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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

TRIBUTE TO THE LATE COMRADE MUSTAPHA TURAY (GENERAL SPANCHO)
By Patrick Emerson Kai-Banya, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Nov 11, 2009, 17:22
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Though I had made a solemn pledge on the advice of my late mum that never will I put pen to paper for public consumption particularly through the print media as a result of my abduction by the SLA rebel faction at Okra Hills in August 1999. I am nevertheless constrained to renege on such a crucial promise today all because of one great man, the late Lawyer Mustapha S. Turay commonly known as GENERAL SPANCHO, whose sudden demise has left me emotionally shattered and psychologically devastated. I think I would have done great disservice not only to my conscience, but the entire membership of the GENERALS at home and abroad should I have failed to eulogize this outstanding fallen soldier.

 

It is commonly said that those whom the gods love die young. But the question persistently pondering my mind is, did the gods actually love comrade SPANCHO who died in a rather mysterious circumstance at the age of thirty-six, at the time we needed him most? The astonishing and rather agonizing news of his death was first broken to me about 7: am on Saturday, November 7th 09 by another high profile General, Abdul Aziz Kamara of Washington D.C. I quickly muttered to myself in disbelief that such news could hardly be true and therefore decided to cross-check the perturbing information through the internet, as if to prove comrade Aziz wrong. I thought he was merely   hallucinating after a Friday night extravaganza. But no, he really wasnt as I was later to come to terms with the painful fact of the news after browsing the Awareness Times on-line news which carried the obituary as a splash. Comrade Aziz was indeed right. Comrade SPANCHO was no more. He had succumbed to the inevitable that fateful Saturday morning.


Lawyer Mustapha Santigie Turay

I first came to know the late Comrade SPANCHO when I entered Fourah Bay College as a freshman in 1997. By then he was a law student and an elderly statesman of the students union, having served as Defense Minister under the current SLAJ president, Alhaji Umarr Fofanahs Government the previous year. I however met him a year later when the GENERALS offered to recruit me in to their ranks. At that time he was Field Marshal of the army of the Banana- Republic of FBC. The man who initiated and master designed policies on behalf of the GENERALS. He was undoubtedly the brain child behind the successful implementation of every other policy put in place by both the Peter Kommeh and Nat King regime (1999-2001)

 

Late comrade SPANCHO was undoubtedly an exceptionally legendary figure whose gracious personality and candor attracted almost every other student irrespective of the pervasive political divide then on campus. He was popular and highly respected and wielded considerable influence and power over his colleague students; particularly among the GENERALS He was a demagogue with great oratory power and endowed with enormous political savvy and administrative acumen. To him politics was little more than self interest, threachery and manipulation.

 

The late Comrade SPANCHO was my political god-father, who in no small measure helped to shape my political career at FBC and the future. I am greatly indebted to him for this. With his blessing together with the unflinching support of comrade British Dabor, I was to emerge as the GENERALS flag bearer for the students union presidency in 2000 hadnt I  backed off the race and traveled to the Gambia. Comrade SPANCHO was an epitome of every aspect of the legal profession and a true man of the people who cut across every spectrum of life.  Those who knew well will describe him as benevolent and magnanimous. He acted as a voice for the voiceless by providing pro-bono services to the extremely poor and needy.

 

He was a calm, self- assured, self- effacing, and altruistic individual, a man of breadth judgment, experience and total integrity. His demise is indeed a big blow and irreparable loss not only to his family and friends, but as well the entire membership of the GENERALS at home and abroad.  We will miss you greatly comrade but your sweet memories will forever linger on. I doff my hat to the bereaved family of this great fallen soldier. Adieu brother, sleep well and may your soul rest in perfect peace.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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