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Members of Poro Society hatched villages to death

By Humphrey Thomas

The diamond ferrous district of Kono became a place for barbaric display of the vices of secret societies especially the poro society. The past weekend had witness horror in the hands of people engaged in secret society disturbing the peace of that vicinity. This society is becoming dangerous leading to the death of innocent people.

Victim of Poro Society

One of the reasons why they are dangerous is that they have so many taboos for non-initiates that are so uncertain, indescribable and unidentifiable that it is easy for a non-initiate to fall into the trap of a secret society.

A couple of years ago, a man whose wife was killed by secret society men in Kono, east of the country, was heard over Radio Citizen at Kissy, in the east of the capital Freetown, explaining his ordeal and crying for justice to be done.

 

Victim of Poro Society

The victim said his late wife was returning home from another village when she unexpectedly met secret society men in a bush path surrounding the masked spirit of the Poro secret society. She was instantly butchered with machetes. Her corpse was left lying on the road side. The man alleged that he reported the matter to the police but nothing came out of it.

The bitter fact is that secret societies are a powerful force to reckon with in the politics of Sierra Leone. They represent the highest echelon of decision- making in rural societies and could therefore be an effective instrument for mobilizing support. They therefore play a crucial role in the election processes of Sierra Leone . Politicians have a great preference for them because each member is bound by a secret society oath which makes their support not to waver. Because politicians want what they call “steady votes” unlike that of non initiates which might swing from one party to the other they give great encouragement and protection to secret societies which makes them to be above the law. They do many things that are contrary to law and go scot-free. This has made many people to be apprehensive and feel unsafe especially in rural communities. Many youths have migrated as a result of this. Many have lost their lives when they step on the toes of secret societies.

Everywhere in Sierra Leone has become a prevailing phenomenon.

Another reasons is that poro men have become hypersensitive to criticism and thus is the onslaught on their counterpart female secret society the Bondo which is currently under fire by those who campaign against Female Genital Mutilation something which was a taboo in the past. No human being ever thought of talking openly about Female Genital Mutilation. A woman who made the attempt some years ago at Ogoo Farm in the west of Freetown lost her life in the forest when she was chased by a group of Bondo women who caught up with her when she ran to seek refuge there. Her corpse was later found in the forest.

During the civil war both pro government Kamajors and RUF rebel forces attempted to utilize the Poro society for military and political ends. It is believed by many the Poro society is used to influence the outcome of post war elections.

Published on: Nov 17, 2017

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