By Foday Moriba Conteh
As this period marks the season of initiation in several chiefdoms, numerous youths in various villages in the South and Northern provinces of Sierra Leone are presently fleeing their respective chiefdoms for fear of been forcefully initiated into the Poro society.
This customary traditional practice has forced many youths in some chiefdoms in Makeni and Port Loko districts in the Northern Province and in Moyamba and Pujehun districts in the Southern province who fear to be forcefully initiated into the society, to abandon their villages without the consent of their family members.
Their disappearance comes after some youths who were forcefully kidnapped on the orders of traditional heads and initiated into the Poro society against their wish, died in the cause of the ceremony.
Since the whereabouts of these fugitive youths are not known, this has created serious rift between several leading families of various chiefdoms.
In Bawah village in Moyamba district, two leading families, the George and Fahundu engaged in serious battle over forceful initiation of some family members into the society.
In Konsho vllage in Makeni, it was also reported that the Koroma and Turay families are embroiled in serious scuffle over the death of their eight years old son who was forcefully initiation into the society.
This life-threatening act now perpetrated by traditional heads in various chiefdoms has forced many families to secretly escape with their male children from the village.