Sierra Leone: Pujehun Descendants Take Peace Dialogue to Sorogbema

Stakeholders, including women and youth groups in Pujehun District over the weekend converged in Sorogbema Chiefdom to mend fences with one and other.

As part of the July 6th 2019 communique' signed at the maiden peace conference held in the district headquarter town, stakeholders agreed to hold similar meetings quarterly across all the fourteen chiefdoms in the district.

Sorogbema Chiefdom was the first to witness such memorable gathering which attracted indigenes from the chiefdom, stakeholders from the district, traditional leaders and government officials.

The meeting, which was held on November 9th in Fairo-a fairly big town close to the Liberia border with Sierra Leone, was part of effort to bridge individual differences that emanated from the 2018 general elections.

Paramount Chief of Sorogbema Chiefdom, Mustapha Jeange Massaquoi, noted in his opening address that the initiative is very good and re-echoed that it would help bring together indigenes of the district to dialogue for peace and development.

He informed the gathering that his chiefdom is underdeveloped with his subjects suffering from abject poverty, thus citing the poor road network leading to Sulima- the commercial town of the chiefdom.

He appealed to the Senegalese based construction company, CSE that are constructing the Sierra Leone-Liberia international highway, to help them pave the road from Malema Junction to Sulima Town.

He added that his chiefdom has challenges in terms of health and education, which according to him, have contributed to the many dropouts and significant record of infant mortality rate in the chiefdom.

Chairman, Peace, Reconciliation and Development Secretariat, Sadiq Sillah, who is also the country's Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, admitted that things are hard for the ordinary man, but that the current administration would soon bring bread and butter on the table.

He said Pujehun District has cultivated the culture of nurturing enmity among themselves because they don't share the same political ideology.

"The overall objective of the dialogue is that Pujehun District should be developed. Be it SLPP, APC, NGC, C4C or any other political party, we should come together and develop our district. Peace and reconciliation does not mean there is war, but we should come together and develop our district," he said.

In his short remarks, Chairman of Pujehun District Descendants Association (PDDA), Patrick Ansu Kaikai, observed that the idea of peace, reconciliation and development dialogue is to bring everyone on board to discuss issues affecting the district and find a possible solutions.

He promised that the secretariat would construct a bigger Court Barry in Fairo as the current one is very small and out dated.

District Officer of Pujehun Distirct, Charles Munda Kailie, thanked the secretariat for the initiative and promised to support the peace, reconciliation and development drive.

On his part, district Youth Chairman, Brima Fullah cautioned youth to be respectful, law abiding and focused.

He said by next year, every chiefdom within the jurisdiction will benefit from the Chiefdom Farm which will address the massive youth unemployment in the country.

Resident Minister South, Mohamed Allie said if they are talking about peace in the chiefdom, it should start with the paramount chiefs and their subordinates.

However, the next meeting schedule for March 2020 will be held in Zimmi, Makpele chiefdom.

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