Sierra Leone: In What Capacity Was VP Jalloh at Basharia Mosque?

ASKS CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY OOR

"Most people in this country do not approach issues from a logical angle. Their emotions dictate their reactions". How apt is this quotation extracted from an article published in Africa Young Voices (AYV) newspaper Monday October 28. 2019 under the headline"That Ugly Act at Basharia Mosque."

The alleged "ugly act" is reported in the local media (print and electronic) to have occurred inside a Mosque in the east end of Freetown on Friday October 25, 2019 during last Friday's Muslim Congregational Prayers involving Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh a Muslim by Religion who at the material time was Acting as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone in the absence of President Juius Maada Bio who was on a visit to the United Arab Emirate, and the former Ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate Dr. Samura Kamara, a Roman Catholic by Religion.

According to local media reports, Dr. Samura Kamara, a Christian, is said to have been "invited by the Baharia Mosque Managers to join them in Muslim Prayers" on that particular Friday, and that "Dr Samura Kamara had sent in a request about two weeks prior." Whether the Reporter's by "request", meant " acceptance" of the invitation, is not clear; but Acting President Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, a Muslim by Religion, is reported by AYV newspaper in another article under the headline "That Cowardly Attack on VP Juldeh Jalloh at Basharia Mosque" to have "breezed into the Mosque ostensibly to join his fellow Muslims in the Jumaa Prayers. It was then all hell broke loose and violence erupted between supporters of the former (APC) Presidential candidate and supporters of Vice President Juldeh Jalloh. Had the Vice President decided not to have visited the Basharia Mosque as a common worshipper without his security detail, it is anyone's guess what could have happened."

AYV newspaper continued by reporting in another article under the headline "That ugly Act at Basharia Mosque", that" just before or during the Jumaa Kutubu (Friday sermon,) Vice President Juldeh Jalloh entered the Mosque, through the Imam's office door".

AWARENESS TIMES newspaper published Monday October 28, 2019 reporting the same "ugly act" with a strap "Politics enters Islamic Prayers at Basharia..'" and headlined "SLPP's Juldeh and APC's Samura in a Mosque Beefing"stated "Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, who was acting as President of Sierra Leone in the absence of H.E. President Bio, arrived at the Basharia mosque rather late and with no advance notice, according to a public explanation from the owners of the mosque." and "despite the alleged late arrival, the SLPP"s Dr. Jalloh was welcomed and sat together with the APC's Dr. Samura Kamara until the service ended."

Now, in what capacity was Dr. Juldeh Jalloh at the Muslim Congregational Prayers at the Basharia Mosque on that particular Friday? Was he there as Acting President and Head of State of the Republic of Sierra Leone who is entitled to enjoy all the trappings of office and privileges of a Head of State? Does State Protocol permit the President and Head of State, as reported by the media, "to breeze into a Mosque or Church Service just before or during the sermon through the Imam's office door or the Minister' (of Religion's) vestry"?

Indeed "most people in this country do not approach issues from a logical angle.Their emotions dictate their reactions".

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