Refusing Forceful Initiation …

Fouad Sheriff Narrowly Escapes Death

Reports reaching this medium reveals that a young man, Fuad Sheriff , formerly of 84 campbell street in Freetown is said to have escaped in the hands of society men at a secluded society bush in Pujehun district whilst awaiting to be initiated into a ‘secret poroh society’.

Sheriff who happens to be a native of Komendeh Sowa, Bandajuma Sowa Chiefdom in Pujehun District, Southern part of Sierra Leone narrowly escaped death in the hands of members of a dreaded Poro secret society, whilst being forcefully taken to be initiated as replacement for his father now deceased, who was the leader of the secret society.

According to family sources, Fouad Sheirff who happens to be the eldest son of his late father was earmarked to succeed him in the secret poroh society. Fouad’s his father fell ill and was taking traditional treatment. According to our source, (the father) holds a top position in the secret society known as ‘Sokobana’(leader of the Poro society), and had undergone various rituals that makes it virtually impossible for knife or needles to enter his skin, thus treating him was done in the traditional way with herbs.

Unfortunately, the sickness got worse and he was taken to the society bush for further treatment, as was the tradition. It was further explained that the late man who was widely known as Sokobana and leader of the Poro society passed away in the society bush, and the news was broken to Fouad Sheriff , who was the eldest son of the late man. After the burial rites were done, Sheriff settled down to console the rest of the family.

Family members explained that some members of the Poro Society came to his house in the company of some other youths, who were also junior members of the society. During their brief message to him, they explained that his late father before his death, vowed to the society that at his death, they should initiate Fouad Sheriff into the society to redeem his cap (a society that had taken the lives of several members of his family during the initiation process),as he is the eldest son of the late Pa. This was stoutly rejected by Fouad Sheriff, and a fight ensued, during the process he is said to have seriously damaged one of the members of the Poro society, whose name was Mohamed Kamara, and as attention was focused on trying to rescue the wounded member, Fouad Sheriff made good his escape entering the bush at the back of their house. He was then pursued by the angry society members, but to no avail.

In an interview with a close confidant of Fouad Sheriff, who wishes to remain anonymous, for fear of reprisals from members of the secret society, he explained that it is common knowledge that some youths who had been taken to the society bush for initiation do not return, and the members tell their parents that the Gods of the society had called them to higher duties. This is understood by the family and taken as part of their commitment to the Gods. He furthered that from conversation overheard from youths who had gone through the rites, the whole exercise is shrouded in secrecy and the treatment of the initiates are harrowing, barbaric, brutal cuttings, inhumane and dangerous. Those who have gone through are forbidden to speak about it.

During our investigation, it was revealed that Fouad Sheriff fled to a nearby village for safety. It was also revealed that the society members took the wounded youth to the police and reported a case of assault, instead of forceful initiation. This then prompted the police to go on a man hunt for Fouad Sheriff. As news filtered through that Fouad Sheriff is wanted by the police, and indications of his whereabouts has been compromised, it was explained that he and his disappeared, and when the police arrived at that village to arrest him, he was nowhere to be seen, and as we go to press, the whereabouts of Fouad Sheriff remained unknown. It is not known whether the society people, who are still combing the surrounding villages in search of him, have caught up with him or not. But sources within confirmed to this medium that the escape of Fouad from the secret bush after three days has worried the society heads who are of the view that Fouad will likely expose what he had seen. It is understood that over eight people who before this time earmarked for such secret initiation were unable to make it. Some have died in the process whilst there are reports of others whose corpses were never seen.

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