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COCORIOKO » 2007 » July

Archive for July, 2007

PMDC accuses SLPP of elections violence

Friday, July 6th, 2007



Election violence raised its ugly head once more in Segbewema, Kailahun District, when a female parliamentary candidate under the ticket of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) was beaten up and later admitted at the government hospital.
Irvin Sesay, who is recovering, lay back in her bed at the Kenema Government hospital and from time to time adjusted her bulk on the bed visibly suffering from aches and pains.
She told Awoko that on Saturday 14 July at night, one Shengbeh Brima came to her house and rained abuses on her.
Mrs Sesay said, “he even bragged that the Sierra Leone People’s Party had paid them to kill me because I have stood against their own candidate”.
She continued that, “the next day in the morning I went to the police station and reported the matter but that same day at night Shengbeh Brima, Chief Senesei Momoh, Jusu Momoh and about two other men all members of the SLPP raided my house.”
“I was advised to get into my house and flee from the invaders which I did but they caught my husband and started beating him, so I had to come outside to rescue him”, Irvin related.
She stated that, “as soon as they saw me they descended on me with their fists and with sticks. They beat me up and stripped me naked.
They also ransacked my house and made away with my bag which contained 250 PMDC party membership cards, Le 500,000 and 20 dozen PMDC T shirts.”
She continued: “Some of my friends and relatives took me to the police station where I made a report. I was so afraid because of the attempt on my life so I was also advised to leave Kailahun and even seek medical attention in Kenema”.
She told Awoko further that: “I slept in a house in the bush until early Monday morning before I fled to Kenema and was admitted at the Government hospital.” She said she was being treated for abdominal pains and back aches.
Mrs Sesay maintained that though she would brave it back to Kailahun as she was determined to run for the parliamentary seat but she was still getting complaints that SLPP supporters were still raiding her house and threatening to kill her if she returned.
“I am a woman but I want to change things in my country I will not be dissuaded by anything or anyone,” the PMDC presidential candidate stated defiantly.



Sunday, July 1st, 2007
Mr Kai Lebbie may be right about the appalling conditions in the army during President Momoh’s administration, but the hasty generalization that “…the military in Sierra Leone were also rebels” is an unfair and irresponsible allegation that questions the patriotism of the 2073 private soldiers, 1769 Corporals, 317 Sergeants, 95 Staff Sergeants, 43 warrant officers, 81 lieutenants, 10 captains, 8 majors, a lieutenant colonel, unknown numbers of the special security division (SSD), of the police and vigilantes who lost their lives between 1991 to 1996. 

It is an absolute travesty to the sacred memory of the estimated 10,000 honorable citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country from the RUF- NPFL coalition. It is understandable if people   refuse to appreciate the service of our troops, but they need not be castigated as “rebels” or national enemies. To categorize the whole “military as the rebels” is to question the priceless service of combatants who placed their lives in harms way to deny the RUF access to power. 

And, if the military were rebels, why would the RUF kill an estimated 10,000 of their own?  Who were the combatants bearing the brunt of RUF attacks, ambushes, landmines, abductions and summary executions. Or Better still, who shot the thousands of troops including Guinean troops, Nigerian soldiers, ULIMO friendly forces from Liberia, Ghurkas, South African executive outcomes, housed in government hospitals in Kenema, Bo and Freetown?

Mr. Kai Lebbie’s claim that  he “ could prove with facts that many of my people in Kono – Gandorhun, were killed by military officers” without offering the facts, exemplifies the content of misinformation which crippled the ability of the military’s propaganda machinery to alienate the RUF. 

The continued silence of the military to counter strings of unfounded and baseless allegations, reinforces the tactical incompetence of the military leadership. It confirms why and how the military lost the psychological phase of a war whose success depends on persuading public opinion through fact based reports.

While Mr Kai Lebbie has unfettered rights to his personal opinion, if he cannot offer qualitative proof of soldiers engaged in dual roles, especially between 1991 to 1996, his allegations remain a cacophony grounded in statistical fallacy. One few bad apples cannot destroy the taste of the rest.
Francis Ken Josiah  (Ret. Captain.)



Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Dear Cocorioko

I write in response to an article I saw in your Newspaper. I will be very happy to see this leter publshed in your newspaer. This is a reply to a Mr Lebbie, a stauch supporter of the SLPP who was saying that the government did enough to compensate the Sierra Leone Military. It is really heartrending to see people who claim to be Sierra Leoneans making such statements in this day and age. Why is it that Sierra Leoneans are so hardhearted when it comes to the suffering of their colleagues.

