Notice: register_sidebar was called incorrectly. No id was set in the arguments array for the "Sidebar 1" sidebar. Defaulting to "sidebar-1". Manually set the id to "sidebar-1" to silence this notice and keep existing sidebar content. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 4.2.0.) in /home/cocorioko/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4041
COCORIOKO » 2005 » November

Archive for November, 2005

DONORS PLEDGE $800M TO FAST-TRACK POVERTY REDUCTION IN SIERRA LEONE—-Consultative Group meeting in London agrees greater support for the government’s poverty reduction strategy and better donor coordination

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

TEJANKABBAH12 (600 x 450)

 London, November 30, 2005 – Thirty of Sierra Leone’s development partners expressed their confidence in the government’s plans for poverty reduction in one of the world’s poorest countries with aid promises for 2005 – 2007 totaling $800m, after two days of talks in London this week.

 

Three key themes of the discussions were food security, employment – particularly youth employment – and governance. Development partners also agreed plans to improve the effectiveness of aid programmes through greater donor coordination and more focus on the government’s own poverty reduction strategy.

 

UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone Victor Angelo said: ?The many countries and multilateral organizations represented at this meeting have recognized the tremendous progress achieved by the government and people of Sierra Leone in the short period since the end of the civil war – and given a significant vote of confidence to the government’s poverty reduction strategy.’

 

Co-chaired by the Government of Sierra Leone, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) the United Nations and the World Bank, the Consultative Group for Sierra Leone met in London on November 29 & 30. President Ahmad Kabbah and Vice President Solomon Berewa led the Sierra Leone delegation.

 

Since ending its civil war in January 2002, Sierra Leone has re-established security and begun the process of restoring public services. An annual GDP growth rate averaging about 7% over three years since 2002 emphasises how far the country has progressed, with the IMF predicting future growth of 6-7% per year. A key achievement was the successful completion of the first local government elections in 32 years in May 2004.

 

Half a million children have been enrolled in primary school since the abolition of fees in 2002. Child mortality rates, though still among the world’s highest, are in steady decline with child immunisation rates almost doubling between 1997 and 2004. Nevertheless, just over 70% of the country’s more than five million inhabitants still live in poverty, on incomes of less than $1 a day and Sierra Leone retains the dubious distinction of featuring 176th out of 177 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index.

 

At the opening of the Consultative Group meeting, UK Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn said: ?Our commitment to Sierra Leone remains strong. The country has made significant progress in rebuilding the general machinery of government and in introducing reforms to help sustain peace, stability and encourage further economic growth.

 

?The Government has demonstrated its commitment to combat corruption by creating an Anti-Corruption Commission and introducing new procurement rules. But more work is needed to tackle corruption and ensure that services reach the poor, progress which is essential if the Poverty Reduction Budget Support Programme is to be realised.’

 

President Kabbah responded in his address: ?I am fully aware that the biggest concern for many of our development partners is the level of our commitment to fighting corruption and the manner in which we are able to provide demonstrable results in this area. We welcome this concern and wish to assure the donor community and our people that we take the fight against corruption very seriously.’

 

At the conclusion of the meeting, World Bank Country Director for Sierra Leone Mats Karlsson  welcomed the constructive outcome of the talks: ?We have made substantial progress here and demonstrated a real commitment to turning a fragile success into a robust one.’

 

 

Ends

 

 

  • For more information on the World Bank’s work in Sierra Leone and the role of the Consultative Group, go to:www.worldbank.org/sierraleone
  • Participants at the Consultative Group meeting included representatives from Algeria, China, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, the African Development Bank, the European Commission, the Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Finance Corporation, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Monetary Fund, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Saudi Fund for Development, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNEP, UNHCR, UNICEF, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.
  • For full details of the outcome of the discussions at the Consultative Group on Sierra Leone please see attached final Communique.

