By Karifa Kello Thoronka
The Kargbo family of Makarie Community in the Bombali District, Northern Sierra Leone have reportedly lost their son’s life during an initiation ceremony by the Poro Secret Society in Sierra Leone.
According to the Makarie tradition, every young man above eighteen years of age must compulsorily be a member of the male Poro Secret Society as a way of keeping sacrosanct the customs of the community and as the name implies to adhere to the oath of secrecy of the society.
When one of our reporters got in contact with a close family member of Abdul Kargbo he revealed to this medium that Abdul was forcefully taken into the Poro Bush where he was conscripted to be initiated. He intimated that it all started when Abdul travelled from Freetown on holiday to the Makarie community and after few days he was severely beaten by a group of Poro members on the pretext that he has reached the ripe age for him to be initiated.
The family member continued to narrate that Abdul Kargbo had a scuffle with a young man who is also a member of the secret society and after few hours of fighting Abdul lost his life during the process of taking him through the final stages of the initiation ceremony.
It was also revealed to Calabash Newspaper that their beloved son, Abdul was buried without the participation of family members which did not went down well with the latter.
It could be recalled that in September, 2016, one Augustine Turay of the same village who is currently on the run was also forcefully taken into the Poro society bush for the similar initiation ceremony in the same Makarie Community. Augustine Turay, who was a former employee of Africa Minerals Limited, narrowly escaped in the hands of the initiators of the traditional Secret Society and fled away from the completion of the Poro initiation rites out of fear that he might be lose his life.
Madam Isatu Turay, who identified herself to this medium as the biological mother of the missing Augustine Turay explained her ordeal in the hands of the Poro men since the mysterious disappearance of her son [Augustine Turay].
She disclosed that she has been facing a lot of intimidation and harassment perpetrated by the Poro men. While explaining she burst into tears intimating that with all her complaints made so far to protect her liberty in the community unfortunately no action was taken by local authorities in that community to remedy her plight.
On that note she decided, together with some of her relatives, to ceremoniously abandon Makarie community out of fear of future attacks, as the members of society are now furiously searching for her to produce her son, Augustine Turay.
Augustine was also accused of having an affair with one of the society member’s marital wife, Kadiatu, who incidentally carry the same name with the mother of Augustine Turay’s daughter.
There was a physical confrontation and in no time about a dozen member of the Poro secret society descended on Augustine Turay, overpowered him and dragged him to a thick forest reported to be the secret shrine of the Poro society where he was subjected to the initial stage of initiation. Augustine reported that the process was inhuman, barbaric, painful and unenduring. By stroke of luck, he managed to escape.
While explaining to the Press a friend of Augustine Turay noted that Augustine traversed dangerous terrain and finally arrived in the East End part of Freetown. Augustine sought refuge with family members at Grassfield. Few weeks later while he was in his hideout at 18 Davies Street in Freetown, two young men materialized and attempted to grab him and in the process one of the men removed from his pocket a wrapped plastic that he quickly slacken and blown on his face a strange substance which immediately paralyzed him and he lost consciousness.
When he regained consciousness, he was feeling heat and pain all over his body and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was hospitalized.
A senior member of the Makarie Poro Society, who disclosed to this medium, on condition of anonymity, said the Poro fugitive, Augustine Turay, fled completion of his initiation rites after a teenage boy who was taken through his final rites nearly died that same day in 2016 before completion of the ceremony.
Dilating on the penalty of betrayal, Pa Yamba Kargbo, a seventy-two years old man, who is the adviser to the Paramount Chief disclosed to this medium that those found guilty of such an “offence”(escaping from the Poro bush) are often killed through unconventional means that leave no room for police investigation.
Till press time Abdul’s Family are still in tears while Augustine Turay’ family are on self exile.