By Sheikh Alie Kallay.
The former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, Dr Minkailu Bah and Ambassador Dauda Kamara of the APC hold the Muslim and the Tonkolili communities an apology or will lose the huge support their party receives from the Muslim community in general and the Tonkolili community in particular for grabbing and converting the Islamic College of Magburaka to Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology.
This college was constructed in the late 1980s through the efforts of late Alhaji M.L. Sidique, AKK, Alhaji S.A.T. Koroma, Alhaji S.S. Dumbuya, Alhaji Alusine Sesay, Sheikh Gibril Sesay and many others.
The $5M for the construction of the college and the Mosque in the compound was sought from the Muslim World League (MWL) in Makkah by the above-mentioned Muslim elites to make tertiary Islamized education available in the country so that the large number of Sierra Leoneans, Guineans, Liberians, I’Vorians, Senegalese, Gambians and Malians who seek to study in the Arab World could be minimized.
The money was paid by MWL into the account of the Chinese construction company in china and immediately after the transaction completed they company came down to Sierra Leone and built the college and the Mosque.
After the completion of the institution in 1988, students started studying there from the ECOWAS countries mentioned above!
In 1991 when the war broke and it came closer to the area of a rebel strong hold, out of fear, the authorities under the leadership of Dr Abbass Kanneh, a Liberian as principal decided to seize the operations there till things get better!
After the war when president Tejan Kabbah visited the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to attend an OIC meeting there and he used that opportunity to make a special appeal to OIC and Islamic Development Bank to fund the renovation of the college so that it could function once again. The fund was approved and it was ready for processing but owing to the occupation of UNAMSIL soldiers of the premises the process delayed as a result.
As soon as the war ended on the 18th of January in 2002, Pa Kabbah reminded them of the promise and it kicked off again but by the time first part of payment reached the ministry of finance the elections’ fever of 2007 had overwhelmed the then SLPP government and the whole nation. Immediately after the elections even though Pa Kabbah’s SLPP lost the elections to the APC, he ordered his then education minister Dr Alpha T.Wurie to hand over whatever amount has been received by his government to the new minister of education Dr Minkailu Bah for the work to start.
Dr Wurie as a man of integrity himself wasted no time in doing so to his new successor just to see that the college is renovated the soonest.
Dr Bah started the work under President Ernest Bai Koroma but soon after that the whole game changed and what we saw was imposing of Ambassador Dauda Kamara who was doubling at the time as Minister of Local Government and Internal Affairs as the new president of Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood (SLMB) without any due process. A politically motivated convention was illegally held in Bo and Ambassador Dauda Kamara who is a committed traditional society leader as he always confesses that even during radio interviews became the new SLMB president!
His leadership was protested by a letter written by the SLMB officials to president Koroma and all stakeholders were copied including myself but no action was taken why?
Because the millions of Dollars involved could not be embezzled so smoothly unless someone from his government is at the helm of affairs of SLMB so that the monies could be rolling into their pockets from Saudi Arabia without any resistance from anybody.
Infact it was for this reason the whole SLMB was politically intimidated and dumped completely in to bomeh.
As soon as the renovation was completed in April 2015 President Koroma and his two ministers both of whom are from Tonkolili grabbed the college and turned it to what is known today as part of EBK University.
Based on this the Muslim community in Tonkolili and the whole country are looking forward to President Bio and his government to return the college back to its owners as he promised during his campaign tour in Tonkolili.
Also the Muslims are looking forward to Anti Corruption Commission to launch full investigations into the corrupt behavior of Bio’s predecessor and his two ministers regarding the millions of dollars they received and chopped from Saudi Arabia through the Islamic Development Bank and OIC!
PRESIDENT BIO HAS NO BLAME IN THE WHOLE PROCESS BUT HE WILL BE SURELY BLAMED IF HE CONDONES THE ILLEGAL DEEDS OF HIS PREDECESSOR. RELIGION AND POLITICS SHOULD BE SEPARATED BUT IF THE PROPERTY OF RELIGIOUS PEOPLE IS STOLEN FROM THEM BY POLITICALL MEANS IT SHOULD BE RETURNED BY THE SAME POLITICAL MEANS OR THE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE WILL FIGHT BACK BY USING THE SAME POLITICS AND POLITICIANS TO RESTORE JUSTICE SOONER OR LATER!