Sierra Leone: President Kabbah Calls for Unity

Traditional healers President Kabbah

President of the Indigenous Traditional Healers Union, Alhaji Dr. Suliaman Kabbah has told Concord Times in an exclusive interview that disunity is slowly killing the association, thus calling on all and sundry to come on board for the betterment of the association and Sierra Leone as a whole.

President Kabbah narrated that he gained recognition as head of all traditional healers in Sierra Leone as early as 2001 to 2002 during the era of late former president Ahmand Tejan Kabbah.

He said he emerged president of the association in a national elections organised under the watch of former President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2008.

He continued that just after his inauguration in 2010, he embarked on signing communiqués with the Sierra Leone Police, 149 paramount chiefs, government ministers, and the 16 tribal heads in the Western Area, among several others.

He said when he later noticed that untimely deaths were too many in the country as a result of some devilish people who believed that their only means of survival was to kill innocent people with spiritual guns or charms, he immediately went into war with the said individuals throughout the country because his mandate as a president was to protect the people of Sierra Leone from such wicked people and to heal those who have complicated health problems.

"Everyone would agree with me that there was a time in the history of this country when certain people were peddling with deadly instrument like "witch gun" , "fankay", "big foot", among others, at strategic locations within Freetown and other major towns for as little amount of le 5,000. Can you imagine? Killing a whole human for just Le5, 000," he exclaimed.

He added that his administration fought hard to weed out all those in the said trade from the streets, and further dismantled all traditional missiles throughout Sierra Leone.

He said after 'disarmament' of all deadly weapons from the said individuals, he encouraged them to come on board for training that would capacitate them to be able to heal people, which in turn would earn them their daily survivals as opposed to the killing trade.

Kabbah noted that he organised training sessions that were geared towards capacitating those who were not knowledgeable about indigenous medicine for healing.

He however noted that his administration has over the years been undermined by the formation of different associations across the country.

He stated that as per their constitution, his tenure of office as president for the indigenous traditional healers association goes for life time, synonymous to paramount chieftaincy.

He urged members to come together and join forces in uplifting the association forward.

"As I speak, everyone is currently acting in the name of democracy, but it is good that we all come together and map out a way forward that would put the association forward in trying to achieve our goal. We can only succeed if we are united, but we would never if we remain divided," he said.

He frowned at the many hawkers that were selling traditional medicine without recognition from the association, but stated that they cannot be traced because of the divisiveness in the association.

"Until we come together, our association will always be faced with challenges," he said.

President Kabbah also noted that the importance of traditional healers in Sierra Leone should not to be overemphasized, as many a times there were certain ailments that do not require modern medication, but traditional medicine.

He added that he had opened a hospital called the Alophtic Traditional Health Clinic for both traditional and modern medications at Waterloo- Five-Five Junction.

He concluded by calling on the government of Sierra Leone to be considering their association in budget allocation, and added that, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation should also help them in order to promote traditional medicine like other African countries.

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