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COCORIOKO » 2005 » November

Archive for November, 2005

What would I do if I were President ?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

 

 

First_Name:  Sylvanus
Last_Name:  Koroma
Email_Address:  triplearap@juno.com
Address:  1521 Childs Street
City:  Wheaton
State:  IL
Zip_Code:  60187
Comments:  Dear Cocorioko,

Thanks for your service to the Sierra Leonean community through your Website both at home and abroad.  I have a suggestion to make.  Recently One of your contributors (Patrick Bockarie) wrote a piece: “If I Am president of the Republic of Sierra Leone”.  As I thought about it, it occurred to me that we should launch a web based Essay debate/Competition concerning the welfare of Sierra Leone on the topic:

“How would I lead Sierra Leone if I was President for one term only (5 years)?”

Apart from the contributor’s piece mentioned above several things have also inspired me to make this suggestion.

1.  Pa Kabbah is now winding down his term of office and public opinion is now slowly looking past him to the next Presidential Elections.  An essay with such a focus will help all in evaluating the next step for Sierra Leone.

2.  It is easy to criticize without suggesting any concrete remedies.  This is especially true of Sierra Leoneans.  We must now move beyond criticism of any incumbent to engage in  the competition of ideas about the way forward.

3.  Sierra Leone needs its best minds and an open independent forum for constructive ideas in order to chart the way forward.

4.  Sierra Leoneans need this kind of debate before the politicking begins (it may have already begun) ahead of the 2007 elections.  In the run up to those elections there will be no serious and concrete discussions of the real issues that the country faces.  We might be able to pre-empt some of the cheap promises and politics that will doubtless as we approach 2007.

5.  We need this debate so that, as Sierra Leoneans, we may elevate the discussion about the problems of Sierra Leone from everyday complaints about lack of electricity, lack of fuel, low salary, unemployment, aids, (as urgent and dire as those are) to debate about long term, broad perspective, and yet viable approaches towards solving the problems of Sierra Leone.

6.  Such a debate will also provide an adequate resource for those who would want to contribute to the progress of Sierra Leone.

7.  Finally such a debate will also be a means of evaluating some of the Presidential hopefuls in advance of 2007.

I suggest a few guidelines for such a competition/debate:

1.    The debate must also be limited in time in the sense that it should address how a competent and successful president for Sierra Leone would lead if he had only one term of office in which to accomplish his goals.

2.    The debate/Essays must be limited in length as well.  I suggest a length of not more than 800.

3.    As far as possible the debate must avoid any semblance of campaigning for office in the next Presidential elections.  In fact, if it is possible, the debate should exclude all intending 2007 Presidential candidates.

4.    The debates/essays must not be academic lectures either.  Its language must be down to earth, (grade 9 or BECE level English) and must major on the practical and pragmatic not theoretical.  It should be a debate on “How I would lead” not “What I will do”

5.    Essays must seek to clearly to identify the dilemmas that any Sierra Leonean Presidential candidate will face and should suggest the best pragmatic way forward.

6.    The Essays/debate must focus on the key question: “What would a leader and his people have to do in Sierra Leone to:

a.    Cause Democracy to become firmly and irreversibly entrenched;
b.    Put Sierra Leone securely and irreversibly on a path to economic prosperity
c.    Enhance the resources of Sierra Leone (human, material, cultural, etc.) so that its people experience a remarkable improvement in their welfare within ten years?
d.    To make it more concrete, what would Sierra Leone under the leadership of a competent and successful president have to do to raise the nation from where it is classified as the least developed country in the world to the a classification within the first 100 developed countries in the world within 15years!

7.    The essays must also focus on key principle issues (policies) by which a competent and successful president should and must rule.  In other words the essays must have the approach of:
a.    What basic principle and policies will be used to steer the ship of state and
b.    What specific actions should such a person take upon becoming President.

8.    The Essays must dwell on the principles and practical steps to be taken to move Sierra Leone forward as a nation, taking into consideration, Security, Political, practical, cultural, and historical realities on the ground, (regional and tribal tendencies, high illiteracy rate, poor infrastructure, unemployment, recent history, etc. etc.)

