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The Oku people, officially classified as Muslim Creole people, make up the majority of the population of Fourah Bay. Known for their deeply conservative culture and teachings based in Sunni Islam, they are descendants of the first Yoruba settlers from what is now known as Nigeria, beginning in the mid-19th century.
Also resident here is a prominent minority of Salafi Muslims, a deeply conservative branch within Sunni Islam. The Jamiatul Atiq Masjid is the main mosque that serves the local Muslim community; it is one of the most prominent mosques in Sierra Leone.
The community at Fourah Bay has been a source of many expert Muslim scholars, including renowned Salafi Sunni Islamic scholar Sheikh Alhaji Sulaiman Alpha Carew. Many contemporary Muslim scholars from here were once students of Carew, including such men as Sheikh Mohamed Sanusi Tejan, Sheikh Muhammad Alpha Macauley, Sheikh Alpha Musa Nabie, Sheikh Muhammad Sanusi Savage, Sheikh Alpha Teslim Williams, and Sheikh Nasim Sahid. Fourah Bay Muslim scholars are widely known for maintaining neutrality in Sierra Leonean politics.
There is a small Christian minority community here. They maintain a couple of churches. The Pentecostal Church of Fourah Bay serves part of the community. Muslims and Christians have had an amicable history here.
Fourah Bay College was founded here in the nineteenth century by the British and settlers, to serve the new communities of Freetown and others. It was started as a kind of seminary or boys' academy, and gradually developed with a full academic curriculum.
Since independence in 1961 to present, Fourah Bay has traditionally been a stronghold of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), the current ruling party. The SLPP is popular in Fourah Bay, and maintains majority support among its residents.
Mohammed Sanusi Mustapha (widely known as M.S. Mustapha) is known as one of the founding fathers who led Sierra Leone to Independence. He was also a prominent member of the Sierra Leone People's Party. He was a very close ally and personal friend of Sir Milton Margai, Sierra Leone's first prime minister after independence. Mustapha was highly popular here. Other notable politicians from Fourah Bay include Abdul Tejan Cole, Haja Afsatu Kabba and Madina Rahman.
The current president, Juda Bio is popular in Fourah Bay.
Some notable Oku families in Fourah Bay include the Alharazim, Ibrahim, Macauley, Alghali, Deen, Mahdi, Lewally, Cole, Rahman, Bakarr, Savage, Sahid, and Carew families.
- Sonko-Godwin, Patience (2004-01-01). Trade in the Senegambia Region: From the 12th to the Early 20th Century. Sunrise Publishers. p. 68. ISBN 9789983990041.
- Othman, Ramatoulie Onikepo (1999). A Cherished Heritage: Tracing the Roots of Oku Marabou--early 19th to Mid 20th Century. Edward Francis Small Printing Press. p. 31.
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