Traditional Healers President at Arm’s Length
In this revealing interview, Abu Bakarr Sulaiman Tarawally underscores the brace effort of rebranding wicked powers, the Sierra Leone Indigenous Traditional Healers Union is undertaking to wield a killer image off that once ravaged the West African country. He began by asking the union’s President, Alhaji Dr. Sulaiman Kabba (in photo) the purpose for which they were established.
Alhaji Dr. Sulaiman Kabba: Our union was established on June 14, 2008 to among other things reduce the incessant killings of innocent lives in the country through the use of Witch-guns, Fangay, Korteh, Kondewai, Gbindiko, Tompang, big foot – all being traditional weapons and means of mass destruction in the country.
Abu Bakarr Sulaiman Tarawally: How prepared are you to weed these offensive charms in the once splendor market?
We’ve got a membership of 27,000 persons across Sierra Leone, in all provinces, Districts and headquarter towns, having possession of various talents, skills, might and wisdom to arrest, disarm and bring to justice perpetrators of wicked acts.
I can see that you’ve got a loaded job to execute orders and demand of requests, how do you fit in all of these in your vision and mission mandates – that I mean to the limit?
Our mission stands to heal the people of Sierra Leone, Africa, the sub-region and the world of various kinds of illnesses, ailments and diseases for which we’re considering every necessary option as tool to enhance such healing purpose. This has seen the union I’m heading establish a joint orthodox and allopathic hospital at Calaba town with replica at Murray Ojuku and Waterloo. Those centers heal, cure and treat people’s ailments to ensure that life expectancy in Sierra Leone exceeds above the much talked about 60 years average lease. Our vision being to ensure an offensive charms free society, we’ve got loads of expectations to execute and that hasn’t got a limit role. Considering the facts that even the information you’re passing out – heals its recipients, our focus on this has been to provide and ensure life vitality and safety of people in the sub-region.
What would you say about confidence of the might be or would be tourists or potential businessmen and investors in the country who have had broken zeal about coming to Sierra Leone through comments, reports and news feeds on social media about the proliferation of these offensive charms in the country – for example Up-Gun runabout being identical to such menacing outfits?
Good question, this was more the reason why we commissioned the Public Disarming Unit (PDU) to get rid of such menace. It is our rebranding effort to shift the paradigm complex attitude of some malcontent persons opting to always display wicked knowledge on the innocent. I can confirm it to you, as we speak, that a total of 52 miscreants hired from Mali, sometime ago, to destroy lives of innocent Sierra Leoneans were arrested by members of our union. They are currently being detained at the Pademba Road Maximum Prison in Freetown.
What plans do you have to ameliorate the situation further?
We want to establish drugstores for the sales supply of our manufactured allopathic medicines, and increase our membership base to wider networks.
What challenges do you normally face?
Stopping someone who has been earning a living through nefarious means and that means being his/her only sustenance can never hold without a thorough resistance. So we’ve always had confrontations and attacks from opposing colleagues in the field of practice.
What are the alternatives of your existence – are you having financial support from the government or you’re running a self-funding organization?
Mr. Journalist, I can definitely tell you that our organization, the Sierra Leone Indigenous Traditional Healers Union is a self-run unit under my able leadership. The Government has never given us a cent as financial support or funding for our undertakings. I believe we’re striving for neutral grounds of being apolitical. But aside to this I’ve been able to support the union with vehicles, office building facilities and commence building of the first ever traditional allopathic college of healing and practice in the country. Behind God’s power we want to exhume the psychic science art to transform our marabou black magic into a developing atrium that will give a facelift to the country – by recognizing the renaissance of traditional culture knowledge which is lodged unused with our people.
How do you recruit your members and who’s qualified to be a practicing herbalist under your union’s criteria?
We publish a Membership Application Form, which the candidate fills with his/her specific qualifications. We’ll then put the candidates on test in their areas of qualification. When they satisfy us, we then issue them our Identity Card and certificate of recognition.
How are members of the public able to distinguish your members from the others, or be able to contact you in case one is suspected of being a miscreant?
This is simple; we’ve got an emblem on our ID card, which makes it distinct from any other imitation. But in case one’s doubt becomes suspicious, he/she can contact us on +232 76 604 847/+232 77 487 396
Finally how do you intend to go international with this crusade of a rebranding culture?
We are contemplating to put together a working document to liaise with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations to showcase our novelty there. Since we’re gearing towards recuperating lives of persons threatened with illnesses and uncalled for deaths, we believe that we can fit within a criteria mandate of the UN Security Council to work towards keeping an arms free society – and ensuring a peace loving united people in the sub-region. Also we are working to earn collaborative network with abroad organizations of similar aims and objectives. To the rebranding thing, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has implored all of us, Sierra Leoneans, to change our attitudes. In this case the attitude of killing innocent lives in the name of wicked powers is a negative attitude. So we’re like working agents to foster such a change. Our union is here to tell all those who are scared of coming to Sierra Leone for fear of being charmed to dump such fears. I extend this open call to them to come and see the reality of what we are working towards – aiming to maintain a terror free society.
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