9.    The Essays must also take into account the regional, international, diplomatic and economic realities in the modern world.

NOTE:  When I started this piece, I was thinking, “What should a competent President do?”  Then I realized, it is not up to one person.  Sierra Leone cannot be left to one person.  So I changed the focus.  It is not what a President does – rather it should be “How should a competent President Lead?”  Sierra Leone is bigger than any one person – bigger than even the person who fills the position of ?president’ at any one time.

I look forward to hearing from you or other interested parties about the idea.  Feel free to improve on the idea.

Faithfully Yours

Sylvanus Koroma

BO RESIDENTS APPEAL FOR RESTRAINT FROM POLICE AND GOVERNMENT

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

 

Wednesday November 23 , 2005

Some residents of Bo Town have called on the Police and the Sierra Leone government to exercise restraint in the aftermath of the unpleasant demonstrations against the Vice-President, Mr. Solomon Berewa , by mobs believed to be supporters of Mr. Charles Margai,  at a leading school campus in the town over the weekend.

TEJANKABBAH4

KABBAH : WHAT IS HE DOING TO COOL TENSIONS IN THE COUNTRY ?

Soribah Kalokoh , our Provincial correspondent , who is in Bo presently, sampled the views of residents of the town at the Bo Lorry Park , the  market and a Poyo Spot on the New Road near Njagboima  yesterday .

According to Kalokoh, who spoke with the Editor of this newspaper on the phone, Bo residents are concerned about a wave of arrests being carried out by the Police since last weekend’s events at the campus of the Christ The King’s College ( CKC ) where the Vice-President’s motorcade was blocked at the school gate by unruly crowds that were said to have booed him and banged with their fists on his car.

Soribah disclosed  that “Most of the people I spoke  with expressed grave concern  at the escalating political temperature in the country , with the elections still one year and 10 months away. Some of them condemned the behavior of the crowds and said that it was not the right manner to make their views heard. They fear that the wave of arrests by the Police will exacerbate tension in Bo. They called on the government to stop the arrests before they imprison the wrong persons and provoke disturbances in the town. ”

People in Bo are also not happy about the action the government took against CKC  by banning all school activities and blaming the school authorities whom they accused of administrative inefficiency, Kalokoh went on . Many of them , he said, felt that the school authorities were not to blame for the behavior of the crowd to the Vice -president. They said that the prize-giving ceremony , which the Vice-President was trying to attend on the invitation of the school administration, was a public event and it was difficult to keeop out people, especially as the school compound was not fenced out. The residents felt that there was nothing the school Principal or other officials would have done , when even the Vice-President’s security could not break up the wild demonstration.

The residents told Kalokoh to relay their appeal to the Police and the government , through the website he was working for, to exercise restraint and put an end to the arrests .They warned that there was the danger of the Police arrresting the wrong people while relying on information from the victims’ enemies.

 

 

NGO’s FORUM ASK THE AFRICAN COMMISSION TO DEMAND THE ARREST OF CHARLES GHANKAY TAYLOR FROM NIGERIA AND HISSENE HABRE FROM SENEGAL

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

 

 

(By Mohammed Legally-Cole)

 

Participants at the NGO’s Forum attending the 38th Ordinary Session of the ACHPR have demanded that the Nigeria President Olusegun Obasanjo arrest and surrender Charles Ghankay Taylor to the Special Court on Sierra Leone.

 

According to the participants who include members of Campaign Against Impunity, the African Commission has a responsibility to address the broad issue of impunity inAfrica by asking Nigeria to comply with the request for Charles Taylor, to be brought to justice for the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity he is alleged to have committed.

 

November 11, 2005, the UN Security Council adopted resolution1638, empowering the United Nation Mission in Liberia to apprehend and detained former President Charles Taylor in the event of a return to Liberia and to transfer him or facilitate his transfer to Sierra Leone for prosecution before the Special Court for Sierra Leone and to keep the Liberia Government, the Sierra Leone Government and the Council fully informed.

