Salone News

Business Tycoon MB Jalloh is Dead

22 June 2006 at 10:51 | 615 views

By Abu B. Shaw, Vanguard London Bureau Chief

Sierra Leone and Guinea are currently mourning the death of Alhaji Mamadu Bailor Jalloh. He passed away at Guy’s Hospital in London on Tuesday night June 20 after a protracted illness. His death is a real blow to the Fullah
community in the two countries and other parts of the world.

The cause of death, according to hospital sources, is lung infection. This
was aggravated by the long time asthmatic condition of the deceased, who was popularly known as M.B. Jalloh.

The late Alhaji Jalloh was flown to London on May 6 after his condition deteriorated in Freetown. He was accompanied by one of his widows Haja Yayei Addy. He was first admitted at the Lewisham University Hospital in London
where he was immediately put on a life support machine.
Subsequently, he was transferred to Guy’s Hospital for a dialysis.

When the Vanguard visited him recently, the deceased could not talk but he eyes were open and he was breathing by himself. Family members said that was a very
hopeful sign as that indicated that his kidneys were getting better.

M.B Jalloh’s eldest daughter Zuhaiia, told the Vanguard at her East London residence on Wednesday June 21 that her 70-year-old dad died peacefully with only his closest family members near him. “No nurse was present at
the death bed,” Zuhaiia said. She added that Baba (father in the Fullah language) was later taken to a mosque in East London where prayers were offered over his body.

The late business tycoon was the younger brother of the late Diallo Telli, the first
Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African
Union (AU). Diallo Telli, a linguist and diplomat, was murdered in prison by the late
Guinean president Ahmed Sekou Toure. The Guinean tyrant had paid deaf ears to international pleas to spare the life of the great intellectual.

This largely contributed to M.B Jalloh fleeing to Sierra Leone over four decades ago. He settled in Kenema town where he had all his children. His
business acumen in the diamond trade earned him the love and respect of many people from all walks of life in Sierra Leone and even beyond. He was always humble despite his status.

Sierra Leoneans will surely miss him as his humanitarian instincts wer second to none. He was a fighter and leader of the Fullah ethnic group in Sierra Leone. He was a father figure and a very religious man always preaching about peace, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Sierra Leone’s Information and Broadcasting Minister, Professor Septimus Kaikai, who hails from the east of the country, was shocked when he was informed about the sad news on Wednesday June 21.

“M.B. Jalloh was my father-in-law. I’m deeply saddened; so is every body in the government,” Kaikai said.

The Fullah Community in Sierra Leone and Guinea are preparing for the arrival of the Alhaji Jalloh’s coffin which is expected to be flown to Sierra Leone this weekend. His remains may likely be laid to rest in his vast compound in Kenema.

Photo: The late Alhaji Jalloh,first from right.