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Archive for June, 2005

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Thursday, June 23rd, 2005




First_Name:  Francois

Last_Name:  Parker
Address:  6 Om court
City:  Durham
State:  NC
Zip_Code:  27703
Comments:  Rev. Kabs-Kanu,
Your objective report of events in Sierra Leone should be commended.
May God bless you! Many newspapers in Sierra Leone are covertly and/or overtly sponsored by politicians. In such circumstances, it is very difficult for the truth to prevail, as some of our newspapers are just “position-papers”. That’s where your newspaper turns out to be indispensable because you are actually reporting facts. Thanks!


First_Name:  Sheku
Last_Name:  Bangura
Address:  2912 Philadelphia Pike Apt C-1
City:  Claymont
State:  DE
Zip_Code:  19703
Comments:  I really wish to express my profound appreciation to your news team for keeping us updated with the activities going on in our beloved country. Your information are precise and well objective. I personally enjoyed browsing your site, absorbing the vital gists your website is providing. I hope and pray you will keep up the good work (independent, Objective, and outspoken,)irrespective of whatever circumstance. We, immigrants are seeking for source like this to balance our political thinking, social interactions and the edification of foreign borns. Once again thanks.

Paralegal Student


Monday February 27, 2006

First_Name:  Yembeh
Last_Name:  Koroma
Address:  2 Brookside Terrace
City:  Randolph
State:  MA
Zip_Code:  02368

I am impressed with Cocorioko. A friend told me about you, frankly I like your format,I was able to read about the opinion of other Siera Leoneans that I share the same feelings with. I wish to commend you for a job well done and keep it up for a better Sierra Leone.


Without DDR, long-term stability remains dim”. Pres. Kabbah

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

 By Tamba Borbor


Thursday June 23, 2005


President Dr. Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has said that “without a comprehensive Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration programme, the prospects for long-term stability will remain dim.” The President was speaking today 21st June at the opening of a three-day United Nations Conference on Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration (DDR) and Stability in Africa held at the Miatta Conference Hall Brookfields.


President Kabbah stated that Sierra Leone feels exceptionally proud and challenged for being chosen to host this very important event during its post-conflict transition. He noted that the timing and theme of the conference are very significant for the African continent as Africa has experienced and is still enduring too many gruesome conflicts and senseless acts of violence.  “These conflicts have eroded the human resource base and overall potential for development in the continent,” the President said. He went on to state that inspite of the instability that has swathed the continent, “Africa has devoted much time, efforts and resources to resolve or manage its own conflicts. the reason for this is simple. It has dawned on African leaders that peace, security and development are inextricably linked.”


President Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah maintained that this conference also sends the rights signals and shows the continued commitment of the United Nations and the rest of the international community to breaking the cycle of violence and promoting durable peace and stability in Africa. He recalled that Sierra Leone drifted towards chaos following an invasion by a group of rebels from Liberia in 1991; adding, “after a protracted peace process and the steadfast support of the international community, we have gone through a transition from war to peace and DDR has been at the heart of this process. ”


About Sierra Leone’s DDR programme, President Kabbah noted that it has been assessed as successful by all stakeholders and that it has provided the basis for the progress recorded in the country’s post-conflict stabilisation and development programme. He hoped that delegates would be able to share their countries’ experiences by looking at different ways of tackling the issues of DDR and stability in Africa.


In his welcome address, the former Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroonian-born Dr. Namanga Ngongi on behalf of the Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari said that the Secretary General of the United Nations accords the highest priority to issues related to peace and stability in Africa of which DDR is a major component. He quoted a recent report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which notes that “demobilising combatants is the single-most important factor determining the success of peace operations. Without demobilisation, civil wars cannot be brought to an end and other critical goals- such as democratisation, justice and development- have little chance for success.”


Dr. Ngongi noted that DDR programmes had placed emphasis primarily on the disarmament and demobilisation of ex-combatants. ” However, lasting and durable peace requires more than the disarming and demobilisation of ex-combatants. The greater challenge is how to integrate them into well-functioning and well-governed societies that offer attractive long-term opportunities and benefits for all citizens, particularly the youth,’ he stated. Participants attending the three-day conference, which was funded by the Governments of Sweden, Finland and Germany, are from African countries with experience and interest in DDR namely: Angola, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, south Africa, Sudan Uganda, Zimbabwe among others. The. conference ends on Thursday by which time it is expected that a model for DDR would have been formulated for use by the UN and other international bodies.






Monday, June 20th, 2005

By Morie Mussaffa
MONEY and DELEGATES are, perhaps the two most powerful instruments that a new comer to any political party can use to either surge to the top of the party or to even wrestle away leadership and power from those who have long suffered, served and paid their dues in the party. It seems like those two instruments are what Kabba, Berewa and JJ Blood (all new comers to the SLPP), have successfully used to take control, and now, trying to purge the party of Old Timers replacing them with new people.

For 62 current SLPP Parliamentarians to be denied the chance to run on the SLPP party symbol platform is a puzzle that only Berewa and JJ Blood can explain. Both Berewa and JJ Blood were not officially registered members of the SLPP more than 7 years ago. What’s worse is that when both men were members of other political parties like the NUP, they each hurled and lambasted some of the worst criticisms against the SLPP. Yet, both men managed, through the power of MONEY and DELEGATES (and Kabba’s INFLUENCE in the case of Berewa), to muscle their way into the top echelon of the SLPP upon their very first entry into the party.

Since then, its apparent that these men have seriously gone to work to make an effective use of MONEY and DELEGATES to purge the SLPP of Old Timers who had a legitimate right to question their authority, and to replaced them with new people who can’t say much in terms of legitimate rights. This goes way back to the time when the rank and file of the long serving SLPP supporters rejected Kabba’s choice for Chairman of the SLPP in favor of Maigore Kallon. Since then, Kabba, Berewa and JJ Blood may have sat down to organize and plotted to make sure that no such opposition to Presidential authority ever again comes from the lower ranks of the SLPP. J J Blood has even gone further with this purging strategy by taking it to the national level when he declared that only SLPP supporters should be the ones to hold government jobs as far as he was concerned. Now, it is widely known that, in fact, people are being sacked or threatened to be sacked from government jobs if they openly support other parties.

