Via Awareness Times: Sierra Leone Ebola: Kailahun Descendants want Nationwide State of Emergency. Excerpt:
As the deadly Ebola infection and death toll surged up in villages and towns of Kailahun District, prominent sons and daughters of Kailahun have become very worried leading to them gathering yesterday Thursday 12th June 2014, at the Saint Edward Primary School at Fort Street in Freetown to plan a way forward.
As dozens of them crammed into the compound, it was like a Who’s Who list of distinguished personalities from Kailahun. Some of those in attendance were former Chairman and Leader of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Mr. John Benjamin, the current Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Arrow Bockarie, the current Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Mr. Lahai Sawi, the current Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security Mr. Augustine Kortu, the former Deputy Minister of Education, Dr. Lansana Nyallay, Professor Sahr Gevao, Dr. John Karimu, Mr. Charles Mambu, Engineer Andrew Keili, Mr. Maya Kaikai, Mr. Albert Kawa, nurses, doctors as well as Honorable MPs representing Kailahun District. A significant number of women and students were also in attendance.
In the emergency meeting which started in the afternoon but only concluded in very late hours of last night, Kailahun indigenes representing all 14 chiefdoms and irrespective of their tribes, political affiliations, differences and ideologies unanimously reached special resolutions aim at proffering certain mitigation.
The Kailahun descendants did not mince their words as they expressed grave disappointment with what was unfolding in their district. The indigenes now have demanded of President Ernest Bai Koroma to “immediately” institute a “nation-wide” State of Emergency for the entire country that will address restriction of movement and justify the immediate provision of food and medical aid especially for the residents including health workers, victims and as well as women and children of the district.
In his opening statement, civil society activist Mr. Charles Mambu who chaired the meeting said it was timely for the people of Kailahun to put hands on deck and quickly join other stakeholders including government to fight the Ebola epidemic hemorrhagic fever. He said the rate at which people were dying in Kailahun was now “unbelievable”.
Mr. Victor Lahai, another civil activist, said whilst the government was “so far, not at all serious” to really stop the epidemic, it was a fact that if the epidemic were to hit any of the cities, “it cannot be easily overcome”.
In that light, Mr. Lahai said it was timely for President Koroma to proclaim a nation-wide state of emergency as the deadly disease has been shown to now be “far above the abilities of the Ministry of Health”. He called for “all hands on deck, all available resources and all possible attention to be focussed on combating the spread of the killer disease”.
Speaker after speaker repeated for President Koroma to pay direct attention as his Health Minister has proven to be incapable so far. Speaker after speaker reiterated the call of Lahai for President Koroma to proclaim a State of Emergency for all of Sierra Leone.