His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio has informed Paramount Chiefs that the chieftaincy institution is the bedrock of democracy.
He was addressing local authorities during the handing over the Staff of Authority to 10 Paramount Chiefs in the Northern Region after their successful elections under the aegis of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Relations.
The ceremony brought together other traditional leaders, family members, government officials, well-wishers and residents from Falaba, Karene, Koinadugu and Port Loko districts.
President Julius Maada Bio, while congratulating the traditional authorities, the Ministry of Local Government, and celebrating the chieftaincy institution in Sierra Leone, said he was happy to learn from the Ministry that the exercise leading to the elections of the chiefs went on successfully with no interruption or violence.
He called on the newly crowned Paramount Chiefs to work with their subjects for the development of their respective chiefdoms, pointing out that they were elected to lead their chiefdoms and should, therefore, endeavour to work in the interest of their chiefdoms in particular and the country in general.
President Bio noted that because the chieftaincy institution stood among the longest moral guarantors of democracy, peace, and national cohesion and also served as the longest symbol of authority in the country, he was calling on all elected chiefs to unite their chiefdoms and continue to uphold peace in the country.
Paramount Chief Bai Forki Fainka II of Maforki Chiefdom, Port Loko District, said, “This day is a very great and historic day for me and my chiefdom and the entire family members of our ruling house.
The staff that I have received today is the staff of my great-great-grandfather, some 100 years ago. Since his death I am the second person from my ruling house to be elected, crowned, and handed over the staff of authority to.
“So today, I have made history because our chiefdom, which was amalgamated with Bakeh Loko, has been de-amalgamated and I am the first to be crowned Paramount Chief since then,” he explained.
Paramount Chief Bai Kura-Harray IV of Taikatopa chiefdom, Port Loko district, said, “This day means a lot to me and my family because it reminds me of my late grandfather and uncle, both of whom had served as Paramount Chiefs of our chiefdom. My people are eager to see this staff to indicate that we have chiefdom authority”.
Minister of Local Government and Community Relations, Ambassador Tamba Lamina, said since President Bio was elected in 2018, they had successfully elected 42 Paramount Chiefs with no complaint or court petition.
He said it was possible for them to have done so well because of the redress mechanism that his ministry had adopted and the support he was receiving from the Council of Paramount Chiefs.