Threat to Life and Public Safety.....
Last publsihed-Wednesday 29th May 2019
Aruna Bangura’s forceful initiation raises public safety concern in Sierra Leone
Report from Makeni , Bombali District, Northern part of Sierra Leone has intimated this medium that some members of the ‘Poro Secret Society’ within the district are said to have declared ‘’Operation Kidnap Mission’’ whilst searching for one Aruna Bangura whose name was ticked for a forceful initiation into their secret bush.
The incident which was filed by our northern correspondent and as well fact checked and crosschecked was echoed by a research done by one organization who stated that the incident of repeated forceful initiation into secret society in 2019 alone has become a cause for concern.
Bangura who was said to have rejected the proposal as a religious man and in lieu of his fear that he might not come back alive as it has happened to others in the past, got the society men angry when it was recently revealed that it is only him who the ‘poro devil’ has ticked for the initiation ceremony . Poro Society is one among many secret societies in Sierra Leone that have mystic powers to the extent that majority of the masses are afraid of them whenever they are in operations. Family sources disclosed that Bangura was ticked to be their next candidate based on the society’s doctrine that if the leader dies, his eldest son must succeed him. In March 2019, Bangura lost his father and just after his burial, issues of the late man’s successor came up. Bangura was said to have been first approached by his uncle who himself is a member of the society. He was reported to have resisted the call for him to be initiated into the ‘poro society’ and had bitter argument with his uncle. This according to family sources angered the uncle who was left with no option than to bring it to the fore of the society. Times SL also gathered that Bangura’s refusal and reluctance to join the society created more problem for him to the extent that his safety became a concern to his siblings and friends.
A close friend of Bangura told our northern correspondent that on the night that the society men abducted him, he had to escaped from the society bush when the celebration was on going for his initiation ceremony. His friend said they only came to know about it when members of the society stormed the house pelting stones and sticks on the doors and windows with the loud cry of the poro devil . He said the society men were shouting in temne opoh dinneh meaning he has escaped. So when he heard them saying such he knew straight that his friend must have manoeuvred from the society bush. He said the incident happened at a time when residents within the township had all gone into their houses after got the news that the ‘poro devil’ will come out on the very night. In their tradition, whenever the ‘poro devil’ comes out anyone spotted will not come back alive with the exception of only those who are members of the society. Therefore, it has become a tradition and customs to the people to always stay in-doors so as to be safe.
Explaining further, Bangura’s close friend disclosed to Times SL Newspaper that when the ‘poro society men ‘ arrived , ‘’they unleashed and displayed their traditional and supernatural powers resulting in serious threats to people within the community. Anything they met outside like goats, sheep and other creatures were taken away.
Bangura’s whereabouts remained unknown though the search place on his head is still in force. The possibility of having a replacement for him according to investigation is not visible because the society men have made it openly that their new candidate who should satisfy the desire of their master is Aruna Bangura.
However, though concern have been raised by civil society organizations over the rampart invasion of secret societies into towns and districts right across the country , the government is still unable to handle the situation as most of the government authorities are alleged to be members of the said secret societies who themselves have been used to protect and cover their evil deeds.
Some among the government authorities have also been accused of taking undue advantage of their secret society to commits acts of ritual murder and that many a time there have been reported cases of dead bodies discovered with missing parts. The ‘poro secret societ’, it is believe has part of its traditions to tear and disfigure human flesh which they usually used as part of their sacrifice.
Therefore, the 1945 Universal Declaration of the United Nations Convention on the Rights to life and Movement is not followed to the latter as there are reported cases of such forceful initiation in the country.
Bangura’s case is one among many in Sierra Leone who have been suffering in silence but unable to get protection as a result of the influence commanded by members of the societies