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COCORIOKO » 2006 » February

Archive for February, 2006

WHAT A DISGRACE

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

 

              S. I. Kamara   

 Tuesday  February 28, 2006                      

 I have always been saying that Kabba and Berewa are so desperate that they blunder at every move against Charles Margai.

 It is a well known fact that the judiciary in Sierra Leone is in the pockets of these two giants of Sierra Leonean politics today. How can a magistrate be so eager to lock up Charles Margai to satisfy Kabba and Berewa that he forgets the basic tenets of the law?

Doesn’t magistrate Shyllon know that before you issue a bench warrant for any body that person must first be instructed by the court to show up at a date and time stipulated? This is a big disgrace to those who taught him at Law School.

 Justice should be independent of Executive power or influence because injustice can lead a nation to chaos. Justice Bankole Raschid was used to declare that Charles Margai was not a member of the S.P.P.P. The Supreme Court, which is the last resort for justice in Sierra Leone, was also used to block Hinga Norman’s attempt to stop the S.L.P.P. convention in Makeni, the court was again used by these very people to ?to tornorbor’ the case in favour of Fatmata Hassan.

 I just wonder if these people in the judiciary have not yet realized that they are demeaning and bringing into serious disrepute this noble profession of law. Didn’t Shyllon have enough time to check his files before unleashing the rumour that Charles Margai was to be arrested? This is a disgrace not only to himself but also to the judiciary with a luminary like Adel Renner Thomas

 

Kabbah and Berewa are so scared of Charles Margai becoming president that they do not sleep well at night. The thought of or visualizing or imagining, or even seeing Charles Margai as president make them jump in bed at night saying ?Lord have mercy, e nor go be, e nor for be, we die don’. But who told to badly govern us, who told them to encourage and condone corruption to such a degree that it is now a social cancer, who told them to lie to the people, who told them to neglect the youth – our children, who told them to leave the cities filthy? Was that all APC?

 

This is a sign to all Sierra Leoneans that just as it was during the APC of yester years so it is and will be with the S.L.P.P. especially if God should punish Sierra Leone by giving us Berewa as president. He is as intolerant as his mentor and boss Kabba. He is highhanded and merciless with those within the S.L.P.P. who attempt to look the opposite direction – Kelfala of Road Transport Authority will tell you.

 

Sierra Leoneans should be aware that what is happening or has happened in Uganda is what Kabba and Berewa want to replicate in Sierra Leone but goat head and sheep head look very much alike but they are still different. But these people do not care a dam what ever happens to Sierra Leone. For them especially Berewa, everybody can go to hell and burn but he must become president. These people do not even think about the immediate past of Sierra Leone. They do not fear God and as such they have no respect or no regard for the people of Sierra Leone. Berewa has totally forgotten how he was dressed as a reverend father to escape the AFRC boys. Now he is ready to unleash that same terror the AFRC unleashed on us.

 

Sierra Leoneans should never allow a person like Berewa to be president in Sierra Leone. Let Sierra Leoneans don’t think that Berewa is ?khanya’ only to realize when they come closer that the scent/odour is not the same. The only way to stop Berewa and Kabba is to massively come out and massively vote them out of power. Every Sierra Leonean knows that what Kabba and Berewa did in Makeni they would want to repeat on the national scale, but this time it should not work because the nation of Sierra Leone is not S.L.P.P.

 

What a disappointment and a disgrace that individuals and a party in whom Sierra Leoneans entrusted their future, should treat them recklessly and shamelessly and then have that effrontery to stand before us to vote them back in power. Are Sierra Leoneans crazy people? Let every Sierra Leonean stand up and show these people we are not crazy.

Lonta        

Berewa could be an even better leader than Kabbah : A rejoinder

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

BY ABDUL HASHIM DABOH : 

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 28,2006

Dear Editor,

I refused (that is after browsing through your pages) to have my usual breakfast of oatmeal until I speak to comrade Foday Musa Daboh. In the simplest term, Foday seemed to be overwhelmed by the dying euphoria and waning rhetoric’s of Berewah. Unless otherwise, but I am tempted to suggest that foday must be somewhere beyond the realms of planet Pluto to even dream a Berewah presidency.

BEREWA1

Again, is my learned comrade deluded or seemingly in a state of amnesia in his mechalonic detour to opine that, that almighty evader of truth and transparency can be a better leader than his pathetic boss- Tejan. If Sierra Leoneans can elect Solo.B come May 2007, we would have no one to blame, and even the international community that has already written us off the chart of good governance will understand why our leaders are corrupt and why we as a nation deserve them to continue to ruin our lives and the future of generations yet unborn.

 

 By convection, deputies who opt to get the top job normally run on records, especially the record of the incumbent. In our case, it will be ngor Tejan’s record though he really has none besides his none existing “going to bed hungry 2007′ food cha-cha.

However, if Foday Musa can let Solo address the following with honesty and patriotic fervor,  be assured of my vote for solo journey back to his lawyering come 2007 tug-of war elections:

( Did Abass Bundu lie in his recent press statement on the ?facts’ about his 1996 indictment and conclusion of those indictments?

( Did John Leigh actually lie about his transactions with the Pa. and solo regarding financial dealings of the party?

(  When and how did solo relocate his family to Atlanta Georgia?

( Why was the CDF included in the special court remit and how was ECOMOG excluded?

( How and when did solo’s cabinet colleague minister especially Momodu and Kanja finance their house(s) in Freetown and elsewhere?

( What role did solo play in the contract transactions with the former triple R ministry?

( Why is J.B D back so soon?

( What is the difference between ?Friends of Berewah’ and the SLPP?

( How much party offices have been built to facilitate the progressive operations of the SLPP and is there any existing record of proper accounting if the party operation? Charity begins at home.

( What has gone wrong with the Yansaneh’s case?

( Has Berewah ever and is he willing to disclose his assets?

( How transparent is the SLPP governance?

( What happened to the Marine Resources indictments?

( What has Berewah done to personally fight financial corruption in kabbah led SLPP government?

( What has been solo is most public oriented legislation?

( What has been solo’s role in improving judicial transparency inSierra Leone.

( How does Solo fund his presidential campaign tours?

( What is solo is legacy as our VP that would convince us to prefer him to others?

( Lastly, what is the difference between Tejan Kabbah and Berewah?

( What does the VP know about the functions of the CDF leadership?

( Hoe long would it take solo and the Pa. to finally acknowledge the former INEC building as a legitimate party asset.

( Has solo’s boss returned all property belonging to late Sir Albert and others confiscated for similar reasons as ngor Tejan’s whose was graciously returned by late saidu Momoh?

 

Mr., Daboh, were you to cause answers to these concerns, you and Berewah will surely spend my vote in 2007. However, I am convinced that you know better than what you wrote about what Berewah is, and would become were we to entrust him with our presidency- a corrupt bravado. So join the bandwagon for a positive change. Do not allow your resourceful vision to be clouded by the noise of the ?batou colleagues’ just to maintain the status quo. You and I know that Momodu, Kanja, Wurie and host of others who were so ?rich’ before joining Tejan to misrule us opted to have mansions only during the post war reconstruction funds poured in. Therefore, what is the rap! Do you know that the SLPP is more corrupt than the shaki APC?

The stinky nonsense about sticking with the palm tree should not be on our table this 21st century. Rather, we all should be considering who has the strength, willingness and above all patriotic stamina to lead us. And indeed, that leader can be a limba, temmene, mende, Susu, etc, etc. I am form the South, (the so-called SLPP assured constituency), but if Ernest Kromah can be a better leader, I believe he or anyone else imbued with nationalistic sentiments ,respect for the law should be fully supported by all and sundry. The nonsense about regional politics pays nothing, but freaky corruption over our meager resources.

It is no secret that in this 21st century, the only reasons dye-hard Berewah supporters can advance for the SLPP leadership continuity in power is regional sentiments, and not what the party has done or could do for the betterment of all Sierra Leoneans. Therefore, bra, nar for go back wase you face fine wae go make you eye go cee betteh person way lek the country and respect we the people not that power hungry corrupt monster- solo.

