By Karifa Kello Thoronka
According to sources, the Poro Society is a male secret society that exercises their initiation ceremony in forest conservation, mainly in the northern part of Sierra Leone. Secret societies have grown so powerful in the name of tradition that it is very difficult, if not totally impossible, for victims to have their complaints heard in police stations.
Whiles narrating the story of Farrah Nasiru Koroma, one of the close family member by the name of Abdul Kamara, noted that Farrah was living in Freetown when he heard the intimidations and harassment of young men in Magburaka Tonkolili District for them to be initiated into the Poro society without their consents. ‘Poro is very, very powerful that if you are not part of the society you cannot be part of decision-making in our Community’, Says Abdul.
He further stated that when Farrah Nasiru Koroma realized that the intimidation is too much on youths in that part of the Country, he traveled to preach against forceful initiation and bad effects of secret societies in the District, which the Poro members see as disrespect to their society and tradition and went after him.
In Sierra Leone, campaigners of secret societies have received death threats and some have even had their houses burnt down because of their work, even some reporters have been threatened and some have actually stopped talking about Poro society in the Country. Some people have been forced to go into hiding, including the peace Activist Farrah Nasiru Koroma who is still on the run for his life. With tears in her eyes the mother of Farrah, Rakiatu Koroma explained by saying that since her son disappear some fear months ago in 2022 they have never received a call or either know his where about.
However, secret societies in certain parts of the rural areas in the Country still being practiced with so much exuberance and radicalism.