To descend to the degeneracy of attempting to rape any woman, even one’s own biological sister, is a tragedy. To kill one’s own father for any reason whatsoever is a double tragedy. And to run away from justice after committing such heinous crimes makes all of these a triple tragedy.
But these are exactly what happened last Friday evening in Dry Rice Market, Bassa Town in Bardnesville, when 23 year-old Momoh Jallah attempted to rape his own 10 year-old sister, Korto, who courageously fought him off. She reported the incident to her father, Mr. Kolubah Jallah, when he returned from work and when the father approached his son to find out why he had done what he did, the young high school graduate attacked his father, hitting him on the head with a stick, causing him to bleed to death. Now the boy is nowhere to be found—he has attempted to escape from justice.
What a series of heartrending tragedies! The biggest of them all is that this young man, a 23 year-old high school graduate, has thrown away his life—and he knows it; that is why he has run away, unable to face even himself because he knows the consequences of what he has done. He has given himself an early death sentence, if he is found and convicted by a judge who finds himself compelled to render such a sentence.
This tragedy-stricken family deserves all our prayers. We thank God for the tough ten year-old, who stoically resisted wrong and had the courage to tell her father about it. The father had no choice but to confront his son about the dreadful incident and the young man, instead of apologizing and pledging never to do it again, fatally attacked his own dad. The question could well be asked, What happened to Momoh? What led him to attempt assaulting his own 10 year-old sister, then go on to kill his own father?
This is a question for all parents. It is a sobering question that compels us all— parents, mothers and fathers, and all guardians, be it big sister, big brother, aunt, uncle or surrogate (foster) parent, to attempt answering. How are we bringing up our children?
The Rev. Mr. Davies, the campus chaplain whom the BWI boys of the 1950s teasingly called “Moco,” had only one theme every Sunday he led chapel. He took it from Ecclesiastes: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” (Eccl. 12:1).
That is very serious advice. What it means is that all parents and guardians should strive to train up our children “in the way they should go, so that when they are old, they will not depart from it.”
The lesson here is to introduce the children early to God and to the teachings of the Bible, to all the stories in it that will prepare them for life. There are many virtuous lessons in the Koran, too, that Muslim parents should teach their children to prepare them for a virtuous (good, moral, upright) life.
There are many parents today who do not emphasize the importance of religious upbringing. Here is a very serious opportunity for all neighborhoods in and around Monrovia and neighborhoods around the country, to introduce Sunday schools in their areas on Sunday, to help bring the children closer to God.
We pray, too, that Liberian schools will not follow their American counterparts by taking the Bible and devotion out of schools. These are too important for children’s upbringing. The Bible stories help prepare them for life—a good and Godly life that will cause them to think twice about the consequences of their actions BEFORE they engage in anything evil or unruly.
We call on all who may know where Momoh Jallah may be to bring him to the nearest police station to face his crimes and one day face a judge who, seeing Momoh’s confession and penitence (remorse, apology), may have mercy on him and temper justice with mercy.