From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Hon. Jobson Momoh against reintroducing District Officers
By Momoja Lappia
Jul 2, 2010, 17:18

SLPP Member of Parliament for Constituency 90 in the Pujehun District, Hon. Jobson Momoh, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Local Government in an exclusive chat at the party’s Wallace Johnson Street headquarters condemned APC government’s intention to reinstitute District Officers throughout the country.

Hon. Momoh, a seasoned civil servant who had held various senior administrative positions in the past, including serving as a District Officer in Moyamba, Port Loko, Kambia and Pujehun respectively, in no uncertain terms damned ruling All People’s Congress Party’s hype of reintroducing District Officers without due consideration for constitutional implications. Hon. Momoh expressed to Awareness Times that the APC Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Government, Ambassador Dauda Kamara’s move is a recipe for chaos.

His view was that SLPP’s dilation on the re-introduction of District Officers by the APC in Wednesday’s monthly Press statement as appeared in paragraph 9 was apt, timely and consistent with the laws of Sierra Leone, contrary to insinuations by APC sympathizers that it was not timely.

Hon. Jobson Momoh, a former D.O. has warned against APC’s latest move

Hon. Jobson Momoh’s position is that Parliament needed to review the 2004 Local Council Act, as well as the 2008 Chieftaincy Act so as to avoid overlapping of the functions of the councils with regards the position of Chiefdom Administrators whose functions are similar to those of District Officers.

Hon. Jobson Momoh who is the current Deputy Chairman of the Local Government Parliamentary Oversight Committee said without a review by parliament, the unapproved reintroduction will cause duplication of duties, ineffective coordination at district levels hence hampering development, and the wastage of valuable resources, in addition to creating tremendous conflict of interests between Dos and Local Council stakeholders.

In retrospect Hon. Momoh told of how the Local Councils Act of 2004 effectively abolished the office of District Officers with the position of Chief Administrators as replacement empowered to carry functions hitherto tasked on DOs. The reasons for this move were to avoid an overlap of duties and in line with the decentralization policy.

In reaction, the Minister of Political Affairs who is also the ruling party Spokesman, Hon. Alpha Kanu said when the SLPP wanted to abolish the District Officers, the APC were opposed to it but that they were outnumbered since they were in opposition then. “What goes round comes round,” he said. He said SLPP Executive should have confidence in their parliamentarians and allow them to champion their causes instead of “causing noise all over the place”. However, it is an SLPP parliamentarian who is leading the call for the D.O. system not to be reintroduced in the country.

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