This was clearly demonstrated after the 2005 Konbenshon in Makeni when J. B. Dauda, then Minister of Finance and Emmanuel Grant, Minister of Energy and Power were both sacked by Kabba for merely standing against Berewa, who was fielded as Kabba’s choice. Later, John Benjamin replaced J. B. Dauda as Finance Minister under suspicion that it was his reward for nominating Berewa (Kabba’s choice) to be the Presidential candidate. John Benjamin himself, a new man in the SLPP, had established and led his own party until the opportunity came for him to become an SLPP member at the top level. This same idea of purging the SLPP of Old Timers has continued to manifest into 2007 with the way the SLPP symbols have been given out. They first of all raised the price to Le 1,000,000 to weed out undesirables (with the MONEY factor), and then the DELEGATE factor was used to vote against the Old Timers and Parliamentarians. Now, Kabba, Berewa and JJ Blood are resting easy that they now have a party of new SLPP sycophants who will bend at their beckoning.

SLPP Old Timers who have suffered and labored through the turbulent years of the APC, from hence forth, will be cast outside looking in on the corridors of power within the SLPP. Is this fair to those people? Was it even fair that the SLPP delegates chose Berewa over Charles in 2005? I am asking any SLPP die-hard to answer this question in whatever forum he/she choses? “What (SLPP) party qualification did Berewa have in 2005 over Charles Margai that made the DELEGATES chose him, a virtual new comer who knew nothing about the party, over Charles Margai’s record in the party all through the years?” My question is asking for comparison between Charles and Berewa’s party-related qualifications only. If anyone wants to bring in comparison with someone else, then let it be someone who had stood as Presidential candidate as on Old Timer like Charles, because this question is specifically about Berewa and Charles. Let’s not forget that Kabba was the one who started on this idea of displacing Old Timers in the SLPP with plenty of APC blood right from his first term. Look at the present Cabinet and count how many previous APC, NUP people occupy high posts versus Sorbeh people, for example? If Kabba was a good man, he should have allowed more Sorbeh people in this government than APC people because Thaimu Bangura joined him in 1996 to make him President. Too bad that Taimu Bangura died so soon.

For 62 SLPP Parliamentarians to lose the symbol, did not happen unintentionally and certainly not by accident. These are people who were either honestly elected by their constituencies or who got in because of Kabba’s crooked winner-take-all strategy he used in 2002 to trick Sierra Leoneans into giving him what he wanted, which was to continue in office. And it was only by virtue of that trickery that the SLPP was able to garner more than the usual 36% in the Parliamentary vote and Kabba was able to garner over the usual 40% at Presidential level. I am told that it was a premeditated strategy orchestrated to clean the SLPP of potential Old Timer opponents to Berewa, Kabba and JJ Blood’s machinations, and fill the party with their own sycophants headed by the Friends Of Solo-B subgroup.

Because of this unfairness to the SLPP Old Timers, I am writing to ask those SLPP Parliamentarians who have been dumped by Berewa and JJ Blood, to come over with their supporters to Charles Margai and PMDC, the man who was the true SLPP. One of the few people who helped SLPP continue to live under Siaka Steven’s APC, the man who never cross-carpeted for political opportunities unlike many others who did. This is the kind of man the SLPP DELEGATES should have been proud and honestly rewarded for the unadulterated and unwavering support he maintained for the party till the influence of money overpowered dedicated support.
Vote for Charles and PMDC on August 11, 2007 in order to change life for the better in Sierra Leone. Remember that you have seen and are living through what the SLPP has done the last 10 years. WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU ARE BETTER OFF TODAY, THAN 7 YEARS AGO? If not, then the country needs to change this government now! now! now! Otherwise it will be the same old people, the same old party, with the same old ways of doing things, thereby providing the same old backward and unprogressive country. Sierra Leoneans deserve to live better than they are now.
Morie Mussaffa
New Jersey, USA



Monday, June 20th, 2005




Monday June 20, 2005

Veteran politician Dr. John Karefa-Smart has clarified that his quest to serve Sierra Leone was never an ambition , but an opportunity to use his vast education and experience to serve his country for the betterment of the people.

Dr. Karefa-Smart was responding to questions from the Editor-In-Chief of COCORIOKO , Rev. Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu , who interviewed him on the occasion of his 90th birthday , which the esteemed politician celebrated with his daughter in California on Friday.

When the Editor called Dr. Karefa-Smart yesterday evening, he immediately responded and his voice was so vibrant that he belied a senior citizen of such an advanced age. And during the interview Dr. Karefa-Smart’s mind was so sharp that he did not miss any word in the questions and he interrupted to make interesting clarification,  based on the Editor’s diction, where necessary.

The first example of Dr. Karefa-Smart’s sharpness of mind  surfaced when the Editor asked him whether at his age he still had the ambition to run for the Presidency in 2007. Dr. Karefa-Smart immediately seized on the word , “Ambition “. He said he had clarified to many people and he wanted to clarify to the Editor too that his quest to serve Sierra Leone was never an ambition. Dr. Karefa-Smart said that he felt that he had received  such abundant education and experience that he thought that he must use the opportunity   to serve his country for the betterment of the people.

Dr. Karefa-Smart was the Assistant Director -General of the World Health Organization ( WHO)  for 5 years after serving for another extended time in the WHO Regional office for Africa. He also has 15 years of teaching experience in international health universities and was a consultant to the World Bank, the Unied Nations Fund for Population Activities, the Pan American Health Organization , USAID and the African Development Bank.

At the start of the interview when the Editor asked him how he felt at age 90, Dr. Karefa -Smart , who is also a United Methodist Church ordained minister of the gospel, said that  he first of all thanked God Almighty for giving him strength and long life. Next, he said he thanked his parents , who are now deceased, for bringing him into this world , and then he also thanked his beloved wife who for 56 years faithfully worked with him in Africa and Europe.” I am stressing these three–God, my parents and my wife–because people do not appreciate them anymore “,  he stressed.

