A former Regent Chief caretaker of a Chiefdom in Tonkolili District, Northern Sierra Leone is been accused of fueling and inciting post-election violence in the area.
Brima Sankoh, the former Regent Chief of Kafe chiefdom has been accused of being behind all the recent attacks on residents of the chiefdom.
Kafe chiefdom had its Paramount Chieftaincy election on Sunday, and since the pronouncement of Dr. Joseph B. Tholley as the winner and Paramount Chief elect, there have been reports of intense fighting and post-election violence in the area.
According to residents, a group of boys under the command of Brima Sankoh, the former Regent chief is seen going around the villages with offensive weapons and burning down houses.
“I saw Pedro, the son of Brima Sankoh, and Hudson Bangura, with other boys I did not recognize going round, and threatening that they will burn down all houses of supporters of the Paramount Chief elect. They’re with locally made guns,” Amadu Sesay, a resident said.
Currently, about three houses and other valuable properties worth millions have been burnt down in some villages in the chiefdom. Residents are now fleeing the chiefdom for their safety. During a recent visit to the chiefdom, SierraLoaded saw villagers, especially women and their children fleeing to neighboring chiefdoms. And some people are currently hospitalized in Magburaka town.
A pregnant woman was also allegedly beaten up by thugs of the former Regent Chief. And roads were barricaded until when the police visited the area.
Alpha Sesay, town chief of Kamaruku town said, the former Regent chief has vowed to born down houses of all supporters of the Paramount Chief elect.
When reached for comment, Sankoh declined to comment on the story. And this has been the manner of the former chief declining or deliberately turning down interviews from the media whenever he’s been alleged.
The Magburaka Police Station has however arrested three men in connection with the issue, and they’re helping in the investigation.
Sankoh was appointed Regent Chief caretaker of Kafe Chiefdom in 2018 by the Government of Sierra Leone until an election of a Paramount Chief is held in the Chiefdom. The relationship between the former Regent Chief and the people of Kafe Chiefdom turned bitter when the chief who was supposed to be a caretaker did not only surreptitiously create a new and none existing ruling house, but also invited two of his blood brothers (Mohamed Sankoh from London and Mustapha Sankoh) to contest for the Kafe chiefdom chieftaincy elections.
After all peaceful and constitutional means to stop the Regent Chief from going ahead with his unconstitutional moves, the people of Kafe regrouped themselves to petition the two candidates for the new ruling house created by Sankoh.
Fortunately, the people succeeded in kicking out the chief’s two brothers, and their ruling house from contesting the election. This came after the Northeast region Provincial Secretary Simeon Fatoma ruled that the said Masakma Bockarie Sankoh ruling house and their two candidates are not eligible to contest the Kafe chieftaincy election.
According to residents, the people whose houses and properties are now being targeted by the chief and his thugs were the ones the chief says protested against the legality and eligibility of his two brothers and their ruling house and succeeded in kicking out their house.