By Ibrahim Sangha
Almost seven weeks had passed since the neighborhood of 63 Palmer Street, Wellington, Freetown Sierra Leone noticed that MrYemeh Mansaray and his spouse Hajiratu Mansaray fled out of their home soon as they noticed that their names were mentioned in the list of persons of interest who were declared wanted for allegedly organizing, sponsoring and participating in the August 8th 9th and 10th insurrection this year.
10th August 2022 has forever gone down in the anal history of Sierra Leone as three-days of protest, stagedby some aggrieved members of the public, resulted in the killing of six (6) police personnel, twenty-nine (29) civilians, as well as the burning and destruction of state and private citizen’s properties that worth billions of Leones. According to the President of Sierra Leone, the perpetrators whom he described as Insurrectionists are members of the opposition.
Fatmata Mansaray who is 16 years old is the eldest of the three children, Hassan Mansaray 12 and KadiatuMansaray 10 years old, of Yemen and HajiratuMansaray. According to Fatmata Mansaray, herparents’ plight started two years back when some members of her dad’s tribe men called her dad (Yemen Mansaray) to take over the mantle of leadership of their traditional secret society and to be initiated and ensure to initiate all of his children into the secret society. “Our kinsmen offered my father the leadership position of our traditional secret society but he refused to accept it. They started chasing and urging him to go to the village to take over the society but he always told them that his religion does not permit him to takepart in any secret society, therefore, he was not interested. As a result of the disturbance of overzealous traditionalists, we relocated to Waterloo”, FatmataMansaray explained.
Adding to their pain, she said that members of the secret society started to publicize her father and mother, Mr and Mrs Mansaray as strong sponsors of the main opposition political party – the All People’s Congress (APC). She called off her statement that she was among those who sat the West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) 2021/2022 academic year and she got university requirements but the absence of her parents, who could settle heruniversity bill, has made her stay at home doing nothing.
Abubakarr Sesay, the chief imam of the Wellington community was a close friend of Yemen Mansaray whousually led him and others in Islamic prayers in their community mosque. Imam Sesay affirmed knowing the couple for a while. He then intimated to this medium that Mr Mansaray several times informed the congregation (Jama’at) that he wanted to move to an unknown location due to the traditional initiators’ pressure on him which he could no longer withstand. “After many months of disappearance, I saw their names and pictures on the wanted list on social media as members of those who sponsored and participated in the August 10th violent protest that took the lives of Sierra Leoneans – 6 police officers and 29 civilians,” Imam Abubakar Sesay said,
According to the record of the head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sierra Leone Police force, chief superintendent Richard Robert said that both people are not in the detainee’s record. He however confirmed that they are indeed among the persons of interest for the allegation of public disorder, perpetration of violence against the state, terrorist act of insurrection and attempted coup d’etat among other criminal offences.
The couple were surprised to see their names and photos on social media as wanted by the Sierra Leonean Police and according to them they’re peace-loving citizens and that is what they instill in their children and those who come around them.
It could be evident that the photo of Oladapo OlaitanOlaonipekun alias Dagrin, a Nigerian rapper born in Ogun, Nigeria and died in April 2010 was captured by the Sierra Leone Police as one of the wanted persons for the August 10 “INSURRECTION” as it was termedby President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio in his State Speech to the citizens of Sierra Leone. He said the Insurrectionists wanted to remove him from governance, which is unbelievable because the Soldiers are right at State House, a civilian with a bare hand cannot remove a democratically elected president without the aid of the military.
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