By Bampia Bundu
The Acting Paramount Chief of Sambaia Bendugu Chiefdom, Tonkolili District, PC Musa Bendugu Jalloh has called on civil society organizations to desist from making bogus statements on radio and television about the working relationship of African Minerals and the chiefdom people.
He made this appeal in an exclusive interview with this reporter at his chiefdom headquarter town of Sambaia Bendugu on Monday.
Chief Jalloh expressed his disaffection about the way and manner in which certain civil society organizations have been going around the country making false statements on their behalf without even contacting them, the direct beneficiaries or affected communities for their comment on the issues.
He used the interview as an opportunity to call on these organizations and other relevant stakeholders to visit his community and talk to the people about the impact of African Mineral in their various communities.
He commended the government and the people for allowing mining companies to mine in the country especially African Minerals, as according to him, they have brought great changes in the lives of his people and community.
He pointed out that AML is serving as an eye opener for his people, adding that he knows his people can boast of employment now and the capacity to take care of their families.
He admitted that AML has helped in the construction of many linking bridges and schools in the chiefdom, offered tractors for public works and scholarships for their children among others.
He went on to state that 90 percent of the youths in his community are working for AML and that has helped change the lives of his people in the various villages in the chiefdom.
Chief Bangura also confirmed that AML is presently working on constructing a road in the chiefdom that will help them tremendously, adding that in order to provide more jobs for the illiterate people, AML has introduced the stone pitching project that will enable everybody to work irrespective of their educational background or skills.
He said the project is 100 percent managed by him (Chief) and he has employed his people in that particular area.
“I have answered many questions in Freetown in relation to statements made by critics of AML. I am tired of doing so, and I think people should now stop such acts and instead visit AML mining areas and prove for themselves the activities of the company, whether they are destructive or progressive,” he stated.
According to one Alimamy Kamara, a member of the community, before the arrival of AML, life in their town was difficult as the only means of survival was farming, which according to him is difficult and the proceeds cannot feed their families adequately.
He however disclosed that AML has helped change the living standard in their communities and they hope and pray that AML will start export soon so that they will benefit more.
He appealed to civil society organizations to stop casting blame on AML in relation to their corporate social responsibility, as according to him AML are doing more than expected.
“If civil society want to know about the current situation in our chiefdom, they should visit our communities and talk to us to get the facts right,” he said.