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COCORIOKO » 2005 » August

Archive for August, 2005

Kabbah calls for sanity in SLPP

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

TEJANKABBAH12 (600 x 450) 

Wednesday August 31, 2005

COCORIOKO’S TAMBA BORBOR REPORTS FROM FREETOWN

President Tejan Kabbah, also Leader of the Sierra
Leone Peoples Party has Monday called on all Party
members to “ensure a peaceful transition in the true
democratic and fraternal spirit that are
characteristic of the SLPP.”

He urged members of the SLPP not to allow factionalization, petty squabbling
and unfounded rumours to destroy all that they all
have worked for as members of the SLPP; appealing that
they should close ranks as the issue of building and
strengthening the Party he maintained does not rest on
the shoulders of one or a few people, but on all
members whether rich or poor, illiterate or not.

The President maintained the SLPP is credited for always
resorting to democratic means in solving its problems.
He cited the issue of Chief Hinga Norman taking the
Party to the Supreme Court ” and used his democratic
rights to seek legal redress,” while continuing: “We
feel proud that again as a family instead of internal
rifts dividing the Party, we have respected that view
and at the moment are awaiting the verdict before
proceeding with the convention.”

President Kabbah called on the Party membership to work to ensure a
peaceful transition, while urging them to act as
models “which other Parties can emulate to foster
democracy in our beloved country.” He noted: “we have
paid too dearly for the peace we are now enjoying,
even at the expense of some of our compatriots.” He
added further, ” for those who gave up their life for
such peace, the best compensation to them is for us to
ensure that they did not die in vain.”

*SLAJ orders news blackout for Editor’s death

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

 HARRYYANSANEH4 

HARRY YANSANEH

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) in concert with the Sierra Leone Reporters Union (SLRU) has endorsed an indefinite news blackout on all matters relating to the Government, Parliament and the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) Force. This action towards the Police coincides with the suspension of Superintendent Kalia Sesay of the Central Police Station who woefully failed to investigate the assault complaint made by the deceased Editor of the For di People newspaper- Harry Hassan Yansaneh.

According to Police sources, Supt. Kalia Sesay has been suspended because of poor investigation lapses. He has now being replaced by the Chief Superintendent of Police- S.B. Kargbo from the Kambia Police Station. Replacing Chief Superintendent Kargbo is Assistant Superintendent of Police- Christian Williams formerly of the Complaint Discipline Internal Investigation Department (CDIID) of the Police. Announcing the decision of SLAJ at the weekly Police Press briefing, Mr. Chernor Ojuku Sesay, who is Editor of the Pool newspaper said, “.Until the matter of the late Harry Yansaneh is charged to Court, we have nothing absolutely to do with anything concerning the Police.”

After his address, journalists from almost all newspapers in the country peacefully walked out of the Police conference room; bringing the entire Press briefing to an abrupt halt.  

 

THE SLPP IS A DISGRACE TO THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SIERRA LEONE

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

 

Wednesday August 31, 2005

First_Name: Lawrence
Last_Name: Sandi
Email_Address: lawlawde80@yahoo.com
Address: 17 Rector Road
City: Mattapan
State: MA
Zip_Code: 02126
Comments: So for the past week or so, i have been following dorminating events on this media, i stand to be corrected but from my opinion i realized that the SLPP leadership drama and the utterance by Maada Bio against the APC became the most events that was covered. Less i forget the Sylvia Blyden thing was also amongst this lot but i really care less about her and what she stands for cause for people who know, she is just another snitch who is on fire for opportunity at the expense of anything.

so i felt the need to also throw a cent or quarter into this two burning issues. lets start with Mr NPRC chicken who is home to roast, amin ngo Maada Bio(Kotor), i respect and believe that at this day and age, with all exposure acquired in the relm of western interaction you should at least think and also look at the pros and cons before u talk or make statements especially over an open media. Maybe if this was infront of the dinning hall on a typical saturday morning during cleaning or in manchester during those raw-stick makeover u probably will get away with this, but ngo Bio think about this for a minute……. There is no Sierra leonean both far and near who do not know what APC is or still continue to be!!!!! homeboy even chickens and goats back home, babes and the like will have a second thought at the mention of APES PIGS & CORRUPTEES (APC).

