Sunday, July 21, 2024

Urgent Call for Responsible Action in Kuntaur Area Council

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OPINION

By Modou A. Sambou, Demba E.W. Ceesay, Fatoumata N. Cham

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We are deeply concerned about the prolonged absence of Mr. Saikou Jawara, Chairman of the Kuntaur Area Council, who was scheduled to return from the USA after a 14-day trip in September 2023. Despite the council’s ultimatum for his return by 31st January 2024, Mr. Jawara has not resumed his duties, causing significant disruption to the council’s operations. This dereliction of duty according to council has prompted the councilors to pass a resolution, giving him an ultimatum to resume work or face the declaration of his position as vacant for by-elections to be held as soon as possible. As concerned citizens and natives, we cannot continue to be quiet over this gross misconduct as if we are complacent to violation of the law.

The “Local Government Act, 2002” clearly outlines the responsibilities and limits of elected officials, as well as the procedures for addressing issues of non-performance or absence from duty. Section 20 of the Act provides grounds for the removal of a Chairperson from office, and the same section allows for the revocation of the mandate of an elected member of a Council by the electorate, should the need arise. Mr. Jawara’s prolonged absence not only violates the trust placed in him by the electorate but also undermines the effective functioning of the Kuntaur Area Council. His actions are not only a disservice to the region but also a betrayal of the hopes and aspirations of the youths who overwhelmingly voted him into office.

Given the impact of Mr. Jawara’s absence on the effective functioning of the Kuntaur Area Council, we urgently call on all relevant stakeholders to support the council in taking swift and decisive actions in accordance with the “Local Government Act, 2002.” The council’s ability to serve the community has been compromised, and it is imperative that the will of the people is upheld. We implore the council to proceed with the necessary actions without further delay, as outlined in the Act, to address this matter and ensure the effective governance of the Kuntaur Area Council. The provisions of the Act allows for the removal and revocation of the mandate of elected officials who fail to fulfill their duties, and we urge all stakeholders to stand in solidarity with the council to address this pressing issue.

While acting to restore normalcy in the council, we call upon the Kuntaur Area Council to uphold the provisions of the “Local Government Act, 2002” and take swift and decisive action in accordance with the law. It is imperative that partisan politics and personal interests be set aside in the interest of good governance and the welfare of the region.

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It is crucial that the Kuntaur Area Council and all relevant stakeholders adhere to the legal framework provided by the “Local Government Act, 2002” and take the necessary steps to address the situation with Mr. Saikou Jawara. The integrity of the council and the trust of the electorate must be upheld, and the provisions of the Act must be enforced to ensure accountability and good governance.

We are with the conviction that the Kuntaur Area Council and all relevant stakeholders will heed this urgent call for responsible action and act swiftly to address this matter in accordance with the law.

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