By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
The Typical pattern of communicating massages from the Local Authorities to their Subjects for onward dissemination into the respective communities has once again be put in practice by the Key Stakeholders in the District Headquarter Town of Port Loko, where thousands of People had gathered to mark the end of the Holy Islamic Month of Ramadan. It is often a gathering of all the rank and file of both the inhabitants and descendants of the Town, Chiefdom or District as the case may be.This year’s Eidul Filtre Prayers in Port Loko, saw the usual massive turn out of prominent Politicians and Muslim Worshippers most of whom have been out of reach for far too long, owing to the Ebola outbreak and its restrictions on the movement of people.
Unlike what is said to be the leverage on Free Movements some Districts were now enjoying, Port Loko is yet renewing its By -Laws in a bid to cut tail the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease altogether. The Prayers were therefore focused on a divine wisdom and concerted intervention on how to end this scourge. This was epitomised in the Sermon of the Officiating Imam –Shiekh Yusif Kamara. He based his preaching on the blessings of the Holy Month especially for the Believers and the need for Muslims to continue to be kind to each other and to have concern for the Poor and Needy. The Imam further ensured that special prayers were offered for God Almighty to grant the Ebola Frontline Fighters with the correct knowledge and wisdom to be able to entirely eradicate the virus from the whole of Sierra Leone.
As earlier intimated, the occasion was used to relay several other messages for onward dissemination. There were massages from the Deputy District Council Chairman – Councillor Ibrahim Santigie Bangura, Paramount Chief Alikali Mella 11 of Maforki Chiefdom and of cause, the 2 Political Gurus of the Land – Alhajie Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay and Alhajie Alpha Kanu. The pace was set by the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the North/Western Region- F .U.K. Daboh. He did not only outlined the need for people to continue to be law abiding, but he also in his capacity of a Muslim, provided drinks for the first set of 400 Muslims that were in attendance.
In their respective statements, Paramount Chief Alikali Mella 11 and Councillor Ibrahim Bangura recalled the concerns of the inhabitants of Port Loko over what is perceived to be the slow pace of the development Projects in their localities. They cited the recent Community Radio Broadcast with regards the Bankasoka Mini Hydro Project, which is said to be on a snail pace. They however attributed that to the Ebola outbreak which scared way most of the Expatriates. While assuring that the Chinese Team of Contractors will soon return to resume effective work, they reminded the Gathering of the obligation to pay taxes. According to Paramount Chief Mella 11, they should now refrain from their previous stance of refusing to pay their Local Taxes on the argument that they wanted an Elected Paramount Chief in Maforki .He said that has now been put to rest with his election as substantive Paramount Chief of the Chiefdom. He also informed them of the Reviewed Chiefdom By- Laws on Ebola, and how defaulters will be conditioned to go for a 6 Month jail term.
The Minister of Information and Communications –Hon. Alhajie Alpha Kanu was the next man to mount the Pulpit. He counted on the untiring efforts of Government and its Development Partners in ensuring that the Country is provided with all it is required to elbow Ebola out Sierra Leone and the entire Sub Region. He cited the recent visit of President Koroma to New York together with the Heads of States of the sister countries of Guinea and Liberia, where a total of 3.5 Billion Dollars was pledged, of which 1.5 Billion is to be factored for the Post Ebola Recovery Project of Sierra Leone. The Minister disclosed that all of these plans will be put on the hold until fight against Ebola is brought to a logical conclusion.
The appeal for a joint effort in the fight against this dreadful disease was surfaced by the Political and Public Affairs Minister- Hon. Alhajie Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay. He said there was now an enormous need for all hands to be put on deck to flush out Ebola from the District than ever before. He explained that Port Loko is yet one of the few Districts that have held the progress of the entire country, which he confessed, is a real embarrassment to every well meaning indigene of Port Loko. Hon. Alhajie Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay therefore urged all to comply with the Ebola By Laws as he went on to offer additional prayers for the development of the District, as well as the well being of all and sundry.
The Programme was climaxed by an appeal from the Port Loko Muslim Yaamat through these Political Gurus, to His Excellency, President Ernest Bai Koroma, to help them complete the construction of their Central Pray Field which is hardly convenient for prayers, especially during the Wet Season. You now have the opportunity to see photographs of how it all went in marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan in the District Headquarter town of Port Loko…..