Is it right for someone who lives in America nd knows nothing about the army saying such trash. It clearly shows the type of person he is and these are the type of people who support the SLPP. It was reasoning like this that caused Solomon Berewa and his SLPP cronies to flout the laws of our motherland and organised a Kangaro Court that convicted 24 of our gallant soldiers who risked their lives for this country for over seven years. They fail to realise that soldiers are human too. Not only is Mr Lebbie an avowed enemy of our beloved country but his naivity in things military is very plain for everyone to see. Otherwise he hould have knon hat armies artraed and prepared in peacetime so that they can perform satisfactorily during war and that is what every government in this country has failed to do. Yet they continue to berate the military. There he was, going on about The Military not fighting any war for the people of Sierra Leone and that people were killed by the Military during the war. Is he waiting  for another war to start before the government  start taking proper care of the military. Should we wait for another war to start before we realise that our soldiers are ill-equipped, ill motivated and lack proper training. By then it would be too late to remedy the situation as the APC found out. in 1991. They kept the army in a state of illpreparedness and disgruntleness for a very long time and expected the army to perform miracles when they were actually needed by the people of this country. This is exactly what this SLPP led government has done and continues to do. 

Since the 1997 episode, the SLPP has been treating the army as an enemy. Everything is done to ensure that the Military remains ill-equipped and ill-motivated because they are afraid that the military will organise another coup. I think it is time that the people of this country know what is happening for the sake of posterity. As a patriotic Sierra Leonean soldier, I am flabbergasted by the way things are going. Things are really bad within the military. Our soldiers are not motivated in any way. Our leaders within the military have lost all form of military standard and are only interested in getting what they can before they retire. Soldiers have very little regard or trust in the leadership of the army and the government because they believe they are not serving in the best interest of the army and the country. If anything should go wrong now, a repeat of 1991 will be the case because the army will not be in a position to withstand any serious confrontation with the enemy. That is why the government failed to do anything about Yenga because they know the arm cannot even withstand two Batalions of Guineans.

Mr Lebbie is a really stupid and thinks of Siera Leone not as a country but as a place for them to continue to prevent the people from getting what is rightfully theirs. 

If the people of this country can vote a party like the SLPP into power after all what they did in the 60s (Organising the first coup led by an  SLPP general, bringing tribalism into main stream politics) and the nineties (organising an illegal army called Kamajors, Selling our birthright to foreigners like Sandline and Nigerians, leading this country into being the least developed in terms of human development,  making our capital city the darkest and filthiest in the whole world and treating the average Sierra Leonean like a foreigner in his own country) and many more, then what is wrong in making the RSLAF a force that all Sierra Leoneans can be proud of by giving them proper training and benefits. The pittance that is being called benefits is not even up to the standard in any other west african country, so why should this idiot say such things. We are tired of people like him using the oldest excuse for politicians to continue to show their stupidity in public (Our Predecessors did this). It would have been better for him to keep quiet and let people who have Sierra Leone and not the SLPP at heart say the truth. 

We all know that the APC did lot of bad` things that led this country into economic decline. That is the reason why we failed to vote for them in 1996 and 2002. We also know that the SLPP has done worse than what the APC did from the late sixties to the early nineties. That is why we are not going to vote for them this year. The only reason they approved a new Terms and Conditions of Service for the Military at this time is for soldiers to vote for them in the coming elections. Please Mr Lebbie, tell Solomon Berewa and the entire SLPP that we are not stupid even  though that is what they think. We will vote for a party that will have not only the army at heart but the entire country and that party is not the SLPP. Lonta. Mr Lebbie, (ousai dem keep glass, nor sen stone daae) He who lives in a glass house should not be the first one to start throwing stones)

Brima Kamara 
Concerned and Patriotic Soldier


Aspirants from APC-NA win symbols in Sierra Leone

Sunday, July 1st, 2007
On behalf of our Acting Chairman,Mr Alex Mansaray I wish to inform you with great Joy that the following North America Aspirants  have won the APC Candidacy (Symbols ) to contest the General Elections slated for August 11,  2007:
Constituency   40                                      Kambia District  M Allie Kossay
     ”             63                                      Port loko ”        Hassan Sheriff
     ”             65                                                            Benner Bangura
     ”             66                                                            Combo Kamara
     ”             67                                                            Abu SAT karoma
     ”             62                                      Tokolilie   ”         Martin Timbo
                   63                                                            David Bai Conteh

                   32                                       Bombali  ”        Kandeh Babgura

Western Area  97                                    Western Area       Victorio saidu kamara
                   99                                                             Alimamy G Kargbo
                   98                                                             Alimamy Coleson Turay
                 104                                                             Tunde Lewally
                 105                                                             Nuriden Bash-Sankoh Yillah
At the same time , the Chairman  wishes to extend congratulations to all those who are listed above
and  he also sent his sincere thanks and appreciation to those who contested and lost the primary elections.He reiterated that this is part of democracy and  urged all candidates who lost to stay the course and form a unify front ,as there will be plenty of opportunities  to contribute immensely for the party to achieve victory in those constituencies .
On that note , May God bless us and continue to give the Leader and all these fine ladies and gentlemen strength , wisdom and understanding to persevere in August that we may be able
to redirect Sierra leone once again.
Foday Mansaray
Public Relations
APC North America.