Several of the Muslim Pilgrims on this year’s Hajj to the Holy Land in Saudi Arabia have, late in the night of Wednesday November 26th 2008, telephoned up this writer all the way from Madina, Saudi Arabia, which is the starting point of their sacred Hajj.
|H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma: A Christian Head of State in a Religiously Tolerant State
According to the Pilgrims, they were telephoning to be interviewed by Awareness Times as they wanted to send their highest possible appreciation to, and publicly ask for Allah’s richest blessings to be poured on the current APC-led Government and to President Ernest Bai Koroma for facilitating their successful transportation from Freetown to the Holy Land.
They said even though the President was of Christian faith, he had showed tremendous respect for the Muslims in the country and had continued the practice of sponsoring the trip of Muslim pilgrims from Sierra Leone to the Holy Land of Mecca and Madina.
The first to speak was Haja Bomposseh Kabba, a Traditional Chief from Eastern Freetown who said they as a team collectively made the decision to telephone this writer from Mecca to ask her to publish in her Friday edition (today), for the people of Sierra Leone to read, that they the pilgrims were, "very happy and grateful" to the Government of the day "and to our beloved President Ernest Bai Koroma" for the hitch-free manner in which their own batch of pilgrims succeeded in getting into Mecca.
Another caller was Haja Adama Timbo who hails from Bombali and identified herself as the mother of Assistant Inspector General of Police Francis Munu. She expressed similar sentiments as Haja Bomposseh Kabba towards the President and the Government and called for the people of Sierra Leone to continue to pray to "grant Ernest Koroma the wisdom to rule the land".
Haja Isatu Sesay who hails from Wellington, Portee Junction also spoke on the phone line and asked for her people in Wellington to please pray for the continued stability of the current Government as it was a Government that meant "very well for the people of Sierra Leone".
There were also gentlemen callers such as Alhaji Alimamy Koroma who hails from Wara-Wara Chiefdom in Kabala, Koinadugu. He made a special appeal to the journalists of Sierra Leone.
"Please, you journalists should help the President to rule properly so he can stay on top of us for the very long time to come," the Kabala Alhaji said.
Another gentleman caller was Sheikh Alhaji Mohamed Ahmad Bangura, the Imam at the Mosque located near the Benz Garage along Blackhall Road who said he was making his very first trip on the Hajj and expressed his excitement to have been couriered with no hiccups along their trip.
"Please ask everyone in Sierra Leone to join us as we pray here from Mecca for the development of our country and for Allah to give the wisdom to rule to President Koroma and the All People’s Congress," the Imam said over the phone.
Another pilgrim who made a special phone call later was one Haja Mbalu Sesay. She told this writer she was calling to specially make her own direct request for this newspaper to publish for the world to know that the Muslims were praying fervently for Allah to bless and protect the Christian President of Sierra Leone.
Many of those who called said they had only been fortunate to travel to Saudi Arabia because of the largesse of the Government who provided their ticket despite the fact that the Head of State was himself a devoted Christian.
The overwhelming tone of the Muslim callers’ requests was clearly an attempt to call upon the people of Sierra Leone to offer prayers for the continued well-being of the Government of the day and the sitting Christian President. The callers also expressed immense satisfaction with the efforts of their facilitator who traveled with them, Haja Kadi Johnson of the SLBS.
On a related but different note, the Hon. Vice President will be flying out early next week to conduct his own very first Hajj trip to the Holy Land. This means when he returns home, he should now be addressed as the Honourable Alhaji Chief Sahr Samuel Sam-Sumana.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.