 

Campaign Against Impunity ( a Coalition involving Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Open Society for Justice Initiative and over 300 African Civil Society Organisation) have consistently asked the ACHPR to take a stand in support of thousands of African especially women and children who are victims of Taylor’s alleged crimes, in accordance with its mandates under the African Charter on Human People’s Rights.

 

The Coalition has insisted that victims, their relatives and the society at large all have a vital interest in having individuals responsible for Human Rights abuses brought to justice, knowing the truth about past abuses, and receiving reparation for these violations. According to Kolawole Olanijan, the African Programme Director of Amnesty International, “bringing perpetrators to justice also sends a clear message that violations of human rights will not be tolerated and that those who commit such acts will be held fully accountable. The Civil society Organisations at this NGO’s Forum believes that bringing Charles Taylor to justice is essential in establishing the rule of law and to deter future human rights abuses in the West African sub-region”.

 

The fight against grave human rights violations such as those committed against the people of West Africa can only be won if this problem is tackled effectively “said Thompson Adebayo, the Executive Director of Liberia Watch for Human Rights.

 

Voke Ighorodje, Coordinator of Nigeria Coalition on International Criminal Court (NCICC) said during the NGO’s Forum that “the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights must join the fight against impunity and call on the Nigerian Government to promptly surrender Charles Taylor to the Special Court on Sierra Leone for trial in accordance with international standards of fair trial or to prosecute him in Nigerian Courts”. It should be noted that the prosecutor to the Special Court in Freetown indicted Charles Taylor on 3 March 2003. Official copies of the indictment and warrant of arrest were delivered to the Government of Nigeria by the court registry on the 27 November 2003, by the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) issue a “Red Notice” fpr Charles Taylor on the 3 December 2003. The indictment was unsealed on the 4 June 2003.

 

The effort to comply with the rule by surrendering Charles Taylor to the Special Courthave been resisted by the Nigerian Government and the African Union through the commendation issued in 2004. This has raised serious international concerns on the commitment of African leaders to the process of combating on Africa.

 

RESOLUTION ON IMPUNITY IN AFRICA

Full version of the resolution is as follows:-

Recalling numerous Human Rights abuses have plaque many part of Africa. African men, women and children have victims of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other crimes recognized under international law.

Noting that suspected perpetrators are rarely brought to justice, while the victims have been frequently denied an effective remedy.

Noting that the Constitutive Act of the African Union expressly condemns and reject impunity.

Recalling that the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights have also taking many initiatives and adopted resolutions on impunity in Africa.

Considering the fact that some African ex-president has been indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and execution of thousands of Africans.

Recalling the unspeakable suffering that Chadian people endure during Hissene Habre’s regime between 182-1990, also serious human rights violations suffered by Sierra Leoneans during the conflict in Sierra Leone by the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone (RUF/SL), forces loyal to Charles Taylor.

Recalling that in 2003, the Special Court unsealed an indictment against Charles Taylor charging him with seventeen counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity and other violations of international Humanitarian Law.

Deeply concerned, that the Refugee status granted by Nigerian Government to Charles Taylor in 2003, have effectively prevent his arrest and transfer to the Special Court.

 Recalling the indictment of Hissene Habre by Belgian court, in 19 September 2005for crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes, as well as the extradition request by Belgium.

Noting that all others perpetrators of human rights violations are still enjoying impunity.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUND ABOUT SECURITY LAPSES IN BO INCIDENT

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

SOLOMONBEREWAOLD

SOLO BEE : WAS HE AN UNWANTED GUEST ?

Tuesday November 22, 2005

The unruly incidents in Bo on Saturday in which crowds of protesters prevented the Vice-President , Solomon Berewa , from entering the campus of the Christ The King’s College ( CKC) for long , have been attributed to the security lapses still obvious in post-war Sierra Leone.

