Paramount Chief Alimamy Bockarie Yallan Koroma III, while speaking on behalf of his colleague paramount chiefs at a well-attended district validation process in Magburaka town expressed their gratitude to the committee for considering the institution of the chieftaincy as one that is based on customs and tradition and should be devoid of politics.
The Secretary General of the 149 Paramount Chiefs (PCs) informed the gathering that they as traditional leaders have engaged and resolved as part of their final presentation to the CRC to include seven areas which according to him will be in the interest of good governance and the maintenance and sustainability of customs and tradition in the country.
According to the abridged draft reports of the February 2016 review constitution, there are four proposed new chapters including Local Government and Decentralization, Citizenship, Land, National Resources and the Environment, and Information, Communication and the Media.
Under the Local Government and Decentralization chapter, the CRC recommended the establishment of a ‘House of Chiefs’ to be enshrined within the constitution; under Land, National Resources and the Environment, the committee also recommended for the harmonization of the two land law systems.
The one hundred and forty nine paramount chiefs, in their final submission to the CRC, pointed out that the principle of chieftaincy is based on customs and tradition and should be enshrined in the new constitution; that the institution should be protected from any law or action that derogates it dignity; that the house of chiefs be established in the best interest of the people with key functions with every PC shall be a member.
They chiefs also note that the Legal and Judicial Services Commission as indicated in Section 140 of 1991 Constitution should include a Paramount Chief member for the protection of local courts and customary law; that the Land tenure should not be harmonized on the Western Areas model because, according to them, it will likely deprive generations of income from food security and economic livelihood, so base on that they requested for the National Commission dealing with Land, National Resources and Local Government Financing should include a Paramount Chief representation.
Their presentation was recorded and assured to be giving attention after the team would have concluded their nationwide validation process.