At the same token mr take a good look at the Sierra Leone and take a journey down memory lane between the era of 1991-2000. If u really love this land that u want to lead, do u really think ur statement was justifiable????? If this was a strategy to gain support for the SLPP bench, man your campaign strategists should go back to the drawing board and start all over.

However, one striking event out of all this is the people who think they should blow this out of proportion, The concern citizens of New Jersey is that the name???? my only question for y’all in this group is where have u all been and or how old is this said group??? what is it that as a group you can boast of that you have done or what meaningful help have you rendered to the needy citizens of SL thst u claim to represent. why are y’all trying to blow this out of proportion as if you people run the judiciary system in the world.

Grant it this is probably one of those spring baby groups who blossom at the helm of electioning and quickly denature as there corrupt political agendas are met. DA APC PATTERN WE SABIE AM YAH!!!!!!

In closing sir, why do you spent so much time on coverage about the SLPP leadership saga?? common look at this critically, who is really interested in a ruling party that is as old and corrupt but yet really premature to the extent that they witch-hunt each other to find a leader. Let me tell you mr, SLPP is a disgrace to political history of SL simply because of the old diseased shattered folks that keep running up and down as if it is there personal property. Take a look at Berewa, what can he deliver that he could not done when he was VP or whatever title he bears now, where is Sama Banya, Charles Margai, JB Dauda, all these flip floppers. Today APC/NUP tomorrow SLPP. i suggest all these oldies who has been in more than one party be banished from politicing and even competing in any form of election or holding public office.

let them give chance to the new breeds who are smarter, vigilant and more active than the Kpuwaee’s or Berewaaa’s. That is what SLPP need, but spending time on there internal fight and issue about Berewa walking out of a meeting, Kabba supporting Charles for chairmanship is waste of time and complete bullshit. There are burning issues that are more of importance to us in the diaspora that we will love to know about rather than party’s internal politics. What is the situation with Hingha Norman in detention while fighting to defend his land??? Kabba leaving office soon, can they have a commision to audit all what he accomplished during his tenure of office??? how bout our parastatals, who is doing what, the hospitals, other essential services, what is the current situation with the flood victims in pujehun?? what is alpha Wurie doing wit our educational system?? all these can be more meaninful than party politics. Thanks though for having this media

” LIBERIANS ARE NOT STUPID”

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

By Emmanuel Abalo

When the now erstwhile Sun Times newspaper, in the 1980’s, under the then editorship of the late Rufus Darpoh, during the Doe Administration, carried the front page headline,” Liberians Are Not Stupid” along with the photograph of the bearded Gabriel Baccus Matthews, former Chairman of the United People’s Party, the UPP, it was a bold and noble example by one of the oft brow beaten independent media in reporting a very provocative truism at the risk and expense of their business liscenses, safety and lives of the entire editorial staff. Of course this headline infuriated the government at the time and the newspaper sustained a crackdown.

Again , under pressure from home and abroad, former President Samuel Doe acquiesced to demands for a national referendum for national elections to be held. Liberians did the right thing and voted overwhelmingly in favor of “one man, one vote. Of course, the notoriously rigged national elections 1985 made world history.

In numerous instances and with all due credit to the Liberian people, student and community leaders who were critical of excesses of prior regimes and were vigorously sought for by state security agencies were “shielded ” and cared for surreptitiously in the various communities and boroughs. This was because Liberians knew to always do the right thing and side with the truth and its messengers.

Today, this truism, ” Liberians Are Not Stupid,” is nether diminished nor trivialized as a consequence of the near annihilation of the Liberian people and state as visited upon them by the naked use of violence by wanton, lawless brutes, uncivilized and selfish individuals who initiated a decade plus war in the name of “liberating” the people. I even venture to ask who appointed these warlords as “saviors”?

At a intellectual forum sponsored the Association of Liberian Journalists (ALJA) Maryland, USA, nearly two years ago and attended by some of the current Presidential aspirants, the question was asked of the aspirants whether the violent and unconstitutional removal of an elected government was ever an option in the Liberian theater ever again. Is was quite assuring to hear from all of the aspirants that it was never an option and they committed themselves never to support such inimical actions.

If these statements by the aspirants were just to “position” themselves for the upcoming October elections and curry favor with the electorate for ascension to state power, then God Save the Executive Mansion!

