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HomeLocal NewsAmid growing allegations raised against Paramount Chief Russel-Nyama

Amid growing allegations raised against Paramount Chief Russel-Nyama

Fambul Tok Holds Peace Dialogue Meeting in Lower Banta Chiefdom

Gbangbatoke Court Barry, Lower Banta, Moyamba District, Wednesday 1 September 2021- Fambul Tok International has engaged key stakeholders of the Lower Banta Chiefdom to get an opportunity to understand the several issues raised against the erstwhile Paramount Chief John Gibao Russel-Nyama and to possibly facilitate a peace dialogue between the aggrieved parties, with the overall intent to bring absolute peace in the chiefdom.

The engagement came as a result of the follow-up Multi-Stakeholder Platform, MSP, session, held fortnight ago where members highlighted a number of issues between the people of Lower Banta and the Paramount Chief

The issues identified range from allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of Chiefdom and Agriculture Development Funds, land grabbing disputes, political indifferences among chiefdom authorities/ stakeholders are a recipe for political tension, surface Rent payment to land owners and the continuous killing of community members who oppose the PC.

In his welcome address, the Town Chief of Gbangbatoke, Albert Pessima said the presence of Fambul Tok in helping them address their issues would create the necessary impact the community deserves, adding that Fambul Tok had made a reputable track record in identifying conflicts in communities and facilitating the process in addressing them in societies.

Stephen Tommy Russel, Spokesman of a 10-man Committee selected to review the allegations against the PC, said that they had channeled all of the complaints to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, MLGRD, seeking for redress, but that the MLGRD has still not been able to address the issue for the past three years now. He said the 15 count charges against the PC were serious and that they are still calling on government through the MLGRD to address these issues for the peaceful coexistence in their chiefdom.

The Executive Director of Fambul Tok International, John Caulker, emphasized the importance of the peace dialogue sessions, particularly for the Lower Banta chiefdom that is considered as one of the bread baskets of the country. He said as an organization they have the key role of facilitating the discussions and identifying the issues affecting deprived communities, especially where mining activities were prominent.

John Caulker noted that the key outcome of the engagement was that there was a need for Fambul Tok to facilitate a town hall meeting in Lower Banta Chiefdom, where the platform would be created for the Minister of Local Government to listen to the community stakeholders on the issues alleged against the Paramount Chief with a view of addressing them amicably.

“What we need is local solutions to local problems. Fambul Tok will play its role in facilitating this process and creating that space for the people and government to dialogue— and in our own opinion, we believe that if these issues are addressed would bring sustainable peace in Lower Banta Chiefdom,” Mr. Caulker concluded.

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