Never again, endeavor to reduce your towering brilliance for such a wallowing defense or propaganda for Berewah. Your towering brilliance should have been rather utilized in finding ways and means to oust Solo and partners in crime from power than what you towing the line.

Therefore, bro. ?Musa’, you really need to apologize to all who know and respect you for that Berewah parade-review platoon leadership contest. We know after Momodu, no other bag -carrier shall be endowed.

 Solo is already over saturated with corruption, so he can only further excruciate the over flowing pains from our raw wounds sustained because of his augmented poor and corrupt stewardship to Tejan. I think there is a better and more progressive choice out there. Think about it.

 

Kehtamia

 

Bro. Hashim

 

When An Attorney General Begins to Climb Downwards

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

fredrick-max-carew (1)
ATTORNEY GENERAL FREDERICK CAREW
By Chernor Ojuku Sesay

Monday February 6, 2006

 

When I was in the sixth form at the St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni, there was this book I read entitled: Fear Is The Key.  In a  nutshell, the plot of the story involved a guy who thought he was so clever and could get away with loads  of criminal activities like kidnapping, stowing away, robbery and the like.  Unknown to this criminal, there was someone superior who monitored the criminal’s every move twenty-four-seven.

This superior or more intelligent being would ensure that loopholes are created for the criminal to only go so far as the commissioning of a crime.  So, the climax of the story was when the criminal thought he had everything working in his favour; hijacked a submarine loaded with nuclear secrets and was speeding away underwater when to his utter dismay, the sub’s motors stutter and die altogether and the sub sinks slowly to rest on the ocean floor

 

CLEVER

So here was this criminal,  thinking he was or had been so clever and had everything worked out to his finger tips. Thinking that no one could stop him- not now!

So the book got its title Fear Is The Key as a result of the superior character being in total control of the submarine. And so voices from the speakers promise the hijacker a sorrowful end in the submarine. Death by suffocation, as there was limited supply of oxygen in the craft to last less than twenty-four hours.  And even in the event the oxygen stock lasts a bit longer, death would inevitably greet the criminal hundreds of feet below the sea! The criminal in the story, slowly but irrevocably goes insane.  He starts to break things and hurl obscenities at the speakers, throw things at no one and behave as one totally deranged.  It only took fear to turn him into a lunatic.

 

The submarine was eventually hoisted and its hatch opened for a man to emerge grinning the grin of a lunatic. The moral behind the above story is simple and straight forward.  It goes to show that no one person can monopolize knowledge; whether good or bad.

 

It so often happens today that people who feel they are so clever, turn out to be really very stupid.  And people who may seem to be rather stupid, surprisingly turn out to be very smart.  That’s why the Creole have an adage which goes: ?Form fool for gain wisdom’.   Now lest we stay  from what I really want to say, allow me tell you another short but interesting fiction.

 

There was this King who thought he was so wise.  And he loved nothing better in his life than clothes-new clothes.  Not a day would pass in his life when this King would not be clad in a new set of clothes.  So, in actual fact, by the end of one year, he would have 365or 366 sets of clothes hanging in his wardrobe.  But of course, they would just hang there until someone steals them, or he feels a pang of passion and performs some humanitarian gesture and gives them to less fortunate people.

 

So as I was saying, this King thought himself the best.  And he fell prey to a couple of smart-alecs.   This couple had heard of the king’s lust for newer and newer clothes and so plotted against him.  They approached him and informed him that they had the rare skill of making the finest clothes ever to be worn by wise and rich Kings.  They added that in fact, the clothes they would make for the King could only be seen by wise people! How delighted the king was and was even more than willing to part with a hefty sum to the smart guys as advance fee to purchase the yarn to weave the cloth to sew the clothes.

 

IRONY

 

It so happened that after a spell, they collected more money from the King and declared their job done and invited the King to do a try-out of his new clothes. “But where are the clothes, I cannot see it?,” the King queried.  “But can’t you see that only wise people have the eyes to see it?”, replied the two guys.  So with that, they made all the necessary fuss about removing the King’s clothes and putting on him clothes they claimed could only be seen by wise people.  The King himself, blind with stupidity, considered himself wise, although he himself could not see the clothes which these two men proclaimed could only be seen by wise people.  What an irony.  Finally, it turned out that the two men fooled the King, who only realized his stupidity when he walked the streets quite naked, only to be jeered and taunted by his subjects.

 

“Oh! Our King has gone mad.” ” Look! Our King is naked.” “King! Are you gone crazy, walking in your briefs?,” were the questions people asked.  If took the King a few moments to snap back into reality and notice that he was actually walking half-naked among his subjects, he was not only full of rage but shame as well.  So you see, it took only a couple of smart-alecs a few hours to make a whole King disgrace himself publicly.  The moral of this story is:  “Cakroach way wan alaki; nar pamine bottle ee day fen.”

 

JUDGEMENT

 

Recently, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Frederick Carew, made history when he told the world through journalists that, the death of the acting Editor of For Di People newspaper, Harry H. Yansaneh was a natural one and not induced or caused by persons including an SLPP Hon.? Fatmata  Hassan, and her agents who faced an Inquiry for their role in the beating of Harry Yansaneh prior to his death.  Mr. Carew has spoken.  His judgement or however he describes it was based on “the absence of records of the proceeding.” And that because of this “his office is unable to charge the matter to court;” rather  “he would rely on the findings of the two medical doctors to set aside the inquest verdict.” No words have been more false in my ears since the 21st century began! Mr. Carew also blamed the Coroner of the Inquest, Magistrate A. Fischer as being partly responsible for the inconclusive end to the inquest.  But that is another story.

 

You see, when people in authority open their mouth to speak, they should have first thought of the impact their utterances would have. They should also have in their minds that it is not what a man eats that defiles him rather the words which come out of a man’s mouth  is what defiles a man.  The AG has shown himself to be someone who responds to situations as and when it affects him or persons close to him.  And after his rantings, I wondered what would have been his utterances had the victim been his son with the same Hon. Fatmata Hassan and cohorts as the culprits.  But all said and done, the battle for press freedom, equality before the law and justice for all has just began

 

The Attorney-General and his likes are like the proverbial baboon: The higher it climbs, the more it exposes its backside. There is something deadly wrong or sinister about our people (especially men) in authority. When they want to assume a certain position they grovel, gripe, beg and do almost everything humanly possible to catch the good eyes of everyone.  Then when they do attain the seat, they then scorn those who were actually responsible for elevating  them in the first place. They scorn, laugh and even plan the death of those who elevated them.

 

RECORD

Looking at the record of Mr. Carew, he is said as not being  as bright as some of his colleagues nor as successful; and so he it is said that he makes do with tactics to make it seem as if he’s clever.  Tactics like the one he pulled when he made those premature statements over Yansaneh’s case.

But there is something called conscience which every sane human being has.  And one’s conscience is what tortures one when wrong actions or decisions are taken to satisfy one party.  If goes without saying that truth suppressed shall rise again. Truth is the only element which allows one to climb the ladder of integrity, success , fame and what-have-you. But falsehood, hooded truths, wrong judgments, selfish desires etc are what constitute the downward trend of a man or woman.

 

As for our Attorney General, he started to climb downward ever since he made that first blunder in a civil matter concerning ownership of a house at Savage Street in Freetown.  At the time it was said that because the woman involved was the AG’s girlfriend, he twisted the case in her favour.  The truth of  this matter is yet to come out. Our Attorney-General should commit to heart and indeed recite this Creole proverb everyday before he starts work: “Take tem kill anch, you go see im gut.”