Today the maneuverings of some of the “warlords” and old guard politicians, their new found religion of democracy and inclusiveness, heartfelt apologies, reconciliation and grand plans for rebuilding Liberia are sickening. Was the collusion, collaboration and support for and with prior dictators and their killing machines worth this march to the Executive Mansion? Why should the Liberians who have known naught but degradation, injury, death, humiliation, hunger flight from home and constant fear entrust their hopes, their children and future to some of these re-invented politicians? When does country and the greater good for others ever come first or is it how long and often can I bleed my nation and people?

Don’t get me wrong as I believe that politics is the science of government in our democracy to which we subscribe. Am I giving up on politics and those who practice it? No! But I believe in full accountability which is not an unreasonable stance.

In fact, a good example of the reconfiguration of the political scene in Liberia today is the mass political carpet crossovers of some politicians in an effort to find a “good seat” at the national table again for another round of incompetent governance. In fact a more fatalistic observation was made by a friend over the weekend when he lamented rather disappointingly that “these same guys and their friends” are shaping up again..

 

I can only hope that some of these “warlords, their functionaries and old guard politicians, tainted by blood, do us all a big favor and demonstrate true apology by renouncing and not pursuing any claim now or in the future to political power. I believe that this challenge would signal their true penance for the wrongs, by association and collaboration, they have visited upon their nation and people. I am not optimistic nor will I hold my breath for such to happen. The wicked people are still all over the place!

 

And so over a million Liberians have signaled their readiness to change the political landscape by registering to vote. This is true people power and I urge Liberians to fully utilize their vote in this grand opportunity and hold some “people “accountable for their past actions and stewardship of our country’s resources by rejecting their candidacy outright. This is not retribution. It’s called ACCOUNTABILITY.

People of goodwill, Liberians in the Diaspora and the rest of the international community believe that LIBERIANS ARE NOT STUPID and will vote their true consciences for accountability, hope for the future, national and positive regeneration, freedom of speech and all alienable and God given rights come October..

Let us not fail and may God save us as a nation and people.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

The author, Emmanuel Abalo, is a Liberian journalist, former News Director of the erstwhile Catholic owned ELCM Community Radio in Monrovia, former Acting President of the Press Union of Liberia,(PUL) and news anchor Liberian Broadcasting System(LBS).

He currently resides in Pennsylvania, USA and works as an analyst with CITIGROUP

HINGA NORMAN VERDICT TOMORROW

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Wednesday August 31, 2005

 

We are reliably informed that the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, in the matter Samuel Hinga Norman (Plaintiff) versus Sama Banya, Prince Harding and the SLPP (Defendants), will give its ruling tomorrow.  Readers may recall that the High Court, for the past two weeks, has been delibrating on a motion filed by former Regent Chief, Sam Hinga Norman, against the SLPP and its leaders challenging the right of the party to elect a Party Leader in its now defunct Delegates Conference.

 

In reaction to the lawsuite, the party decided to forego its biennial convention altogether rather than hold two seperate conventions, one to elect the party leadership and another to elect a presidential candidate also referred to in the party constitution as Party Leader.  Chief Norman argues through Counsel that the title of Party Leader for the ruling party is one and inseperable from President of the Republic and as such President Kabbah cannot relinquish one title without relinquishing the other.  Kabbah’s term in office expires in 2007 and is ineligible for re-election.

 

His Vice President, Solomon Berewa, believed to be Kabbah’s choice to succeed him recently walked out of a strategy meeting called by Party Chairman, S. S. Banya, allegedly angered over the party’s attempt to negotiate an out of court settlement with Mr. Norman.  For his part, Chief Norman has held his grounds refusing to withdraw his motion.  If successful, Mr. Norman’s suite will also bar party leaders from also holding executive positions in the government such as Minister of Transport, Prince harding who is also party General Secretary as well as Minister of Finance, J. B. Dauda, who was also vying for Party Leader.

 

We expect to receive the verdict by end of business day tomorrow.

 

A. samForay,

Campaign to Elect Hinga Norman.

 

LIBERIA’S ‘IRON LADY ‘ TURNS ON THE HEAT TO BECOME AFRICA’S FIRST ELECTED WOMAN PRESIDENT

Monday, August 29th, 2005

 

LIBERIA’S ‘IRON LADY ‘ TURNS ON THE HEAT TO  BECOME AFRICA’S FIRST ELECTED WOMAN  PRESIDENT

Monday August 29, 2005

She has come a long way. She has survived the ravages of one of Africa’s worst military dictatorships, been accused of Treason, thrown into  jail and almost killed by a megalomanic dictator .For Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia’s ‘Iron Lady, ‘ it  appears as if she has  come to the defining moment of her chequered political career .

