Following the devastation caused by the mudslide that killed hundreds of people on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown last week, the Sierra Leonean community living in Abuja, Nigeria staged a candlelight procession to mourn the victims of the deadly disaster.
The mourners, who appeared in black, besieged the Embassy of Sierra Leone to show their last respect for those who perished in the incident. The event was attended by the Sierra Leone High Commissioner in Nigeria, Haja Afsatu Olayinka, who could not control her emotions, called on well meaning Nigerians and organizations to support the victims who were in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Ms. Olayinka noted that a center had been opened in Lagos where people could donate cash and other relief items.
She commended the efforts of the Nigerian government for responding swiftly towards the plight of the victims. She noted that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, personally led the fleet of aircraft that took relief materials to Sierra Leone.
She expressed her appreciation on the big brother attitude and gesture exhibited by the country for coming to their aid despite the economic crisis being facing the country.
“Sierra Leone is still weeping. Why I singled out our host country is because they have their own problems also, but in the midst of the recession and other problems they are able to give in cash and in kind.
“This thing has been happening and it has happened to us in a devastating and dramatic manner. We have never witnessed this type of devastation before. We had floods, and it was a period. We had Ebola, and it was a period. But this one in less than six hours, whole communities and families were wiped out. It is really sad. I have wept and this is the first time emotional tears are coming down my eyes because you are not crying but are weeping emotionally,” Ms. Olayinka said.
Recall that over 500 people are feared dead and 600 people are still missing after last week’s mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown. Rescue officials have warned that the chances of finding survivors are decreasing each day.