Sierra Leone’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah, last Friday September 15 paid a working visit to New Jersey to add more impetus to the Mudslide Disaster relief mobilization efforts the Mission is coordinating with Sierra Leoneans in the Tri- States of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Ambassador Sumah, who was accompanied by the Deputy Permanent Representative (Political), Ambasssador Amadu Koroma, visited the Masjid Ali Worship Centre of Somerset where the New Jersey Interfaith Council —which controls a number of churches and mosques in the State–presented a cheque of $4,000 as the Council’s contribution to the mudslide victims.
Making the contribution, the President of the Council, Dr. Alex Karazi, said that he was glad to donate the money on behalf of the Masjid, in addition to the clothes and food they have already provided towards the 40-foot container . He said that they have many Sierra Leonean friends in Somerset , New Jersey, a community that is inclusive and respects diversity , he went on.
Ambassador Sumah thanked Dr. Karazi and the Council on behalf of President Ernest Bai Koroma , the Foreign Minister Dr. Samura Kamara , the UN Mission and the Sierra Leone community.He said that the Council might consider the money a little token but he emphasized that it will go a long way to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of the mudslide disaster in Sierra Leone of Monday August 14, 2017.
Ambassador Sumah, who was in Freetown when the tragedy struck, described the severity of the mudslide and the horrendous fatalities it caused . He said that the event brought great sorrow to the nation.I saw it myself .You could see my people crying . You could see our President crying. He lauded the diversity of the muslim faith and disclosed that when he was studying Law in London, the Shia Mosque helped to pay his tuition for two years.
Dr. Karazi, during discussions , suggested that community efforts be geared not only towards the mobilization of relief supplies for the nation but the construction of a school, mosque or church or a community centre for nationals living in the state . He said that benevolent individuals, institutions and organizations would gladly contribute to such projects.
Dr. Karazi and the Chief Imam of Masjid extended an invitation to Ambassador Sumah to visit the Masjid often. In response, the ambassador promised to pay a visit after the United Nations General Assembly, which is presently on. Ambassador Sumah was then taken on a conducted tour of the majestic masjid facilities.
From the Masjid, Ambassador Sumah was driven to the East Franklin Firehouse , also in Somerset, where he inspected the container being filled with relief materials for Freetown as part of the coordinated efforts between the Sierra Leone UN Mission and the New Jersey community.
Both ambassadors commended the leaders of the project who included the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sierra Leone to the UN , Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu and the Chairman of the West African Community in New Jersey, Mr. Foday Mansaray.