Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, February 18, 2014 – An aspiring community leader has said that if elected president of The Minnesota Mandingo Association, he will constitute a board of directors that will assist in making decisions on behalf of his organization.
Mr. Kafumba Kromah said having a board of directors will enable him curtail authorities attributed to community leaders.
His statement is in correlation with what some community activists see as minimizing the authorities of their leaders.
They believe that the right to select delegates for ensuing conventions of their federal organization should be left exclusively with community members.
At the moment, delegates are nominated by chapter leaders prior to attending conventions.
Appointed delegates are the only ones allowed to vote during conventions, a process that continues to compact conventioneers into mere observers.
The act of appointing delegates by community leaders has been extensively criticized by some members.
They believe that appointments of delegates are politically motivated to strengthen the desires of community leaders who are reluctant to relinquish power.
A case in point is the New Jersey subdivision of FELMAUSA, which has in recent time been criticized by Ousman Bamba, alias “Obe.”
He accused the chapter leader of New Jersey of declining to hold election for nearly seven years, an allegation that has since been refuted by that chapter head, Mr. Sekou Koutoubou Fofana.
The accusation and counter accusation between Mr. Bamba and Mr. Fofana dwindled when “Obe” was brushed off the FELMAUSA listserv for making what is termed as “disrespectful” comment against Mr. Bangalee Trawally.
This is the second time that Mr. Bamba has been silenced by the FELMAUSA authority. This recent move was criticized by some community members, protesting that the leadership of FELMAUSA is shrinking free speech.
On the flip side of the argument, others remain in unanimity with the leadership’s action, claiming that free speech comes with responsibility.
There has been unconfirmed report, that the FELMAUSA authority has secretly contacted Mr. Bamba to write a single line public apology, but “Obe” maintains his ground that he did nothing wrong that warrants apology.
Meanwhile, a debate organized by MMA failed to tweak crowd as it did during previous debates. Some political pundits attributed the low attendance to the lack of competitors for key positions out for grasp.
A focus point in the lone debate was the only presidential aspirant’s initial lack of interest in the formation of the largest Mandingo organization in the world.
Commenting on his opposition to the formation of the Federation of Liberian Mandingo Associations in the USA, Mr. Kromah said, “I don’t think I was anymore opposed to FELMAUSA than the current president of FELMAUSA.”
The president of FELMAUSA, Bangalee Trawally and Mr. Kromah are longtime friends, but what remains unclear is whether their friendship will factor into how they spearhead Diaspora Mandingoes.
A member of the audience quizzed Mr. Kromah whether he will for the first time attend future conventions as head of MMA; he responded that “Wise men change.”
It can be recalled that during the 2013 inauguration of Mr. Bangalee Trawally in Minnesota, Mr. Trawally referred to Kafumba at the ceremony as his “Brother and friend who has always been there for him.”
Another thing that remains glaring within the federation is the fact that course-plotting the affairs of ethnic Mandingoes in the USA is now concentrated in Minnesota.
While it is true that the leadership of FELMAUSA was to remain rotational, most of its activities have been centered in Philadelphia.
Since the controversial election of Mr. Bangalee Trawally, and his subsequent inauguration in Minnesota, the organization’s website has since been revamped. Prior to the revamping, it remained submerged in isolation for an extended period of time.