For Escaping Secret society inanition: Bassie Sanu declared wanted Widow mother calls for gov’t intervention

Bassie Sanu.jpg

By Hassan Koroma

Elders and angry youth of Martindi Community have declared one Bassie Sanu wanted, and have communicated that they need him dead or alive. Sanu’s crime is failing to complete his ‘poro society’ initiation which the community had labelled as taboo and an insult to the poro cult and the entire community.

25 years old Bassie Sanu is currently on the run after escaping incomplete ‘poro’ secret society initiation. Furious leaders of the society have vowed to mob him if caught alive.

Martindi Community in the western Rural is notorious for its deep interest in secret societies. It’s a place where male residents are obliged to join the PORO society while the female are initiated in the BONDO society. Refusing to be initiated attracts consequences for the defaulter and their family members. It is a taboo for someone to start the initiation process and abandoned it before completion.

Martindi Community is a neighbouring community to Samuel Town and the surrounding communities that are highly influenced by the culture and tradition of Martindi. Like Bassie Sanu, many young men have left the surrounding communities in fear of forceful initiation.

In order to become the heir to one’s father properties, every family in the community has to fulfil the poro rituals a step which Bassie Sanu objected to due to his Muslim religion beliefs.

Speaking to the Calabash Newspaper in an exclusive interview at her Samuel Town residence  Isatu Sanu, mother of fugitive Bassie Sanu explain that in early February  on date she could not recalled her late husband Foday Sanu fell sick and after trying several hospitals, it was advised that they take him to a herbalist for native treatment.

She further narrated that, she later called her late husband’s younger brother Mohamed Sanu who was living in Makeni City, Bombali District Northern Sierra Leone and informed him about the serious nature ailment of his elder brother.

She said two days later Mohamed Sanu travelled to Samuel village and after seeing his elder brother together with some elders of the poro society, he suggested taking him to an herbalist, a decision which she agreed to and her son (Bassie Sanu) who was also at the meeting agreed.

“They took my sick husband away and asked me and my son to wait at home promising that everything will be fine. After a week and half,  Mohamed Sanu  return and ask  that my son go with him and be with his father while he is being treated by the herbalist.

After almost four days, in March 2023 I was sitting alone in the palour at around midnight when my son knocked at the door. Seeing him, I knew something was wrong, immediately I started crying because I knew my husband was dead,” she said.

She said when she asked her son for the remains of his father, he told her they were in the poro society initiation forest, noting that her son further told her that her husband was never taken to a herbalist but was rather taken to the poro society forest.

She said her son explained further how his uncle conspired with the poro society elders and forcefully took him into the forest and started to initiate him against his wish.

He explained that he was only allowed to leave the forest after he pleaded for a chance to allow him take his father’s corpse for proper burial with the promised that he will return to complete the initiation process after the burial.

“According to my son, he was supposed to return into the forest after seven days of the burial, but as I speak to you right now I don’t know the his whereabouts. This is why I am calling on the government and other organizations to intervene.

I lost my first son during his poro initiation and now my other son has also gone missing?  This is the third week I haven’t seen my son and I have asked all his sisters and friends and all of them told me that they did not see him or knew his whereabouts,” sobbing Isatu told medium.

She said in January her son had complained about his father trying to convince him to join the cult but her son objected and told his father that the cult is against his religion.


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