 

 

 

 

 

PICTORIAL : CHARLES MARGAI CHAOS IN BO AND MAYORAL VISIT TO NEW JERSEY

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

 

Margai ( afar : On top of van ) above his throng of supporters in Bo two weeks ago
MORE PICTURES LATER TODAY
PICTURES OF THE VISIT TO NEW JERSEY BY HIS LORDSHIP THE MAYOR OF FREETOWN, MR. WINSTANLEY BANKOLE JOHNSON .
The Mayor  of Freetown receiving a proclamation from the Mayor of Franklin Township , Somerset , NJ , at the Franklin Municipal Building on Thursday November 9 , 2005.
The municipal officials of Franklin Township who honored the Mayor from Sierra Leone and gave him a proclamation.
The Mayor of Freetown, in a reciprocal gesture after receiving the proclamation and gifts from the Franklin Mayor , is seen here pinning his counterpart with a special badge he got from President Kabbah extolling his hard work. The badge has the national colours–Green, white and blue.
Partial view of Sierra Leoneans resident in New Jersey who witnessed the grand ceremony at the Franklin Municipal Building where the Mayor of Freetown received a proclamation from the Township of Franklin.
Mayor Winstanley Bankole Johnson (Third from left ) poses with some Sierra Leonean s after the grand ceremony at the Franklin Municipal Building. Far right is your humble servant, the Editor of COCORIOKO, Rev. Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu ( In native dress). First from left is Alex Mansaray.
The Mayor and party at the nursing station of the Franklin Convalescent Centre. The two ladies standing far right are Sierra Leoneans nursing assistants.
The Director of Nursing at the Franklin Convalescent Centre, Mrs.Annette Puryear ( In green) ,  explains to Mayor Winstanley Bankole Johnson ( Second from left )  the operation of the nursing home .Looking on are Alex Mansaray ( Third from left ) , Efren  Dato, who is the Deputy Director of Economic Development in the Township of Franklin  and Mrs .Martha Bah, the Staff Coordinator ( Behind the Nursing Director).
Mortgage Banker Mr. Foday Mansaray ( left ) poses for COCORIOKO  while the Mayor and other members of his party continue listening to the Nursing Director of the Franklin Convalescent Centre.
Alex Mansaray reaches over the nursing station at Franklin Convalescent Centre to greet a Sierra Leonean nurse whom he later introduced to Mayor Winstanley Bankole Johnson who is seen afar talking to the other girl, who is also a Sierra Leonean.THESE PICTURES BELONG TO COCORIOKO BUT OTHER NEWSPAPERS CAN USE THEM AS LONG AS THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THE SOURCE

Cocorioko sets up special fund to help Paul Kamara

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

 paulkamara2_ezr

Wednesday November 30, 2005

The Editor -in -Chief of the COCORIOKO  newspaper Online today pledged $ 100 towards a Special “Help-Restore-Paul Kamara’s -Health Fund”  which the newspaper is willing to pioneer . The gesture was necessitated by the picture published by  an online newspaper yesterday of the journalist after his release from jail .

The newspaper plans to run adds and special appeals to all Sierra Leoneans of goodwill and conscience in the diaspora for contribution to the fund , which would help the journalist secure medical treatment  and stop the nation from losing a great son of the soil whose cares for the welfare of his country .Paul ‘s picture depicts a man very sick and in need of help .

Paul Kamara’s picture , as published by the Freetown newspaper, looked very pitiful .A once-burly and healthy-looking young man was all bones and head. We as a people cannot afford to see one of our kith and kin suffer so much , whatever the circumstances. The looks of Paul Kamara bespeak the fact that if the Good Lord had not intervened yesterday to pluck him from jail through victory in the Sierra Leone Appeals Court, this patriotic citizen could have wasted away to death in jail while our President and his government played politics with his survival

MOIJUEH KAIKAI AND SHYKH TUNIS PLEDGE MONEY TO HELP-RESTORE -PAUL KAMARA’S -HEALTH FUND

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

 

Wednesday November 30, 2005

Two Sierra Leoneans have already responded  to the special fund set up today by COCORIOKO  to help restore the health of journalist Paul Kamara , who was released from jail yesterday after winning his case against the President , Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, on appeal.

Mr. Moijueh Kaikai , wjo lives in the United Kingdom , has pledged 50 British pounds while Mr. Shykh Tunis , who resides in the U.S., has pledged $ 100 .Thus within one hour of the launching of the fund, it is now U.S  $280 .

As more people respond to the COCORIOKO  gesture,  a reliable third party will soon be appointed to handle the fund through a bank. COCORIOKO  regrettably cannot handle any finance , though the newspaper plans to canvass support for the fund. We want to appeal to all Sierra Leoneans to respond to the appeal, not from a political perspective , but a humanitarian gesture. The fund will not be politicised .

