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Stop It- SL celebrates 56th Independence Day with school pupils

May 2, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura

Stop It-Sierra Leone, a non for profit organization, has observed the 56th Independence anniversary of Sierra Leone with children from various schools on theme: “We may miss plenty, but there is a lot to cherish.”

The ceremony took place at Stop-It head office on Kingharman Road, Brookfields, and Freetown.

Giving a brief profile of Sierra Leone, Executive Director of Stop It-SL, John Koroma, said Sierra Leone was inhabited by indigenous people over 250 years ago before the advent of the Europeans, adding that amongst the Europeans were Portuguese sailors led by Pedro de Cintra in 1462, who named the country as Serra Leoa.

“Pedro de Cintra found numerous politically independent native groups speaking different languages and worshiping similar African traditional religions. When Cintra landed their ships at the King Jimmy Wharf, the Temnes were the first ethic group he met at the foothills of the Wharf,” he explained.

Koroma said in the 19th century, the influence of the indigenes decreased, while the British and Creoles in Freetown increased as a result of their involvement in controlling the territory through trade, treaties and military expedition.

According to him, the treaties were aimed at securing peace so that warring indigenous factions would not disrupt commerce needed to strengthen the British administration in Freetown.

He noted that the chiefs were given stipends in return for commitment to peace and access to good roads and services, collecting customs duties and submitting disputed issues for British adjudication.

In his keynote address, Hon. Hassan Gbassay Kanu, said Sierra Leone has a rich history which the British and the Portuguese came to conquer, noting that they were trading in European goods in exchange for gold and other minerals.

“Independence of Sierra Leone means freedom from colonial rule. It does not only mean freedom but also mean that a country must be able to grow its own food, mine its mineral, among other things,” he said.

Hon. Kanu reiterated that the essence of Independence was to be able to provide food, develop society and accommodate the needs and demands of the nationals.

Baindu Mustapha, a class six pupil from Methodist City Mission School, said she was happy about the celebration, adding that she had been taught many new things about the history of her country.

Gibrilla Kamara, a St. Anthony Boys Primary School, appreciated Stop It-SL for the celebration, stating that he was confident to teach his colleagues about the rich history of Sierra Leone.

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