Grand Kru: Pinicess Chiefdom Residents Wants Trial-by Ordeal Practices to Crackdown Ritualistic People

FLASHBACK: Image of herbalist Tamba Bondo in Grand Kru County

By: Bryan B. Dioh ( Correspondent)

Hundreds of Pinicess residents in Electoral District #1 have staged another round of peaceful demonstration seeking trial by ordeal. (Sasswood)

The practice of Sasswood  has been aborted in Liberia.

“Our lives are threaten, if the herbalist leaves without preforming his full traditional operation in Pinicess chiefdom.” The citizens in their petition said.

    Miemie Togba, reading the petition

But the citizens wants the resumption of such practices to be carryout by herbalist Tamba Bondo, aimed at putting an end to the ritualistic killings and mysterious disappearances of young man and women in the community.

According to our reporter, the protesters included elders, women, youths and children matched over two hours distance from Pinicess Chiefdom to the administration building in Barclayville City to give their petition to the local authority of Grand Kru County.

The presence of herbalist Tamba Bondo in the area has been marked with controversial, as there have been views and counter views about his arrival in the county leading to current protest that is been held by the citizens of Pinicess.

A leader of the group, Miemie Togba reading the petition statement said “We the people of Pinicess wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to the County Authority and the citizenry of Grand Kru County for their active involvement in the plight of the Pinicess people.”

According to her, the problem in their chiefdom is escalating through the influence of the County Legislative Caucus headed by Senator Peter Wonplu Sonpon Coleman.

Madam Togba said, their lawmaker noted that if they are not mindful in keeping with government’s mandate instructing Mr. Tamba Bondo (Traditional Herbalist ) to stop work then it will be like the war fought between the Sasstown people and the government from 1930 to 1934 in their chiefdom.

In the petition, the citizens appealed to government , local authority and the people of Grand Kru to ensuring that Herbalist Tamba Bondo complete his work for the safety of their lives.

Another resident of the area, Gbe Wuefy, who sounded very aggrieved said, the situation has not only put everyone in a state of fear, but also scaring away investors and visitors, describing the place as one the major business communities where market women go to purchase fish and sell it.

Said Wuefy, “We are fed up with continuous ritualistic killings in the area, their protest is triggered by the recent mysterious death of a Class Room Teacher and Catechist Joseph Nyenplu who went missing while on a fishing expedition on June 30, 2010.”

Pinicess Residents in their position statement claimed that up to 100 people, especially young persons have died mysteriously in recent times and called on the government through the Ministry of Internal Affairs to allow the native doctor administer traditional justice in the bid to cleanse the area from ritualistic activities.

Grand Kru Superintendent Doris N. Ylatun, receiving the seven towns that make Pinicess chiefdom, applauded them for patient in the ongoing saga.

Superintendent Doris N. Ylatun

She on behalf of the government of Liberia condemned the wave of ritualistic killings and mysterious disappearances in the area and vowed the government will take appropriate actions to bring the situation under control.

She expressed her sympathy and empathy with the community saying, “Whatever effects the people living Pinicess have a negative reflection on the County.

Superintendent Doris N. Ylatu appealed to the aggrieved citizens to exercise patience as she communicate with Internal Minster, Varney Sirleaf and the Legislative Caucus of the County to finding amicable solution to the current situation confronting the local in district number one.

Alex Tarplah one of the front leaders during the protest thanked Superintendent Doris Ylatun for the encouraging statement, but added, they will not leave the premises of the administration building until the resumption of herbalist Tamba Bondo operation.

“Our lives are threaten, if the herbalist leaves without preforming his full traditional operation in Pinicess chiefdom.”

But earlier Tuesday morning in an interview with District #1 Representative , Nathaniel Zoe Behway Sr said, the protesters should remain clam.
He said as their direct Representative, he is engaging the Internal Affairs Ministry to aid herbalist Bondo complete his operation. “I am doing all I can to make sure Tamba complete his work because your lives need protection.”

He said, his office was not in the know of the traditional herbalist coming to Grand Kru in Pinicess, which halted the operation of the herbalist.