By Abdul Rahman P. Kamara
Report from Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone, has revealed that the dreaded Poro Secret Society has mounted a man-hunt for Alpha Yayah Marrah, a footballer for the FC Kallon, who is said to have escaped forceful initiation from their secret shrine in the forest. Family sources say that the whereabouts of Alpha is yet unknown..
According to our source, Alpha Yayah Marrah, a footballer of the FC Kallon (under 16) junior academy (whose father was a former leader of the dreaded Poro Society), is said to have been identified by the society devil (their own deity), as the chosen one to replace his late father in the society.
Explaining further, Charlie Wright disclosed to this writer that when the Poro society members arrived, they unleashed and displayed their traditional and supernatural powers, much to the fear of residents. Alpha’s whereabouts remain unknown as the society continues to threaten family members to disclose his whereabouts.
After the surge that lead to both escape, traditional people where widely in search because one of their men was later hospitalized which he measures Charlie Wright to heat him with a stick that lead them to escape from their hands, the community men stood up to return evil for evil as one of their men now dead, Charlie Wright was later betrayed and prosecuted by close family member in Freetown (Capital City) that lead to his arrest and was captured and killed with no mercy. Searching for Alpha Yahah had been on toes as they will kill him if found and some family members of Alpha are presently receiving punishment and Ban from the village seize their lands of cropping.
This incident, which was filed by our eastern province correspondent and fact-checked accordingly, was corroborated by a research done by some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that the incident of repeated forceful initiation into secret society in 2019 alone has become a topic of concern.
According to our investigation, Alpha Yaya Marrah is said to have rejected the request by the leaders of the society at the time of his father’s death, and being a religious youth and in lieu of his fear that he might not come back alive, he had vehemently rejected all efforts to persuade him to be initiated into the secret society. It was also disclosed that this fear was heightened by events of deaths of youths in society bush, some of whom were forcefully abducted and taken to the society bush for initiation. Stories abound of deaths from such initiations, at an even higher scale than what obtained with those involved in Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). His refusal got the society men angry, especially as he was particularly identified by the society devil.
Poro society is one among many secret societies in Sierra Leone that is believed to have supernatural powers to the extent that 95% of locals are afraid of them, whenever it is time for initiations.
Our investigations took this writer to the family members of Alpha, who also confirmed that Alpha had been chosen to be the next ‘Pa Yamba’, in furtherance of the society doctrine, which stipulates that if a member dies, his eldest son must succeed him. It was revealed that in 2014 Alpha lost his father and mother to the Ebola outbreak. As the Ebola subsided, it was disclosed that Alpha was approached by his uncle (himself a member of the society) to be initiated into the society, a request that he rejected out rightly, which resulted in serious disagreement and tension between him and his uncle. Family sources say the angered uncle immediately reported the matter to the Poro Society members for further action.
It was gathered that Alpha’s refusal and reluctance to join the society became a topic of concern to his family and friends. According to a close associate of Alpha, Charlie wright, it was disclosed that after the football tournament that took place in kenema, Alpha went to visit his grandfather, unaware of the fact that he had passed away. Whilst there, he was abducted by members of the secret society at night and taken to the society shrine in the bush. It was disclosed by family members that towards the morning, they saw members of the society storm their house looking for Alpha. It was then that they knew that he had escaped from their hands.
On their arrival at their house, the members of the Poro society vandalize it beyond recognition. They furthered that the members seemed angry, aggressive and agitated, as they went about looking for Alpha.
This search continued the whole day, and in the evening, a self-imposed curfew was raised, as the society members announced the movement of their devil (deity) in the township. It is the tradition that during such occasions, all non-members of the society are asked to stay indoors, and anyone seen outdoors will be consumed by the devil.
However, though concerns have been raised by civil societies organizations over the rampant invasion by secret societies in the towns and districts across the country, little has been done about it to one of such societies.
Many cases like that of Alpha Yayah Marrah remain unresolved, and the victims are yet to be discovered. Many are feared dead, as no report of their whereabouts is known.