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Urgent Need to Review Administrative Divisions
By A Joint Op-Ed by Abdul Malik Bangura, Acting Editor, Awareness Times & Gunther A.B. Daramy, Deputy Editor, APC We Yone Newspaper
Mar 21, 2016, 12:08
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This new Cabinet of His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has several huge challenges at hand. One of the first tasks is to help His Excellency the President achieve one of his visions which is to rectify that great imbalance in administrative divisions of Sierra Leone. The truth in our view, is that a total review of divisions is urgently needed.


Why do we say it is urgently needed? There are many important reasons but for this piece, we will give just one reason; the ill effect of the imbalanced division is an ensuing skewed allocation of resources around this country.


The administrative divisions of Sierra Leone, as at now, is terribly disadvantaging huge swathes of our populace. This imbalance is one of the main reasons why Ebola was so recalcitrant in leaving Northern Province. Residents up North have been disadvantaged from poor allocation of resources for far too long. We think enough is now enough.


Just imagine that very huge mass of land which make up KOINADUGU district, is administratively of less significance with only one local government administrative division, the Koinadugu District Council; whilst tiny BONTHE district has two local government administrative divisions; the Bonthe Municipal Council and Bonthe District Council?


Such skewed division is why Nieni Chiefdom, just one of the eleven chiefdoms of Koinadugu, is bigger than entire Bonthe district but yet Nieni is without a recognized local government council and attendant human & logistical resources.


Logically, this makes no sense. So, if it makes no sense and is affecting the welfare of our people like it happened during the recent Ebola Crisis, it must be rectified and rectified quickly. Simple.


Imagine this Mal-Administrative dividing of Sierra Leone and you can imagine why Ebola was so intransigent up North. There just was not enough human resource oversight or logistical resources serving huge swathes of the land.


This is why for several weeks in 2014, Nieni in Koinadugu silently suffered the Killer Ebola outbreak un-recorded and un-noticed at a time when the classic signs & symptoms of Ebola were supposed to now be well known by all.


In initial days when Ebola ravaged Kailahun Kissi areas un-noticed, it was mostly because the signs and symptoms were not known by indigenes of this land. However, for it to ravage Nieni un-noticed for weeks, is a signal of administrative breakdown caused by lack of attention over such a huge land mass.


This abnormal division of our country is abhorrent. It is a blight on our collective national conscience. It should and must be rectified promptly.


Factually, the geographical area known as the Northern Province is not well served administratively and this is very unfair. Infact, we envisage having a Central Province after review and re-demarcation of Sierra Leone’s administrative divisions.


Further, during pre-independence & colonial days of governance, far too many large chiefdoms were forcibly amalgamated in Northern Province (especially Port Loko) as compared to other regions. This has created a huge imbalance in service delivery to residents in many of those now super-large amalgamated chiefdoms.


If our beloved President can achieve that most-needed rectification of such administrative imbalance, then for sure he will be, without any doubt, the greatest ever President produced in this part of Africa.


President Koroma and his Cabinet have a huge task at hand to rectify this glaring imbalance in the administrative division of Sierra Leone; a shameful imbalance resulting in skewed allocation of health, education and social welfare resources.


H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma has achieved so much already in two terms of leadership. If he can go on to achieve the re-demarcation of our administrative divisions, then that will be the jewel in an already shining crown of this great latter day “Bai Bureh” hero.


Reviewing our administrative divisions is the correct and moral thing to do. So can H.E. President Dr. Ernest “Bai Bureh” Koroma do it? We think he can. So join us to wish him success as he does it. Ameen.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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