Some Sierra Leoneans who contacted COCORIOKO yesterday   could not understand how the entourage of the Vice-President could have been blocked so effectively for long before Police reinforcements from the town arrived and dispersed the wild crowd with teargas and rubber bullets. The Vice-President later entered tha campus where he had been invited as Guest of Honor at the CKC Prize-Giving ceremony.

The Sierra Leoneans said that heavy Police security should have been provided on the campus. They argued that the authorities in Bo should have known that the presence of both the Vice-President and his rival, Charles Margai, who was also invited to the program, was a controversial mix that could have threatened security,  given the open animosity between their supporters.

Some residents of Bo who spoke to  our reporter , Soribah Kalokoh, disclosed that the Vice-President’s entourage included two landrovers  full of Police , which in their opinion , was not enough .They also wondered how conflict could have been brewing between supporters of the two men–Berewa and Margai  -and the Police had no back-up plans  to forestall chaos between the two forces at the CKC Prize-giving .They said that the whole campus and the gate should have been fortified by Police.

According to our reporter, the Police too had their own story about the charges of poor intelligence and lax security levied against them. They claimed that the Bo Police was not only short of communications equipments and other logistics, but morale was very low among the officers. Police are not paid on time and their salaries remain meagre . They claimed that they provided security for the Vice-President but did not anticipate the large number of demonstrators they met at the gate.

A Police Sergeant   , who gave his mame as Mr. Jumu  , told our reporter that rather than blame the Police, people should commend the officers for the restraint they showed during the whole crisis. Mr. Jumu  said that when Police reinforcement got to CKC,  the demonstrators were so out of control that if the officers had not exercised restraint, they could have shot directly at the crowd to protect the Vice-President , a situation, he confessed, could have exacerbated the crisis and led to many fatalities.

The Police Officer  blamed the crowds for their unruliness and described their behaviour as provocative. He said that they had no reason to have blocked the Vice-President and he warned that any future protests of that  unruly nature would be dealt with more firmly and ruthlessly by the Poilice.

 

In Charles Margai’s own words : What happened in Bo on weekend of Friday November 18, 2005

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

 

charlesmargaifullycropped
EVENTS IN BO TOWN DURING
THE WEEKEND OF
FRIDAY 18TH NOVEMBER, 2005.
EVENTS IN BO TOWN DURING THE WEEKEND OF FRIDAY 18TH NOVEMBER, 2005.
I left Freetown in the company of others for Bo on Thursday 17th November2005, to attend the prize giving ceremony and Speech day of my Alma mater, Christ the King College (CKC) grounds Bo and other related activities.
On Friday 19th November 2005, I left the Sahara Guest House situated along Gerehun Road, Bo for my compound at Shell
mingo on the Bo-Kenema Highway, where I briefed P.M.D.C. supporters on progress made in an effort to register the Movement as a Political Party. I then left the compound accompanied by jubilant supporters for Christ the King College (CKC) compound where we arrived at 1:55pm.
The Prize-Giving and Speech day ceremony started at approximately 2:35pm. At 5:45pm, I decided to retire and headed for my vehicle. On leaving the stage where I was seated with other guests, the Vice President’s convey arrived and I walked passed it and entered my vehicle. As my vehicle drove off, the crowed followed, again in a jubilant mood. Driving for about two to three hundred yards from the compound, I noticed from the left side mirror of my vehicle that the Vice President’s dispatch riders were heading in the same direction and I instructed my driver to pull to the right hand side of the road to make way for them to pass, which they did. We waited for a few minutes, thinking that the Vice President would follow.
On turning back, I observed that the Vice President was driving some distance behind my vehicle. We then continued our journey and finally arrived at the Guest House.
To my greatest surprise, listening to the radio (Kiss 104FM, BO) it was alleged by the Vice President that he was molested by supporters of mine, in consequence whereof, he summoned all Ministers, Members of Parliament, Paramount Chiefs and S.L.P.P Party faithfuls to an emergency meeting at the residence of the Resident Minister, Southern Province, Dr. S.U.M. Jah. That very night, three members of the P.M.D.C Movement were arrested by the Police, presumably on the orders of the Vice President, followed by my arrest on Saturday morning. I was charged along with the others to appear court on Tuesday on the allegations of: –
  1. Processing through the streets of Bo without lawful authority
  1. Disorderly behaviour likely to provoke a breach of the peace.
I might here say that this whole incident was planned in Freetown with the involvement of President Kabbah geared towards frustrating the registration of P.M.D.C as a Political Party.
Tension had rising in Bo following my arrest heightened by the firing of tear-gas and live ammunition by the Police who disregarded command from the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Southern Province, to cease firing. The firing occurred in the presence of the Residence Minister, Dr. S.U.M. Jah.
Thanks to IMATT and Rev. Bob Kandeh who intervened and together, we were able to pacify the crowed and avert what would otherwise have been a disaster. This kind of reckless behaviour by the authorities will definitely not augur well for the maintenance of stability in our beloved country.
I believe we must all strive regardless of our personal interest, to consolidate the peace, especially as UNAMSIL is about to take their exit.
                                                                        CHARLES F. MARGAI ESQ
                                                                        22ND NOVEMBER, 2005
   C.C.
      1. AMERICAN EMBASSY
  1. BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONER
  1. S.R.S.G. AMBASSADOR VICTOR ANGELO
  1. HON. ERNEST BAI KOROMA
  2. HON. MOHAMED FOFANAH SLPP
  3. HON. MOHAMED IDRISS-PLP
  4. HON. SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT
  5. DEPUTY SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT
  6. CHAIRMAN NEC
  7. S.L BAR ASSOCIATION
  8. S.L. LABOUR CONGRESS
  9. COALITION OF CIVIL SOCIETY
  10. MR SOLOMON BEREWA VICE PRESIDENT
  11. I.G.P.
  12. C.D.S.

