That Statement of President Koroma at the launching of Traditional Healers Union
It is true that the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma has graced many launching ceremonies since he assumed power, three years ago. (Photo: One of Sierra Leone’s traditional healers)
However, his recent gracing of the launching of the Sierra Leone Traditional Healers Union at the National Stadium this past Monday sparked off a surprise in the public domain as the president of modern days Sierra Leone was being seen sitting amongst traditional healers, not for the purpose of campaigning for his next term of office, but to remind the healers of their duties of providing healing and keeping away from harmful traditional practices, as the masses have been faced with the prevalence of harmful traditional practices since the end of the bloody rebel war in the country. Perhaps, President Koroma’s engagement with herbalists and his promises will enable him get more support in the 2012 election.
However, President Koroma promised the Union of Traditional Healers that the Ministry of Health and Sanitation would give advice to the herbalists on saving lives in the country rather than plaguing them. President Koroma assured the herbalists of his unflinching support as they have already demonstrated their willingness to help save lives rather than to destroy them; as it was the issue before the formation of the Union two years ago. In his statement, while addressing the herbalists, His Excellency President Koroma mistakenly referred to the Union as an association. This mistake or error was repeated twice by no less a person than the First Gentleman of this Republic. My point is president Koroma would have been well informed about the existence of the Union and not an association as the only herbalists’ association is the Mande Traditional Healers Association which was launched at the National Stadium four months ago. The dual misrepresentation of the Union as an association is a pointer to the fact that mistakes are made by all sundry irrespective of position, age or race.
My point is that the Minister of Tourism and Culture should have graced the healers launching ceremony as traditional healers as well serve as an engine that enhances tourism. For instance, our sister country, the Gambia pays so much attention to its traditional healers as tourists are thrilled by the activities of these herbalists. Considering the failure of our tourism Minister, Hindolo Trye in attending such an epoch-making event/ceremony, I think Mr. Trye should have joined his boss to grace such a wonderful traditional event, just like the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation who also made statement in support of the strides taken by the Union of Traditional Healers.
Ilyasa Baa, Freetown
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