Reacting to the article, Musa K. Manneh, chairman of the VDC said the publication, petition and the petitioners are all false as there was no dissolution of Kartong VDC by the Brikama Area Council or any of its representatives.
A petition which was signed by more than 200 people has been sent to The Point, demanding the resignation of the VDC. According to the petitioners, the VDC was dissolved by the Brikama Area Council in 2015, but they are still at the helm.
According to Manneh, the VDC he is leading was instituted on 30 January 2019 and since the establishment of the VDC “we have never received any dissolution letter from any area council.”
According to him, the VDC has been working tirelessly for the progress of the community “and this report as carried by this medium on 19 August 2020 as claimed by the petitioners is false news not to only me but to all citizens of this community that read it.”
Prior to 2019, he recalled “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.”
An excerpt from the letter dated 30 January 2019 states that: “After numerous engagements by the Council’s Committee responsible of Village and Ward Development Committee (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.”
The letter he said was signed by Mam Sait Jallow Chief Executive Officer of BAC and was copied to chairman BAC, governor, West Coast Region, PS Ministry of Lands Regional Government and Religious Affairs, chairperson Village Development Committee and Conflict Resolution Committee of BAC, NAM Kombo South District and chairperson Kartong Village Development Committee.
The VDC chairperson explained that the selection of VDC instituted by the area council was done according to the Local Government Act of 2002 and it was made up of representatives from the entire village Kabilos’ wards representatives and it was recognised by both council of elders and alkalo.
“And we have been working in close collaboration with the village authorities, community, duly registered community based organisations and among others in the village,” he stated.
However, Chairman Manneh called on every citizenry of the community to come together to improve the community. “Kartong is a village known for customs and traditions and a village that we are all related. I therefore appeal to everyone from this village to unite for the progress of Kartong and make sure that we work as one community for the progress of Kartong village,” he appealed.
Alhaji Demba Jabang, alkalo of Kartong village who has been in community service for over 35 years refuted the petition claim, saying “there is nothing like dissolve or dissolution of VDC of Kartong and I have never heard anyone making complaint or received any query about the VDC.”
He said in everything, Kartong is known for its customs and traditions “age sect comes and goes and we all stand by our customs and traditions which have been passed down to us. Let’s remain as one people, observe our tradition as one community also what we found from our community elders and stop being divided in the line of politics or whatsoever,” he advised.
Kanjura Touray affirmed that the statement of the dissolution made by the petitioners and published in the media is untrue and this came to the notice of everyone just as fairy news.