We are all Sierra Leoneans. We shall look at the problem from the angle of a national crisis . This is not an SLPP or APC  PROBLEM  and we call on all Sierra Leoneans to leave partisan , regional or any other politics out of this matter. What happened to Paul Kamara can happen under any government . The Editor of this paper was jailed not by the SLPP but an APC  government . We can therefore see that the issue is not politics. It is Man’s inhumanity to man.

AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS NGO’s MEETING IN THE GAMBIA

Monday, November 28th, 2005

 

(By Mohammed Legally-Cole

Monday November 28, 2005

 

The Ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) commenced seatings at the KairabaBeach Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia from 21 November to 5 December 2005. It was a continuous proceeding from a two-day Human Rights NGO’s Forum, which was also held from the 19 to 20, November 2005 which was organized by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) in the same venue.

 

The session started with a recorded version of the African Union (AU) Anthem. The Secretary General of the African Commission, Mr. Germaine Baricacko gave a broad overview of the 37th session of the Commission, which took place in Banjul, The Gambia on April 2005. After which Mr. Baricacko who have served the Commission as Secretary General of the Commission for 12 years informed the delegates that though it is not an easy task for him during his tenure of serving Africa as the Secretary General in the Commission on Human and People’s Rights issues, he would like to informed the delegates that his term of office has ended, and will not continue the seating. He further introduced the new Secretary general Mrs. Agwa Coleman as his successor.

 

In her remarks, Mrs. Salamata Sawadogo, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), bids farewell to the former Secretary General and wish him good luck in his new appointment to Sudan. She gave a vast overview of the ACHPR’s successes in the promotion and protection of human and People’s Rights in Africa. She also extend the Commissions gratitude to her partners and other new partners

 

In her part, Mrs. Hannah Forster, Executive Director of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, representing all National Human Rights Institution in Africa extended her appreciation to the Government of The Gambia for their hospitality in hosting this 38th Ordinary session.

 

She gave a detailed overview of Human Rights situations in Africa in which she sighted the appalling situation of continuous killing, maiming, torture, conflict throughout Africa, the violation of the macorsis accord by President Gbargbo of Cote D’Ivoire, unrest in Ethiopia, suppression of the press in The Gambia and Zambia which is a situation to be watch closely during the commission’s session. She extended the African Human Rights community’s appreciation of the Commission’s established the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award.

 

She also call on the Commission to give more protection to the Internal Displace Persons (IDP) and Refugees, the Indigenous people, press, Human Rights Defenders in Africa. She also appealed to States who have not signed and ratified the African Charter on the African Court to do so. She congratulate those states that have signed and ratified this instrument and to ensure that these States domesticate the instrument. She ended he speech by congratulate the African states for the ratification of the African Charter on Women’s Rights which will be coming into force on Friday 25, 2005.

 

The Human Rights Minister of Burundi represented the African Union while Attorney General and Secretary of State for Justice of the Republic of The Gambia declared the session opened.

 

The Session ended with the swearing in of four new members into the African Commission, theses are high profiled people in the field of Human Rights in Africa. They are: Madam Rene Alapini-gansou of Benin, Mr. Musa Ngary Bittaye of The Gambia, Mr. Mumba Malila of Zambia and Adv. Ms Faith Pansy Tlakula of South Africa. They swear to carry out their duties faithfully without impartiality.

 

The Commission ended the public session and proceeded to the private session for the Election of the Bureau of the African Commission, Adoption of the Agenda and Organisation of work, all held in the private session.

 

The public session later started in the afternoon with the following programmes: Cooperation and Relationship with National Human Rights Institutions and NGO’s, the Cooperation between the African Commission on Human People’s Rights and NGO’s.

 

The latter is the representations of the Human Rights Situation in Africa, Statement by State Delegates and Guests, Statement by Inter-Governmental Organisation, Statement by National Human Rights Institutions and Statement by NGO’s.

 

“N.D.P. WOLVES IN S.L.P.P. SHEEP SKIN!”

Monday, November 28th, 2005

 

BY J. ALUSINE KAMARA

As I watched the farcical charade of an election at the just-concluded S.L.P.P. Delegates Conference in Makeni, I could not help but discern Machiavellian machinations nakedly employed by erstwhile antagonists of the S.L.P.P.-who were once embedded in the defunct National Democratic Party (NDP), manoeuvre into commanding positions. The desperate and disparate usurpers myopically believed their coup automatically guarantees them majority support in the established S.L.P.P strongholds in the East and South of the country, so, any and every diabolical means, they must have reasoned, should be used to reach their objectives. And, did they employ “many means?”