Dr. Karefa-Smart told COCORIOKO  further that his quest was a willingness to serve the people of his country. He declared that one of his aims for going back  to Sierra Leone was to  put into practice the ideals he shared with the founding father of the nation, Sir Milton Margai , when they worked together.

Dr. Karefa-Smart regretted the way Sierra Leone was being run. He said he was disgruntled with members of his party, the UNPP ,  because the members did not share the same vision he had. He accused members of the party of wanting to be elected only to live the same corrupt life being led by the politicians they wanted to replace. .



Saturday, June 11th, 2005


    Corruption and poor democratic governance the cause ?

Saturday June 11, 2005

War-destroyed and poverty-stricken Sierra Leone and Liberia have not been named among the first 18  nations to be initial beneficiaries of the debt cancellation plan piloted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and  supported by U.S. President George W. Bush Jr.

This news will come as a big disappointment to millions of citizens of both countries dispersed all over the globe. This is because many of the 18 countries given immediate relief are in a far better economic state than the two countries left out.

But Sierra Leone is among the 20 other countries whom the British Chancellor of the Exchequer( Finance Minister) Gordon Brown was quoted by the BBC  as saying “could be eligible if they meet targets for good governance and tackling corruption “.

The decision was taken today at the Finance Ministers’ meeting of the Eight richest nation of the world ( G8 ) in London and the Heads of State of these countries meet next month to finalize the deal.

The  lucky 18 nations whose debts are to be cancelled are Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger,  Rwanda,  Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. All their debts totally $ 40 Billion , owed to the World Bank and the IMF  and in the case of African countries also to the African Development Bank ( ADB)  will be erased , making the way for their governments to concentrate on socio-economic projects.

The inclusion of a country like Burkina Faso in the list will surely raise eyebrows in Sierra Leone and Liberia where that West African country is known for being among the nations that helped fuel the calamitious rebel wars that destroyed the two Mano River Union states. Their President Blaise Campaore, who  is a supplanter and racketeer and  an accomplice of war crimes indictee Charles Taylor, is  not really any remarkable reformer or democrat than President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah  and is blamed for killing the more  radical and progressive President Thomas Sankara. Also, corruption is rife in countries like Uganda and Zambia.

The difference , though, is that these countries may have been making honest efforts to end corruption, which has been the achilles heel of our President.


The New SLPP: Is the VP Overconfident? And Is Jonathan Saffa on Mission Impossible?

Friday, June 10th, 2005



First_Name:  Jaygboy
City:  Freetown
Comments:  The New SLPP: Is the VP Overconfident? And
Is Jonathan Saffa on Mission Impossible?

Reading through Vice President Solomon Berewa’s rhetoric’s on his would be victory in the up coming SLPP party conventions and later in the Presidential elections of 2007, (as reported by the Concord Times Newspaper of Thursday 18th March 2005 – posted on the website), I was reminded of one thing.  Overconfidence. I see “cockiness” in those remarks.

He is so sure of himself that come 2007, and were polling to be held today, he would emerge victorious. He didn’t stop at that but went on to ruminate and in his own words, “I believe the people of this country have demonstrated that I’m capable than any other person as of now to handle the affairs of this country in a proper manner.” This is a joke. Like everybody, he is free on his opinion. But I tell you what; this man must be looked right in his eyes and be told he is joker. Mr. VP, I beg to differ and so are many sons and daughters of this nation, on your position statement. Rephrase Mr. VP. The country is not devoid of better minds, capable mind-set within and outside who can do better than your administration is demonstrating. The list is endless. There are men and women, out there who are not only patriots, but have vision, and the political will to implement programs not just talk the talk.

They perform and live on to their promises and deliver services on behalf of their people. Mr. VP, your policies are not working. They are anti people. Your reforms are only meant to benefit your entourage and a handful of men and women of your kind. Far good initiatives and economic policies are out there when implemented will fast track the nation forward, other than yours. It would be a colossal judgment and blunder to turn over the governance of our nation to your administration for the third time.

A message of alert, Mr VP, that this nation is tired and sick of your current administration. From one end of the party to the other-the grass root, young generation, men and women, old and young- a kind of fever has taken hold to see your exit in the forth coming elections. The people are united on this and have spoken with one voice. 5 more years of the mess your administration have created and called economic progress can no longer be tolerated. On behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, thank you for the economic stagnation and for the misery you have caused your own people? The requisite training you think you have acquired under your current boss, to many falls below expectations. A passionate plea, Mr. VP: take these training to some other places; or rather you go back to court practice, as it might be useful? The country is in dire need of Prosecutors to try the ever-increasing backlog of cases, anti corruption charges, police brutality and human rights violations and abuses.

I think I know where the VP’s confidence is coming from? The delegate list! It must be it! “Delegate doctoring” must have been marshaled on the eligible voters in the forth-coming party convention. Now, he thinks, he has them all in his pocket, as he has bought them off. This is sad. The VP brags on he been returned flag bearer of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) in the 2007 presidential elections.
This man should be stopped. It is not about the SLPP any longer. It is about a new vision, a new path to prosperity. With the VP in charge, I don’t think so. The nation will pay a dear price if another of Preso. Kabbah’s legacy is installed at State House.

The SLPP rank and file has to think big. Rally around one formidable candidate, rather than fighting among themselves. At least we know the names within the party who can trusted. So It doesn’t matter who the person is; Charles Margai, John Leigh, Elizabeth Lavalie or Jacob Saffa..? The result is a platform that’s tame and thus hard to defeat. These thoughts should be echoed once again, “This is the most extreme SLPP administration, the nation has seen. ” Everybody should be willing to put aside whatever differences they have in order to defeat the VP this time around”. This is my call.  The destiny of the party is at stake? The upcoming party convention is the defining moment, a make or break landmark for the party and the nation at large. Vote Berewa, and continue with the status quo and the un-repairable mess we find our self in today. Return another candidate and usher in economic prosperity for all.

