In a recent press conference convened by the National Sowei Council, attention was drawn to the mounting controversy surrounding the appointment of Honourable Chernor Bah to the cabinet by President Julius Maada Bio.

The conference, held with the aim of addressing several pressing matters, focused on the Sowei Council’s call for a reconsideration of the cabinet appointment.

The Council’s primary objectives for the conference included raising awareness about the filing of a case at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, questioning the relative silence surrounding the case, and elucidating the organization’s stance on this matter. Notably, the plaintiffs involved in the ECOWAS case included the Purposeful NGO, then led by Honorable Chernor Bah, among others.

The case revolves around allegations made by an alleged victim, Kadija Balaima Allieu, who claims to have been kidnapped and subjected to forced mutilation. However, suspicions were raised regarding the authenticity of these claims, as investigations by the Council revealed elements of a potential hoax orchestrated for media attention.

Despite the case being filed in April 2023, an unusual lack of response from anti-FGM activists and international organizations has fueled speculation about the credibility of the allegations. The Council asserts that the plaintiffs are aware of the case’s dubious nature and are supported by financiers with vested interests.

In a bold move, the Council urged President Bio’s administration to reconsider the cabinet appointment of Honourable Chernor Bah. The timing and nature of this appointment, following Bah’s involvement in the ECOWAS case against the government, have raised concerns about his potential conflicts of interest and access to sensitive information.

The Council contends that Bah’s connection to Purposeful, an organization with clear anti-FGM objectives, could influence judicial proceedings and undermine impartiality.

Furthermore, the Council called for transparency regarding the prosecution of Madame Elsie Tondomoloh, who was connected to the incident.

The Council believes that Tondomoloh’s innocence can be proven and that her case exemplifies a broader pattern of false allegations and harassment perpetrated by Western-funded anti-FGM activists.

Beyond the immediate concerns, the Council articulated its vision for “radical inclusion” of Sowies in governance and society.

Advocating for the preservation of cultural traditions and values, the Council proposed legislative measures to empower Sowies at various levels of influence, including district centers of excellence for training and education. The ultimate aim is to ensure that Sowies play a significant role in decision-making processes, particularly in areas related to women’s health and well-being.

As Sierra Leone approaches the 2028 general election, the Council plans to collaborate with leaders across districts to garner support for their cause. The vision of “radical inclusion” remains at the forefront, as the Council endeavors to shape the future of governance and societal development in Sierra Leone.