Direct vote-rigging was calculatingly discountenanced. In its place, stories abound about delegates being literally kidnapped, shiftily driven to Magburaka and Lunsar where they were cajoled into taking bribes. After unsuspectingly accepting these bribes they were then led into a room where cultish oaths were ?forced’ upon them. Knowing the status of those who had dragged them into this, delegates thus may have feared losing their lives if they refused to go through. (Evil men resort to evil means to achieve evil objectives!)

On the opening day of the Convention, Prince Harding, the then Secretary-General, made pronouncements that need to be examined and commented upon. Derisively claiming that the APC was in Port Loko for a Coronation ceremony, he failed to ?remove the speck in his eyes ? to see that the SLPP was about to embark on an ?anointment’! And, I must quickly add, not with the ?Holy Spirit’ either!

Noteworthily also, he implored the assembled delegates to think about ?marketability’ in their choice for leadership. Noting that some might have accepted bribes – which might have been sealed with demonic oath-taking – he implored them to “chap u chap, en vote u conscience!” This was easier said than done due to consciences having been ghoulish-compromised.

Here was a Political Party Convention so insidiously-crafted, it had as its Electoral Commissioner the Ombudsman, who is statutorily supposed to be non-partisan. With the President and Vice President-who was also a candidate sitting on each side of him, (were they part of the electoral team?) it was little wonder he sounded like “His Master’s Voice. (Older folks do remember the old gramaphone player with the dog sitting behind the megaphone, don’t we?)

When a justifiable objection was raised about the eligibility of the Vice President to vote since he was not an elected delegate, the Ombudsman laconically replied “Noted”. Victor Sheriff was to observe that the arbitrary increase in number of delegates assigned to “support movement for Kabbah” (sumokabs) and other groups were not approved by the committee mandated by law to do so, of which he was a member! This too was ignored. Then there were delegates’ lists that had been changed, and so on!

Why, one may be constrained to ask, were these desperadoes at wit’s end to manipulate the outcome of this Conference? Who in his God-fearing senses would want ?continuity’ of a debased status quo? Why were people who, when forming the NDP had been so averse to what the SLPP represented now so hell-bent on sailing on its ticket? Who would look at a Charles Margai, an epitome of unimitable character, patriotic and God-fearing, and employ despicable means to stop him? Why do they need to “throw the baby with the bath-water”!

Before attempting to answer the questions, I shall take this opportunity to persuade away the latent fears visiting the minds of some anti- Charles campaigners.

In response to an observation I made in his office, Charles had said , inter alia, “I do not know why K…. seems to be afraid of me. If our prayers are answered, the moment I am sworn in, a line will be drawn separating the ?past’ from the ?present’ and the ?future’. The ?future’ catches up with you without you realising the ?present’ if you were obsessed with the ?past’! My aim is to build on what I meet to make a prosperous Sierra Leone”! (In other words, bygones will be bygones!) And he said it with a sincere freshness hard to doubt.

Let me categorically assert – as if it was not obvious by now – that I support Charles Margai. But as I clearcutly said to him when I first met him, it is not him as a person that I support, but his principles, vision and patriotism. I told him the moment he deviates from these ideals, I would be the first to challenge him. I have never backed people and institutions per se, but what principles they subscribe to. I am by nature contemptuous of sycophancy!

That said, let me now chronicle reasons I believe erstwhile NDP operators are, vulture-like, ready to swoop down and disembowel the traditional SLPP and have it cloned in the NDP guise. I will further hold that patriotic idealism never brightened the dark crevices of their hearts and that crass and insatiable lust for power and ill-gotten wealth, to the detriment of the populace, are their overriding considerations. No more, no less!

Between 1991-1992, Charles Margai approached, and solicited Solomon Berewa’s involvement in the rejuvenation of the then moribund SLPP. Solo-B reminded him in blunt terms that, “not all Mende-men are SLPP”! Of course, this is true. But when judged against the backdrop of what his thinking could have been as he was a core member of the N.D.P. which was angling to eclipse and replace what they considered a discredited S.L.P.P. then, it takes a different dimension. To theorists in the N.D.P., the S.L.P.P. was to be “given a clean pair of heels”!

