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Minister asks for time in Banyaka alkalorship crisis

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By Alagie Manneh

Local government minister Musa Drammeh is asking for more time to deliver a final decision on the Banyaka alkalorship crisis.

Many including elders of Banyaka in Kombo South are demanding the resignation of their alkalo Lamin Camara who was appointed in 2015. Mr Camara has been accused of “breeding instability and dividing the people”.

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Elders of the village said Mr Camara’s administration has been soiled by a “endless land scandals and abuse of authority”.

In the wake of the incident, several meetings were held in the Kombo South settlement to resolve the issue.

The last meeting happened in November presided over by the Kombo South Chief Lamin Darboe. Discussions regarding the outcome of the meeting were sent to the minister who is now expected to deliver a final decision on the long-festering issue.

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But he told The Standard yesterday he was not ready to make any final decision as technocrats peruse the report sent to his ministry on the issue.

“We are going to handle it [the issue] very soon. For now, it’s an internal matter. I am telling you the governor’s office and my office are internally dealing with it. The technocrats are looking at it and any decision will be based on their recommendation,” Minister Drammeh explained.

Pressed to give details on when exactly he intends to make a final ruling, the minister said: “I cannot tell you tomorrow or next week but, as far as we are concerned, we are taking the issue very seriously.  

Governor Lamin Sanneh said the intention is to bring back “sanity in the village”.

“The founding fathers of the village must never be isolated. [But] if somebody is given alkaloship in the family and is abusing his position, the alkalorship should be changed. There are many reports against Lamin [Camara, the alkalo] and if that is the case then a decision should be taken,” he stated.   

Commenting on the matter, Kombo South chief Lamin Darboe, said: “I have done my part. I have submitted my report [on the issue] to the governor. “

Meanwhile, Alkalo Lamin Camara has denied any wrong doing, and rubbished all claims against him as false.

“The orchard in question … belongs to my father and I will not allow few people to claim ownership of [it],” he was quoted as saying during the meeting. 

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