 

SLPP CRISIS SPARKS CONCERN FROM SIERRA LEONEANS AT HOME AND ABROAD

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

After chaos that almost shook  Bo last weekend

SLPP CRISIS SPARKS CONCERN FROM SIERRA LEONEANS AT HOME AND ABROAD

Tuesday November 22, 2005

By Wilfred Kabs-Kanu

Everywhere one went yesterday, whether it was in Sierra Leone or the other half of the nation in the diaspora, the heated topic of discussion was Saturday’s disturbances in Bo. The clash between supporters of two heavyweight SLPP politicians –Vice-President Solomon Berewa and former Interior Minister, Charles Margai ( who has now left the party to form his own ) has claimed the attention  and concern of Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad.

The Bo turmoil cast an ugly pall over the possibility that Sierra Leonean politicians and their supporters have learnt anything from the bloody war that killed 200,000 innocent people and left a colony of disabled and amputated citzens. The ferocity, the venom, the bravado of Saturday’s bitternes and its untasteful aftermaths of finger-pointings and recriminations are frightful commentaries of oncoming events that have frankly started casting their shadows in Sierra Leone.

The biggest concern of Sierra Leoneans is that if the present acrimony within the SLPP  is not contained, it could lead to a resumption  of hostilities in Sierra Leone. There is no way that Sierra Leone would avoid another war if the likes of Solomon Berewa, Charles Margai and Hinga Norman do not sit down and in the interest of the nation decide to smoke the peace pipe.

Sierra Leoneans have already taken sides and it is a matter of concerb that the  three men can boast of tremendous support . Those who have been underrating Charles Margai saw the gigantic support base he has acrued in so short a time .Margai’s supporters virtually shook Bo last Saturday and they prevented a whole Vice-President from entering a school.  And this is not the only thing  creating concern among Sierra Leoneans. The optimism that Vice-President Solomon Berewa expressed that he would sail through to victory in 2007 seems  to have been wishful thinking after all. Berewa and President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah can  prepare for victory in 2007 but in their own interest they cannot foreclose the possibility of defeat as well. One can now speculate that Vice-President Berewa could lose the 2007 Elections.

