Fiasco ensued at Rogbankay village, a few kilometers drive from Freetown, when family members of Pa Santigie Sankoh, prevailed on 34 years old Gibrilla Sankoh, eldest son of the chief to succeed his father as chief custodian of the Poro Society. (Photo: Emissaries of the Poro Society taunting Gibrilla’s family)
This incident took place at the 40th day of his father’s funeral rites in April 20, this year. The elders prevailed that the deceased bequeathed a will that his eldest son should replace him as Chief Custodian of the Poro Society.
According to Gibrilla’s mother, her son refused to succeed his father’s title; arguing that her son was not initiated into the Poro society. She said Gibrilla lost the opportunity of becoming a member since he was not raised in the village like his peers.
Mammy Dora said her son’s refusal becomes the turning point of chaos as nobody ever dared to stand against the wish of the Poro tradition in the Rogbankay village.
Gibrilla’s effort to escape the village was thwarted as young men were alerted all around him to his discomfort. He fought the battle of his life and survived the muzzling out, his wife told this Reporter. “It was night and Gibrilla had gone into hiding in a friend’s house little noticing that his two friends were also members of the society. An eye witnessed who prefers anonymity told this Reporter that men armed with sticks and machetes quickly thronged the scene but Gibrilla capitalized on the dark of the night’s and used the advantage to escape.
The same source stated that a white man in a Catholic Relief Services (CRS) vehicle rescued him to the capital of Freetown where he took the diamonds he father had left as gem of the family and flee out to Conakry in company of the same white man known as SK.
His wife and children were not spared the wrath of the cult’s wicked punishment and suppression since the prime target was out of reach.
Gibrilla’s mother, Mammy Dora Dumbuya stroke ill as a result. She knew the danger hanging on his son’s throat upon refusing to succeed his father. She said she was kept in consternation and depression overshadowed her health.
Medical sources say she developed high blood pressure, while the traditionalists explain her illness to be the manipulations of the Poro shrine.
But for her mother –she prefers to sacrifice her life than see his eldest son face the planned persecution on his life.
In her ailing condition she advised that Gibrilla should stay wherever he could rescue his life. “This is a life and death issue”, she stated.
Life is deteriorating for the family of the 34 years old, mobile telephony workman who before his present predicament used to be a hired contractor with one of the local telecommunications network providers in the country.
“Northern Sierra Leone is home to secrete societies such as the Poro Society –a traditional cult group with immense supernatural instincts”, a member who prefers to remain anonymous told this Reporter in a snappy interview at Rogbankay village.
“One belief, which is sacred in this part of the country,” the member maintained, “is the will of the departed ones”. “They are executed in the wish of those bequeathing them as that is a sure way of ensuring the dead a perpetual rest,” a member who is one of the village ancestors, stated when asked why somebody is forced into an initiation ceremony without his/her consent.
Gibrilla‘s premature birth in 1977, when his mother visited the city for medical check-up settles him out of the village in care of his paternal uncle, Kemoh Sesay who eventually asked, when Gibrilla turned six (6), in 1983, that since his brother already had six children without educating them, Gibrilla should be the exception and should be entrusted to him.
He lost his uncle in 1989 and became a ward to the wife of his late uncle who was a shop keeper. She trusted the young Gibrilla so much that she placed him in charge of the shop, which eventually robbed him of the opportunity to acquire his basic formal education.
In her ailing condition she advised that Gibrilla should stay wherever he could rescue his life.
Meanwhile, reports monitored from Guinea Conakry state that, SK the Whiteman that helped Gibrilla to secure a visa in Guinea to France had robbed him of his diamonds and visa. Sources say the 34 years old surfaced at Clermont-Ferrand a village in France where he presently struggles to make a living.
Meanwhile, family sources back home, in Sierra Leone state that Gibrilla may be struggling in France at the moment, but they said they would prefer he stays than come home to face persecution.
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