The Ameer, a missionary for 30 years in the country, said last year they took 13 traditional leaders to the annual convention and that this year they had 11 of them among the 35 people who were traveling from Sierra Leone.
One of visiting delegates, representing all Paramount Chiefs across the country, PC Mohamed Banya IV of Luawa Chiefdom in Kailahun, told President Julius Maada Bio that the gathering would also hold a preaching and prayer session and that they would pray for the country.
“We will remember His Excellency the President and the country in our prayers, especially because of his plans to provide free education. We hope our children will take advantage of the opportunity. We know that you have the energy and courage, therefore we will pray for wisdom. We will also tell our people to be law-abiding,” he said.
President Bio thanked the delegates and referred to the visit a month ago by Ameer Saeed-ur-Rahman on behalf of the Ahmadiyya Mission as heart-warming, noting that the government would continue to support all religious activities and wished them safe journey and successful deliberations.
“We know the tradition of leaders attending the conference but this year the chiefs will represent us. I admire the way we accept tolerance. We are finding a way to celebrate religious tolerance beyond acceptance. We don’t seem to be giving it the recognition it deserves because we think it is normal,” he said.
The conference, Jalsa Salana of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, is a unique event that brings more than 35,000 participants from more than 90 countries to increase religious knowledge and promote a sense of peace and brotherhood among Muslims.