With only few months before Liberia’s first ever democratic elections, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf is one of the hot favourites for the crown in what could boil down to a two-horse bitter race between her and ace football hero, George Oppong Weah. COCORIOKO’s Editor-In-Chief Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu looks at the chances of a woman who could become the first ever elected woman President in Africa :

Liberia’s forthcoming Presidential Elections  may not be fought around the pivot of who is the cleanest candidate of them all because the electorate seems to have something against  all of them. For Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the woman who has gone through  the crucibles of dangerous African politics , the complaints against her are  firstly that she was one of the power-seeking Liberians who helped lure the much -adored Brigadier-General Thomas Quiwonkpa to his timely death at the hands of brutal dictator , Samuel K.Doe , via the Saturday November 12, 1985 military misadventure.

Fingers are also being pointed at Mrs.Johnson-Sirleaf as one of the backbones of the December 24, 1989 invasion of Liberia by Charles Taylor who turned an innocent attempt to get rid of a dictator into the bloodiest incursions ever  in modern African warfare. Innocent people on whose behalf the putsch was launched turned out to be its victims. Mrs .Johnson-Sirleaf has already apologised but her enemies have held her mistakes infront of her like a trump card.

But given the fact that none of her opponents can be truly said to be without  faults, Liberians could forgive Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf and vote her into the Executive Mansion if they decide to look for the candidate who holds the  best promise for ushering   the war-destroyed nation  into a fruitful era of national recovery and national reconstruction. .Liberia ‘s most dire need today is to rebuild , after a devastating war that destroyed the country in every sphere of life . That passion to reconstruct their nation may yet shape the minds of Liberian voters on October 12.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf may have committed errors that were  really unintended and unforeseen consequences of a driving passion  to get rid of Samuel Doe but  many Liberians  I have spoken with believe she presently holds the key  to  inational reconstruction in Liberia ,  considering the more serious credibility problems affecting most of the other candidates and the inexperience of her most bitter rival, George Oppong Weah.

Liberians giving thumbs up to Mrs.Johnson-Sirleaf point to her tremenduous political experience as Finance Minister under the Tolbert administration ,  as one of the opposition leaders during the most difficult era of Liberia’s political history and her international connections and credibility as one-time  top executive of the Britton Woods institutions, the World Bank and the IMF. The Harvard-educated Mrs.Johnson-Sirleaf is not only an internationally-reknowned economist ; she has excelled at the World Bank and the IMF and her exemplary performance in these institutions and her international credibility may help Liberia get the financial assistance she needs to rebuild and reconstruct. That is the main promise of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Though there is never any guarantee that a leader capable of generating foreign economic support for a nation could turn out to be a successful President ,considering the experience of Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in neighbouring Sierra Leone, Mrs.Sirleaf has to her credit a reputation for scrupulous financial management . At least, with all the calumny poured on the Tolbert regime after its April 12, 1980 overthrow by Doe for rampant corruption, there is yet to emerge hard core evidence linking Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf with wilful money mismanagement, thieving and wastage. Those who have worked her have commended her for her stringent habits with money and strong principles, though success for her will hinge on the kinds of people who work with her and her willingness to clamp down seriously on corruption and economic wastage.

In neigbouring Sierra Leone, nobody has yet provided any authoritative evidence linking President Kabbah with personal financial aggrandizement and thieving , but he presides over a kleptomanic government  famed for misappropriating national funds .A leader may have profound international connections and he may be financially prudent and scrupulous but if he surrounds himself with thieves, he is not likely to emerge successful.

It is still too early to predict a winner in the Liberian elections as there could still be a resurgence in the fortunes of even less reckoned candidates like Winston Tubman , not to mention a  likely universal acceptance of George Oppong Weah’s inexperience and naivety as being more preferable to  the tarnished image of recycled politicians . But Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has turned on the heat with vigorous campaigning  and impressive speeches like her condemnation of violence and her promise to clamp down on corruption in Liberia. .And when all is said and done and push comes to shove, she may be the candidate to beat in the elections.

