The Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) has on Friday 29th August 2008 ended a peace building and reconciliation workshop in the chiefdom head quarter town of Giema in the Dama chiefdom in the Kenema district.
The Workshop brought together key stakeholders and other residents within and outside the chiefdoms concerned.
Dama chiefdom in the Kenema district has been the most troublesome spot for the past years in the district. The people of this chiefdom have been at each other’s throats since the inception of their new Paramount chief PC Alhaji Momoh Fowai. Since then there has been hardly any development strides in the said chiefdom.
Giving an overview of the workshop the Regional Coordinator of MRD Patrick Adu admonished participants that the workshop was to address the long standing dispute between the people of Dama chiefdom that has divided them into factions starting from the time of Dama chiefdom paramount chieftaincy election in 2002, going through the parliamentary and presidential elections and the recently concluded Local Council election the problems has just been multiplying there by pushing development away from the chiefdom. Mr. Adu said the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy wants to see that total peace prevails throughout the country and that the people of Dama chiefdom are united and collectively work together in the development of their chiefdom as it is being done in chiefdoms within the district. He encouraged the people of Dama chiefdom to respect human rights and the rule of law of the country saying that nobody is above the law. Mr. Adu also said the MRD is working in partnership with the Global Fund for Human Rights (GFHR) in Washington-USA to achieve it aims and objectives in the country. Inorder to physically demonstrate that there is total peace now existing between the people of Dama chiefdom he requested each and everyone in the meeting and the town embrace each other, which happened in a very happy mood for the first time.
All vowed not to go back to past habits as they have now seen themselves as one unit. A proposed unity dance is to take place within the chiefdom at a later date. In his response the paramount chief of Dama chiefdom Alhaji Sandi Momoh Fowai remarked that since he was elected as paramount chief of Dama chiefdom in December 2002, some of the followers of those he contested with have not been loyal to his leadership. He said they have been going all out to see that the chiefdom remains upside down, adding that he as a leader is ready to embrace all and sundry in and out of the chiefdom in the interest of total peace and development.
Chief Fowai commended the MRD for initiating the idea of bringing his people of Dama together in the interest of peace and development. He appealed to them to be coming to the chiefdom at all times to assess the ever lasting peace they all have agreed to maintain saying it will work this time round.
Representatives from the ruling houses in the chiefdom that is the Dakowa, Hakawa, Dassama, Fowai including members of the three opposing political parties the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in Dama chiefdom embraced each other and made statements of commitment for everlasting peace to reign not only in Dama chiefdom but the eastern region and the country as a whole. The pouring of libation by the chiefdom elders climaxed the occasion, while the youths straight away engaged themselves in a peace dance within the town soon after the meeting.