Mr. VP, the thing I worry about is overconfidence. And as Barack Obama, US Illinois Senator, in his 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father, “ to think of myself as wise to the world, careful not to expect too much”. In these words, I make my point, be wise and careful not to expect too much from the party loyalist, this time around? I will let you in a secret. There is evidence of a new SLPP brewing up and calling for change. The party base is angry and will not vote for you this time. Trust me, Mr. VP. As far as the SLPP is concerned, your tenure was a selection and it’s over. It was an imposition based on deception. We never accepted you in our hearts. We are talking about elections here. Not selection. Fair and transparent elections, any other plans invoked will not succeed.
In a similar development, Mr. Jonathan Saffa’s preparation to walk on the political ice is welcome news. He is a breath of fresh air, coming in very timely, as party stalwarts reach out for an aggressive call of action, to overhaul the current party apparatus.

This is Saffa’s big moment. JJ Blood as he is fondly called needs to show he can go the distance in making things happen. When the young generation stands by you as their contender, then the people are united behind you. Take the fight to Prince Harding. Don’t allow him to run you down with his funny scheme of delegate “butchering” as he did in the last elections. That is what he is good at doing.

Nobody owns the SLPP. I admire you’re courage JJ Blood for stepping out to throw this punch. Many are cowed and they would not dare, to take on these guys, because they see it as mission impossible? At some point in history, the issues borders around “what we all can do to change the situation on the ground”. Generations to come will ask us, “What did we do”.
My message to you JJ blood is to show vision. Off course you have demonstrated this in your past commitment with the World Bank Mission, but now is the time to show it out aggressively. Build your campaign on reforms and policies, completely different from the old guards.

The position of National Secretary General is pivotal. It is the engine to drive the party forward. And already, expectations are running high. The people have started whispering breathlessly on your winning. In truth, you will win and it will be an elevation to political superstardom. If you do, the callings ahead are milestone, and many problems remains to be fixed. Calls for reforms are echoing across the Potomac. And these changes should be radical. The party needs overhauling at all strata. Modernize the party and make it open and transparent to garner overall unity.

SLPP is not a private club for restricted membership? This is a party for the people. Eliminate the things that have killed the party and dropped it’s rating down; the technical problems, the cultural barriers, structural and psychological impediments to change, are all in dire need of adjustment. Accountability, corruption, and incompetence at the highest level, myopic management, have all taken their toll on the party’s performance. This is your fight and the people are behind you in this marathon. The few number of old and younger images, who have been reckless with the smooth running of the party, and considered by many as retired in place or brain-dead should be released. Party fundraising should be stepped up. It is overtime that the Party relocates to a new secretariat. This is the era of accountability and competence. The SLPP needs it. Our acts are together.

To you all in the race for a new SLPP, we got your back.


Wednesday, June 8th, 2005


Wednesday June 8, 2005

Politics is a five-year sport among Sierra Leoneans. We hardly know our politicians or their designs on power until they have accomplished their schemes while injuring us. Politics according to Harold Lasswell is about “who gets what, when and how” in a society. Our politicians know this game at our peril, owing to the ignorance which abounds us about politics. 


In Power and Personality (1948), Laswell examined the imperatives of power. He concluded that unless men who seek and wield power are subjected to the most delicate psychological analysis, democratic society will remain ignorant of what drives men into the public arena; and accordingly we would be ill-equipped to tame, or even notice their chicanery.

Critical analysis of aspirants for Sierra Leonean leadership has long been an acknowledged want at least for those who care for essential leadership in our young republic. Thus, it ought to be our civic duty to avert Laswell’s proposition instead of following politicians in blind fatuity. President Grover Cleveland affirmed the point we are about to embark on in our examination of the fitness of Solomon Berewa for State House. In his first inaugural address, he reminded his compatriots in the United States about the duty which often seems to be an abandoned responsibility amongst us Sierra Leoneans. On March 4, 1885, Cleveland beckoned and his compatriots listened:


“Every citizen owes to the country a vigilant watch and close scrutiny of its public servants and a fair and responsible estimate of their fidelity and usefulness.”

Accordingly, an estimate of our leaders should be undertaken assiduously. It has been for this reason that we have been saying that a portrait of an aspirant cannot be painted on his or her SCHOOLING misrepresented as EDUCATION alone as we often do when we say that such a man is qualified because he has acquired a tertiary degree or he is most qualified because he has a terminal academic degree.  In fact, the failure in developing a well-ordered society in Sierra Leone has not been owing to want of educated men and women.  It has been largely the factor of their incompetence or a lack of willingness to be prudent in exercising their duties. Novelist Mark Twain once remarked a truism which has never guided us in our estimate of leaders.  “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”  Thus, the assiduity in our estimation of leadership in Sierra Leone must include a reckoning of their public record of responsibilities as we shall soon delve into that of Solomon Berewa.


Thus, if we sometimes appear cheerless if not churlish in our estimate of certain politicians, it is because we have no faculty for genuflection for leaders who do not inspire us to transforming leadership.


We now turn to a retrospective on Solomon Berewa, the public servant.  This aspect of our essay shall be followed by forays into politics as aspirant for the presidency. Then we shall close by looking at his political fortunes for success at the SLPP delegates’ convention.  The recent hurly burly by compatriots over the sour and blasphemous assertions by Solomon Berewa at the Southern Convention of the SLPP now give us the muster to hasten to his own animated hope of becoming President of our republic.  The bugaboo over Mr. Berewa’s inability to draw apt analogies in politics and his Christian conjectures, belie his worthiness as public servant and fledgling politician. It is our duty to checkmate his impetuosity and arraign him before the nation on the proposition whether he has what it takes to enter State House. We are now prepared to under that task below.





