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TONGINOR VIEWS: Makona District, the 15th Electoral District of Sierra Leone
By Tamba M. Borbor-Sawyer
Sep 8, 2015, 17:09
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TONGINOR COLUMN:

Motto: The fear of God into politics

 

A MAKONA DISTRICT-SIERRA LEONE’S 15th DISTRICT!

The Kissi of West Africa, are the broadly located set of people within the general area of the Meli and Makona Rivers Basin of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. In the context of Sierra Leone, it is our Upper Moa River Basin, the general area from northern Upper Bambara Chiefdom (Pedembu) north wards to include a third, if not more, of the land area of Kono District and the core valley and plain of the Meli River of  Konaidugu District which is eastern Neya Chiefdom and most of Mongo Chiefdom. The northern limit is Masadu- (Kissi meaning “the Chief’s Town” which the Kuranko call  Masaduguri) situated on Sierra Leone’s side of the border with the Republic of Guinea.


In the colonial days, Kailahun District was indisputably generally referred to as The Kissi Country. I recall receiving here in Freetown a representative body of the Kissi of Neya Chiefdom in Konaidugu District and sending them back to our Regional Police Commander North  (AIG Kabia)  at Makeni at the time, for assistance in respect of a dispute over land with their Kuranko  neighbours.

 

There is reference in many quarters to Kissi Bendu as implying the three Kissi–named chiefdoms of Kama, Teng and Tongi. Since Kissi Bendu in the Kissi language means the big Kissi, thereby logically implying Kissi Pombor (smaller Kissis), the presumption or this notion of attributing smallness to other sets of Kissi should and could be avoided.


Moreover, implicit in the name Kissi Bendu, is that erroneous presupposition of always being in preparation or setting the stage for a manifestation of that apparent curse within the name Kissi relating to fighting oneself always. Ref.: - Edition one of “The Makona Personality” on Curses in the name Kissi. Whether our prayer for a separate District materializes into reality or not, we of the three Kissi-named Chiefdoms should be seen to be thinking in now-times, by the severing of Kissi from the names KAMA, TENG and TONGI which are already enough Kissi identity by name.

 

There are a number of other Kissi communities and chiefdoms in the country which are not qualified by ethnicity. The expressions “The Kissi Bendu School” (of Koindu), “The Bo School”, “The Boys School” etc are very much appropriate in the context used; as names of academic institutions because essentially,  there is always an underlying spirit of competition(fair fighting) amongst academic institutions.

 

I want to submit that we, (now times Kissi) should be seen to steer clear from any semblance of in-fighting. The country is currently in the process of constitutional reform which could be a life-time experience that we, this generation of Kissi, should be known and seen to exploit to our fullest advantage.

 

Despite being of a tougher profile for the District’s Parliamentary representation, the legendary Paramount Chief of Tongi Chiefdom (The Ex Paramount Chief Kai Tongi) fought very fierce, bitter but fruitless battles with the Ngobehs and Banyas of the extra-big Kailahun’s Luawa Chiefdom.

 

Not until the ALL Peoples Party APC Government severed the three Kissi named Chiefdoms of Kama, Teng and Tongi from the extra-big Kailahun’s Luawa, at the instance of Hon Tamba E Juana, that a Kissi man of acknowledged pride in his roots, became Member of Parliament from Kailahun District.

 

The All Peoples Party APC Government could again, for the second time, make history for the colonially depleted Kissi Kingdom by recognizing/ legislating a “Makona District” of Kama, Teng and  Tongi Chiefdoms as well as Mano Sewalu Section of Kailahun’s extra big Luawa Chiefdom without much rancor because the four are seen and known to be one in many many respects.

 

The creation 2007 of Tongi alone as a constituency numbered 004 was a-(P C Kai Tongi) dream-come-true for us Tongia-(the Tongi people) and freedom from the usually 2:1 ratio defeat of Tongi on major issues by the other two smaller (Kama and Teng)  Chiefdoms  in the former  Kailahun East Constituency.

 

I stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ to here proclaim that Tongia and their Parliamentary Representatives such as myself, will ever remain grateful to the NEC Boss Dr. Christiana Thorpe for that delimitation of Tongi Chiefdom alone as a constituency numbered 004 in The Sierra Leone House Parliament.

 

The probably much more important point about the Makona District idea is strategic in perspective and has its premises in history. All the past wars that have devastated the country have had initial and very close bearing with the general area of the Makona Basin region. The Koindu and Buedu customs posts’ revenues of the Makona Basin were challenging our customs from Freetown Port at the time of our public economic emergency of the late 1980s.

 

The RUF war entered Sierra Leone and stayed in the Makona region the longest in the country. Ebola originated from the Guinean portion of the Makona Basin and experts on the virus caution about the history of resurgence. The above highlights speak volumes about the justification for a Makona District.

 

Jointly with all Sierra Leoneans that are committed to the development of the remoter and underprivileged communities of our country, let us work and pray for the creation of our 15th District; “The Makona District” in the most distant but then of high potential for self sufficiency arising from agricultural and economic activities in the country-The Makona Basin of Sierra Leone. Amen.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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