By Melvin Tejan-Mansaray
The Deputy Minister of Sports has urged state actors to investigate the circumstances under which two community construction workers died at O’Neil Street, back of Albert Academy in a popular place known as Long Bench.
Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh, Deputy Minister of Sports, was speaking in an exclusive interview with this press in which he expressed his sympathy for the loss of Abdul R. Bangura alias Shine and Baimba Samura (Tafeh); two gentlemen he described as positive community youths.
He said: “On Sunday at about 2pm, a group of guys were working for Melon Luke alias Rasta; and unfortunately for them the building they were working collapsed.
There was a pit/well inside the building into which they fell and died.”
The Deputy Minister stressed that it was very sorrowful and a sad moment, adding that there are a lot of allegations hinging around the quality of the construction work of the building – poorly done.
“As an eye witness, looking at the construction site; you will know that it was poorly done; there is need for the ministries of Lands, Labor, Works and the Sierra Leone Police to do a thorough investigation because the demise of these two young community activists is very pathetic.
They hailed from very humble and poor families and the other guy Abdul left a small girl that now needs to be cared for,” the Deputy Minister explained.
He added that the incident was unfortunate but that with the help of the National Fire Force and Red Cross, the two boys were rescued but died on the way to hospital, while a third person is currently fighting for his life at the hospital.
He disclosed that his interest in the matter is because he is an indigene of the area and is very concerned and that is why he went to the bereaved family to pay his condolences and sympathize with the community people.
“We are praying for their eternal rest but there is need for us as a people to help the family because it is very serious,” he iterated.
Profiling the victims, Al- Sankoh Conteh described them as community youths who participated tremendously in all spheres of the community and in social development.
“They are part of the youth organization in the area which I am a founding member; they are very much corporative in many activities that featured young people.
These are very serious guys that believe in their hard work and labor for their survival. They have never been involved in any criminality; they are widely appreciated in the community and they are good boys.
It is unfortunate for them to lose their lives in this manner, it is very sorrowful and pathetic,” he added.
The Deputy Minister of Sports, Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh nevertheless noted that he went to sympathize with the family and community because he is a part of them adding that he was used to them and have worked with them.
“It is my responsibility and obligation to go and sympathize with the family for them to be encouraged and for them to know that there are people behind them to give them courage and strength.
I did this because we are all part of the same family; as a politician and a Minister from that area, I must play my part.
“The burial for these guys will be on Wednesday 18th May 2016; we are calling on sympathizers to join in giving them a befitting funeral, honoring and according them with their last respect; this is good for the family and also community solidarity,” the Deputy Minister stated.