By: Richmond B. Tholley
There is gross violation of Sierra Leoneans Human Rights by a foreign company owned by a Member of Parliament in Benin of which several Sierra Leoneans have complained the nameless company operating in Makambo Village, Bombali District.
Investigation mounted by Guardian Post reveals that certain individuals within Bombali District are clandestinely pampering the company to overtly bullied Sierra Leoneans on the pretext that the so-called Member of Parliament in Benin has influence with some of his colleagues in Sierra Leone.
The workers have expressed dissatisfaction and have called on the intervention of stakeholders to come to their as the operation of the company is still hide in secrecy as the local authority in Makambo are calling for urgent action by the local and central government.
Residents of Makambo who spoke to this medium revealed that a year ago, they learnt about the said company through one Sheikh Mustapha Jalloh, a community leader, who informed them that the company is owned by a politician and Member of Parliament, Ahmed Tijani, in the Benin Republic.
They were informed the company would engaged in the processing and exportations of Timber; of which condition of service will be pleasing to workers thereby creating jobs for the community people and help transformed the community as part of the company Cooperate Social Responsibility.
Interestingly, those who interview by this medium cannot give the exact name of the ghost company who continued to play on the intelligence of Sierra Leoneans.
“We were only told that the company is foreign company from Benin and it will provide job for us.”
Makambo community, which is 35 kilometers off the City of Makeni, is one of the deprived communities in Bombali District, and the Country by extension, with the majority of the people in community being illiterate and only survived from agriculture and mining.
We’ve to work for the rest of the day without protective gears and most of us are paid below the country’s minimum wage, an anonymous worker explains.
“Workers are injured on a daily basis whilst on duty and they were left to take care of themselves.
Further investigation reveals that the company is not a blessing to the people of Makambo but the contrary as air pollution and other unpleasing effects in the environment is given the villager’s sleepless nights as the burning of coal and other activities goes unhindered.
During our investigation, two Sierra Leoneans, Ibrahim Kargbo, a lawyer, Dr. John Kargbo, and a Benise, Isaac A. Ogoundele, all claimed to be the Company’s Managing Director in Sierra Leone.
The above representative from the company couldn’t tell the name of the company, as the three highlighted different names.
They said the company is registered with the Bombali District Council and also denied any ongoing operations at Company’s site currently ass claimed by residents of Makambo.
On behalf of the Bombali District Council, Councilor Samuel V. Conteh of ward 110, denied claims by the purported company of having officially registered with the Bombali District Council, calling it a Memorandum of Understanding between the two. “As a Representative of the people of Makambo village, we were informed by the said company of coming to process and exports timber. They’re still waiting on them to officially do registration and denied having knowledge of any allegations of human rights violations, since no one has reached him with such reports. He expressed dissatisfaction over the company’s failure to fulfill their promised to the people prior to the start of operations.