By Omar Bah
The Kanifing Municipal Council yesterday gave three weeks’ ultimatum to the two parties involved in the highly explosive Latrikunda Yeringanya alkaloship crisis to seek endorsement from yard owners after the two rival parties failed to have a consensus.
The dispute over the alkaloship erupted after Swaebou Faal, son of the recently demised Alkalo Alh Amadou Faal and Pa Omar Faal, son of a one-time Alkalo Alh M.O Faal, claimed hereditary rights with each citing tradition.
The KMC initiated a peace meeting in May between the rival parties but the meeting could not proceed due to concerns allegedly raised by Pa Omar Faal.
But speaking to journalists shortly after a tense closed-door meeting with the two parties, the chief negotiator and KMC director of compliance, Dembo Sanneh said the council has now concluded that the two parties will have to seek endorsement from Latrikunda yard owners after they failed to reach an agreement.
“They were once again given the opportunity to sit together and discuss but they couldn’t agree on terms. So now we have decided to give them forms to seek for yard owners’ endorsement. When they return their forms, we will forward it to the Ministry of Local Government for a final decision,” he said.
Asked why it is time for the KMC to make a decision on the matter, Sanneh said: “The problem is that all the two parties had their fathers as alkalo before which makes it very difficult.”
But one of the parties, Pa Omar Faal commented: “Nothing is conclusive yet. I want the right thing to be done. I will not accept any election because the law has not said anything. I don’t have any idea about how it would be solved”.
Scores of Latrikunda natives, who turned up at the KMC to rally behind Swaebou Faal chanted: “We need Swaebou Faal as our alkalo. We don’t want anybody who is corrupt as our alkalo”. The angry natives also booed Pa Omar Faal as he left the KMC premises, and accused the council of unnecessarily dragging their feet on the matter.
Also speaking to journalists after the meeting, Swaebou Faal said he was happy with the KMC’s decision.
“We will go and seek for the endorsement of the community because I am very confident that the people of Latrikunda are with me. This is why I even think KMC is unnecessarily dragging the issue. But I will urge my supporters to remain disciplined and abide by the law at all times,” he said.