Every time I’m in Sierra Leone, having lived in the Diaspora for a while, as soon as I arrive at Lungi, I’m on the road the following day to Kono. And to call the drive to Kono today a pleasant one is an understatement. For me, participation in Kono issues is a must! And that is a ritual! But what saddens me is the disunity, Pull Him/Her down, ‘mammy Koss,’ backstabbing, hypocrisy and, ‘gboss gboss’ that has characterized not just the Kono community, but also most Kono gatherings, meetings and the like.
Most Kono kinsmen have even ceased to attend Kono meetings or shy away from participating in Kono issues because of the invectives and disrespectful behavior by a handful. One such gathering that had the potential of chaos and demonstrations was the just concluded Kono conference held in Washington, DC. Interestingly, most Konos, the ones Paramount Chief Paul Saquee calls “the silent majority” are peace- loving, God – fearing people save for a handful of individuals who for their own selfish ends, have chosen to be uncivil towards their compatriots. Some will even badmouth your mother for simply asking a question. Sad! But should we sit idly by and allow the loud minority to drown us out? A resounding No!
The organizers of the recently concluded Kono conference in Washington, DC could not be thanked enough for their laudable effort in making the August meeting a reality. A venue where Konos from all over the world, because of their desire to move Kono forward, sacrificed their money, time and prioritized the Kono Conference, a place where they can discuss in a respectable way with their compatriots, the way forward for Kono. But alas, there were those who were bent on gagging others by employing different forms of intimidating tactics to prevent what most Konos believe is the truth. Two of such people that have been castigated, badmouthed, threatened and sacrificed on the social media altar, because of nothing but hearsay within the Kono community, are Paramount Chief Paul Saquee of Tankoro Chiefdom and Minister of Lands and Country Planning, Mdm. Diana Konomanyi. Despite threats of “hell on earth” by a few Kono brothers who were bent on disrupting the peace of the Kono Conference by “demonstrating” against Minister of Lands, Diana Konomanyi and prevent her from telling her Kono compatriots and the world her own side of the story, they failed woefully!!
They planned on demonstrations that never happened! They planned on stopping Lady D from coming to attend the conference, they failed! They tried to make the conference stricto senso their agenda, they failed with distinction!! Diana Konomanyi and the silent majority of Konos, stole the show. Diana and Chief Paul Saquee took the high road to peace. They both emphasized that Konos do not have to belong to the same political party for them to develop Kono. Mdm. Konomanyi stressed the need for Konos to resolve their differences amicably without recourse to insults for each other. She challenged those in the Diaspora to go to Kono and not only investigate, but understand the bigger picture of the Kono disunity in order to be able to resolve the Kono issues. “We cannot achieve peace for Kono by meeting in the Diaspora, we must go to Kono…” Minister of Lands, Diana Konomanyi maintained.