Liberia’s chief zoe, referred to as “Darkpannah,” Chief Moses Suakollie has been dismissed by the head of the Traditional Council here after bestowing traditional honors on Vice President Jewel Howard – Taylor
His dismissal on Sunday, 3 February has been greeted by mixed reactions, with some fearing that the decision might be politically motivated given the trend of events leading to his dismissal.
Chief Suakollie got promoted from Native Superintendent to Darkpannah of the Republic of Liberia barely weeks after he presented a Leopard tooth to President George Manneh Weah during the president’s first visit to Bong County after being elected.
But Chief Suakollie’s shocking dismissal comes weeks after he and local Traditional Leaders of Bong County honored and presented an elephant tooth and an eagle wing to Vice President Taylor.
Following his dismissal, a lot of residents of Bong County became to express serious concerns and shaping blame on Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf for what transpired.
Some citizens are saying this action of the Traditional Leaders to dismiss Chief Suakollie has a serious political undertone and has brought the County to public disrepute.
Citizens in Bong County are calling on President George Manneh Weah and Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf to intervene in matter, warning that ignoring it will bring misunderstanding in the County.
Chief Suakollie particularly states that he was verbally dismissed by Traditional Council Chief Zanzan Karwoh and Assistant Internal Affairs Minister for Culture and Native Affairs Joseph Janga during their visit to the county on Sunday, 3 February.
He challenges his verbal dismissal, insisting that he remains the legitimate Darkpannah of Liberia.
He says no one should take the secret action of Chief Karwor and Janga serious, telling this paper that his bosses decided to dismiss him due to his action to have bestowed great traditional honors on President Weah and Vice President Taylor.
Chief Suakollie strongly believes that his verbal dismissal has a political undertone, alleging that Chief Zanzan Karwor and Assistant Minister Joseph Janga are secretly in favor of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) and so they have expelled him because he comes from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
When contacted, Assistant Internal Affairs Minister Joseph Janga describes the Chief Suakollie’s statement as baseless and only meant to demoralize his character.
Minister Janga states that even though Chief Suakollie has been dismissed, his dismissal was not done or even masterminded by him or Chief Zazan Karwo.
According to him, the action was taken by the “Bush Minister and Traditional Leaders” who gave him the position last year.
Mr. Janga further clarifies that Chief Suakollie’s dismissal was not on the basis of bestowing honor on President Weah and Vice President Taylor, but because he violated seven rules of the tradition.
But Minister Janga fails to disclose the alleged rules violated by the dismissed chief.
Minister Janga states that Chief Suakollie as per the mandate of the Bush Minister and traditional Leaders, will not participate in any traditional activities in the Country.
He tells our Bong County correspondent via mobile phone that Chief Suakollie has over the past time taken the tradition as a play toy.
The Assistant Minister indicates that the Bush Minister listed seven counts against Chief Suakollie, which have brought the tradition to public disrepute in the country.
By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong –Edited by Winston W. Parley