However, right now a cursory glance and roll call of prominent functionaries of the S.L.P.P. hierarchy show a disproportionate number of impostors/infiltrators infesting the party they used to love to hate. People like John Karimu, Joe Blell, John Benjamin, Victor Reider, Allie Bangura, Alusine Fofana, Frank Kposowah, et al, now romance the Party to the exclusion of sincere traditionalists. “The N.D.P. wolf is now in S.L.P.P. sheep skin!” Metamorphosis is complete: Or, so they think!

At the time these architects of doom were tolling the death knell of the S.L.P.P. Charles Margai and a handful of S.L.P.P adherents, were busy criss-crossing the country canvassing, mobilizing and concretizing once dormant grassroot support. As one of the key financiers and moral muscle of the Party, Charles determinedly and dexterously rekindled faith of the faithfuls, loyalty of the loyalists and survival instincts of the survivors of the APC misrule. Hands were also extended to drifters whom exigencies of the time had constrained to “set dem yaiye, en cham fat-fut.!”

A more profound articulation of the N.D.P’s consummate apathy for the S.L.P.P. could not be better exemplified than with their preferred choices for leadership of the Party, in the persons of Dr John Karefa-Smart, and Brig. Juxton-Smith (rtd). Because of the N.D.P.’s morbid aversion for the S.L.P.P. they found the people who had axes to grind with the S.L.P.P. very ideal. The NDP wanted people who considered the SLPP an anathema, and these gentlemen fitted the mould.

The key to the NDP success, they must have reasoned, laid in distancing themselves as far away from the SLPP as possible. It was an overriding obsession.

The NDP was faced with a dilemna though. For, even as both gentlemen were willing to come on board, the question of who the leader would be bedevilled them. Dr. Karefa Smart contended his age and status conferred on him the right, while Juxton Smith averred that having once been a Head of State – though unelected – positioned him for the role. This protracted stalemate faced the NDP when I walked into Joe Blell’s office at the Sparta Building, Wilberforce Street.

As Joe narrated their predicament to me, I asked which of the two men was expendable. I was told Juxton-Smith was, as Dr. Karefa Smart had a natural and formidable followership. To their stunned disbelief I volunteered to facilitate Dr. Smart’s acquiescence.

When Joe mentioned he was set to visit Canada the next week, I promised to write a letter that he would mail to Dr. Karefa Smart. This was ultimately done and presented to them for their perusal, vetting and comments. It was agreed that the letter was compelling enough to convince Dr. Smart. Joe left, mailed the letter from Amsterdam, and eventually got the desired response.

Dr. Karefa Smart arrived in Sierra Leone sometime in April 1992. We were scheduled to team up at the Bathurst Street Headquarters of the NDP, at 11:00am on Tuesday April 29 1992. But this was not to be as the khaki – boys struck. The rest is history.

Once the NDP bubble burst with the coming of the NPRC, and the APC fragmented, the SLPP soon became very attractive to the schemers of the NDP who started to strategize as to how to justify their new -found love affair. The SLPP all of a sudden metamorphosed from being an untouchable pariah, to the best thing that ever happened this side of Heaven! Fuelling their desire to suck the Party and nation dry was the belief that with control of the Party they had once derided, bamboozling a gullible electorate would be easy.

Going down history lane we arrive at these facts:

President Kabbah and VP Berewa, whilst serving as senior advisers in the Advisory Council of the erstwhile National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) strongly advocated for the proscription of both the SLPP and the All Peoples’ Congress APC as political entities. Pretentiously shading what I believe was the ulterior motive to especially supplant the SLPP with the NDP, they were to calculatingly depict both Parties as harbingers of disunity and polarization of the country. This allusion, which many believe smacked of chicanery, was void of altruism and doubtlessly contentious. It was a failed attempt as their scheming was exposed.

The theorists then determined that to gain the control they so devilishly-sought, there were traditional Party loyalist that had to be neutralized. Chief amongst them stood Charles Francis Margai, whose name and pedigree were almost synonymous with the Party. They believed this fact would be in his undoing. So the catch-phrase became, “He thinks the SLPP is a Margai property”! This was easy to sell to a non-discerning electorate when Charles was elbowed out.

Somehow theorizing that – to quote Oswald Hanciles – “The SLPP is a religion to every Mende-man”, their shortsightedness will become their undoing. Because, what they and Oswald failed to realise is that converting from one religion to another is nowadays a common occurrence.

Those in the SLPP hierarchy now, save for a decent man like the present Chairman Alhaji UNS Jah, are in my view, coupists and opportunists.