 

 

HINGA NORMAN CASE ADJOURNED

Friday, February 24th, 2006
 
BY ALFRED SAMFORAY
FEBRUARY 24, 2006
The first session of the defence phase in the matter of Prosecutor versus Sam Hinga Norman, Moinina Fofana and Alieu Kondewa ended today without the appearance of its most prominent witness, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. With eight of the original seventy five witnesses appearing so far, the case was adjourned to Tuesday, May 2, 2006.
The judges left unresolved the most thorny issue of the trial, the subpoena ad testificadum submitted by Counsel for Chief Hinga Norman requiring President Kabbah to appear as defence witness.  Kabbah was originally scheduled as Dfence Witness No. 1, however, at the last moment and with questions about Kabbah?s appearance becoming a hot potato issue for the court, Chief Norman surprised both the court and his own lawyers by appearing as his own witness. Following Norman came former Vice President, Dr. Albert Joe Demby, former UK High Commissioner, Peter Penfold and Britsih Army General, David Richards along with four high ranking members of the Kamajor movement.
Closing the session for the defence was former CDF Battalion Commander for Kenema District, Ishmail Senesie Koker. Mr. Koker who rose through the ranks of the movement to become a district commander testified to the secret initiation process of the Kamajors, the supply of food and logistics to the CDF as well as the relationship between the CDF and the West African intervention force, ECOMOG.  The CDF, ECOMOG and loyal forces of the SLA fought along side by side to reverse the coup and re-install the democratically elected government of President Tejan Kabbah.  Only the Kamajor wing of the CDF was indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the UN-backed tribunal established at the request of President Kabbah. Before adjourning, the Chamber informed the defence that it will rule on the Kabbah subpoena subsequently.
For their parts, General Richards and Chief Peter Penfold both testified in no uncertain terms that Chief Hinga Norman was not a war criminal as alleged by the indictments under Article II Common to the Geneva Conventions.  “He (Norman) is a war hero, not a war criminal,”  Penfold told the court.  Following this session, the defence may at its election call the remaining sixty-seven or so witnesses, modify its witness list or simply rest its case without calling any other witnesses including Kabbah or this writer both of who are said to be material witnesses to the supply of logistics to the CDF.  If the defence elects to rest its case, it will then be left to the three judge panel –  Canadian jurist, Piere Boutet, Sierra Leonean jurist, Bankole Thompson and the controversial former Cameroonean Minister of Justice, Benjamin Mutanga Itoe, who sided with Norman on the issue of the consolidated indictment – to decide the fates of Mr. Norman and his two co-defendants, Monina Fofana and Alieu Knodewa.
Following the testimonies presented so far by the defence, it is now quite clear to the public at large that Chief Hinga Norman was not only a competent defender of the State and the constitution of the Republic but a loyal public servant.  According to Gen. Richards, Norman did every thing in his power to keep the conflict from disintegrating into a mayhem; from preventing unlawful killings by his men to instructing them on the ethics of war.  Norman, according to the General, apparently kept Kabbah informed at every stage of the war effort and sought the President’s permission at various stages of the CDF operations against the rebels.  “The CDF,” says Richards “were more than just a militia.”  Perhaps most importantly, according to Gen. Richards, Norman had no intent to suurp power or to remove Kabbah from office by force of arms: “If he (Norman) wanted to take power, he had all the means to do so,” Richards opined.
Norman versus SLPP
Meanwhile, at the other end of town, the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone in the matter of Samuel Higa Norman versus the SLPP, Jah, Saffa and Carew has re-scheduled the hearing to Thursday, 9 March, two weeks from today.  The court has been asked by Mr. Norman through Counsel to nullify the election or selection of Vice President, Solomon Berewa, as Leader of the ruling SLPP. Berewa became Party Leader last August following the party?s Delegate?s Conference over the objections of Mr. Norman who was able to temporarily stop the convention while the court deliberated on Norman?s original motion to prevent the convention on constitutional grounds.
The court recently postponed hearing to May 19 on the motion as a result of the illness of one the justices.  It is not clear why the court decided to move the hearing two weeks ahead of schedule.
Alfred Munda SamForay
Hinga Norman-CDF Defence Fund.
 

Councillor exposes ex-Chairman… ‘Fergusson Is A Big Thief’

Friday, February 24th, 2006
By Chernor Ojuku Sesay

Friday February 24, 2006
A former Councillor in the then Freetown City Council Committee of Management under the Chairmanship of Henry Fergusson, Councillor Hector A. Turay has described Fergusson as “a very big thief, a liar and a dishonest man”. Concillor Turay said Fergusson was running the then Council as his personal property without consulting  Concillors on most pertinent matters.
“He never discussed with any Councillor neither did he received any Council’s approval for tampering with Crown Agents Fund in the UK to buy that rotten Street Sweeper and that half-back he calls a Meat Van. That is not a Meat Van, it is a half-back. A Meat Van is a vehicle that is well refrigerated and not that one whose truck was built right here in Freetown”, Councillor Turay said angrily.
Councillor Turay said he was one of the Councillors who called for the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the stewardship of Henry Fregusson.
“The Commission of Inquiry was set up but its recommendations were kept secret by the Local Government Minister, Sidikie Brima without disclosing its contents to neither the Council nor the general public simply because the report was damaging on the part of Fergusson. It was because of this he sneaked out of the country to London. I challanged him to sit face-to-face with us and face the press”, Turay challanged.
Councillor Turay accused Fergusson of misusing Council funds by making numerous trips abroad without the knowledge and approval of Council.
He said Fergusson illegally employed three non-Council workers as domestic servants in his house without the knowledge of the Council but were all paid through the Council funds.
“His daughter always used his official vehicle whenever Fergusson is out of the country and fuel and driver provided by the Council amounting to millions of leones”, Turay claimed.
He questioned that if the late Madam Gloria Smart was forwarded to the Anti-Corruption Commission and was hauled for a mere $500, why is Fergusson who embezzled over Le700,000,000(Seven hundred millio) is allowed to walk freely in this country?.

Bobson Sesay Goes Into Hiding

Friday, February 24th, 2006
Bobson Sesay Goes Into Hiding
By Chernor Ojuku Sesay
Friday  February 24, 2006
Tueaday this week was ?a black Friday  at the Lands Ministry, Youyi Building in Freetown. Thousands of people who had applied for allocation of state lands for development purposes converged at the Lands Minister Dr. Bobson Sesay’s office at the Lands Ministry, to vent their anger and disgust over what they described  as Dr. Sesay’s “embezzlement” of their monies and state funds, “for campaign purposes“.
DR_ALFRED_BOBSON_SESAY
Speaking to this Correspondent on Tuesday, a number of the aggieved and anxious land seekers said inter-alia that, for several years now, their respective land allocation documents have not been processed, because according to them, there are people who come from the USA and other Western countries who pay him (Dr. Sesay) hefty sums in US dollars or Pounds Sterling for the purpose of attaining land without going through the proper channel. The aggrieved people maintained among other things that they have been present on dozens of occasions spanning over two years to date, in which they had gone to see Dr. Bobson Sesay concerning their land allocation applications but that, he had side-stepped their calls by inviting into his office people who they could clearly discern had come from abroad and where seeking land.
The aggrieved people went further to accuse Dr. Bobson Sesay of encouraging tribalism; incompetence and a man who pretends to not be involved in corrupt practices, yet does not have any qualms about “chopping” people’s money in exchange for state lands. They cited a number of cases including the one at Hill Top View (a wide expanse of land) at Hill Station in Freetown, which they were made to understand had been surveyed and apportioned for use by extra-needy Sierra Leonean applicants for state lands.
However, according to one woman who begged anonymity for fear of not ever getting the land she applied for, “what Dr. Sesay is doing is to take or remove by force those people who had occupied this land for years; and then goes ahead without any qualms to sell plots of this land to the highest bidder“.
The woman went on to say that another area where Dr Sesay has infiltrated for the sake of selling to  highest bidders is the Peninsula Area in Freetown. She maintained that as far as she knows, most of the spare lands from Waterloo to Goderich and beyond that are in the Peninsula Area, have been sold off to people who have “ready cash“, while those who do not, but are doing their best to obey the rules in attaining state lands are snubbed. She went to on say that at anytime she and the other applicants attempt to know the progress of their respective applications for lease of state lands for development purposes, their attempts are rebuffed by the Lands Minister, Dr. Bobson Sesay, who to avoid meeting and talking with them, directs them to see the acting Director of Surveys and Lands, one Mr. Jones who in like manner, redirects them to see either the Lands Minister or to see some other lesser Lands Ministry officials.  “This is not only embarrassing but also a show of disregard for honest citizens” she said. She added that the said Mr. Jones is notorious for demanding “special fees” just to sign land ownership documents
In a similiar vein, a group of  amputees who claimed that they had applied and had been approved to take possession of a piece of land situated at Lumpa, some miles away from Waterloo in the east of Freetown, complained that recently, they saw some people entering the said land, brandishing documents purporting that the said land had been sold to them by Dr. Sesay for $8,000 (eight thousand United States dollars). They maintained among other things that when they confronted the group of strangers on the day in question, they were told that they (amputees) should contact the Lands Minister Dr. Bobson Sesay. They added that when they eventually spoke with Dr. Sesay a few days later, he promised to come to Lumpa to settle the dispute. “And true to his word, Dr. Sesay came the very next day” one of the amputees said.
However, according to the amputees, Dr. Sesay after hearing the two sides, said that he had never at anytime, given the land in question to the amputees. But an amputee who described himself as the leader of the group, showed this Correspondent a number of receipts totalling Le 5,000,000 (five million leones) as payment for the land in question.
As at press time yesterday, the gates leading to the Lands Ministry on the third floor of Youyi Building, Brookfields  were padlocked by angry mobs including the amputees. They were demanding that unless Dr. Sesay resign from his position or revokes the “bad decisions” he had taken, they would resort to doing everything in their power to not only unseat him, but also to ensure that he never takes any seat in any future government.

