BAC urges restraint over Kartong VDC matter

Aug 27, 2020, 12:25 PM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Brikama Area Council (BAC) has urged the community of Kartong to exercise considerable restraint to enable peace and progress prevail in the village.

Responding to questions from this medium in his office on Tuesday over a petition written by some group of people against the Kartong VDC, Modou Jonga admitted the receipt of the petition signed by some numbers of the village of Kartong.

He informed the two parties, the petitioners and Kartong VDC members that “the Council is looking at the contents of the petition and as part of addressing the subject matter in the petition; the council’s VDC Select Committee will engage both parties and submit their report accordingly.”

He added that presently a conclusive response on the matter cannot be given “but we are taking the petition with urgency that it deserves. Therefore, we are encouraging both parties to exercise restraint and allow peace to prevail in the community.”

A petition written on 13 August 2020 by the community signed by over two hundred people claimed that “Brikama Area Council dissolved the Village Development Committee (VDC) of Kartong on November 10th, 2015 following a petition from the community members about its conformity with Local Government Act, 2002.”

And, “after years of consultation with members of Kartong community both at home and in the Diaspora, a new VDC were formed in 2018 presided by alkalo of the village and heads of each clan (Kabilo) and validated by the Divisional Community Development Coordinator of the West Coast Region.”

Moreover, the petition further states that “Brikama Area Council wrote a letter, on 30th of January 2019 to the alkalo endorsing the same dissolved institution.”

In the petition, the group also made a six point demand pointing out “it is necessary to bring clarity to all concerns, but most importantly, to ease mistrust, suspicion, and unnecessary conflict among family members of Kartong village.”

In his reaction to the above petition, which is not copied to the Kartong VDC, Musa K. Manneh, the chairman of the VDC emphasised that the VDC he is leading was instituted on 30 January 2019, and that since the establishment of the VDC “we have never received any dissolution letter from any area council.”

He, however, explained that prior to 2019, “there was a section in the community who did not recognise the VDC until a letter titled “Council Resolution on Kartong Village Development Committee (VD)’ addressed to the Alkalo of Kartong village by the Brikama Area Council, West Coast Region.”

This letter according to him, states clearly that “after numerous engagements by the Council’s Committee responsible of Village and Ward Development Committees (V and WDC), conflict resolution matters with the alkalo and the two parties in conflict of Village Development Committee (VDC) authority in Kartong, it has proven beyond all reasonable doubts that the Village Development Committee (VDC) established by the village in accordance with section 92 A of the Local Government Act 2002 and led by Mr. Musa K. Manneh is the committee duly recognised by Council as the legitimate Village Development Committee (VDC) authority.” 

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