I have singled out Alhaji UNS Jah because I know he flaunts a flawless character – the same which cannot be said of most others. I can attest to his impeccable traits of probity, sincerity, dedication, and God-fearingness. As strong-willed and determined as I know him to be, the odds may be stacked against him. But the Alhaji Jah I know as a big brother, friend and mentor will know what to do, how to do, and when to do what, without compromising his ideals. “Maik God cobbar am for wi “!

There is no doubt that the bold-faced cloning of the SLPP into a caricature of the NDP has been successfully orchestrated to the disaffection of traditional Party loyalists, thus forcing those of us who pride our pedigreed links to make distinguished but painful exits. History will judge all.

THE INSPECTOR GENERAL’S MISSTATEMENTS

Monday, November 28th, 2005
 
Monday November 28, 2005
Dear editor,
Please allow me space in your widely read News paper, COCORIOKO ,  to convey my utter dismay and greatest disappointment over the blistful comment IG Aicha made  against Charles Margai in last week’s edition of another online newspaper , regarding recent invents in Bo.
 Suffice it to say that I know Mr. Kamara as a hardworking and deligent Police officer- a man of cool tempo. But his comment on Margai in an ongoing court case is a dis-service to his very profession. Simply the distinguish IG should have reserved such one sided statement on the matter bearing  in mind the legal and convectional implications his public views may  insinuate.
 His debilitating attack on Charles is completely out of decorum and needs  not only apologize to the public for such a devastating blow to democratic  principles we all have worked so hard to bear on our political dispensations ,but further to Mr. Margai ,who he maliciously maligned. Simply a character assasination at its highest from a public officer like Aicha.
Without knowing much about the entire story , but cognizant of the fact that there is growing tension within the SLPP party especially between Margai and the Vice President over the former’s political ambition ,the Bo incident wether who started it or not should be a reminder about the fragility of our political atmosphere.And public servants such as the IG should be seeing playing an objective role in enforcing the law. The man just shouldn’t be the prosecutor ,Judge and witness. But his unfortunate statement on the matter is a fatal blow to his highly colorful  “Force for Good” cha cha. A force for good leadership must never make conclusive statements on matters that borders on politics especially his flawed and judgemental statement about the Bo incident.
Indeed there are  very good police men  in the force, most with outstanding academic accomplishment, and a trait of professional intergrity.  And unfortunately , the IG and most of his top cadre have been to places ,trained and observed  the public and the law and law enforcement. I hate to names names ,but there are now enough officers who will definitely tell a politician that ‘pa a nor feel say dis thing ya right oh, leh we fen other way for duam”.
In conclusion , the enitre Bo episode was just a total police failure to provide enough security either  for the VP or the public in general  considering the facts on the ground. Had the police made a strong presence within the CKC arena where Berewa and Margai had to appear ,may be such incidence could have been averted. So this should be a brilliant lesson for CPO Karrow and his South Div. boss.  But really the IG should leave public statements to professionals within the force who, as expected, should never be seeing compromising on matters of such nature. IG ,please next time exercise some professional restraint on matters before the court. Avoid anything one may see as a potential witness tampering or perjury. You have more than enough lawyers like Legon  to consult next time. But in Margai’s case you’ve already passed judgement something you shouldn’t do.
Let your Force for Good be a reality and not another paper cha cha.
thanks
 Hashim Daboh/ Philadelphia

 


DESPERATION IS LEADING THE S.L.P.P TO IRRATIONAL BEHABIOUR

Monday, November 28th, 2005

 

 

PMDC – USA BRANCH

 

  Monday November 28, 2005

 

When one hears Alhaji UNS Jah, Chairman of the S.L.P.P., somebody who has been to the Holy Land of Mecca and looked upon with respect in society and expected to say and handle the truth with the fear of God, say that Charles Margai should be charged with treason; then one hears J.J Saffa, a.k.a J.J Blood, Secretary General of the S.L.P.P. say that Charles Margai planned to assassinate VP Berewa, one then sees the desperation in both statements.

 

Were these not the very people who, after the infamous S.L.P.P. convention in Makeni, went to Charles Margai to woo him to stay within the S. L .P .P in order to give VP Berewa a smooth ride to power as Kabba had? Was it not the same UNS Jah in that very meeting with Charles Margai, who said he dreamt Sir Milton and Sir Albert and that they sent him to tell Charles Margai to stay within the S.L.P.P.? Was this another dream that Charles Margai should be accused of treason should he refuse?

