Upon hearing the cries of the poor family of the deceased boy that they had no money to bury the murdered teenager after the police autopsy was done, the Sierra Leone Government, through the MSWGCA, undertook the entire cost of the funeral this afternoon. MSWGCA Directorates for Children and for Social Welfare have been engaged with this matter since the news first broke. After witnessing the autopsy this morning, funeral expenses were all handled by Acting Director of Children’s Affairs Mrs. Joyce Kamara as the director is on sick leave.
At the graveside, Hon. Minister Blyden extended condolences from His Excellency the President to the huge crowd of family and mourners of Gloucester village. She appealed to all mourners not to attempt to revenge but to let the law take its course. She said that she has seen the photos indicating the extremely brutal manner in which the killed boy was tortured but warned all to trust in the justice system.
Hon. Minister Blyden, herself a descendant of Gloucester village where her mother was born and raised, said the killing hit her very hard especially as the killers were themselves children. She said the late boy was to be seen as a son to all Gloucester people. She said he might have grown to be a very productive adult making Gloucester proud but his life has been cut short.
She said it was also particularly painful that the alleged killers were also Gloucester residents but added that her ministry was going to provide support to both sets of families as well as the two boys now in police custody.
“Even though they have killed our son and cut his life off, yet still the law says they have certain rights as children under the age of 18 years so we are providing support to them whilst they are in police custody,” she took her time to explain.
Expressing similar sentiments of condolences and peace, the Liberian Minister Dr. Julia Duncan Cassell also reminded the gathering that the MRU subregion had suffered from extreme violence so it was the duty of all citizens in the MRU to promote ideals that will move our children away from violent behaviour. She also cautioned against any act of revenge.
For her part, the nominated MRU Secretary General Mrs. Wesseh also consoled the family and said “revenge is a bitter fruit” so let everyone trust in the Law. She called for there not to be any form of isolation of the families of the other teenage boys who allegedly killed the late 14 year old.
For their part, the family members both at the graveside and back at the house of the killed teenager, could not hide their emotions as they stated how overwhelmed with gratitude they were for the sustained support they had received from Government.
One after the other, the family and friends reiterated that the leadership of His Excellency President Koroma continues to show that it is one that not only was with the people but that cared deeply for them especially at times of such sudden and unexpected pains.
The appreciation from the rest of Gloucester villagers for the unfettered support from the Ernest Koroma led government, was very palpable.
An accompanying photo shows Minister Blyden consoling the mother of the late boy as she directs senior staff of her ministry to immediately undertake psychosocial counseling of the distressed mother. Other photos are of the scenes at the graveside and also Senior staff handing over of cash for funeral expenses.
May the late boy Rest In Peace.