 

MANSLAUGHTER VERDICT BY INQUEST ! ! ! ! ….Fatmata Hassan , Olu Campbell arrested

Saturday, August 27th, 2005

Saturday August 27, 2005The Coroner’s Inquest into the death of FOR DI PEOPLE’S Acting Editor, Harry Yansaneh, ended in Freetown yesterday with the jury returning a verdict of Manslaughter. According to the Managing Editor of THE POOL  newspaper, Chernor Ojukwu Sesay , who spoke with COCORIOKO  last evening, SLPP Member of Parliament, Dr. Fatmata Hassan and the Valuator of her Short Street property, Mr. Olu Campbell, had been arrested by yesterday.

The inquest was set up to determine the cause of death of Mr. Harry Yansaneh, who was beaten up by individuals acting on behalf of the parliamentarian, who had gone with her to evict journalists from her Short Street property , which was home to many Sierra Leone newspapers. During the inquest, various witnesses testified seeing the victim being beaten up by the individuals .

Consequently, the Coroner’s Officer, Adrian Fisher , yesterday issued warrants of arrest for Mrs. Hassan and her children -Daughter Fatmata Komeh, sons Bai Bureh and Ahmed Komeh. Arrest warrants were also issued for the Valuator of the Short Street building, Mr. Olu Campbell and Reginald Bull.

The children of Mrs. Hassan are however presently in the United Kingdom but the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, Alhaji I.B. Kargbo had told COCORIOKO  before the inquest  started sitting that SLAJ will ask the British Embassy in Freetown for their extradition if found culpable in the beating death of the late journalist.

Rejoinder: “Maada Bio Taken out of Context”-The Illusions of E.P.J Vandy

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

 

 By Saidu Daphay Turay

Thursday August 25, 2005

 

The people of this planet are short sighted and full of falsity because society have made them this way.  Ideas that populate people’s minds have no logic or purpose.  They face reality and they refuse to acknowledge the truthfulness of it.  Like parasites they infect the minds and spread from one person to the next.  They have no point or purpose; they exist without any logical basis or foundation and they will never reason or see beyond.

 

While Sierra Leoneans have all their indifferences politically, the clutches of war and internal destabilization have made it possible for them to resist being indoctrinated into becoming insensitive to the very things that have sent them in Diaspora.   I believe the people at this juncture are looking for someone who will restore their lost dignity than a military pundit who will lead or remind them of the very things that have devastated the country.

 

E.P.J. Vandy’s irate and illogical defense of Mr. Maada Bio’s threat to destabilize a country that he claims to love and aspiring to lead is a semblance of the falsehood and unreasoning among people which has permeated society today.   He sees the truth but he refuses to acknowledge it.  His allegiance to ethno nationalism and partisan interest supersedes national interest.  For him seeing Sierra Leone razed to the ground because a party or group he dislikes will ascend to power is something he is comfortable with even at the expense of bloodshed.

 

 

What is wrong with Concerned Citizens of Sierra Leone expressing their fear of impending catastrophe in the country?  If Vandy is not an ethnic bigot, I don’t think he will feel indignant or offended by the mere fact that citizens are raising concerns about an impending catastrophe from the very people who contributed overtly or covertly to the destruction of lives and properties, nurtured the culture of violence and undemocratic principles in Sierra Leone.

 

While no sane Sierra Leonean condones to the inefficiencies and destruction of the economy caused by past regimes, can Vandy pinpoint among the recycled politicians serving the present government or military juntas that used force of arms to hijack power that will exonerate themselves from the pathetic state Sierra Leone find itself today?  The truth of the matter is the failure of any government illustrates something extremely important about the structure of reality that most people are likely to forget.  It comes down from the leaders, and public officials, no matter how powerful they may be, cannot finally control social outcomes as in the case of past and present regimes.

 

Through all of human history, the used of force to solve political problems have caused frightening levels of bloodshed and horror as evidenced in the notorious 11-year civil in Sierra Leone, but in the end what has prevailed is not power but the will of the people to make their choice of leadership.

 

The passion for liberty and freedom burning in the hearts of the citizens in Sierra Leone after years of tyranny and turmoil is undaunted and cannot be threatened by any egocentric or self-proclaimed populist “redeemer” without whistling blowing from patriotic citizens.  It is high time we formulate a new concept for the common good based on political consensus and people’s consent instead of encouraging ethno nationalism that has the tendency of breeding rivalry, hatred and conflict between the people of Sierra Leone.

