Police warns against forceful initiation


December 31, 2016

The Sierra Leone Police has issued a stern warning to traditional leaders who are engaged in forceful initiation processes.

Police media boss, Assistant Superintendent Ibrahim Samura said they were not against initiation, but their concern was the forceful and cruel method employed by traditional leaders during initiation process.

The warning came after Alhaji Mohamed Jabbie had escaped from the initiation bush and narrated his ordeal to his family members and the media.

Jabbie who was a labourer at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay recalled that in December 2016, he, together with some other boys were picked up by a certain chief from their village who told them that they will be recruited into the police force.

“The chief came and told us that he would use political party influence to lobby for us to be recruited into the police force. He told us to get ready our West Africa Secondary School certificates. Being that jobs are very difficult to get, I was over happy about the news. He later came and collect our certificates and informed us that he will send someone else to collect us,” he said.

He narrated that they were loaded in mini truck on the pretext that they would be taken to the Police Training School in Hastings just the outskirt of Freetown.

Jabbie said their journey was diverted to a village called Masongbo, where they locked them up in a cubic mud brick room until the arrival of gallant men who held cutlasses, knives and a Chaka bulla.

He explained that the men took them to a nearby forest and ordered them to sit on the floor. He said one of their colleagues attempted to resist the orders of the men, but he was beaten to death.

He further explained that he was terrified by the action of the men and that they were later given blood to drink and some meat which in his estimation was a human flesh.

He also said that he noticed the men were also involved in cannibalism and were secretly doing business with some of the human parts, apparently for export. He said he confirmed his suspicion when he saw three of the men holding human kidneys.

According to him, it was at that point that they were reminded that they were in the bush for traditional initiation which transformed boys to men and that all of them will be initiated that night.

The victim who narrowly escaped death stated that another colleague of theirs was killed in their face when he attempted to escape. He said after some days in the forest, he managed to clandestinely escape from the bush and jumped into a moving delivery truck which took him to Freetown.

Jabbie said when he arrived in Freetown he explained what had happened to his mother. After a while, according to the mother, Jabbie tried to make contact with his Ghanaian friend who later helped him out of the country in a ship. The whereabouts of this young man is still a mystery.