By Rev. S. M. Williams
Ever thought that anyone could think of cutting down the hundreds of thousands or perhaps more than a thousand –year- old cotton tree situated strategically in central Freetown? Revolutionary thought eh? Stop wondering! The suggestion was recently made that some of the reasons for the ironic economic and social progress of our country are due to the occultic presence of the Freetown Cotton Tree. Nothing is known about the bearing and use of the cotton crop of that tree.
Perhaps there were cotton crops in the past. Therefore what is its value to the nation now?
The Pastors who have been mooting the idea said that if we cut down the cotton tree all will be well with the nation. They are convinced that the Cotton Tree is the centre of the covens of witches that have been responsible for all omens of evil import on Sierra Leone. Contrary to the views of these Pastors many others including some of our leaders are of the opinion that they can use the tree for superstitious purposes. They believe that the tree has magical powers that can help them in their quest for material advancement.
In a city where the Mountain of Fire Ministries is now located there was a tree that the people of that community had been worshipping for 70 years.
Anytime they wanted to worship this tree, practically the whole town would be summoned to be there. Fortunately, the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries is situated at the back of this tree. So after every service the Pastor-in-Charge of that branch tells the congregation to pray one prayer point free of charge for the community. “Let the fire of God consume every evil tree in the name of Jesus”. One day they noticed smoke coming out right from the root of the tree. Later it became a great fire. The Chief Priest was called and they started pouring water on the tree but the more they poured water, the more the fire burnt. Rain poured but the fire was not quenched and the tree fell and was destroyed.
Calling for the cutting down of the Freetown central Cotton Tree is like asking “who will bell the cat”? Africell mobile company has constructed a fountain round the tree and it has been decorated with pictures of past Leaders. Superstitious Sierra Leoneans including some of our Heads of State believed that there are gods in the tree to be appeased but these gods have not prevented Sierra Leone from being at the bottom or near it in Transparency International Surveys in spite of our abundant natural and mineral resources. So why not cut it down?
Our Lord and Saviour had a short way with unproductive trees. “In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside he went to it and found nothing on it. May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. (Mathew 21: 18-19) This goes show that an unproductive tree must be cut down. The Freetown cotton Tree is no longer a landmark to sailors in these days of our air travel. The cotton tree stands at a strategic position that could be used for traffic lights or some multi-storeyed public building. “Let the fire of God consume every evil tree in the name of Jesus. Say Amen.
No Pilgrims Progress
It has been established that government grants for pilgrimages are given only to Muslims and not Christians. The latter have to fend for themselves or be sponsored by religious groups for pilgrimages to the holy land of Israel. Incidentally it reminds me of Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan. “The men told them that they were Pilgrims and strangers in the world and that they were going to their own country which was the heavenly Jerusalem”. In passing let me state that I have been to the earthly Jerusalem by default through the aegis of the Sierra Leone government on diplomatic service.
The fact of the matter is that according to recent statistics 71 percent of Sierra Leoneans are Muslims and 26 percent are Christians. Therefore stop wondering why our leaders are fixedly concerned with only Muslims in this pilgrimage business. Christians can go to hell. Religion politicized. We have been ruled by only one Muslim civilian leader. The rest have been Christians. But apart from Sir Milton Margai and the diabolical Siaka Stevens the others have been Chrismus leaders. By their dithering they should be classed neither as Christians or Muslims in spite of their ostensible membership. They pray in Mosques and Churches regularly. They are devil dodgers. May the Lord have mercy on their souls.
Let me take this opportunity to apologise to readers of this column for that excrescence that was added to my article on the Body of Christ or Reactionary Hypocrites? It should not have been published.