A consultative meeting of all political parties, District Forest Officers (DFO) and members of Agricultural Community and Timber Development Association (ACOTIDA) has been held at the Regional police headquarters in Kenema city.
In his welcome address the regional crime officer East, Samuel Sanie Sesay described the meeting as timely as it was geared towards development of the nation. Addressing the issues of all political parties and the police partnership board, Mr. Sesay advised all to comport themselves in a peaceful manner, saying that peace is the tool for development in any nation. The crime officer commended the people of Kenema for their political tolerance. He recalled the incident between the political parties which occurred in Freetown some weeks ago and expressed his fear that the people in Kenema may want to do the same. Mr. Sesay praised all political parties in Kenema for what he described as their demonstration of maturity. He called on all to stand by each other in promoting peace in the region. The regional crime officer encouraged all and sundry to maintain their political rights in the best way possible adding that no one will try to halt them. He also encouraged them to disseminate the messages of the meeting to the other members who were not fortunate to be present.
On the issues of Forestry Division he informed the people that government was more concerned about the illegal operation of Power Saw operators in the country as they are creating more deforestation in the country.
Giving an overview of the illegal Power Saw operations in the country Mr. Sesay said it is a crime to undertake an illegal Power Saw operation and called on all operators to go through the right channels in order to legalize their operations.
The District Forest Officer (DFO) in Kenema Thomas Dickson Kallon informed all who are logging boards, that to carry one inch board to Freetown will cost one thousand Leones per board and two thousand Leones for each two inch board. He emphasized that all board transporters to Freetown needed clearance from DFO otherwise their boards will be confiscated as government property and the culprit will be arrested by the police and face the law. He advised all to go by the law of the land adding that anyone caught in the illegal act will have him or herself to blame.
In his contribution the deputy chairman of ACOTIDA Swaray Bockarie informed the police about the establishment of ACOTIDA organization in the country. Bockarie said they are in good working relationship with the police and DFO. Swaray Bockarie appealed to the government to reduce the taxation on timber business which he said is too high, adding the it is the cost of taxation that prompt people to involve in illegal acts. The Secretary General of ACOTIDA Abdulai Sangarie also appealed to the government to see reasons and be lenient with them as the cost of licenses for Power Saw has been increased from three to 6 million Leones. Contributions were also made by Alphusus Komeh of the SLPP, Francis Musa of APC and Mustapha Senesie Abu of the PMD