For some Sierra Leoneans, the blame for Saturday’s angry demonstrations against Vice-President Berewa in Bo lay squarely on the shoulders of President Kabbah and the present SLPP vanguard . They feel that Kabbah insulted the intelligence of the nation by “imposing Berewa” on the country as his heir-apparent. Recriminations from the SLPP Delegates Convention three months ago have not cooled down. Anti-Kabbah/Berewa Sierra Leoneans feel that the votes at the convention were fraudulently manipulated in Berewa’s favour.  And this was one of the factors that fuelled the anger in Bo last Saturday. A lot of Sierra Leoneans feel that the Kabbah-Berewa union will not augur well for Sierra Leone.

According to our Provincial reporter, Soriebah Kalokoh, the hostile reaction in Bo was both a demonstration of support for Margai’s position and a protest action against the Makeni Convention where Berewa was elected Presidential candidate for the SLPP. And the  concern here  is the SLPP government’s unwillingness to accept that the events of Makeni  put a dent on the party’s unity and could be a catalyst for the 1967-like downfall of the SLPP in 2007 . Only when the present government agrees with dissidents that something was not right in Makeni that efforts can resume immediately to pacify angry parties and to reconcile with them. This gesture is not forthcoming and it is worrisome to Sierra Leone. Ofcourse, it must be noted that Kabbah and Berewa do have their own support and a huge one at that.

Margai too is receiving a fair share of the blame for the unpleasant events of Bo last Saturday. According to some Sierra Leoneans, he is too determined to be President for the nation’s good. Some Sierra Leoneans have a problem with the unwillingness of Mr. Margai to back down, stay in  the SLPP and wait for his time to lead. They feel that his program of splitting from the SLPP and forming his own party is divisive. And many SLPP lovers are not hiding their resentment for him . They cast worrying glances back to 1967  and see Margai as the one factor that could provoke a repeat-performance. But again, other SLPP supporters disgruntled with the mess the SLPP has created in power see Margai as the redeemer of the party.

As could be seen therefore, the nation is being torn into different factions supporting different personalities, each bent to leave no stone unturned to outdo the other in 2007. When you place this scenerio in a country where peace remains fragile and elusive, you see why Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad have been worried since Saturday’s violent events in Bo.

 

 

NADP writes President Tejan Kabbah

Monday, November 21st, 2005

 

MOHAMEDYAHYASILLAH

A T I O N A L   A L L I A N C E   D E M O C R A T I C   P A R T Y   (NADP)

Republic of Sierra Leone

“With God, All Things Are Possible”

 

Mohamed Yahya Sillah

Leader and National Chairman

 

 

November 21, 2005

 

His Excellency Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah

President of the Republic of Sierra Leone

State House

Freetown, Sierra Leone

 

Dear Mr. President:

 

It is an honour for me again to write you this letter with reference to what I consider a serious national issue.

 

Mr. President, a few weeks ago, I was constrained to prevail upon you to invoke the leadership qualities of tolerance, forgiveness and forbearance in the case between you and Mr. Paul Kamara, editor of For Di People newspaper. In that letter, I advised that it might not go down well in history for you, as a sitting president, to have taken your own citizen to court.

 

Once again, Mr. President, I am impelled to draw your attention to yet another  situation which I believe that only you, as our national leader, have the privilege of diffusing before it becomes a national crisis.

 

Mr. President, the situation I am referring to here is the one involving the official registration of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), a political party created by Mr. Charles Francis Margai and those that support his vision for Sierra Leone.

 

As Leader and National Chairman of a duly registered political party in Sierra Leone, I am deeply disturbed that a Sierra Leonean citizen, in the like of Mr. Charles Margai, is being denied his constitutional right to register a political party at his own timing even though the constitution gives him the right to do so.

 

Mr. President, as much as I would like to challenge the political party that you are leading at this time in the 2007 elections, I strongly advocate that your legacy of exemplary leadership must be preserved.  You have struggled hard to sustain the peace we won after so many years of war that left us devastated and deprived of our national dignity.

