Members of the Supreme Council of Islam in Sierra Leone have formally and unanimously endorsed the incumbent President for a second term in office this November. As he received their formal endorsement, His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has expressed pride in Sierra Leone reportedly being placed first for religious tolerance in the world. The Christian Head of State was speaking in the first week of October 2012 during a meeting in Freetown with the country’s Muslim community who had gathered as part of their annual National Delegates’ Conference of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs. He called on them to zealously maintain the tolerance credentials.
The President also told the gathering that the theme of this year’s Islamic Conference, “The role of Islamic Leaders in promoting Unity and Progress among Islamic Organisations/Associations in Sierra Leone” is timely and well-conceived as the country needed unity in all its sectors.
President Koroma used the metaphor of the house on a strong foundation to say that any President who comes after him in 2017 will meet a foundation that was very strong and durable. President Koroma said Sierra Leone will soon start sending its religious leaders to other countries plagued with religious intolerance to provide counsel for religious tolerance to prevail.
Delivering his statement, the Chief National Coordinator Alhaji Bobo Bah said that the conference was intended to foster unity, camaraderie and progress among the Muslim community all across the country. He called on all Muslims to vote resoundingly for President Ernest Bai Koroma to continue the good work he has started since 2007.
According to Hon. Alpha Abubakarr Sidique Kanu, who as Minister of Political Affairs, presided over the conference, President Ernest Bai Koroma is “a Believer” rather than a Christian or Muslim which was why under his leadership the country had no religious differences but was ranked as number one for religious tolerance in the world.
Alhaji Ayuba R. Sesay who spoke on behalf of the Principals of all Islamic schools in the country, said the conditions of teachers and principals have hugely improved as a result of the salary increases provided by the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma. The increases, he said, were more than any other government in the history of Sierra Leone.
Alhaji Mohamed Thaha Jalloh, President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs paid glowing tribute to His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma for the remarkable work he has done for the past five years.He went on to noted that President Koroma is a man of his word as he promised to deliver electricity in 100 days but delivered it in 90 days record time.
In a light-hearted mood, Alhaji Thaha mentioned that most of the delegates from around the country, only arrived that morning and came straight to Miatta Conference Center without even bothering to change clothes because the roads are well-paved and covered well with tarmac. He compared it to previous days when the country’s highways were dusty; forcing travelers to change on arrival at their destinations.
He also observed that before now there used to be Alhaji Lungis and Haja Abujas because intending Hajj pilgrims could not make it past Lungi or would be abandoned in Abuja on their way to Saudi Arabia.Today, he said, through the astute, visionary and responsible leadership of President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, Muslims can now travel to Mecca without let or hindrance or any form of inconvenience.
One of the country’s most famous female Muslim leaders, Haja Afsatu Kabbah who delivered a statement on behalf of the Women’s Representatives said the conference was meant to bring Muslims together as one voice, saying it’s always good to give praise where it’s due as man by nature was a political animal. She urged all Muslims to re-elect President Koroma for a second term.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.