To answer this question, one needs to have at least a brief understanding of the history of the chieftaincy of Marampa Chiefdom. It started in the 1800s by a famous Mandingo Arabic Cleric named Dainkaley from the North/West of Africa, either Guinea or Mali. He had four sons and a daughter, so from these sons must have come these four crowning houses of Marampa Chiefdom as denoted below:
BAIMP PEAIGN TUPA
TITLES OF THE CROWNING HOUSES:
SANKOLO : Pathbana
KEGBELE : Queen
BAIMP PEAIGN TUPA : Gbemeti
PAKUMA : Kennerie
To avert future confusion that could shake the fabric of the peace in the chiefdom, the people agreed to a rotational policy whereby the ruling houses will in turns produce succeeding paramount chiefs on the death of a paramount chief. Thus, in the early 1920’s, Bai Koblo Gbemeti from the BAIMP PEAIGN TUPA ruling house became the first paramount chief.
This was the time the British company, Delco, was making exploration of the iron ore in Lunsar. They later discovered that the hills of Marampa had a large deposit of high quality iron ore, so the British Company, offered the paramount chief a huge amount of money in a bid to buy the two hills: Massaboin and Gafal. However, Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Gbeneti refused the offer and told the British that he was just a custodian of these hills.
WHAT A FORWARD LOOKING PARAMOUNT CHIEF. A LEADER DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BRILLIANT OR CLEAVER, BUT HE HAS TO HAVE A VISION!
After the death of Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Gbemeti, Bai Koblo Bathbana from the first ruling SANKOLO house wore the crown as the new paramount chief. He was later banished.
In 1986 Alie Kabia was crowned as chief of Marampa chiefdom,representing the Kegbele chieftaincy house of Katick in the Marampa chiefdom. However, the people of Katick petitioned the government of the day to challenge the legitimacy of the chieftaincy of Pa Allie Kabia (Koblo Queen 1) by refusing to perform the sacred ceremonial confinement ritual referred to as (KANTHA). The outright rejection of Koblo Queen 1 by the people of Katick of the Kegbele Chieftaincy house, precipitated the creation of the Taju Deen Commission by the APC government to ascertain the veracity of the petition. When the commission ended the investigation, they upheld the petition of the people of Katick stating that Pa Allie Kabia failed to sufficiently establish his legitimacy as a true descendant of the Kegbele chieftaincy house of Katick. As a result, his chieftaincy was annulled and Pathbana was reinstated albeit briefly because he passed away soon thereafter.
It begs the question then that if a commission of inquiry would delegitimize and recommend the annulment of the father’s tenancy of his chieftaincy of the marampa chiefdom, how could any government legitimize the son to run and ultimately become chief.
Understandably, the PAKUMA ruling house was next in line to hold the chieftaincy. However, on the death of Paramount Chief Bai Koblo Bathbana, the KEGBELE house usurped the power and Paramount Chief Koblo Queen II, the son of Koblo Queen 1, was crowned in 2002.
Of course this was a complete travesty to justice and a gross violation of the rotational policy that is the corner stone of the stability of the chieftaincy of Marampa. In spite of this cardinal sin of denying the PAKUMA ruling house’s chance of the chieftaincy, the people allowed peace to reign.
Having gotten away with the breach of succession agreement that should have resulted in a war, Koblo Queen II, after his coronation, vehemently refused to go to Kantha to perform the right of passage that would have legitimized his chieftaincy. He finally only did so after ten years of his coronation because of an uproar that was brewing in the Chiefdom. WHAT AN OUTLAW!
But the main issue that has clouded his chieftaincy and a bone of contention within the chiefdom is his refusal to form his chiefdom committee, an oversight body that has the power to check the powers of the paramount chief and keep him from abusing his powers as set forth in “PART V1- CHIEFDOM SPEAKER AND OTHER SUB-CHIEFS 22(1) in the Chieftaincy Act of 2009” that reads:
The Chiefdom Speaker shall be appointed by the Paramount Chief after consultation with his Chiefdom Committee from outside the ruling house of the Paramount Chief.
This clause of the act notwithstanding, this paramount chief went ahead and appointed a person who hailed from Mange Buren, Port Loko District as chiefdom speaker. As if things were not bad enough, he appointed himself secretary, accountant, spokesperson, and anything he wanted without any consideration of the will of his subject or the Chieftaincy Act of 2009. Paramount Chief Koblo Queen II has absolutely usurped the entire machinery of the chiefdom to cover his crooked dealings that even deny the people of Lunsar the money that the mining company gives him.
Ladies and gentlemen, this brief history is the basis of the ongoing struggle between the present paramount chief and his people that resulted in the riot. Paramount Chief Koblo Queen II of Marampa Chiefdom has suffocated his people ever since he came to power and continues to rob the people of what is theirs.The riot was just the climax of the injustices the paramount chief has meted on his defenseless subjects, so the people had no choice but to say enough was enough in the loudest way possible, and that was by rioting.
Instead of facing his daemons within him that ignite his creed and belligerency that are the root causes of the riot, he chose to make Prof. Sheikh Umarr Kamarah and others his scapegoat.
To this end and to bring about the lasting peace the people of Lunsar want and certainly deserve, President Maada Bio should investigate to find out why the people of Lunsar had to take the last resort of violence. Simply rounding up people and locking them will only make you, President Bio, their enemy. Mr. President, you must hold the feet of the paramount chief to the fire to constitute his Chiefdom Committee.This Chiefdom Committee will curb this paramount chief’s innate excessive tendencies of transgressions against his subjects.
Our appeal to all the indigenes of Lunsar is not to balk their responsibilities during this turbulent time in the history of our town. This can be achieved by speaking in one voice.
Sadly, the Achilles heel of Lunsar is that we always put personal interest that has factionalized the town.Lunsar is at the crossroads and our main focus at this moment is to disabuse the public perception that the indigenes of Lunsar cannot work together for the betterment of their children.The town has suffered far too many setbacks for too long and it shouldn’t continue to go through this path any longer!
Please watch this space for Part 2
LUNSAR ADVOCACY GROUP, USA.