Written by M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 22:02
As part of the Hajj rituals, Sierra Leone pilgrims on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 completed the slaughtering of about 800 sheep and goats in the Holy city of Mecca. Chairman of the 2016 Hajj Committee to Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Sheka Sahid Kamara (alias Shekitoo) led over 20 pilgrims to witness the slaughtering of the animals.
The two-day exercise was done in the presence of Sierra Leone’s Ambassador in Saudi Arabia, H.E Alhaji Mohamed Sillah Kargbo and Representatives were drawn from the 12 Districts in Sierra Leone; 2 from the Western Urban/Rural Areas respectively, the Chief Imam at the Gadaffi Mosque in the East End of Freetown, Sheikh Osman Bangura, a Freetown - based Missionary, Dr. Ahmad Ramadan Jalloh, Paramount Chief Robert Coker Seilolo Papapwe III of Bagruwa Chiefdom in the Moyamba District, an Independent Media Commissioner, Muctar Turay, the Director, Development Assistance Coordination Office (DACO) in the Ministry Finance and Economic Development, Kawusu Kebbay and some Journalists.
Addressing them in the slaughter house, Alhaji Shekitoo told them that he was effectively carrying out the directives of His Excellency, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma that the Hajj Committee should ensure that the pilgrims should be satisfied in all aspects of the Hajj.
He thanked them for honouring the invitation and to be physically present at the slaughtering house in order to see with their naked eyes the process and procedures of slaughtering. The animals were practically slaughtered in the presence of all and sundry while calling loud the names of each and every pilgrim. Speaking to Journalists after the exercise, most of the pilgrims say they were satisfied and that their presence would avert the controversy and mystery that used to surround the sacrificial process.
“This year's slaughtering has been carried out in total transparency leaving no one in doubt about whether their animals have been slaughtered accordingly or not,” P.C Papwe of Moyamba told Voice of Islam’s Chernor Barrie.
“Thanks to the Presidential directives and thanks to the Embassy Officials and Members of the Hajj Committee who made sure that the President's order was implemented to the letter and to the satisfaction of stakeholders,” the Paramount Chief said.
Before and during the ritual exercise, the pilgrims were given the opportunity by the Hajj Chairman through the permission of the head of slaughter house to take photos and videos to their satisfaction.
Slaughtering, according to Islamic Schorlars, is a practice of Sunnah. Its significance emanated from Prophet Ibrahim, Father of the Prophets (May peace be upon him) when he saw in a vision (a dream) that he was slaughtering his only son Ishmael (May peace be upon him) as a sacrifice for the Almighty Allah.
He indeed intended to slaughter his son as he dreamt about it. And as an obedient son, Ishmael admonished his dad to do as he was ordered by Allah the Exalted. As he (Ibrahim) was about to carry out the mission of slaughtering his son practically, Jibril ( Gabriel) called him to tell him that Allah had accepted his sacrifice by presenting to him a sacrificial lamb which would serve as a salvation for Ishmael.
That noble Sunnah (practice) instituted by Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was what Prophet Muhammad (May peace and blessing be upon him) emulated and adopted as a part of Hajj rituals for himself and his followers. Thus, as Muslims slaughter their sacrificial lambs, they should recollect the root cause of this very significant part of the pilgrimage.
2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul
The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th IPRA conference in Turkey, at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th IPRA conference in Istanbul to serve a second term of two years.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 20, 2017/ -- Four illegal fishing cases have been found during a joint surveillance mission conducted by Greenpeace (www.Greenpeace.org/Africa/en) and Sierra Leone fishery authorities. Two Chinese vessels and one Korean vessel have been arrested for infringements of Sierra Leone fishing legislation, including possessing or using illegal fishing nets on board, no visible marking and a lack of required paperwork, including log books and authorisation for unloading catch. Fishing authorities ordered the vessels to return to Freetown port for further investigation. A fourth vessel, owned by an Italian company, was found with four kilograms of shark fins on board. Though not illegal under Sierra Leonean laws, this is a clear violation of European Union (EU) fishing rules. This boat’s case will be taken further with relevant EU authorities.
In addition, more than 70 bags of shark carcasses were found on one of the Chinese vessels.
Press freedom has come under severe attack in West Africa as security agencies, particularly the police, appear to be on rampage against journalists and media workers. In a space of 38 days (January 5-February 12, 2017), 30 media workers have been arrested, detained and/or assaulted by security forces, prompting fears that the gains that have been made in recent years on press freedom and freedom of expression could be eroded.
The 30 victims, made up of 15 journalists and 15 media technicians, were arrested, detained and/or assaulted in 10 separate incidents in four countries namely Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. Nigeria recorded six incidents, Cote d’Ivoire recorded two incidents while Guinea and Togo recorded an incident each.