 

This is really irrational as no one in Sierra Leone will ever believe them and that will further prove to the people of Sierra Leone how desperate the S.L.P.P. is. If, as Berewa says, Charles Margai cannot dent the S.L.P.P’s chances of retaining power come 2007, why not leave him alone and in peace as, according to Berewa, “he is insignificant”.

I have never seen a situation where in an insignificant individual is posed so much threat and is caused so much panic among members of an organization that claims to have so much power and support. Kabbah and Berewa should realize that Sierra Leoneans are becoming wiser with every election process and they have made it clear that no amount of spinning and misinformation will break their will.

 

UNS Jah and JJ Saffa have just come on the scene and they have to show to Kabbah and Berewa that they are up to the task ahead and they have seized on the first opportunity to demonstrate that. How do they think the people in the Southeast are going to react? Who does not know that Charles Margai is a law abiding citizen? The S.L.P.P. over the years have done everything in their arsenal to discredit Charles Margai up to excluding him from the party and had it not been again for the people of the Southeast, Kabba and Berewa, a novice in the party, would have denied him that membership. The people are again reacting to what happened in Makeni and instead of going back to the drawing board, and respect the will of the people they have resorted to Yuweri Museveni desperate tactics. Will it work in Sierra Leone or are we going back to the old APC tactics of yester years? These desperate moves are giving credence to the saying that the S.L.P.P. was responsible for what Siaka Stevens did in Sierra Leone when he, Siaka Stevens, prevented the people from expressing themselves freely or twisting the will of the people when they do express it.

 

Berewa has suddenly realized that those around him are seriously fooling him for eat den yone . He, Berewa, has been chasing Charles Margai everywhere Charles has gone to meet the people just to see how popular Charles is and with each occasion, Berewa is becoming desperate. Berewa is unpopular and this is what the S.L.P.P. should have considered in the first place by listening to Prince Harding rather than lose power. Quote: “The future of the S.L.P.P. depends on choosing a leader that is marketable. Marketability is the key word. Did I hear you say chap U chap and vote for the right person?” Berewa is unpopular and desperate and that is leading him to irrational behaviour.     

 

To quote Berewa from the Concord Times, he said that he is “not against any body forming a political party but that should be done within the confines of the law.” Everybody agrees with that because that is the law but why play tricks with it? The S.L.P.P. has allowed Kabba to be bending the law because they are in the majority in Parliament, but do they realize that they are setting a bad precedent just to satisfy one man, Kabba?

 

Berewa further said that the presidency is not a “family property or friendship.” That is true but every Sierra Leonean has the God-given right to aspire to be president of the country as he Berewa too feels he has that right. Charles Margai is a Sierra Leonean who happens to be the son of Sir Albert Margai, the second Prime Minister of Sierra Leone. Does this make it wrong for Charles to exercise his constitutional right of running for public office and did Sir Albert Margai bend the system so that one day his son would become president of Sierra Leone like Kabba is doing for Berewa?  Let Berewa answer and his supporters answer this question. If Sir Albert did not tell anybody, who has that right to strip Charles Margai of his God-given right to challenge and fight for the leadership of the nation. Is that part of the Constitution? Let the S.L.P.P tell us. Is Berewa not a long term friend of Kabba since the NPRC National Advisory Council days when they both advised the NPRC to ban both S.L.P.P. and the APC? Den pit en lick am. What a shame. Licking one’s own spittle is a big shame

 

Siaka Stevens was put in prison by the S.L.P.P. to break his will but, that did not help. He eventually became leader. That was history and the S.L.P.P. should learn a lot from that   

Berewa has also said that “Politics is about intelligence, trust and good relationship,” and that “the days of forcing people to support a certain party have gone. All what we need is to persuade people to support us.” The country, Berewa observed, has gone through turbulent times and the people should be careful in choosing their leader.

We totally agree with Berewa. So it is all the more demanding and expected of both Kabba and himself to behave in a way as not to explode the atmosphere. Any attempt at bringing up trumped up charges against Charles Margai will be counter productive. The days of the APC of yester years are long gone and the rebel war should have been a good lesson to learn from and the S.L.P.P. leadership is very much urged to learn from that and Berewa should never forget how he dressed like a reverend father to escape from the AFRC.


