Sierra Leone Pilgrims’ Progress

Indeed in this year which is the second year of pilgrimage under the New Direction government there is commendable progress to the glory of Allah.
By progress is meant development over what had transpired in recent years.
This is not to say that there were no hitches as is expected in every human endeavor. Better late than never.
The fact is that hurdles did not cause Sierra Leone Pilgrims to be late for their rituals.
With superb restructuring of the whole corrupt former machinery, the new government succeeded in enabling 950 pilgrims to perform the hajj which is one hundred higher than last year’s figure.
Out of this number, 350 scholarships were dished out by the Office of the President to needy Muslims across the country irrespective of their regions of origin or political affiliation with 550 paying the required $5,000 fee.
This year’s pilgrimage arrangements which are some of the best are in sharp contrast with last year’s pilgrimage arrangements that were riddled with unthinkable corruption.
Intending pilgrims were housed at Youyi Building without adequate food and poor living conditions indefinitely.
Tickets for some Sierra Leoneans were sold to Guineans and others were unaccounted for.
These were handled by so-called Muslims and Christians living without God and without hope in the world.
Just why an individual can deprive another from taking steps towards his/her salvation for that individual’s selfish interests beat one’s imagination hollow.
Hundreds of intending pilgrims were tantalized and disenchanted.
The former Head of State had occasion to console the discomforted intended pilgrims with weak and comfortless words.
Sierra Leone has about 60-70% of Muslims which is why whatever has to do with their welfare impacts on the rest of the populace one way or the other.
Not only that .There are so many inter-marriages between the two religions that any internecine conflict erupting is inconceivable.
Two of our Heads of State have had each partner of the other religion and they have lived harmoniously.
It is desirable for any government in power to benefit from the results of its efforts.
In this regard, aside from the salvation sought by pilgrims it would augur well for the public if returning pilgrims refrain from anti-social practices like profiteering or cheating.`
This would definitely negate all the forgiveness of their sins acquired after the pilgrimage.
It is said that a good beginning determines a good end.As a result, the New Direction government would do well to sustain the success achieved over these two years and if possible improve on it.
One thing that should be brought to the attention of the New Direction is that though Christians are in the strong minority in this country, they too should be considered for pilgrimage scholarships to Israel otherwise a bias will be seen against them.
A quote from John Bunyan would suffice:
‘’The men told them they were pilgrims and strangers in the world, and that they were going to their own country, which was the heavenly Jerusalem,’’

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