Nigerian, Salone man & Police in $ 889,000
419 scam

By Chernor Ojuku Sesay

Thursday February 16, 2006

The Sierra Leone Police and our courts seem to be unable to stop the spate of crimes perpetrated by 419ers believed to be Sierra Leoneans and Nigerian nationals.

The most recent one was when one Nigerian, Iasiah King Sambo and Bai Kargbo, a Sierra Leonean alias Capitalist, duped two British nationals to the tune of $317,000 for the purpose of selling them gold which later turned out to be copper dust.
 
It is almost three weeks now since the matter was reported to the Major Incidents Support Team (MIST) on the ground floor of the Police Headquarters, George Street in Freetown that is supervised by the Director of C.I.D. Mr. M. Lappia.
Though senior Police officers are said to have denied ?palm-greasing‘ from these 419ers, inside sources maintained that the investigations are being carried out at a snail pace. There are records to show that this is not the first time Mr. King Sambo is being interrogated by the Police whilst he has a number of cases he is facing in the courts for similiar offences.
Sometime in December last year, King Sambo was alleged to have duped one Sierra Leonean, Madam Melvina and her fianc� Mr. Wyne, a Japanese-American.   The sum of $122,000 and the matter charged wrongly and neither was there a Prosecutor to prosecute the matter in the court. This matter was subsequently thrown out of court. Melvina and her partner as a result, were frustrated and flew back to the USA from where they came, but not without saying that they would spread the news in the USA about Sierra Leoneans colluding with crooked Nigerians to defraud genuine investors. “We shall tell Americans not to invest in Sierra Leone”, Madam Melvina said.  
 In yet another incident early this year, Mr. King Sambo was alleged to have fleeced a Spanish national $45,000. The Spanish having got the record of the operations of our courts and the Police system never forwarded the matter for prosecution.
A case of false declaration was also at Court No.6, presided over by Magistrate Davies-Cole when King Sambo made a false declaration purporting to be a Sierra Leonean and had obtained two Sierra Leone passports

Way Dem Say, Capu Sense Nor Capu Word (Let Us Now Be Sensible And Act on Wise Words):

Friday, February 24th, 2006

By  Charles Bamikole Carr, LLB (Hons) Law, LLM in Business Law, Lecturer in law, University of Westminster, England.

 

February 24, 2006

 

Well, before I go on to elaborate on my article, let me first offer my personal thanks to the Awareness Times (AT) for conducting such a brilliant interview with such an eminent diplomat, just as I also offer thanks to Your Excellency, Ambassador Thomas Neil Hull of The United States in demonstrating verbally his good wishes for our country during his response to the interviewer.

 

Both the questions asked and the Ambassador’s response at the interview have brought to light very important issues affecting post war Sierra Leone. These issues are tolerance, good governance, ethics, human rights, free speech and the tackling of corruption. I shall not only be examining, critically below, the issues, as mentioned, but also hoping that each one is given serious thought in the strategic plans for various developmental projects in Sierra Leone.

Tolerance

In terms of tolerance, our different political party Groups need to consider the degree of tolerance that needs to be demonstrated by their politicians in their ambitious activities to govern the country. In one of my earlier articles to AT, “Oh, What Are We Fighting For?”, I made a desperate plea to all the political activists in Sierra Leone to leave the youths to get on with their lives rather than recruiting them as militants to serve their political purposes, such as galvanising supports against their opponents, which in desperation always resulted to these youths orchestrating violence against other citizens, whom they think are not within their individual camp. This kind of behaviour, which I am sure may not have been the intention of the good politicians, is a blatant disregard of tolerance. Moreover, it is one of those kinds of conducts that intimidates all good and peace-loving citizens in the country. Thus, it builds chaos in our country, just as it did for the civil war that has rampaged the country.

In the Ambassador’s words, ?.we all have to be vigilant to make sure that there is no recurrence of violence in the country.”

For God’s sake, let our politicians fight their election battle with the utmost tolerance, fairness and respect for the rule of law. Let them stop influencing the youths with few Leones, or Dollars, or Sterling, or with any amount of currency to engage them in violence for the politicians’ purposes during election period, only to dump them afterwards.

If our politicians have good intentions for our country, ?let them deal with the issues rather than the personalities’, as acclaimed by Ambassador Hull. Then, and only then would Sierra Leoneans feel and know that there are now men and women with the right objectives to rule/govern our Land.

Let the politicians engage the youths in agriculture and development projects, as these will help to bring about that collectivist approach which is lost in our communities throughout the country. It will help to demonstrate their good intentions for our blessed Sierra Leone.

Good Governance

There cannot be good governance without constant communication to the citizens in particular and to the international community in general. Our government must learn to meet the people and share with them both the good and bad news about the country and even ask for their opinions and supports.

One of the failures with our African governments, including Sierra Leone, is that our leaders fail to communicate with the people. This is not good governance.

Our leaders must now realise that Sierra Leoeans have gone through lots of problems, which have imbibed in them great experiences and eagerness to know what is going on as at anytime within their Land. Such constant communication will not only bring awareness to the citizens of their rights, but, will also make the works of the police and military easier, especially as every citizen would become aware of their rights and individual role at such crucial times.

Our leaders must realise that the Sierra Leonean citizens are an important group of stakeholders to their governance, whom they are to be accountable in running the country, otherwise the investments of the country, e.g., developmental projects, peace, moral disciplines and many more, will be devalued. Thus, leading to a bankrupt (chaotic) state.

Good governance must look forward to feedbacks from the people, its citizens. It is from the people that our leaders can know whether the Sierra Leone police, army and all other essential services in the country are functioning within reasonable standards. Training alone on the essential services will not yield the high standards of performances we are expecting to keep the Sierra Leonean institutions going.

The Sierra Leone Executive and Judiciary are to take up the ambassador’s call for new laws to modernise and govern our country democratically.

The country is to take up more disputes resolutions approach within our different communities in the country, as the ambassador’s responses suggested. This should be the approach, especially at this time that Sierra Leone has insufficient trained legal personnel.

