Many residents of Jong Chiefdom, Bonthe District, now fear to venture out at night for fear of suspected cannibals as there have been a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances of people in the Chiefdom over the past months, a situation which has triggered mass discontentment and created a general feeling of insecurity.
There has been fear among residents of the chiefdom especially after a recent shocking incident during the past Ramadan month when one Sharka Forna of Blama Town disappeared mysteriously and has never been found and the matter has since been reported to the Police.
This horrendous incident was preceded by another mysterious disappearance of a ninety-year-old man, Pa Kekulla Brima of Mamongor village where he had resided for over thirty years. His mutilated corpse, with parts missing, was later discovered in Block 23 of the Gambia Oil Palm Plantation near Mamongor.
Earlier, one Jeneba Lansana, relative of the Paramount Chief of Jong Chiefdom, Alie Badara Sheriff, died in mysterious circumstances and her beheaded corpse was later discovered with parts missing.
Not long after, a man called Karim Turay who was a thirty-four-year-old native of Mongere Village, home of the Paramount Chief, also died in mysterious circumstances suspected to be related to ritual murder.
A total of nine cases of mysterious deaths and disappearances of people have reportedly taken place in the Chiefdom over the past months, a situation which has sent shock waves across the Chiefdom.
Already, there is a petition letter addressed to His Excellency the President, Ernest Bai Koroma, Vice-President Victor Foh, the Internal Affairs Minister, Alfred Palo Conteh and other top government officials in view of the current state of insecurity in the Chiefdom.
The petitioners heaped blame on the Paramount Chief and the police for doing little to remedy the gravely ugly situation, pointing out that on many occasions, suspects have been arrested in connection with the horrific deaths but later released.
When contacted, Paramount Chief Alie Badara Sheriff said he had been promptly reporting to the Police in Mattru all the incidents of mysterious deaths and disappearances of people and ensured that suspects were arrested, noting that the trial and conviction or acquittal of the suspects lay with the judiciary and the police.
PC Sheriff described the petition as invalid as it was signed by only three people who can by no means represent the voice of the entire Chiefdom.
The Local Unit Commander, Amadu Turay, noted that police officers must not be blamed squarely for the unfortunate incidents in the chiefdom as they have been doing their best to address it by arresting suspects and charging them to court but some end up being released based on insufficient evidence.
He furthered that on many occasions, the Pathologist, Dr. Owiz Koroma, had been coming to the chiefdom and exhuming bodies of people believed to be ritually murdered but that some of his findings stated natural causes of the deaths.