When we see a man of no political experience buffeted all the way to the vice presidency, and he is touted as a leading figure for the presidency, we wonder whether such a man defies articulate description in politics. To avert that prospect, we must find a manner to adequately undertake an estimate of his public life.  To appreciate the emergence of Solomon Berewa to the fore of the nation, we shall attempt to present him through the concept of patronage. In client patron relations, the patron provides protection, generosity and the client reciprocates with conspicuous gratitude.  In a fine article, Culture and Democracy in Africa Today, Anthropologist Maxwell Owusu, suggests what seems to be the typical African client-patrons relations with unequal status of a high status individual and a low-status individual.  The pair may be equally highly educated but the patron enjoys a high status because he provides the jobs. One of the instances in such client-patron relations suggested by Owusu is one in which the relationship is conspicuous-power versus conspicuous obedience and sycophancy.  It is this model that motivated Robert Price to find analogues in what he calls the Big-Man Small-Boy Syndrome. Along Owusu’s and Price’s analyses, it is easy to find the Big-Man Small-Boy Syndrome endemic in our politics.

We find the Big-Man Small-Boy Syndrome an appealing proposition to look at Solomon Berewa as a loyal beneficiary of client-patron relations more than a man who has reached the summit of his ambitions through his own labour. For the facility of the present essay, we ought to assume the President, the man with the plum jobs in government is the BIG MAN and the SMALL BOYS are the Ministers and those occupying various positions supplied at the pleasure of the President. The big man buffets the political lives of the small boys with portfolios and the small boys in turn accumbent – bow in conspicuous obedience and sycophancy. Accordingly, the bigman-smallboy syndrome long ago afflicted one Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and one Solomon Berewa.  A puffed-up politician, and a minion of the present tenant of State House, Solomon Berewa came to the prominence of the vice presidency through a succession of offices associated with the patronage of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, to whom it appears he has been loyal and devoted to. It appears to us that Mr. Berewa, a prominent lawyer is out of his elements as a lawyer when he came to the vice presidency.  As a national politician, he has acquired the scarlet letter given political bumblers in statecracft. In his ascent to the pinnacle of power, Mr. Berewa has fallen down on the job many times.  Each blunder has been richly rewarded by another plum appointment.  We suspect as Lord Macaulay once remarked in reviewing the works of Robert Montgomery that “It is perfectly true that reputations which have been forced into an unnatural bloom fade almost as soon as they have expanded.”

To begin the retrospective on Solomon Berewa the ?small boy,’ let us go back to where the relationship may have begun.




Solomon Berewa cut his teeth in politics when he was appointed to the NPRC’s National Advisory Council.  This was the soldier’s enterprise to return to civilian rule headed by Tejan Kabbah as chairman, current Internal Affairs Minister was vice chairman and Solomon Berewa served as General Counsel.  By NPRC Decree No. 7, 1992, the National Advisory Council was established with the function of “working out modalities for the return to multiparty democracy…” At the end of the Council’s labor for the soldiers pretending a well-ordered society, a Draft Constitution was introduced on 9th September 1994.  This ?constitution’ was greeted with disdain for its revolutionary provisions which attempted to remake the republic after the fashion of the parvenu regime of the NPRC.  It is needless to say the soldiers abandoned it to the ash bin of history and continued their tightrope walking as the unlikely governors of Sierra Leone.


The National Advisory Council under the aegis of Tejan Kabbah, George Banda Thomas and Solomon Berewa botched their first cause in statecraft. Instead of crafting the constitution in question as a frame of Government and protector of Human Rights as is the fashion of modern constitutionalism, the bevy of platitudinal constitution-makers,  gave the soldiers what they had been pretending – The Constitution as a Revolutionary Manifesto, something they and the soldiers lest understood was suitable for a fallen republic. Their preferred frame of government uprooted the old order and remade the elements of the state. The nature of this frame of government as we have come to know it is common in Communist countries.  For Kabbah and Berewa, the would be twosome this was only the prelude to bungling statecraft at Abidjan, Lome and in the Agreement for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.



At Abidjan, Mr. Berewa agreed to a lopsided accord in which the rebels would go scot-free without any redeeming clause to trigger prosecution against them if they breach the terms of the accord.  Thus, we notice in Article 14 of the Abidjan Accord that there is no clawback or trigger mechanism to prosecute the RUF if they persisted in treachery: “To consolidate the peace and promote the cause of national reconciliation, the Government of Sierra Leone shall ensure that no official or judicial action is taken against any member of the RUF/SL in respect of anything done by them in pursuit of their objectives as members of that organization up to the time of the signing of this Agreement..”  But this climate of impunity set in that accord was again repeated in the Conakry Accord and the Lome agreement.




The Lome Accord negotiated by Attorney General Solomon Berewa blunder in his third incarnation as drafter of peace agreements.  Against the RUF lawyer, Omrie Golley in Lome, Berewa blinked and agreed to a Faustian Bargain – He sold the republic to the rebels for peace.  For the Kabbah administration’s inability to prosecute the rebel conflict to a just end, Berewa settled for a fig leaf to cover itself.  The Lome accord not only gave a blank check to the rebels to draw impunity for their treachery, Berewa agreed to traduce the existing Constitution.  The rebels demanded and Berewa bulked by yielding the superintendence of the mineral resources of Sierra Leone.  In that regard, Sankoh, leader of the implacable rebels would have the following warrant which usurped the existing constitution of Sierra Leone:

“The Chairmanship of the Board of the Commission for the Management of Strategic Resources, National Reconstruction and Development (CMRRD) as provided for in Article VII of the present Agreement shall be offered to the leader of the RUF/SL, Corporal Foday Sankoh. For this purpose he shall enjoy the status of Vice President and shall therefore be answerable only to the President of Sierra Leone.”


In the seeming triumph of peace over bloodshed at Lome, Berewa and his patron stood shoulder to shoulder with the traitors who had menaced their compatriots for over a decade.  The accord was sacrificial lamb to propitiate failure in the theatre of conflict and at the negotiating table.  In the moment of celebrations at Lome, the appeasement of traitors with carrots was forgotten.  In her valuable book, The New Meaning of Treason, Rebecca West closes the work with what seems to have eluded Berewa’s attention at Lome while he was giving away sweets to the rebels to appease them to abandon the contest of arms for peace.  There, West warned, “The man tempted to become a traitor will be helped if public opinion keeps before him that treachery is a sordid and undignified crime.”