 

Our government must be inclusive of various anti-preventions committees, which should be examining policies and give feedbacks. All such approaches will create competent checks and balances resulting to good governance within the country.

 Ethics

Those Sierra Leoeans, including myself, who are professionals in our varied vocations may have long realised that we are obliged to conduct our professional duties within the ethics of our individual professional discipline. For example, A solicitor must act within the principles of The Guide To Solicitors’ Conducts. Thus, enabling a solicitor to carry out his/her duties fairly and without prejudice. Similarly all Sierra Leoneans are to conduct themselves in an ethical manner so as to prevent a recurrence of the violence that led to the civil war for a greater part of ten years past.

One of the issues in Modern Sierra Leone is that most organisations and/or professionals fail to conduct themselves ethically. This brings not only their profession, but also the country into disrepute.

One such thing I observed in the Ambassador’s responses to the TA throughout the interview is that he never failed to conduct his response within the ethics of diplomatic behaviour. The Ambassador’s tone of language were diplomatic and to the appropriate points. Perhaps, I may be sounding funny at this point, but, on reading the interview carefully, one would realise what I am desperately considering at this time, especially that some of the professional citizens in our country, Sierra Leone, have, in most times, failed to conduct themselves honourably.

Some of the things these so called professionals, in Sierra Leone, say and do, fall short of honorary conducts. Particularly some of the journalists in our country are culprits of the unethical behaviour which, in my opinion, is bringing our country, Sierra Leone, and not only their journalist profession, into disrepute. Professionals must not be using slang or abusive language. Instead they are to act with reasonable care and skill.

According to my observation, some of the journalist in Sierra Leone have an attitude that they can write about anything and anybody without ensuring that there facts are correct. Again, in my opinion, and in the opinion of any peace loving Sierra Leonean, such an attitude is wrong. Moreover, in the law, such writing is considered as gross misinformation to which such a writer must be prepared, not only to pay damages to the victims but to apologise unreservedly to the nation.

Let us remember that our country, Sierra Leone, has been one of those countries where good morals have been the norms of its society. Therefore, let all peace loving citizens in our country rise up to conduct themselves ethically, as that would re-affirm morals in our society. Thus, the school teachers will realise that they are models for our Tomorrow generations just as the journalists, like all other sierra Leoeans, would realise what brave and fair contributions they have to make in the development of the country.

Free Speech

We Sierra Leoeans must not forget that one of the fundamental rights of any citizens in any sovereign state is the right to free speech. Nonetheless, we must also not abuse such a right to free speech. We must learn to respect and show love to one another. Consequently, we will be sensible and be prepared to act wisely at all times (we go capu dee sense nor capu dee word).

Therefore, as Sierra Leone citizens, if we are to demonstrate tolerance, we would have to accept that our companions must exercise their right to free speech.

We Sierra Leoeans must be encouraged to use the media to criticise each other, especially those in authority whom we have observed are failing to deliver with efficacy and competence. It is only by criticisms that we human beings can become aware of our failings, probably our weaknesses. Thus, with criticisms, all the citizens in Sierra Leone will be prepared to build up their strengths, make use of the opportunities available to them and plan sensibly to control any threats that might face the nation’s developments.

No one Sierra Leonean citizen must feel or conduct in a manner that demonstrates that he/she is above the law. If, whosoever is, criticised vociferously in the Sierra Leone media, or even charged with litigious conduct, it is their responsibility to take a good look at the sought of criticism and consider what change now. Citizens in public offices are to conduct their responsibilities with the utmost tolerance and skills of good governance to ensure that we move forwards and not backwards.

We, Sierra Leoneans, should have learnt lots of lessons from our colonial masters, the British, in terms of free speech. We must also consider that if it was not for free speech, the very Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Hull would not have agreed to the TA’s interview with him.

Human Rights

As the ambassador has already pointed out, Sierra Leone has a good record of human rights. Therefore let us urge ourselves to maintain that good standard of human rights record on our country.

The police, army and prison services should be well aware that they must perform their duties according to the laws of our Land. Those public servants in these departments must not use their positions to intimidate the citizens as well as visitors coming into the country.

All officials in the different services must realise that harassment and bullying, of all sorts, will bring the country into disrepute and so, hold back development in the land.

On the other hand, the police and the military, upon which the responsibility for security of our land lies, must be prepared to always act independently. They must act appropriately in dealing with any individual who fail to conduct themselves under the laws of the country.

Tackling Corruption.

In another response by His Excellency, Ambassador Hull during the interview, he stressed “Development takes a very long time.” Well, We Sierra Leoneans must consider this with all seriousness, especially if we are to tackle corruption in our country. We have to act swiftly but sensibly.

We are to urge our government to encourage deregulation throughout our markets, just as it has happened in the Sierra Leone telecommunication industry where, with the installation of mobile telephone system, the pay-as you go method of payment for the service, the Sierra Leone consumers are now enjoying a kind of telephone system with less corruption, interruption and fierce competition in that market. Similarly, the holders of such a market are benefiting immensely from the effective collection of payment for the services they are offering to the nation.

In a considerable manner, if we are to tackle corruption in Sierra Leone, most of the utilities services are to be deregulated and made to be operated under the strict codes of Best Practice. It is in that instance will all the citizens enjoy good services, as paid for, and in return, the workers will then be receiving good wages/salaries to enable them to cope with the cost of living at any current time.

Sierra Leonean entrepreneurs must transfer that apparent success being enjoyed in the mobile telephone market in the country to all other essential services needed by all the citizens. This will lead the country to rapid development.

Sierra Leoneans, I am sure, have not forgotten the corruption in the days of land line telephone system, in our country, from both the workers producing the services as well those consuming it. We all should remember that a majority of the consumers were consuming the service without paying bills, just as well as some of the workers were exploiting and harassing the consumers to give them bribes in order to keep their lines constantly in good order.

We must realise that businesses have moved on from the days of serving free lunches to a new market order. Unless the citizens are prepared to welcome the deregulation of all our essential services, at which point the holders of interests in those industries, (such as electricity, water and sanitation/health), will not only be operating their businesses with the utmost efficiency but also realising their investments benefits, will the country continue to go deep into corruption.

The citizens should be warned of the harsh treatment they may be faced with when caught in their misconducts. Those throwing garbage in the streets must be severely punished within the law when caught, just as those selling, with fraudulence, land sites (property) that is not theirs, must be given long jail tariff when proven. The citizens are to be reminded that constant unjust enrichment of citizens in any sovereign state leads the country’s economy into inflation.

The Sierra Leone citizens are now to be prepared to accept change. This should not only be a cross road change  but a drastic change that could help to eradicate corruption, collect our falling parts together and put us in the situation where the working population in the country will be enjoying a ?living salary/wages’.

Now, having considered the very important issues affecting our country, as stated above, that emerged from the interview by the TA of His Excellency Ambassador Thomas Neil Hull, it is hoped that the citizens of Sierra Leone will be prepared to act smartly but with wisdom, show respect for the rule of law to resolve the problems currently affecting the nation.

 Remember, capu dee sense nor capu dee word.

God Bless Sierra Leone

God Bless the people and government in Sierra Leone

God Bless Sierra Leoneans wherever they may be.

 

 

 

How the Taylor invasion was planned — Thomas Woewiyu

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

 

Tuesday February 21, 2006


Dear Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf:

I write this letter to first compliment you for finally mustering the courage to apologize to the Liberian people for the callous and deadly statement you made on the BBC in 1990 while prosecuting the second and Taylor led version of NPFL wars. You said “Level Monrovia, we will rebuild it,” and not “Level the Executive Mansion” as contained in your statement of apology. As you said, you regret making what you now term as a “stupid comment.” If you truly regret making a statement that resulted in the death of thousands of your fellow countrymen and women, why replace it now with a false one?

I am also writing this letter to refresh your memory about other reckless and deadly statements you made in the past that must be included in your apology if you are honest in seeking forgiveness from the Liberian People whom you are also seeking to rule.

