The current atmosphere in Malen Chiefdom in Pujehun District is a big threat to foreign investment, which if not timely addressed once-and for-all by President Julius Maada Bio, will undermine the prospects of foreign direct Investment in the country.
Stakeholders in the Chiefdom, largely blamed an independent Member of Parliament for Constituency 104, Honorable Shiaka Sama, who they say continues to incite his large followers mainly youth, to steal and destroy properties of Socfin Agricultural Company since they are not, according to him, `working in the interest of his people’.
According to the Malen Chiefdom Speaker, Shemgbe Robert Moiguah, all riots that have been happening in the Chiefdom were being fanned by Hon. Sama, despite the efforts of the President to settle tensions among communities in that Chiefdom.
He said that due to insecurity of the chiefdom, President Bio sent his trusted Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh to mediate with all the affected parties, hoping that Hon. Sama would see the need to maintain peace in his constituency. “Vice President Juldeh Jalloh after listening to every one of us in the Chiefdom during his visit admonished the MALOA group, Shiaka Sama and everyone to wait until he delivers our message to the President who sent him.
The Pujehun District Security Committee and the Southern Region Security Committee, on several occasions admonished all parties to the conflict to maintain peace. “Even the 13 (thirteen) Paramount Chiefs Committee that was appointed by the President to mediate, could have solved the dispute only if the MP had cooperated with them. As usual, the MP Shiaka Sama continues to vow that Malen Chiefdom can only see peace when Socfin leaves the chiefdom which is a gross effrontery to President Bio’s wish for peace to prevail in the Malen Chiefdom’’, Speaker Moiguah maintained.
Commenting on the recent outburst that led to a clash between state security personnel and youths in the Chiefdom, Mr. Moiguah said that Hon. Sama wanted to construct an office in a private property and when he was denied that access, he challenged the authorities that wherever he wants to build the office, no one would stop him in the chiefdom.
He also said that when the forty days period elapsed without any message from the President as promised, Hon. Sama then instructed his followers that since government is unserious over his cause, it was time for the secret society to institute the ‘Poro’ in all the bushes so that non-members would be restricted within the chiefdom. This according to him restricted the operations of Socfin and gave opportunity to `Shiaka’s boys’ to convert their secret society places to oil processing mills, a feat that was discovered by the security forces.
“Shiaka has voiced it out publicly here that he has lost confidence in President Bio when he traveled to Belgium to call on investors for investment because Socfin is a Belgian company. Shiaka Sama is not ready to respect any authority including the President and the Paramount Chief. You hardly see a family member that has not been employed by this company. But if the President fails to protect this investment, we will go back to square one,” he said.
All efforts by Global Times to contact Hon. Sama proved unsuccessful.
By Lansana Fofanah.