 

Mr. President, from the bottom of my heart, I want you to be a celebrated leader, because it is more important for a national leader to be celebrated than to be simply tolerated.

 

As leaders, we must always allow reason to prevail over our emotions. The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) that you lead must be an institution that you must guide to the path of true democratic responsibilities. That responsibility must encapsulate reciprocal tolerance among SLPP and other registered or to-be registered political parties in Sierra Leone.

 

Although Parliament is the guardian of our Constitution, you, as our leader, are the bearer of our National Emblem that espouses Unity, Freedom, and Justice.

 

It is on this premise, Mr. President, that on behalf of the National Alliance Democratic Party (NADP) and in my own name, I request that you use your good offices to ensure that the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) be registered as a Political Party in Sierra Leone, as long as they meet the requirements of the National Electoral Commission or the Political Parties Registration Commission. That means, paving the way for the Political Parties Registration Commission to be instituted immediately to register the PMDC and any other aspiring political party or parties.

 

Mr. President, please remember these words by Calvin Coolidge: “Our government is a government by political parties under the guiding influence of public opinion. There does not seem to be any other method by which a republic can function.”

 

 

I can understand the challenges you face right now, Mr. President. Believe me, Sir, this is the time you have to be a statesman rather than just a politician. As J. F. Clarke said, “A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman looks for the success of his country. A statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift.”

 

It is my earnest wish, Mr. President, that a spirit of goodwill will command the dictates of your leadership and help you act in accordance with the will of the people.

 

May God continue to bless you with wisdom and bless the works of your hands.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Mohamed Yahya Sillah

Leader and National Chairman

National Alliance Democratic Party

(NADP)

           

 

cc:  Mr. Charles Francis Margai, Leader, PMDC

cc:  National Electoral Commission, Freetown, Sierra Leone

cc:  President, Sierra Leone Association of Journalists

cc:  The Leader and Chairman, All People’s Congress (APC)

 

 

 

Berewa puts Charles Margai in jail in Sierra Leone

Monday, November 21st, 2005

SOLOBEE2

SOLOMON BEREWA

Monday November 21, 2005

The first sign that there had been a bust-up in Bo between Vice-President Solomon Berewa and the People’s Movement For Democratic Change leader, Charles Margai early on Saturday morning ( Eastern Standard Time ) was a terse public release from the Margai Campaign Team in the United Kingdom/ Ireland .

The release, sent by Mrs. Agnes Kumba Macauley , said that Charles Margai had been placed under house arrest in Bo on the orders of Vice-President Solomon Berewa. As it turned out this intial report did not carry the whole story , as information was still coming in. However, the contents show how much tension and suspicions now exist between the Berewa and Margai camps.

READ THE RELEASE BELOW :

HOW THE MARGAI CAMPAIGN TEAM IN UK/IRELAND  INITIALLY SAW THE CONFLICT

We in the Diaspora, watching political developments in Sierra Leone and the Supporters of Charles Margai for Democratic Change for the nation  condemn in the strongest terms the unlawful behaviour of Solomon Berewa in ordering the arrest of Charles Margai in Bo town for allegedly been assaulted by who, he does not say.  The situation has now developed in to a Stand-still as the police have surrounded the hotel where Charles Margai and his team are who are in turn surrounded by the supporters of Charles.  This situation is volatile and could erupt into a nation-wide struggle. 

 Berewa has demonstrated the lowest act and cowardice by not showing the muscle to deal with opposition.  We have informed the supporters of the Peace Programmes in Sierra Leone and various government officials in the UK andUSA.  We have also informed other Opposition Leaders in Sierra Leone.

 Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country, most of whom we spoke with have condemned the act as barbaric and undemocratic.  If Berewa is so thin-skinned, and lawless, then let him take a bow-out now as breaking the rule of Democracy will be intolerable and inconceivable in today’s Sierra Leone and world politics.