Your Level of Involvement

First, let us clarify the matter of what level of involvement and part you played in the founding of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and the prosecution of its wars: The Quinwonkpa failed coupe in 1985 and the version led by Charles Taylor which started in December of 1989. As you know, the NPFL organization was the same but operated with different foot soldiers in each version under your stewardship as we will see later on in this letter.

Your position in that organization, especially the Taylor version, was not as petit and as limited as you continue to describe it to have been. “Level Monrovia we will rebuild it” could have only come from the real Head of State and Commander-in-Chief whose Army was the NPFL as you saw yourself. You issued the order, and it was executed. It included the notorious Octopus, which finally wrecked Monrovia. Fifteen years have gone by and Monrovia is still without water and electricity. During the course of this period, you were the second most powerful person in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); but zero came to Liberia by way of your influence. You even undermined the promotion and employment of qualified Liberians in that UN organization during your tenure. For now, I will leave your UN record to speak for itself.

Preparation for Invasion

My first trip to the Ivory Coast to meet with Charles Taylor, Harry Yuan, Moses Duopu and others to assess the level of military plan of action for the purpose of removing Doe was sponsored by you and others in the wake of the failed Quinwonkpa coupe in which you played a major role. At the time, you were personally supporting Harry Yuan in the rapid re-recruitment of his fellow Nimbaians and Clarence Simpson was supporting Moses Duopu, the late Counselor Gbaydiah and others in the Ivory Cost to launch another arm attack on the Doe Regime following the botched Quinwonkpa coupe.

If you can recall, after my visit, to the Ivory Coast, the three men split up in search of a possible training base and support. Duopu went to Nigeria, Harry Nyan went to Senegal and Taylor went to Burkina Faso. It was Taylor who first found the possible avenue to accomplish the mission.

With your knowledge and support I again went to Burkina Faso to ascertain the truth to Taylor’s claim that he had found the ultimate opportunity to train men for another attempt to remove the Doe Regime by force of arm. The sponsors, especially Thomas Sankara, wanted to know that there was a political support for an arm rebellion by civilians to remove the Samuel Doe’s military junta. With your knowledge and consent, I gave the sponsors the assurance they needed to kick off the process of recruitment and training.

Upon my arrival back in the United States, I went straight to your sister’s house on Long Island where you were living. While we were discussing the issue of Taylor leading this round of arm rebellion, Byron Tarr arrived. When you told him what you were putting Taylor up to, he was totally opposed on the ground that Taylor was corrupt. He gave in only when you asked him if he had any other viable alternative, given that you people had tried more than 10 times to get rid of Doe but failed.

The Libyan Connection

You accepted and agreed to create a political alliance to replace the junta. Since you could not go to Tripoli, Libya, during the training of the men and the planning stage, you appointed a Special Envoy, Mr. Harry A. Greaves Jr. For reasons not necessary to be stated here neither you nor Mr. Greaves ever went to Tripoli but you stayed abreast of the progress of the training until it was completed.

Following the training of the men and while they were waiting in the Diaspora you and I met with Taylor in Paris where you promised to arranged for a ship to drop the men in Liberian waters from the Sierra Leone side. There was also talk about you arranging with President Momo of Sierra Leone for the offensive to be launched from Sherbro Island. I believe, relying on that, Taylor went to Sierra Leone to follow up and he wound up in jail. What a way to treat your General.

Major’s Involvement

At the beginning of the war, a meeting of all the political stakeholders was held in the home of Mr. Taylor Major, Virginia, USA, in February or March of 1990. We demanded the meeting because we suspected that you were holding back from the other politicians as to the political alliance that was expected to be formed by you as was agreed upon in the beginning. At that meeting, Dr. Sawyer and others were surprised and angry because you had kept them in the dark for more than two year. Dr. Sawyer was particularly angry and vocal. Following a long hectic discourse from the beginning of the meeting, it was grudgingly agreed by the participants that the Alliance would take form and provide the political plan of action to be put in place when the regime was deposed.

But we discovered later on that the political alliance never took form because of your personal ambition to directly assume power when the regime was removed. Following that meeting at the home of Taylor Major in Virginia, USA, you invited me to another meeting with Clarence Simpson and Taylor Major in the home of the late Mr. Chris Maxwell. We spent the whole night with the four of you trying to convince me to agree that we should forget about the alliance idea and let the government be given to the Liberian Action Party because the party won the 1985 elections. I said it was a very bad idea. I maintained that these were the very types of maneuvers that always destroyed all of our efforts in the past.

A Secret Meeting with Charles Taylor, and Jackson F. Doe’s Disappearance

A few months after the meeting in Virginia, in my absence, you went to the war front at Gborplay, Nimba County, where the NPFL still had its headquarters and told Charles Taylor and other leaders of the organization that you and I had agreed that the government would be given to Liberian Action Party once the Doe regime was deposed. Upon my arrival at that forest headquarters, I was confronted with a Court Marshall of a life threatening nature for supposedly selling out the revolution in advance while others were still fighting and dying. Only God and my friendship with Taylor saved me. I was able to walk away with my life.

I have always wondered as to what this careless and selfish statement of yours had to do with how Jackson Doe ended up when he crossed over to NPFL land. Did those people see Jackson Doe as the LAP you wanted the government turned over to? How come Jackson Doe’s disappearance was never really a big concern of yours until lately? When Jackson Doe crossed over from Fendell to Kakata in mid 1990, I was in Sierra Leone at a peace conference. Taylor told me it was a big day of jubilation in Greater Liberia. To let you know he was well; that he had been given a nice and fitting home in Buchanan. A month or so later, Jackson could not be found. I did not hear of your outrage as you were in the “Level Monrovia, we will rebuild it” mode. Say something to the Jackson F. Doe family.

Your break from the NPFL was not so much on account of what happened to your colleagues as you claim. You know, I know, and some of your people know that it was about your determination to take power directly from the war front. By late 1990, the NPFL controlled 90% of Liberia. At one of the peace talks in Sierra Leone, it was agreed by all the politicians and an agreement was signed that the NPFL should form an Interim Government and call for elections as soon as possible. The only exception was that Taylor should not lead that Interim Government; that he should run for President if he wanted to. Taylor asked me to go to Washington and convince you for us to convene an All Liberian Conference in Greater Liberia to determine the issue of who should head the next government. I spent a week in Washington. You invited several persons to that meeting. They included Dr. Gaywhea Macintosh, Dr. Edward Clinton, and Dr. Byron Tarr who was then working in Lesotho. Doctors Clinton and Macintosh and I made it to the Ivory Coast in anticipation of your arrival for us to proceed to Liberia.

A Double Crossing and Back Scratching

While waiting for your arrival in the Ivory Coast, you called to say that the venue of the meeting had been changed to Banjul, The Gambia. I found out later that after I left, you had another meeting with some people including Randall Cooper who then represented the NPFL in the U.S. at the home of Ethelbert Cooper. At that gathering you masterminded a petition to President Jarwara of The Gambia to host the meeting. Randall, not realizing that this was a double cross, signed the document on behalf of the NPFL.

Dr. Gaywhea, Clinton and I advised that you come with us to meet with Taylor and the men so that we could convince them to move the meeting to Banjul since you said this was what the African Leaders wanted. You refused. In anger, Dr. Gaywhea continued his journey to Greater Liberia and helped to form the National Patriotic Reconstruction Government, and Clinton returned to Ethiopia. You thought that the Banjul meeting would have given the government to you as the sole heir of Liberian Action Party. When it did not appear likely, you decided to skip the meeting.

From a distance in Washington, D.C., you did the next best thing which was to maneuver to give the interim leadership to “Moose,” Amos Sawyer. Liberians say, “You scratch my back I will scratch your back.” It should not be a surprise that Moose is scratching your back today with his support for your presidency despite your history.

