The ongoing spat with the government of Jamaica and the Maroon communities in Jamaica took another turn over the weekend after law enforcement officials blocked Buju Banton and Richard Currie, radical Chief of the Accompong Maroons, from participating in the election activities of another Maroon settlement.
Richard Currie, who heads the Maroon community in St. Elizabeth, is supported by Buju Banton as the former asserts that the Maroons are a sovereign people and they own lands in the Cockpit country where the government of Jamaica had announced plans to mine.
It’s unclear why Buju and Currie were blocked from joining the election activities of the Maroon settlement in Portland parish, Jamaica, but it could be that the government is seeking to ensure a friendly aligned leader who might cooperate with the government’s agenda is elected.
On Sunday, the Jamaica Gleaner reported that an election was held where a teenager named Lomorra Dillon is seeking to replace Colonel Wallace Sterling, who has been the head for over three decades in an election.
Buju Banton and Currie have signaled their support for the young Dillon, but they were prevented from entering the community out of fear that there could be tensions from the process.
According to Dillon’s mother, Annette Aarons, Buju, who is a direct descendant of the Maroons, would have been able to vote for her daughter because of his heritage.
“He would have voted for her because he is a Moore Town Maroon and he has a say in the affairs of Moore Town,” she said.
The artist and Currie were detained at a security checkpoint at Rio Grande Valley in eastern Portland and refused entry to the Maroon community.
Head of the Portland Police Division, Superintendent Kenneth Chin, reportedly said the artist was stopped, but he was unable to offer a reason to reporters in Kingston.
The newspaper reported that Buju was traveling in an entourage, and they all had to turn back.
Buju has been a staunch supporter of Currie, who refused to recognize Prime Minister Andrew Holness as their leader largely due to a pact the Maroons had with British Forces when they seized Jamaica from the Spaniards almost 300 years ago.
Earlier this year, the Chief’s statements did not seem well received by Jamaican politicians, including the Prime Minister, who rebuffed any claims that the Maroons were a sovereign people and asserted that Jamaica is one “unitary” sovereign nation.
Currie, who was charged for carrying a firearm while on Maroons lands, was also defended by Buju, who called out the government for trying to usurp Currie.
Buju Banton calls the reported breach of the Jamaica Firearms Act a “blatant ploy by the Jamaican ‘crime minister’ to hurt this young man (Richard Currie).”