The rebels’ triumph at the negotiating table signaled to them that treachery pays and it is rewarded by weak drafters of agreements who agree to an unwieldy power sharing model which grafts new provisions to an existing constitution at the detriment of the people.  If Abidjan and Lome were dress rehearsals for incompetent statecraft, the framing of the Special Court for Sierra Leone was in the offing.



Having bungled at Lome and appeased the rebels, the traitors entered government and soon reneged on all the peace terms resulting in the arrest and detention of Sankoh and his motley crew of murderers. Hemmed in by the brazen post-Lome Accord behaviour of the rebels sharing power with government, but unthoughtful about international criminal tribunals existing at Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, President Kabbah and Berewa requested the Secretary General of the United Nations to establish a special court for Sierra Leone to prosecute violations of war crimes and international humanitarian law. Had Berewa the point man for the Kabbah administration studied the jurisdictional problems the UN Chapter VII Courts in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia were facing, they might have averted the stalemate the Special Court is now bogged down in just and sometimes dilatory motions. The making of the agreement and its ratification have been challenged on constitutional grounds.  Why Berewa did not foresee these, sort of problems as Attorney General and the chief negotiator of the agreement is baffling.  But that was only one problem in a botched job.  The next set of problems that would plague the Special Court later in pre-trial and trial motions included allegations of violations of the Supremacy Doctrine in the Constitution of Sierra Leone, together with the sovereignty rights of the republic. Thus the Special Court today is mired in motion after motion because Mr. Berewa agreed to the following provision in the Statute of the Court:


The Special Court shall have PRIMACY over the national courts of Sierra Leone. At any stage of the procedure, the Special Court may formally request a national court to defer to its competence in accordance with the present Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.”

But notice what the authority of the Sierra Leone Courts comprises: ” (3) In the exercise of its judicial functions, the Judiciary shall be subject to only this Constitution or any other law, and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any other person or authority.”  Mr. Berewa had also forgotten in his statecraft that the 1991 Constitution clearly states the Supremacy Doctrine in section 171 (15): “This Constitution shall be the supreme law of Sierra Leone and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void and of no effect.”


That Mr. Berewa failed to reconcile these provisions among others with the draft of the Statute of the Court which suggested the supremacy of the Special Court over the courts of the Superior Court of Judicature, is the sore point which has spawn many motions in the Trial and Appeal chambers of the Special Court alongside those filed in the Sierra Leone Supreme Court.  In doing so, the objects and reasons for fashioning the Special Court are being impeded or delayed at considerable cost and peril to the sovereignty and thereby undermining of the Constitution of Sierra Leone.


A more troubling matter resulting from the complete failure in statecraft is the issue that has been mooted before the Supreme Court on the question whether or not the Special Court was constitutionally established. As Attorney General and the agent of government to whom President Kabbah delegated executive authority to negotiate an agreement with the United Nations, it was Mr. Berewa’s responsibility to obtain the best bargain possible within the meaning of the Constitution. Clearly, Mr. Berewa knows or should have reason to know that the Constitution requires certain amendments or alterations to be accompanied by a referendum such as Section 108 (3) provides:



“A Bill for an Act of Parliament enacting a new Constitution or altering any of the following provisions of this Constitution, that is to say, (a) this section,  (b) Chapter III, �) sections 46, 56, 72, 73, 74(2), 74(3), 84(2), 85, 87, 105, 110-119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 128, 129, 131, 132, 133, 135, 136, 137, 140, 151, 156, 167, shall not be submitted to the President for his assent and shall not become law unless the Bill, after it has been passed by Parliament and in the form in which it was so passed, has, in accordance with the provisions of any law in that behalf, been submitted to and been approved at a referendum.”


Why Mr. Berewa failed to advise the President and Parliament that an amendment or other alteration of the Constitution, that especially includes Entrenched Clauses as stated in section 108 (3), would require a Referendum is a thorny issue which is taking up more of the Special Court’s vital prosecution time and putting into question whether Mr. Berewa understood the imperatives of making treaties for international organizations. One may argue that it was Parliament which ought to have sought a referendum to complete the ratification process because lawmaking is her purview.  But under the doctrine of collegiality, our legislative body is a colleague of the President in making laws in Sierra Leone. Thus, this assortment of blunders has cast a lengthened shadow on Mr. Berewa’s abilities to conduct statecraft to the greater benefit of the nation.


Having demonstrated the pith of Mr. Berewa’s record as a public minister, we must now turn to his personal ambitions for political power.  There is no longer any question that President Kabbah has endorsed his pliable vice president for the presidency.  But are Mr. Berewa’s political fortunes are at best now inversely proportional to that support?  Or is this a march of folly?



The strange course being undertaken by Berewa to gain the nomination deserves some attention. As if his endorsement by the President were not adequate to propel him into State House, Mr. Berewa has undertaken a design to catalyze it.  It very much appears that Vice President Berewa’s heir-apparent status fashioned by Big man President Kabbah for Small boy Berewa has fallen on hard times or has been squandered by the latter’s lust for power. When he pined at the SLPP Southern Convention, that he will “emerge as the next president,” he made an absolute surrender of his personality in politics in that breadth of wind and wave of his speech. Introducing his political personality in a quest for the SLPP nomination, he looked not the figure of a statesman on the hustings for votes, but as if a tiger had broken loose from a menagerie to wander into his wild habitat to prance after prey. His alleged blasphemous howl attracted more attention than whatever whit of substance was in his resolution for office.  But lurking behind that yammer is the condition of a desperate politician lusting for power. Barbara W. Tuchman has reminded us in her valuable book of history, The March of Folly, that Tacitus once remarked that the lust for power was chief among the forces affecting political folly and the most fragrant of all the passions.  Others have elaborated that because this passion can only be satisfied by power over others, government is its favourite field of exercise.  In that case Mr. Berewa has indeed entered upon that a well-cultivated field.


