At least 3 People are yet to surface after the rumpus at Kamathorthor in the Tonko Lima Chiefdom, Kambia District. This was confirmed to the Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA) by the Local Unit Commander at the Kambia Police Station, Superintendent Francis Hazeley.
He said the police was also probing into the circumstances that surround the alleged shooting and subsequent wounding of 9 other persons that are currently undergoing medical examination and treatment in Freetown. He said there are also the cases of assault, arson and malicious damage which are under intense investigations at the Kambia Police Station.
The upheaval is said to have originated from a secret society and centered on some traditional principles and procedures. It immediate causes can be attributed to the introduction of a new society called ‘Kulimgbong’ in the Tonko- Limba Chiefdom without due consent and approval of certain stakeholders of the community. This was therefore viewed as a belittlement of their traditional right and a challenge to their customs.
Others say it is pointless to have imported the ‘Kulimbgong’ because the people already have the ‘Gbangbani society.
It should be noted that Tonko Limba is one of the most feared chiefdoms in the Kambia District and one of the main places where people often go to for supernatural powers. It is a chiefdom well known for it’s no nonsense stance on the super natural. This is perhaps the reason why most police officers were very much afraid to join the Local Unit Commander after it was reported that there was a serious problem at Kamathorthor.
Reports say it was extremely difficult for LUC to mobilize personnel to visit the scene. Sources say some police officers ‘disappeared in to thin air’ and many more claimed to be unwell. It is said that even the few officers who were compelled to go were so terribly afraid that they surrendered themselves to the locals for spiritual protection upon arrival.
It appears that Tonko is indeed a place where a stranger could hardly claim supremacy especially when it comes to what can be referred to as ‘underworld performance’.
Abu Sella is one of the 3 people that are yet to resurface after the fracas. Report says he is an indigene of both Sella in Kamakuwie and Kamathorthor in Tonko. He is said to be the brain behind the importation of the ‘Kulinbgong’ Society from Sella Limba to Kamathorthor with the purported consent of the paramount chief of Tonko Limba Chiefdom.
The Team eventually came and performed for a couple of days and departed in the early hours of Wednesday after the initiation ceremony of some young men at Kamathorthor.
Speaking to SLENA, the Local Unit Commander said in an interview that Abu Sella had a case to settle with members of the Gbangbani Society. It was under that pretext that Sallieu Kargbo, another native of Kamathorthor mobilised members of the Gbagbani Society from the nearby villages to find out why the Paramount Chief allowed the launch of a new Society in the chiefdom.
He and his colleagues then moved to the Headquarter town of Madina, from where they proceeded to Kamthorthor in high spirit. Sources said the manner in which they approached Kamathorthor made the inhabitants to abandon the town and fled into the bush. Although it is not very clear who must have done all those atrocities, the house of the Paramount Chief, Kandeh Bombolai Kelfa Foray 111 was set on fire but his family was rescued by Rev. Father Magbinty of the Catholic Mission. Another house believed to be owned by Abu Sella was also burnt while 9 people were said to have sustained gunshot wounds.
Inspector Morlai Kamara is the Crime Officer at the Kambia Police Station. He said the police was yet to know who must have committed those atrocities as the two opposing groups have so far presented different versions.
According to sources, Abu Sella had earlier informed the Paramount Chief about his plans to come up with the Kulimgbong Society and was Okayed after a well attended meeting of chiefdom stakeholders. It is reported that the Paramount Chief officially wrote to invite members of the new Society from Sella Limba to have it launched in his Chiefdom. The society arrived and went ahead with the initiation.
On the contrary, Sallieu Kargbo who championed the protest is said to have only mobilised people from the surrounding villages to the Paramount Chief at Madina to enquire why a new society has been allowed without their consent. They claimed to have ran into an ambushed where 9 of their colleagues sustained serious gunshot wounds.
Meanwhile, news filtering from the Inhabitants of Kamathorthor said they all fled into the bush when Sallieu Kargbo approached with the Gbangbani.