Township Council Proclaims April 27 As ‘Sierra Leone Day’

John Samba, Abdul Gabisi Township Councilman Charles Onyejiaka, and Lamin Alharazim, (left to right) listen as Township Councilman James Vassanella reads the proclamation.

April 27 was officially crowned “Sierra Leone Day” by the Township Council at its April 26 meeting.

The West African country is celebrating its 61st year of independence.

On hand to receive the Council’s proclamation were several members of the Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey: Lamin Alharazim, Abdul Gabisi and John Samba.

“… the Mayor and Council Members of the Township of Franklin, County of Somerset, New Jersey, and all citizens of the Township wish to acknowledge and acclaim the contributions of our Sierra Leone community to the life of our community,” the proclamation reads.

“Many local Sierra Leonean organizations and individuals are dedicated to the principles of civic, economic and educational programs by encouraging the teachings of African culture and social contributions of largely West African immigrants …” it reads.

“We appreciate your continued support of our community,” Alharazim told the Council. “This year we decided to dedicate this proclamation to those we lost during Covid.”

“Franklin Township is our home,” Gabisi said, adding that there are many “good things about Franklin TOwnship.

Gabisi said that of the approximately 3,000 counties in the United States, and among all the towns in those counties, “Franklin Township tops the list. And so I say, bravo to you.”

“In addition to what my colleagues said, we are very thankful and appreciative to the (Township Council) of Franklin for all of the things you have done for Sierra Leone,” Samba said. “We are very happy and proud to belong to this community.”

“To show our appreciation, we have a lot of young kids who are thinking of getting into public service because we want to give back,” he said. “We do believe we can accomplish the things we want to do, as long as we are getting the support that we are getting from the (Council).”

“We are very, very grateful, and thank you, and we are proud to belong to Franklin Township,” Samba said.

Township Councilman Charles Onyejiaka, a Nigerian native, said the Sierra Leonian community “is a part of Franklin, in all aspects.”

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