 The Margai Campaign Group, UK & Ireland

 

IT WAS A DAY OF WOE FOR VICE-PRESIDENT BEREWA IN BO

Monday, November 21st, 2005

 

Monday November 21, 2005

For all intents and purposes, the Sierra Leonean Vice-President , Mr. Solomon Berewa , will not forget in a hurry the hostile reception he received in Bo last Friday. Our Provincial  correspondent , Soribah Kalokoh, who has been following up the story , said that throngs of people in Bo did go all out to prove to the Vice-President that he was not welcomed on Friday.

Berewa  left Bo on Saturday still stunned and traumatized by the reception he received. Though he entered Bo in high spirits on Friday, determined to sell his candidacy for the Sierra Leone Presidency , the Vice-President was in the  doldrums when he left Bo last Saturday .

KALOKOH REPORTS :

Many residents of Bo are still worried about what they saw and heard on Friday when the Vice-President drove through the streets in Bo. Certain people went out of their way to make catcalls at Mr. Berewa. It seemed that they had developed some deep-seated resentment against the Vice-President.

The climax of the hostile treatment was at the Christ The King’s College .Mr. Berewa , an alma mater of the school, was invited to serve as the Guest of Honor and to distribute the presents at the school’s Prize-Giving ceremony for which he was also invited.

However, hundreds of people barricaded  the school gate and prevented the Vice-President’s motorcade from entering the school. The crowd really misbehaved to the Vice-President . The Police escort travelling with Mr. Berewa wired the Bo Police headquarters for reinforcement , but the crowd was determined to defy even the troops that were sent to disperse them. The standoff escalated into a clash later between the Police and the crowd and many arrests were made. Only by teargas was the Police able to break up the crowd.

The infuriated Vice-President later retired to the Resident Minister’s Lodge at Congo Valley where he held an important meeting with dignitaries of Bo and members of the SLPP.

Charles Margai , whose supporters put up the angry demonstration, was then arrested and brought to the Police Station. The tension, which had cooled down, escalated once more when the crowd learnt about this latest development. They came to the Police station to demand the release of their party leader and more trouble started.

Central Bo Town looked like a war zone But the Police was able to contain the situation well. Statements were collected from Mr. Margai who was asked to leave later, but he must appear at the Bo Magistrate Court No. 1 on Tuesday to answer charges of Public Misconduct and Disorderly Behavior.

 

CHARLES MARGAI GROUP IN USA CONDEMNS BO INCIDENTS

Monday, November 21st, 2005

                                                                                 21st November, 2005

 

The Charles Margai Group USA                                            

We have been following with stupefaction the events that have unfolded in Bo over the week-end especially on Saturday 19th November, 2005.

We condemn, in the strongest terms, the thought of and the eventual arrest of Mr. Charles Margai, of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change, on the orders of Vice President Solomon Berewa. This action is barbaric and debases democracy especially at a time that the whole nation is preparing itself for democratic elections expected to be free from intimidation and fair according to international acceptance. Such acts of intimidation are only reminiscent of days gone by, that the people would never want to be reminded of. 

President Kabbah and his Vice President Berewa should be cognizant of the fact that before any elections a nation always shows the way it will vote. In Sierra Leone, the people have been consistently telling the President that they do not want Vice President Berewa to be their leader and to force his VP on the people would lead to unwarranted disaster, something the nation has just come out of.

The hate that has been demonstrated towards Mr. Charles Margai has always blinded President Kabbah and VP Berewa to the degree that they have refused to respect the will of the people as others respected the will of the people to elect President Kabbah. The people in Bo and indeed the whole of the country are now sending the message to the President Kabbah and his VP that they, the people, cannot be coerced into voting for Berewa and that any attempt at that would lead to serious consequences.

Berewa is just VP and he is demonstrating such megalomaniac tendencies, when he eventually becomes President if ever that curse should come on Sierra Leone, then Sierra Leoneans would be in serious problems.

No amount of intimidation will bend or twist the will of the people. So we are asking President Kabbah and his VP Berewa to obey the tenets of democracy and allow the people to express themselves freely. VP Berewa cannot force the people to like or vote for him. So VP Berewa let democracy prevail and it will prevail.