paramount Chiefs, Paramount Chief Sahr Fasuluku, said the meeting was organised in order to highlight certain challenges facing the institution of paramount chiefs for the attention of the new president.

Chief Fasuluku revealed that regents chiefs appointed after the de-amalgamation of some chiefdoms across the country have not been paid since they assumed office.

"It is important to note that the 20004 Local Government Act made provision for local government, but the paramount chiefs were not involved. Another challenge we are faced with is the 2011 Local Court Act. This legislation took away the authority from paramount chiefs. We want you to intervene because the chiefs are determined to work with you," he told President Bio.

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