Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

Chiefs alarm threats

-In Margibi land dispute

Chiefs in Margibi County have alerted threats on their lives and jobs for their intervention in a land dispute in the county that has led to massive destruction of property and theft.

By: Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr., Margibi County

Margibi, Liberia, May 15, 2024—This paper has discovered that to protect the interests of Fulani Nationals (mainly Malians) against a Liberian Citizen, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is seriously threatening local chiefs handling a land dispute in the county between the Jallohs and Kolubah K. K. Nyankamah, Jr. with dismissal and other punishments.

Many of the chiefs confiding in this paper in fear on Monday, May 13, 2024, in the county made it clear that they would better prefer their lives and jobs to joblessness and death.

Looking rather disappointed, they also said that if the government at its highest level, which is supposed to stand for its citizens, would bury their interests, it means they (local chiefs) are toothless bulldogs, therefore, they can’t risk their well-being.

All this is happening after the Jallohs, who purchased land in the same vicinity but wanted to forcefully take over another seventy-five acres occupied by Mr. Kolubah there, sent disadvantaged youths or Zogoes along with twenty-five armed Police Support Unit or PSU Officers to destroy everything that Kolubah owns on the land, including his late mother’s tomb.

Acting on a court eviction order, the police, accompanied by thugs, broke down all the houses and chicken poultry and took away pigs and other valuable properties belonging to Kolubah, along with his late mother’s tomb open.

Some residents who were around the areas when the destruction occurred narrated that the drug-addicted youths also opened the casket in the grave, using hand gloves, and took away in plastic the already decayed remains of Kolubah K. K. Nyankamah, Jr.’s late mother, buried about three years ago.

Their actions, meant to scare away the victim, who has resisted them for years, took place on Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Kolubah’s Village along Bong Mines Road not far from Kakata in Larkayta Township, Margibi County District#4.

The victim has lived there for about a decade and developed the land with crops, animals, and some other Liberians.

As a result of the destructive action by the Fulanis, villagers fled for their lives, while those from a village established by the Jallohs too left for an unknown destination, fearing possible revenge.

Pandemonium has taken over the entire region as local chiefs, allegedly being threatened by the government, took several country devils to seize the ground in consultation with traditional leaders while the investigation is being conducted.

The rationale behind the fight by the Fulanis, as gathered by our investigation, is that the land is said to have diamonds and other valuable minerals that the Fulani want to mine.

Kolubah, speaking to our reporter via mobile phone following the damage to his late mother’s tomb and properties, said that, to the best of his knowledge, a piece of diamond is situated in a certain part of the land he occupies.

According to him, there has been a longstanding misunderstanding between him and the Malian-born Fulanis, and they have been making him understand that they will use cash violence to get him out of the land.

The chiefs, speaking on anonymity, explained that the Jallohs, after overlooking and violating Liberia’s tradition and values, went to the Minister of Internal Affairs with a complaint that they bought land and wanted to develop it, but the local chiefs were embarrassing them by carrying country devils on the land.

Due to the nature of the complaint, the minister, according to information, sent Assistant Minister Mark Jabateh, who returned after he realized that the Fulanis were completely wrong.

Before his departure, the chiefs said Jabateh admitted that the Jallohs had done wrong, so he would tell them to come to the chiefs and apologize before anything related to dispute settlement happens.

He is said to have also told the traditional people that though he is a Muslim like the Jallohs, they have to be told their wrongdoings and further made to account for their actions, but the chiefs lamented that all this was just meant to cool them down and create opportunity for the assistant minister to benefit from the Fulanis.

When they (the Malians) were informed that they were in serious error, they started begging the local chiefs and traditional leaders through the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

They presented a cow, ten bags of 25kg rice, and 25k Liberian Dollars to the traditional people as their ‘word’ traditionally for their actions, but they were also instructed to present it to the office of Margibi Superintendent Victoria Duncan for onward submission to the chiefs, which they did.

As the chiefs are trying to appease the tradition before inviting the Malians to account for their actions and settle the land dispute, the assistant minister, who is said to be used by the Jallohs, has allegedly begun threatening their jobs and lives.

Assistant Minister Jabateh allegedly told the chiefs that if they were not careful, their names would be taken to Mali, where some of them would be made blind, contract serious sicknesses, or die.

Chiefs have complained that he even told them that they could lose their jobs because the Jallohs are bringing in investments and paying huge taxes to the government.

At this point, the local chiefs are gripped by fear and are now talking about withdrawing from the dispute that left property destroyed and land desecrated. Editing by Jonathan Browne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 + 11 =

Back to top button