 

If I had not appealed to my security for restraint, there could have been bloodshed–VP Solomon Berewa

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

 

EXCLUSIVE REPORT FROM COCORIOKO

IF I HAD NOT APPEALED TO MY SECURITY FOR RESTRAINT, THERE COULD HAVE BEEN BLOODSHED–Vice-President Solomon Berewa

Thursday November 24, 2005

Sierra Leone’s  Vice-President , Mr. Solomon Berewa , yesterday said that he had to appeal specially to his security not to respond to the acts of lawlessness that prevented him from entering the campus of Christ The King’s College , Bo , last Saturday. The Vice-President emphasized that he made the appeal to his security because he wanted to avoid bloodshed .He stated that if he had not done so, there would have been serious trouble that could have endangered live and property .

Vice-President Berewa was giving his own version of the Bo incident to COCORIOKO in another exclusive interview. last night .  Sounding calm and composed , Mr. Berewa said that the behavior of the people who barred him from entering the campus was so terrible, he had to do his best to avoid any reaction from his security that could have led to violence.

Contrary to what was reported by many newspapers based in Freetown, Mr. Berewa said he did not enter the campus to attend the Prize-Giving ceremony where he was to have been the Guest Of Honor . He stated that he was so disgusted  by the behavior of the unruly crowd that he turned back and returned to his Lodge. “I have never seen the like before”, the Vice-President said of the hostile action.

“What was the protest about ?” The Editor of COCORIOKO  asked the Vice-President . “It was not a protest,”  Berewa responded . “It was just lawlessness. There was no reason for it. I went to CKC  because I was invited there .I did nothing to anybody  that deserved the treatment I received . ” The President said his opponent, Mr. Charles Margai , was disturbed by the massive support he  ( Mr. Berewa ) received in Bo and the huge crowd that turned up to welcome him and thus  he decided to stir up trouble.

Mr. Berewa said he will not elaborate on the incident because it was under investigation by the Police.

“There are rumors in the diaspora that if he is implicated in the disturbances, Mr. Charles Margai might be charged with Treason . Is that true, Mr. Vice-President ? ”  . Responding , Mr. Berewa said that he was in no position to state the nature of the charges that might  be brought against Margai or whether he will be charged at all.  ” As I said, the matter is being investigated . It is left with the Police . If they find sufficient grounds  to charge him, they might do it, but I don’t know what the charges will be  or whether he will be charged ” , Mr. Berewa stressed.

Disturbances broke out in Bo , the Southern Province capital, over the weekend  when crowds alleged to be in support of Mr. Charles Margai blocked the entrance of the CKC  campus and  prevented the Vice-President from entering the campus. The incident led to a clash between a detachment of Police sent to break up the blockage and the demonstrators.Police allegedly fired teargas and rubber bullets and engaged in running battles with the defiant crowd.

Mr. Margai, who was also invited to the CKC Prize-Giving ceremony , was arrested and later released.

 

‘CHARLES MARGAI DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO SPLIT OUR VOTES’—Berewa says

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

 

Thursday November 24, 2005

The Vice-President of Sierra Leone, Mr. Solomon Berewa , has said that the leader of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change ( PMDC ) , Mr. Charles Margai , does not have the capacity to split votes and prevent him from winning the 2007 General Elections. Mr. Berewa made the assertion yesterday when he spoke with COCORIOKO  in an exclusive interview  about the hostile action to him at the Christ The King’s College campus last weekend by people believed to be loyal to Margai.

COCORIOKO  wanted to know from the Vice-President whether Charles Margai will  be his nemesis in 2007  and whether Margai could split the votes in the Soth/East , thus making the opposition APC win.

Mr.Berewa stated emphatically that Margai did not have the ability to do so. “He is not an organized man with a capacity to accomplish what you are asking. All Margai depends on is violence’, Berewa stated.

The Vice-President accused Mr. Margai of using children to put up last weekend’s acts of lawlessness. Mr. Berewa  He  lauded his security for heeding his appeal to them not to react to the lawlessness going on. “If they  had reacted , it is the kids and innocent people who would have suffered. ”

Since the crises in the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party  ( SLPP ) peaked this year with Mr. Margai resigning and forming his own party , there has been lots of speculation in Sierra Leone online forums and public gatherings that the incident would cause a disastrous split in the party that could create a 1967-like scenerio with the party self-destructing and allowing the opposition APC  to win.

Mr. Berewa did not think that such a scenerio was ever possible because as he said, Margai did not have the capacity and the organizational ability to adversely affect the votes.