By Donstance Koroma
The Government of Sierra Leone, on Tuesday 14th August, 2018, held an interfaith service in commemoration of the mudslide and flood victims of 14th August, 2017 at the Major Seminary Campus, Regent village, Western Area Rural District.
The combined service attracted His Excellency, President Julius Maada Bio, Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, cabinet ministers, senior officials of Government, religious leaders, members of the Diplomatic Corps, International and Local Non-governmental Organizations, survivors of the twin disaster and members of the general public.
In his sermon, the President of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, Bishop John Yambasu, consoled survivors, stating that all is not lost as the Almighty God of morality and conduct gives and “he has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”, he said.
He told the congregation that family members should mourn as people who have faith in the Almighty God and not as non believers. The right Bishop observed that Sierra Leoneans have betrayed their pledge of love and loyalty to the country, noting that political party interest and materialism have taken over.
Earthly things, the man of God further noted, are too huge for the grave to contain, while urging the President to ensure that such odds are eliminated from the Sierra Leonean society as the society has continued to suffer as a result of these sinful acts.
Bishop Yambasu called on President Bio to try by all possible means to resist names that do not represent his true personality. Sierra Leoneans, as a nation, has lost its dignity,citing the fallen standards of education in the country.
The country, he noted, is gripped with misery and side by side evil. He continued that the degree of reckless treatment and abandonment, exhibited by leaders, has resulted to their countrymen living like refugees in their own country.
Sheik Adekalie conducted prayers for the victims and families left behind.
A survivor, Miss Marie Kamara, with tears in her eyes, called on the President Bio and his government to continually keep an eye on them because their conditions are miserable. She referred to the President as their all and all. She thanked donor partners for coming to their aid during their time of distress.
Regent Head woman, Yanor J. Metzger, quoted John 14:1 “Man that is born of a woman has a short time to live and full of trouble”. She called on the government to put their ears to the ground in order to solicit pertinent information on the true survivors whom, she noted, are perishing not because of knowledge but as a result of lack of basic social amenities, noting that most of them can’t afford a day’s meal.
The Chief Mourner, President Julius Maada Bio, said the world is watching Sierra Leone because of the 14th August, 2017 mudslide disaster which left an unprecedented damage on the country. He noted that he is saddened by the scale of destruction suffered by his compatriots.
He assured survivors that his government will not forget them.
“My government has a human face,” he told all mourners present.
The quranic quotation at the service was 4:87: “Allah, there is no God but He of a surety. He will gather you all together in the resurrection day about which there is no doubt and whose world can be truer than Allah.”
The biblical quotation was taken from John 11:25; “I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in me though he dies,yet shall live”
The service was climaxed by the laying of wreath in the disaster area by the President, Vice president, religious leaders and the family of the deceased.
It will be recalled that the Government of President Bio has made frantic efforts, upon assuming office, to ensure that residents still living in the area are relocated to other areas.