The avenue Berewa has chosen to reach the summit of his ambitions is peculiar. This path is paved with machinations hitherto the province of the APC politicians in the reign of Siaka Stevens. Unlike most of the other political parties, the SLPP has a modicum of intra-party democracy save the times it breached the rights of Charles Margai to compete with President Kabbah for the 2002 presidential elections. The SLPP has a slate of delegates to be won from the 14 electoral block districts and each aspirant must garner 55% of the total to be nominated candidate for President. Mr. Berewa it has been told wants to circumvent the procedure to win the lion’s share of the delegates through design and intrigue.  Stealing a page from the political play book of the APC epoch, Berewa has had his eye on State House with a Machiavellian intrigue.  To that end, he propounded a new scheme of electoral politics, which, it must be owned, is not altogether without plausibility for his passion. Mr. Berewa’s appetite for power grounded his own scheme called the WORKING GROUP – a method of delegate selection outside the ambit of the SLPP regulations for the nomination.

But the Working Group scheme is in trouble according to the Editors of the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), an international quarterly publication which monitors political and economic trends in more than a hundred countries. In the EIU’s latest edition, March 2005, the Editors write:



“In what was a significant decision, the ruling party, the Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP), is understood to have refused to acknowledge the Working Group set up by the vice president, Solomon Berewa, which he was using to campaign for the SLPP’s leadership. If he had gained this post, it would have given him a virtually guaranteed chance of winning the SLPP nomination as its candidate for the presidential elections scheduled to be held in 2007.”  Quoting the SLPP’s administrative secretary Brima Koroma, the EIU says “the party does not recognise the existence of the Working Group as an affiliate member of the party, which is possible only with approval of the Delegate Congress, the highest decision-making body of the party.”  In these circumstances, the Editors paint an ominous future for Mr. Berewa:

“The significance of this statement is that Mr. Berewa’s chances of taking over from Mr. Kabbah as head of the party, and ultimately, if successful, as state president, appear to be diminishing.”


Authorities on the behaviour of leaders of political parties have stated that members of the ruling class invariably stay together in cliques to hold on to power.  Maurice Duverger the foremost authority on political parties says that such cliques may take the form of a “CAMARILLA – small group which makes use of close personal solidarity as a means of establishing and retaining its influence.”  The Camarilla was well-rooted inside the APC as it consolidated its power in the early 1970s until it sealed it with a corporate imprimatur in the 1978 One-Party Constitution. To appreciate this method of gaining power by group interest, we have to look at the many intrigues broached by members of the ruling elite in the APC.  Unaware or discounting such knowledge, people often credit Siaka Stevens with maintaining power for many years without regard to the fact that he often conjoined his lust for power with equally insatiable members of the party. When he for example wanted to establish a one-party state, he found confederates on the Bench and Bar between lawyers and the educated class in and out of the University to accomplish that goal.  In his last intrigue in office for example, when he wanted General Momoh to succeed him, he sought a constitutional amendment from the ranks of Parliamentarians.  The amendment enacted, jettisoned Sorie Ibrahim Koroma from the line of succession when Stevens retired.


In saying these things, we are not to be understood to say that Mr. Berewa should be adopting the legacy of the APC to gain or maintain power with his SLPP colleagues. We are only showing that his Working Group perhaps would have been foisted on the SLPP if he had conjoined others who are equally ambitious to keep power for themselves.  His own APC-like intrigues are done in the likeness of a lone ranger in his lust for power as his arrogance has led him to act alone outside the ruling class, thereby creating disaffection among the ranks in the SLPP against him. On this measure associated with Mr. Berewa’s troubles we return to the EIU.  The Editors write,

“For some time there has been an ant-Berewa groundswell of opinion growing within the SLPP, owing to somewhat to his perceived arrogance in thinking that the SLPP and the state presidency  [were] his for the taking.  There are a number of cabinet members who consider that they themselves have a chance of succeeding Mr. Kabbah, and this has seen jockeying within the party grow.”


More than this, the Editors say that President Kabbah is “thought to have tired of Mr. Berewa’s overbearing personality, as well as the alleged accusations of corruption leveled at Mr. Berewa, which have sullied Mr. Kabbah’s reputation in the eyes of donors.”

Mr. Berewa has forgotten how he climbed in the supreme berth of state – President Kabbah placed him there as his pliant minion.  A Small boy as we have observed above must always be subservient to the Big man or the Small boy risks losing the support of the Big man.  Demonstrating arrogance of power when the Big man is still in office vitiates the client-patron relations at the peril of the client.


We have admitted that Mr. Berewa, like his competitor Mr. Charles Margai is a fine lawyer. We have observed the public record of Mr. Berewa and we have found little to cheer about. If Mr. Berewa’s experience is based on the statecraft he has superintended for 10 years, we are reluctant to say he is fit to succeed President Kabbah.  If Mr. Berewa is depending on the legacy of President Kabbah to sweep him into office because Mr. Kabbah has indicated he is his heir-apparent, the probability of his election to State House pales because of the stout disapproval of their stewardship. We conclude that Mr. Berewa’s passionate claims to power are to be left to preferences of the delegates and the unerring judgment of time in 2007.  And as the EIU concludes its own estimate of Mr. Berewa, “without the support of the party members, Mr. Berewa’s chances of attaining his goals appear poor.”


John Lansana Musa

Silver Spring, Maryland

Dr. Lansana Nyalley Returns Home to Declare his Candidacy for the SLPP Leadership Nomination

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

Washington, DCJuly 7, 2005








We want a lasting greater and better Sierra Leone equally available



A former Tegloma success story in the United States of America, Dr. Lansana Nyalley, has decided to return home and challenge veteran politicians for the leadership of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP). Dr. Nyalley who is credited for making a forest out of a tree when he ruled Tegloma for eight consecutive years, building Tegloma from six chapters to eighteen chapters in eleven US States, London and Canada and enriching the federation account from virtually nothing to over one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) says Sierra needs a leader with an aggressive, radical and surgical approach to resolve the problems that engulf our people, our country and our society.


