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Sierra Leone News: Northerners validate new boundaries

Stakeholders in the north have concluded a validation process of the re-districting and implications of the boundary delimitation process in all five districts of Kambia, Port Loko, Tonkolili, Bombali and Koinadugu.
The re-districting and creation of an additional province making the country into five provinces came as a result of legal approval by an Act of Parliament through the Provinces Act Cap 60 of 2017, which was passed into law on 13 March 2017. The Act gave the National Electoral Commission (NEC) the responsibility to work with relevant stakeholders in reviewing boundaries recently delimited in conformity with the laws and provisions of the Provinces Act.
The newly transferred Senior District Officer (SDO) in Bombali, Abu Kamara, described the process as a ‘big relief’ to the many traditional ruling houses across especially those whom were being marginalized. The new creation of chiefdoms will affect location and position of wards, constituencies, and populations.
The SDO said it will impact positively on the economic situation of communities, culture and tradition, political and population with more Paramount Chiefs and section and town heads. He said political delimitation has nothing absolutely to do with the colonial boundary hence they are expecting 42 Paramount Chiefs to be crowned in the north.
It could be recalled that on 16 March 2017, the final Boundary Delimitation (BD) was tabled in Parliament by the Attorney General’s office and was passed into law which made way for the creation of one Province, 2 additional districts with 3 localities and the de-amalgamation of 41 chiefdoms including North Western Province, Karene and Falaba districts, Port Loko city council, Karene district council and Falaba district council.
When approved by Parliament, Sierra Leone will create an additional province to the already existing four with the number of electoral districts to be increased from 14 to 16 and also increase local councils from 19 to 22.
The Paramount Chiefs and ruling houses in the north were overwhelmed with news on the re-districting especially so when the original colonial boundary will not be affected. The civil society expressed their appreciation and commitment in ensuring the process is monitor hence achieves it intended objectives.
The Provincial head of the Office of National Security (ONS) Alpheus Foday Kamara, said democratic process by NEC to embark on stakeholder’s engagement and validation on the ongoing process came after results from previous census had it that the national population in the north in particular needs additional administrative districts.
Mr. Kamara said the re-districting will result into creation of new police divisions for more Local Unit Commandants (LUC) which requires logistics, personnel, and infrastructures this according to him, it is certain that the funds are available to meet all those components.
MK/1/7/17
By Mohamed Kabba
Twitter @chikakabba
Monday July 03, 2017.

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