Your Financial Contributions to the War Efforts

Let me refresh your memory on the financial contributions to the Taylor war efforts from you and your sources. Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) was the initial amount by your consortium (Clarence Simpson and Taylor Major), when the war started. I am the founding Chairman of the Association for Constitutional Democracy of Liberia (ACDL).

I do not recall any of the two persons named above being members. I do not also remember any money coming to the NPFL from ACDL. What I recall is that you asked me to let Dr. Sawyer take over ACDL so that he could revive it since he was doing nothing. I did. Yet, you keep saying that you and some ACDL friends made a $10,000.00 contribution to the NPFL. Come to think about it, maybe the $10,000.00 you gave one time came from ACDL. That says even what became the Doctor’s Club also supported your NPFL war efforts.

Let me not forget the $50,000.00 contribution that you passed through Mr. Allen Brown Sr. who was then running an insurance business in the Ivory Coast. You had earmarked the money to specifically buy rice for the fighting men and it was done. Another $150.000.00 was contributed by some of your friends and delivered to Dew Mayson, Ethelbert Cooper and Emmanuel Shaw to be forwarded to the NPFL. If you recall, those bad boys ate the money and we were only able to recover $75,000.00 of it six months later. Needless to mention your other undocumented financial and personal contributions made before and during the wars. The trip to Paris by you and me to meet with Charles Taylor must have cost you a pretty penny. Several trips you made to the Liberian boarder to meet with Taylor and the fighting men should add up to a substantial sum.

Monies you gave Taylor in Paris and on each of the trips you made to the frontline should also be far substantial. A conservative estimate of your contribution to the NPFL should be about half of million United States dollars. How you managed to reduced that to $10,000.00 is perhaps one of you “stupid comments,” but I hope that this letter clears it up for the public.

Other Overdue Apologies

The account of events above should clarify your involvement and contribution to the two NPFL wars. The following are other events that involved a series of your “callous and stupid comments” and behavior that you must include in your apology to your fellow Liberians if you wish to be taken seriously:

“Between 1983 and 1987, I was President of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA); 1988-1990 I was Chairman of the Board of ULAA. It was I who invited you to Philadelphia to deliver the keynote address during our annual conference in 1984 when you called the President and officials of Government in the Doe regime a bunch of “fools and idiots”; another one of your series of “stupid comments.” With a Harvard degree, I am sure you could have said the same thing without using those street words to make the point. Liberians should be able to recall the financial, emotional and human lives it cost to free you from that lion’s den. Say sorry.

“In an effort to get you out of the country following the court proceeding against you for the “fools and idiots” comment, friends and supporters of yours arranged your secret exit out of Buchanan. In the process, the immigration officer named Jackson who assisted you to leave through Buchanan killed himself so as to avoid the cruel death that awaited him at the hands of the Doe death squad. Have you ever met to console the family of that poor man who gave his life for you? To this day, more than 20 years later, you have not shown any appreciation for his ultimate sacrifice. Something as simple as looking for his wife and children and consoling them would have gone a long way. Very costly, stupid and inhumane behavior. Say sorry.

” In 1985 or so, the Massachusetts Chapter of ULAA under the leadership of Mr. John Grupee arranged a rally and meeting at Northeastern University. I, along with other officials of ULAA and the Liberian Community around the United States, attended that conference to hear our most famous lady speak. During the question and answer period of the program, a young man made a brief statement and asked a question which went like this: “Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf, no station is permanent in life. I used to be a wheelbarrow boy in Liberia and today, I am graduating from Northeastern University this summer.

“When you were Minister of Finance, we wrote you a letter and you stamped it ‘BULLSHIT!’ and sent it back to us. When you become President,” the fellow continued, “would you tolerate the views of others without calling them bullshit?” The fellow asked. To my and the dismay of the entire audience, your answer was, “Yes, when I was Minister of Finance, I had a stamp which had BULLSHIT on it. During that time, if someone sent me some communication I did not like, I would stamp it ‘BULLSHIT’ and send it back to them.”

In fact, someone told me recently that you also sent such a stamped letter to Baccus Mathews back then. Is there any amount of apology that you can give to your fellow citizens for such an insulting and demoralizing treatment? You need to honestly apologize to the wheelbarrow boys and to all of your fellow citizens whom you insulted with your “BULLSHIT” stamp.

“Immediately following the 1997 elections you declared your intentions not to recognize President Charles Taylor and in a childish-tantrum manner you ran out of the country, in President Taylor words, “like a cut tail dog” leaving the thousands who had risked their lives to campaign and vote for you to fend for their lives. You cut speech from those of your partisans who made it to the National Legislature because they refused to boycott the government to which they were elected by their people in defiance of your childish demand. Apologize to them and your fellow Liberians for such uncivilized behavior. Promise your current supporters that you will not run away again when you lose this election, which is sure.

” Samuel Dokie was one of your ardent supporters during the 1997 elections. In the face of the adversity between him and his former rebel comrade, Charles Taylor, he called you “a God sent leader.” Dokie and his entire family didn’t make it after you ran and left him holding the bag. A few weeks before Dokie and his family were wiped out, Taylor was making a joke in his innermost circle that you had abandoned Dokie; that you accused Dokie of embezzling your campaign funds in Nimba; that you were complaining about Dokie personally eating the cow that you gave him for your arrival feast in Sanniquelle instead of cooking it for the feast. All of this pointed to Dokie’s enemies that they didn’t expect any problem from you for whatever they did to him. Sure enough, when Dokie and his entire family were brutally murdered, the silence from you was as expected. It took more than 30 days before your party put out a one-paragraph statement on the Dokie murder. Say sorry to the Dokie family for selling him out with your cow meat talk.

” Do you remember another Nimba man you sent to his untimely death? In 1985 or so, you had been safely evacuated to the United States following your trial for calling General Samuel Doe and his government officials a bunch of “fools and idiots.” During one of our many meetings, you mentioned to me that General Quinwonkpa wanted to see and confer with me concerning an up coming mission he was being asked to make. You said that apparently the General needed my blessing. At that time the General lived somewhere in the Washington, D.C., area of the United State after also been rescued from the ravage of the Doe regime. I asked you as to what the mission was about. You said “The boys have been working on a fool-proof program to remove Doe through a ‘surgical military operation.’ Men have been trained in Sierra Leone and are in waiting.” You said further that “The only problem is that the boys do not have a popular figure to lead the incursion for the acceptability of the military guys in Monrovia.

“They have asked me to convince General Quinwonkpa to lead the incursion,” you said. I also asked you for the names of some of the players behind the plan. You said ‘Moose’ (Amos Sawyer) Boima [Fahnbulleh Jr.] and others.” For reasons that have no bearing on this letter, my first reaction was that I had nothing to say to the General. I told you that I thought the General should enjoy the hospitality of his host whose kindness landed him in the United States. That was the end of that discussion.

I challenge you therefore, Mrs. Sirleaf, to pick up the Holy Bible and swear that you and I never had the conversation as outlined above. You sent Quinwonkpa anyway. Needless to deal with the reasons while the mission failed because it boils down to the same double crossing syndrome. It suffices to say that 20 years later his wife is looking for answers for what happened to her children’s father from the mission on which you sent him. They had made it to the great United States where you got your Harvard degree, but you sent him back in the fire to fetch you power. Don’t you think you owe his poor widow and children an apology? I know you do. Say I’m sorry, Mrs. Quinwonkpa!

I truly hope that the factual and historical events I have outlined in this letter will help to jar your memory so that you can do the right thing – tell the truth.

Sincerely,

Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu
August 30, 2005

DO NOT CREATE THE CULT OF THE BIG WOMAN WITH THE BIG STICK IN LIBERIA

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Monday February 20,  2006

Whatever  else anybody might think, what happens in neighbouring Liberia will always concern some of us Sierra Leoneans. When  life  became dangerous and difficult for some of us in Sierra Leone, it was Liberia that opened her generous doors to us and hosted us until we found ourselves in the United States.   This is apart from the fact that Liberia is a country some of us really love. And even if I had not taken Liberian citizenship, there is one way that my destiny is forever tied up with that country which is why I will always be concerned about what happened there . Some of my children were born in Liberia and by definition, they are Liberian citizens .

