Following the recent happenings, the time has come for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to convene a meeting with Accompong Maroon Colonel Richard Currie and the following members of his Cabinet: Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, National Security Minister Horace Chang, and Minister of Entertainment, Sports and Culture Babsy Grange.
Firstly, if indeed Colonel Currie was given approval for his festival by the culture minister, that information seems to have been withheld from at least the St Elizabeth police who publicly warned the event should not take place.
In typical fashion Colonel Currie openly defied the order of the police.
The event went ahead with sadly the loss of a life and others, including children, being shot and wounded.
Secondly, a headline in the Jamaica Observer on Saturday, January 8, 2021 stated that, due to demands by Colonel Currie, a $1-billion conservation project for the Cockpit Country has been shelved.
There are five Maroon groups in the country, yet, of late, only the voice of one Accompong tribe, uttering unsubstantiated claims of being a sovereign State, is being heard through its colonel.
These utterances have no legal standing, according to several legal minds, including the eminent Dr Lloyd Barnett. The most obvious demonstration of this is the fact that all Maroons travel on Jamaican-issued passports.
Perhaps, due to a combination of youth and the fact that he's a graduate of The University of the West Indies, the colonel is determined to take his tribe where others before have not.
According to a news item in the Observer, the Cabinet has ordered the withholding of funds and support to any entity which claims to be a sovereign State.
However, a tougher stance is needed, especially when viewed in the context of last August when a stand-off ensued between an armed Colonel Currie, his loyalists, and the police resulted in the police retreating, thus saving likely bloodshed.
The tail cannot continue to wag the dog.
Clear lines must be drawn and, if needs be, a law must be passed with strict rules which, if breached, will result in harsh punishment.
Colonel Currie cannot continue to function as a law unto himself. This foolishness just has to stop.