03.05.2005 General News

Sierra Leone Paramount Chiefs make Bo Declaration

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(From GNA Special correspondent in Sierra Leone G B Osei-Antwi) Bo (Sierra Leone), May 3, GNA - The Council of Paramount Chiefs in Sierra Leone on Friday said it would establish an early warning mechanism to reduce conflict.

In a declaration in Bo, the Chiefs pointed out that the mechanism would enable the people to live in peace, which is a pre-requisite for development.

They promised to uphold, preserve and make the institution of chieftaincy sacrosanct in Sierra Leone through enlightened leadership based on the principles of good governance. The 149 Paramount Chiefs made the declaration when the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, addressed them in Bo in the Southern Province of Sierra Leone.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu's topic was "The Role of Traditional Leaders in Modern Day Governance - The Way Forward".

In the Bo Declaration, the Chiefs promised to take measures to promote security, peace and stability, adding, "We will reactivate the concept of good stranger-landlord relationship".

They promised to be proactive in matters, which could adversely affect security, peace and stability in Sierra Leone. "We will work towards better co-ordination between the chiefdom administrations, local councils and the central government for improved service delivery to our subjects".

The Chiefs said they would strive to enhance the productive capacity of "our personnel through regular training and improved conditions of service".

They stated their determination to work hard to increase the revenue base of their areas through innovative economic policies to reduce their reliance on the central government. "Individually and collectively, we will take steps at chiefdom level to realise the President's call for food security by 2007", they said in the declaration.

The Chiefs stressed their willingness to make land and other resources available to investors for development. They called on Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to work closely with them for the overall development of their areas. The Bo Declaration urged Chiefs not to actively engage in partisan politics to protect the sanctity of the chieftaincy institution. This would enable them to be independent and impartial in national affairs. They advocated for the enactment of a Chiefdom Administration Act, to improve administration in their areas including the maintenance of law and order.

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