In Nigeria, seven journalists were arrested and detained during the period. In Cote d’Ivoire, six journalists were arrested and detained in a single incident while one journalist each was affected in Guinea and Togo, bringing the total number of journalists affected to 15. In respect of the other media workers, nine staff of a newspaper printing firm were arrested in single incident. In Cote d’Ivoire, six technicians working with the state-owned television station were also arrested in a single incident.
A NEW DAWN FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SIERRA LEONE, PARLIAMENT APPROVES MELRON NICOL-WILSON AS NEW OMBUDSMAN
The Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Mr Melron Nicol-Wilson as new Ombudsman, on Tuesday April 11, 2017. This follows him being named by H.E President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as the replacement to Justice Edmond Cowan - a long-standing legal icon, who now chairs the Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Committee.
A man whose action speaks louder than words, Mr Nicol-Wilson has been appointed as new Ombudsman for Sierra Leone, a position reserved for high-profile people, who are well-respected and with unblemished character. Mr Nicol-Wilson has the typical pedigree of an Ombudsman, best known both in Sierra Leone and internationally as a champion for justice and human rights.
The Parliament’s decision to approve Mr Nicol-Wilson was anticipated, as the high-profile human rights lawyer emerged unscathed from an exchange of views with Members of Parliament.
(The thoughts expressed in this article are purely and entirely the thoughts of the author)
Election in any democratic setting, include the enjoyment of those rights that will elicit the full participation of individuals in determining the political life of his/her country. An election is a decision making process through which eligible citizens(those who have reached the age of majority, 18 years and above and with sound mind) freely choose their leaders through the ballot box to hold public offices for a specified term.
Generally, people vote with the expectation that the office holders would represent their communitiesand or countries best interest. Elections are viewed as a central feature of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. Essentially, election is a testimony to peoples’ sovereignty and that ought to be respected and the process must be credible, otherwise there will be challenge with regards the acceptance of the result.
April 24th 2017: On the occasion of the 56th anniversary of Sierra Leone’s independence, Movement for Social Progress (MSP) had requested the Sierra Leone Police to provide the necessary security for a peaceful Alternative Peoples Independence Procession and Rally that was planned to coincide with the official celebrations. The procession was planned to start from Clock Tower to Brima Atouga Stadium in the East end of the city while the official events are scheduled to take place in the West end of the city.
In a meeting with senior members of the Sierra Leone Police at the SLP headquarters, on Monday 24th April attended by the Inspector General, Francis Munu, the Head of Police Operations, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Al-Sheikh Kamara, AIG Memuna Konteh Jalloh, AIG FUK Dabor, among others, the police top brass told members of MSP that they would not be able to provide security for the procession and rally.
The Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, informed the meeting that they were overstretched with covering the official events, the traditional masquerade (or Odele) parade as well as the Lantern Parade on the eve of Independence.
Sierra Leone has joined other countries in the world to commemorated World Malaria Day on the theme: “End Malaria For Good” with the slogan: “Sleep under a Mosquito net always” on Tuesday April 25, 2017 at the St. Anthony Parish hall Brookfields in Freetown.
Launching the World Malaria Day 2017, the Sierra Leone Malaria Indicator Survey 2016 Report and the Sierra Leone Malaria Business Plan 2016 -2018, the Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman said malaria continues to threaten more than half of the world’s population and presents an alarming threat to global development.
She informed her audience that as of 2016, an estimated 3.2 billion people, almost half of the world’s population in 97 countries and territories including Sierra Leone are at risk of being infected with malaria.
LAB wants transports to allocate seats to the blind
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has disclosed plans to launch a White Cane Campaign in the coming weeks.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles made the disclosure while addressing a cross section of the Waterloo Community including stakeholders at the District Council Hall on Monday, 24 April 2017 in a meeting to plan the launch of the Legal Aid Board in Waterloo in the WesternArea Rural District on 6 May 2017.
She noted that the campaign will seek to address the challenges faced by blind people in using public transport. ‘Blind people have been suffering in silence for far too long,’ she said. ‘They have been discriminated against because of their disability and this cannot be tolerated.’
Former elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana left Freetown International Airport, Lungi late afternoon Wednesday April 19, 2017 onboard Kenya Airways on an "Emergency Travel Certificate", en route to Abuja, Nigeria on or about April 23/24, 2017 for the hearing of his petition filed on October 24, 2016 in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, "seeking an enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights arising from his unconstitutional removal from office, and for further orders contained in the application."
"This matter has been set down for hearing by the Court for April 26, 2017."
According to a spokesman for the Sam Sumana family Matthias Bendu who was with Sam Sumana at the airport until the aircraft was airborne because of advanced information reaching the family that there would be some problem awaiting Sam Sumana at the airport, Matthias Bendu told this Writer on the cellphone from the airport that Sam Sumana "was detained by Immigration Officers at the airport for more than thirty minutes after the aircraft landed, and it was due to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Francis Munu who told the immigration Officers that Sam Sumana had not committed any crime and must be allowed to travel".