 

Finally, if the illusions that a specific leader or government has to be in power before the mass participation of people in the well being of Sierra Leone is envisioned, then  we are losing sight of people’s power to prevail, ultimately, the country could face anarchy and chaos.    While no government is perfect, it is certainly far better than many other alternatives that have the propensity of sending the country back to the doldrums.

SLPP IN DISARRAY-BEREWA WALKS OUT

Thursday, August 25th, 2005
 SOLOMONBEREWAOLD
We are receiving further information on the apparent disarray at the SLPP “Lawyers Convention” and the walkout by aspirant, Vice President Solomon Berewa.  According to our sources, the drama took place  at the National Secretaiat of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) yesterday when the Vice President, Solomon Berewa unceremoniously
walked out of the meeting scheduled exclusively for Lawyers in the party by the National Chairman, Dr. Sama S Banya.
The meeting was convened specifically to carve a way forward for the party in view of the current Supreme Court injunction against the election of Party Leader at the Natoinal Delegates Conference. The injunction is as a result of the lawsuit brought against the party leadership by lawyers for Chief Sam Hinga Norman, presently incarcerated by the so-called special court for Sierra Leone. The suggestion was raised by Charles Margai for the party to forward the matter to the National Electoral Commission (NEC) possibly for an advice.
According to sources, Berewa rejected the suggestion and insisted an holding a National Delegates Conferece. Mr. Margai, sources futher states, queried how they could go to the National Delegates Conference when even the delegates list was not prepared. It was at this point that Mr. Berewa said he was going for a consultation. Then J. B. Dauda asked who Berewa was going to consult when all of the principals were there (presumably including Berewa’s boss, President Kabbah).
This question apparently angered Berewa who abruptly left the meeting slamming the door heavily behind him.  Commenting on the episode, a keen observer said Mr. Berewa should not have left the meeting in the manner he did but should have stayed and agreed to disagree in typical SLPP fashion.
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So mi fambul dem, nar so de go di go.  Ow oona si am?  Does this look like 1967 all over agin, or what?
A. SamForay,
Campaign to Elect Hinga Norman

Concerned citizens welcome Army chief’s stance on Maada Bio’s threat

Thursday, August 25th, 2005
sammboma

GEN. SAM MBOMA

Thursday August 25, 2005

Top executive member of the Concerned Citizens for the Restoration of Democracy in Sierra Leone ( New Jersey Branch ), Morgage Banker Mr. Foday Mansaray yesterday welcomed and praised the stand taken by the Chief of Defence Staff of the Sierra Leone Army, Major General Sam M’Boma on the  recent threat made against one of the country’s political parties by former junta leader Maada Bio.

It must be recalled that two weeks ago Maada Bio told a Radio Talk Show in Freetown that he did not regret helping to overthrow the APC  government and that if the APC won the forthcoming General Elections and did the same things that caused the coup, he would overthrow them again. Since Maada’s statement, there has been a flurry of articles in newspapers condemning or supporting the former Army strongman.

Talking to COCORIOKO, Mr. Mansaray first of all said that he did not mind the attacks he had been getting from supporters of Bio since he and some Concerned Citizens members in New Jersey condemned Bio for his statement and called for his arrest and trial for Treason. Mr.Mansaray said that people were entitled to their opinions.

He told this newspaper that he was however not taking the statements made by Maada lightly because Maada’s threats were not only directedat a political party but at the survival of the nation. He recalled how he and many patriots braved the adverse weather in 1997-1998  to hold meetings and rallies to procure international support for reversing the Johnny Paul Koroma coup and restoring President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after his overthrow by the RUF/AFRC. He said that a military coup will not only reverse the gains of multi-party democracy but  will destroy the economy and cause more suffering in the country.

Mr. Mansaray stated that Bio’s statement should not be underestimated because he had the capacity to carry out his threats, i.e. overthrow any government in Sierra Leone. He renewed his call for Bio to be arrested and tried for Treason. Mr. Mansaray also called on President Kabbah to address the concerns of the Concerned Citizens because they affected the fate of the country.

On Friday, the Army Chief of Defence Staff , General M’Boma expressed disappointment with Bio’s utterance and described it as unfortunate. He too warned that Bio’s statement should not be regarded as a joke or a slip of the tongue because it ammounted to a security threat.