Buju Banton and his compatriot Blvk H3ro mocked Minister of National Security Horace Chang, after learning that he had declared in a radio interview last week, that to his knowledge, “there is no such thing as Maroon lands”.
Chang’s interview came following an altercation that erupted between plain clothes policemen and Accompong Town Maroon Chief Richard Currie in the hills of Bethsalem in St. Elizabeth, a property which Currie insists are Maroon ancestral lands.
On the day of the standoff between the police and Currie, the chief had posted a video of himself with a shotgun across his back, intercepting men dressed in civilian clothing who were carrying rifles along a dirt track. The men were shooed away by the Maroons’ who advanced whilst beating drums.
Not too long after Chang made his pronouncement, Currie made a post rebuking the Minister and expressing dismay.
“The Maroons of Cockpit Country were profoundly disappointed to learn of the careless utterances of the Minister of National Security to the Government of Jamaica, and the remarks that he was “unaware of Maroons owning any land” on Cliff Hugh’s programme on Nationwide @nationwide90fm,” the chief posted on Instagram.
“Minister Chang did not deny that the armed men who trespassed in the indigenous territory were police-men, and went as far as to agree with the actions of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in their trespass and military occupation of indigenous territory,” Currie added.
According to the Chief, the Minister’ statement had the potential to cause rift between the Maroons and the Constabulary.
“These statements are dangerous and may cause misunderstandings between members of the Jamaican security forces and the aboriginal tribal peoples of Cockpit Country, which we fear will further deepen tensions and discrimination between Jamaican citizens and tribal peoples in Jamaica,” the Munro College graduate said.
“An immediate open line of diplomatic communication is needed to rectify any misunderstandings about Maroon history, culture and territory…,” he added.
Buju Banton who has declared himself a “Maroon descendant of freedom fighters of Moore Town” in Jamaica’s northeast, was caustic in his reply.
“We have no land? You this chiney man you sure bout that? You think so well we all shall see,” he wrote.
For his part, Blvk H3ro questioned Dr. Chang’ knowledge of Caribbean history and alluded to a comical situation in June, when the Minister was caught sleeping during a sitting of the House of Representatives, in Gordon House in which Prime Minister Andrew Holness discussed the easing of restrictions associated with curbing the spread of the COVID-19.
“This man skull every history classs, this man barely can stay awake In parliament much less stay in the class
He was joined by sxotiqmediums who wrote: “@blvkh3ro thanks for the joke bro cous he is definitely a clown
Currie who was voted Maroon chief in February this year, had outlined that among his plans for Accompong, are the defence of the Cockpit country from encroachers who want to mine the area for bauxite and the creation of a smart city in the landlocked Maroon state.
The 40-year-old had vowed to preserve the freedoms wrested by his Maroon ancestors in the 1738 peace treaty inked with the British more than 280 years ago.
Accompong Town is a mountainous, landlocked expanse of land in Jamaica’s Cockpit Country which spans the parishes of Trelwny and St. Elizabeth. It is named after its founder Accompong, brother of Quao, Cuffy, Cudjoe, and Nanny, the leader and founder of Nanny Town, who were well trained soldiers from the Ashanti area in Western Africa.
The Accompong Maroons had the British militia and slave masters in Jamaica at their mercy in a guerilla warfare, for centuries until 1738, when, after being beaten into submission, the British soldiers yielded and made their way to the hills of Accompong settled, to beg their chief Colonel Cudjoe for mercy and peace.
Hostilities were formally ended via a treaty between the two groups in 1739, signed by British Governor Edward Trelawny. The treaty granted the Maroons 1500 acres of land between their strongholds of Cudjoe’s Town (Trelawny Town) and Accompong in the Cockpit Country.