My children, after pursuing their education in the U.S.  might decide to return home to Liberia and contribute their quota to the development of their country . Only God knows  where they will chose to live . Though I am  be more inclined to spend the rest of my life in Sierra Leone after retiring in the U.S, I will not dictate   to my children  which of the two counrtries –Liberia or Sierra Leone–they decide to stay. The choice is entirely their’s.

Given this scenerio in my family dynamics, there is no way that I would not be concerned about what happens in Liberia . Every parent wants a better future for  his children and thus I am concerned about the Liberia that my children would love to live. .I am not the only one in these straits.

There were bona fide Liberian citizens who became Sierra Leoneans as a result of similar circumstances and they played a leading role in the governance of the country. The one-time Commissioner of Police of Sierra Leone, Mr. Kaetu Smith was a Kru from Liberia . The head of the Sierra Leone Prisons Department  in the 1970s , Mr. Theophilus Nimneh , was also a Kru from Liberia. The famous Bassa Chief who weilded so much power in Sierra Leone , popular Pa. “Bassa”  Reffel  was a Liberian and he was the father of the famous Liberian broadcasters Jonathan and Victoria Reffel.The wars in the two countries have infact created many, many more people who can now claim to be a part of the respective countries. Liberians have married and settled in Freetown and would no longer  be willing to give up their fufu and bitter leaves for the domboi and palm butter  soup of Liberia.  Similarly , some  Sierra Leoneans have now become Liberians by marriage and they would now prefer only to cheer for Mighty Barrolle or IE  instead of Mighty Blackpool and East End Lions.The recent lawsuit filed by newly-elected President  Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf against a private citizen, Mr. Thomas Woewiyou should concern anyone who loves Liberia because it will not augur well for the country if not handled well. While it is true that Mrs. Sirleaf has the right to defend her reputation and character , it must be taken into consideration  that  she and her government could revive one of the evils that destroyed Liberia–The cult of the big man with the big stick. –if they proceed with this lawsuit.If he suffers any economic loss  as a result of the lawsuit, it is not only Woewiyou who will become scared of the Big Woman with the Big Stick.

While I regret any distortions of the truth  that may be contained in  the Open Letter Woewiyou wrote  Mrs .Sirleaf  , which she found offensive , if at all, and  I also sympathize with Ellen for any slur these might have brought to her character , if at all, I sincerely believe that in the interest of national reconciliation and in the interest of the nation, she has to drop the suit unconditionally and move on with her more tedious and noble task of rebuilding the nation.

When I use the term UNCONDITIONALLY, I am using it in its most lexical and  direct  sense. Woewiyou must not be made to suffer any loss of pride or credibility or self-respect before the suit is withdrawn.  Therefore , the news report in the DAILY INQUIRER  newspaper of Liberia that Woewiyou has been taken to the Executive Mansion by the discredited newly-elected Speaker of the House , Mr. Edwin Snowe where Woewiyou was asked to  apologise to the President,  is disturbing. If true, why should  Woewiyou apologise ? What damaging things did he say that should warrant an apology  ?  Except there are wilful distortions in the letter deliberately designed to damage Ellen’s name, Woewiyou does not have to apologise before the suit is dropped.

The Letter Woewiyou wrote to Mrs. Sirleaf was not personal. It had to do with the national interest. Woewiyou was trying to demonstrate that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf contributed to  the disastrous invasion of Liberia by the then rebel leader, Charles Taylor  in 1989 and that she too is culpable for the deadly consequences of Taylor’s act. Woewiyou demonstrated in the letter how Mrs. Sirleaf consorted even with Woewiyou himself  during the process of the invasion. Secondly, the letter was written under a particular context–An electioneering campaign was going on and Woewiyou  was campaigning for his favoured candidate. In that respect, Woewiyou , by political convention, enjoyed some immunity  from being penalized by state mechanism for statements made in the said  electioneering campaign.  For him to be taken to the mansion to apologise to Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf is an undemocratic act that will create another leader with the big stick in Liberia. Does this mean that any citizen who now blows his mind against Mrs. Sirleaf will have to apologise or face a lawsuit ? Is Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf a sacred cow that should not be criticised ?

If this is the precedent we want to set again in Liberia, it shows how much we have failed to learn from the past. Liberia was sunk by Big Men with the Big Stick operating from the Executive Mansion. President William R. Tolbert blundered fatally when he weilded his big stick against Gabriel Bacchus Matthews and other leaders of the Progressive Alliance of Liberia ( PAL) , Movement for Justice in Africa ( MOJA ) ,  the students and other radical members. .  Military dictator Samuel K. Doe brought on his own downfall by weilding the big stick against anyone who criticised or opposed him. This plunged the country into the unfortunate war that has left Liberia in ruins. Rebel President Charles Taylor worsened the country’s human rights situation and socio-economic plight by weilding the big stick in every endeavor of his unfortunate rule. After all we have suffered, are we now trying to create a Big woman with the Big Stick in the mansion ?

\Citizens have the inalienable right to speak out their minds against candidates during electioneering campaigns. They also enjoy the constitutional liberty to criticise the President when he or she comes to power. The President too, if he/she is serious about democratic and transparent governance , must place no hinderances before citizens in the unfettered exercise of their rights to free speech . For a citizen to be taken to the mansion to apologise to the President for statements made in an electioneering campaign is an indication of the fact that some people want to reinstitute the cult of the Big Man with the Big Stick once again in Liberia.

It is hoped that Edwin Snowe and other opportunists who have been extremely lucky to find themselves in the new government will spare us another Big Man with the Big Stick in the Executive Mansion.  Woewiyou has no business apologising unless he wrote wilful lies that were designed to ruin the character of Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf.

 

CONDOLEEZA STILL INTENT ON TAYLOR

Sunday, February 19th, 2006
 
Saturday February 19, 2006While Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf , the newly-elected President of Liberia , seems to be dragging her feet about demanding  Charles Taylor from the custody of Nigeria’s leader Olusegun Obasanjo so that he could be handed to the Special Court in Sierra Leone, the United States Secretary of State Condolleza Rice , has maintained her intent to have the former Liberian rebel leader brought to justice.Dr. Rice last week renewed her efforts to have Taylor prosecuted when he urged a U.S. Congressional hearing  :  ” We believe very strongly that he ought to be brought to justice, and that he ought to be brought to justice as soon as possible,” .

Dr. Rice said that the danger still exists that Taylor could  still return to Liberia to cause trouble. She therefore urged that  the former Liberian President  be taken into custody and sent to Freetown to stand trial for  alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Dr. Rice’s statement represents a  clear indication that the U.S .government is committed to having Taylor brought to  justice in Sierra Leone and will continue to exert pressure on the new Liberian leader , Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf, to do the right thing.

Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf is for now the main key to Taylor’s prosecution. because Nigeria’s President Obasanjo has clearly stated that only a request from a constitutionally-elected government  in Liberia will he hand over Taylor on request. Taylor for the past two years has been living in Calabar , Nigeria, under President Obasanjo’s protection. He is accused of importing war to Sierra Leone and contributing to the death of over 50, 000 innocent people and the mutilation of thousands more.

The Special Court for Sierra Leone has indicted Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity but his prosecution has been bogged down by President Obasanjo’s refusal to hand him over , and Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s refusal to take a clear line of action on the issue has further dampened hopes to prosecute the former Butcher of Gbanga.

Many Liberians are frustrated by the attitude of their new President in the issue of having Taylor brought to justice. Some opinions in Liberian online and print newspapers insist that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf is afraid to see Taylor stand trial because he would open a can of worms that would tarnish her name.

Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf was  alleged to have been one of the key financiers and supporters of the Charles Taylor invasion  of Liberia in 1989 , which later fuelled a civil war that killed over 200, 000 Liberians and destroyed the country.