The life of a renowned academic and educator in Sierra Leone, Professor Joe A.D. Alie, is under imminent threat by some unknown ill-motivated members of society who have threatened to kill him.
This unwarranted and shocking threat to the life of the university don of decades of years standing has undoubtedly caused unease for the usually smiling and affable man, although he remains defiant.
According to him, at about 6:45pm on Tuesday, while entering his K-1 Kortright residence, he noticed some unusual writings on the ground.
“The writings read ‘You are wanted Joe A.D. Alie.’ I immediately rushed to the Fourah Bay College security post where I was referred to report the matter to the Fourah Bay College Police Post. I made a statement to the Police about the unusual writings,” he told our reporter yesterday in an exclusive interview at bis University House office.
The professor of history and head of postgraduate studies at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, said that he also called the hotline of the Police Station behind American Embassy, and that officers wasted no time to visit the scene. He added that an Operational Support Division (OSD) personnel had since been deployed to guard his quarters at night.
He disclosed that no suspect has yet been identified, but vowed to continue his teaching and serving the university and nation.
“I want to categorically state here that I will continue to work for the University of Sierra Leone [USL] and the nation despite this death threat. Whoever is behind this act to scare me from working for USL and the nation is wasting his/her time,” he said defiantly.
Meanwhile, rumour has it that the threat may not be unconnected to dirty tricks to scare the eminent professor away from being the focal person for a mega project that will be sponsored by the Chinese Government.
However, Prof. Alie vehemently denies the rumour and added that there is already a Confucius Institute at Fourah Bay College that is supported by the Chinese.
“The Confucius Institute’s headquarters in China always invite academic and administrative staff to visit its headquarters. The essence is to hold useful discussions about the institution here,” he disclosed. He added that during a recent visit to China, as part of a delegation headed by acting vice chancellor Professor Ekundayo Thompson, he presented an academic paper titled “The benefit of International Relations: China-Sierra Leone Relations Since 1971.”
He said he also travelled to China last year for 10 weeks, delivering lectures at the Zhejiang Normal University in Jinhua, at the Institute of African Studies.
“I lectured the graduates on the history of Africa’s civilization. Also, I have been giving regular lecturers at the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, past and present students of the historian and consummate writer have urged the police to beef-up security around his residence and to track the culprits and bring them to trial.