Among the key issues in his campaign platform are the following:

  • NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE - agriculture, power and energy, roads, public works and sanitation, tourism, communications and print media.
  • SOCIAL FABRIC:  women, youths, institutional education, cultural values, health and health professionals, music and the performing arts.
  • REVENUE ENHANCEMENT - income taxes, user fees, foreign donations, international money transfers, dual citizenship, political donations and a non-government auditing agency.
  • GENERAL - crime and punishment, our rich mineral resources, Due process without prejudice - unequal justice, unequal credit, and our crowded capital city.

Dr. Nyalley is the second son and the fifth child of a family of five children to late Pa Musa Nyalley and Late Haja Monjama Nyalley Sannoh. Born in Daru, Jawi Chiefdom, Kailahun District, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone, he has been in the United States for over 30 years where he studied to become a doctor of Organic Chemistry.

"If the Sierra Leone we have today, not withstanding the rebel devastation, is all that those experienced politicians since independence can give us, then it is about time we gave the government to a non experienced political rookie who is aggressive, surgical, structured, ready and willing to take the risks necessary to give Sierra Leone the best she deserves....I am bringing in my inexperience to build back Sierra Leone from the scratch".

He states that, if nominated, his campaign committee, headed by Mr. Ernest Pekanyande, will continue to work hard to mobilize all political parties to unite and rebuild the country for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans.


For More Information on this press release, Contact Keifa Vandi in Freetown at 076-634-544

or The campaign Committee Chairman, Mr. Ernest Pekanyande at  703-675-5787



Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP)

Here is Your Presidential Candidate

For the 2007 National Elections.


Dr. Lansana Nyalley


A man that supported and continue to support our country of Sierra Leone before the war, during the war and after the war.

A man that has stood for his people of Jawi chiefdom, more especially Mombohun, for the last 20 years.

An inventive, innovative, charismatic and organized leader who made Tegloma a forest out of a tree.

A nationalist that always contribute in breaking walls that divide people and build bridges that unite all Sierra Leoneans by serving his people regardless of tribal origin, with  pride and distinction.

  A candidate that will unify Sierra Leone; Build a government that is responsive to the needs of the country and the people of Sierra Leone.

A leader that will create an economy to perform and redirect our institutional educational system to a research , development as well as service oriented society.

A man that will bring perpetual change for men & women, the unborn, the young and the old of our beloved Sierra Leone.

A man that is proud of the land of his birth


                                DR. LANSANA NYALLEY






We want a lasting greater and better Sierra Leone equally available to all Sierra Leoneans.  Don’t be a victim of inaction.

Join the move today and let us make it a reality. 

IF it is to be, Its left to Us.

For More Information Contact Keifa Vandi (076-634-544) or Ernest Pekanyande (703-675-5787)


Monday, June 6th, 2005



Monday June 6, 2005

Witness TF 2-078  has told the war crimes tribunal in Freetown that the Civil Defence Force were ordered to burn down every house occupied by members of the AFRC  junta and to seize and use any property belonging  the RUF  rebels or the AFRC. From Freetown, Tamba Borbor reports :

Witness disclose plans for Operation Black December’ at Special Court

By Tamba Borbor from Freetown

In the joint trial of the three CDF indictees- Sam Hinga Norman, Alie Kondowa and Moinina Fofana, witness TF2-079 has disclosed plans for Operation Black December’.

The witness said that the National Co-ordinator- Chief Sam Hinga Norman called them to a meeting where he informed them of the operation which he said was going to take place thus: all supply route to the RUF would be cut off; felling of trees on major roads and feeder roads- for which purpose they were given power saw to cut down the trees. Also, bridges were to be dismantled.

The witness went on, “the operation was to be carried out simultaneously as all RUF bases were to be attacked. Civilians and Police collaborators are to be treated as common enemies; all houses occupied by the AFRC were to be burnt and properties including vehicles belonging to the RUF or AFRC and collaborators should be owned and used by the Kamajors.” The witness further disclosed that another meeting was also held at Walihun II where most members were present including the War Council authorities- Orenco, Nallo and himself.

At that meeting the witness said, Hinga Norman told them that gravel, which the AFRC Junta had dug, should be washed, sold and the proceeds be brought to him. The 43-year-old man who is also a member of the CDF told the Court that he first saw the second and third accused in November when he went to Base Zero at Talia to request for arms and ammunition as their supply had drastically reduced. “When we arrived, we went to the house where Hinga Norman was residing but we were told he had gone to Liberia. We were introduced to the Director of War- Moinina Fofana who received us with open arms after we had told him about our purpose.

The next morning, he took us to the house of the High Priest- Alie Kondowa. We stayed at Base Zero for three days during which Hinga Norman came and we handed over the Situation Report to him. He advised that some men return back with the arms in and ammunition that was given to us.” He said that the lives of the civilians were also danger as anyone caught travelling between Tongo and the Kamajor base was killed. “A lad travelling from Tongo to Panguma on foot was caught and butchered by the Kamajors. Around the vicinity of Tongo, palm wine tappers were also killed by Kamajors,” he narrated.

Cecil Samba to help open doors of Commerce to deserving African nations

Sunday, June 5th, 2005


Monday June 4, 2005

Mr. Cecil Samba, a top adviser of the ruling SLPP New York Branch has been inducted as head of the African Section of the  Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and Senior Vice-President of the Maximization of Resources Enterprises for Caricom/Africa Business Industry and Investment Commission Incorporated.

Samba, who was inducted by the New York Chamber of Commerce, has the responsibility of introducing into the chamber African countries desirous of exploring the enormously rich New York business markets.

During his induction, Samba promised to serve  the continent diligently and help open doors of commerce for deserving African countries .The induction of African countries into the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce also means that the African nations will automatically become part of the New York business community where they can broker economic deals on behalf of businesses back home and  in New York and America.

Mr. Kim Erroll Fuller, Manager Partner of the McCreary and Fuller Public Relations Inc. of New York told COCORIOKO that the economic benefits to be derived by African nations from their induction to the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce were “enormous.”