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Archive for March, 2009

“Destined to rule !?” The defrauders of Democracy

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Written by KHADIJA SESAY

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The power mongering tyrants, in their plight to once again hold our country under siege with their mischievous activities, must not be underestimated. Filled with hatred for the party in governance, which represents development in Sierra Leone, the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), led by the barbarian German-born John Benjamin Hirsch,will not stop at anything to defraud the principles of Democracy in our country to the detriment of our people.

KHADIJASESAY

KHADIJA SESAY

The pattern of the SLPP in their refusal to accept defeat had always resulted in their constant struggle to take control of governance with reckless disregard for human lives which is no longer tolerated by the people.
As we all can recall, the 1967 victory of the APC was illegally interrupted with the declaration of martial law by David Lansana, then head of the army. On April 29th 1992, the now national chairman of the SLPP, Mr. John Benjamin Hirsch, and junior military officers led the coup which overthrew the then APC government.

The effect of that interruption of the constitutional process gave rise to the 11 years SLPP rule . They were in power for 11 years without question by the APC or any other political party for fear of another senseless war from past experience. During this time, the APC obeyed the laws of this country and acted like a responsible opposition party. There was therefore peace and tranquility in the whole of Sierra Leone.
When the APC came to power in 2007, however, the picture changed. The SLPP refused to accept defeat and since then they have been inciting chaos in the country. They have proved that they are an irresponsible opposition and they want to plunge this country into another war because they are not in power.

In view of the APC’s responsible behavior in opposition , the nation embraced free and fair elections in which we openly actualized our intentions through the ballot box. Sierra Leone wants peace and we deserve the right to grow as a nation in a civilized world with unity and harmony for us and our future generations. The government in power has our unwavering support in rebuilding and rehabilitating our war – torn country in peace without disruption of any kind. Sierra Leoneans should therefore condemn the SLPP for refusing to accept defeat and for trying to provoke chaos in the country.

The power mongering tyrants, whose aimless claim is that they are destined to politically control our fate by all means necessary, must be totally rejected.

We the people of Sierra Leone will not relent this time around. We want peace. We want to see socio-economic and political developments in our country.

We are now a civilised nation and together we will fight against any nuisance against peace and development in our country . 2012 is around the corner but the APC will win again because it is fulfilling the wishes of the Sierra Leonean people.

SLPP ‘mavericks’ should not mistake President Koroma’s tolerance for timidity

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Written by Sekou Dauda Bangura : New Jersey, USA   :

Sunday, 29 March 2009

SLPP headquarters in Freetown was severely damaged while some supporters of the grand old party including the recently elected chairman of the Western Area Lansana Fadika were seriously manhandled for having the temerity and brazen audacity to hurl stones at a peaceful APC procession led by the Mayor of Freetown Herbert George Williams. Though unfortunate and regrettable, what happened two weeks ago should serve as a sobering political lesson to all SLPP unruly and ill-guided political enthusiasts – Enough of the madness!
Since the 2007 political comeback of the All People’s Congress, SLPP supporters have embarked on a war of provocation against APC supporters with the sole aim of creating political tension to justify another forcible takeover by uniformed buzzards under the payroll of the SLPP. Supporters of the party that was seriously clobbered in the last General Election have been taunting APC supporters. The popularly elected Mayor of Freetown has been called names that are most unflattering. He has even been accused of pocketing a huge amount of money from the Clock Tower project.

On several occasions, misguided elements of the SLPP have thrown invectives at the mayor, who, on each occasion has restrained his supporters and followers from reacting. But when SLPP supporters went to the extent of standing in the way of the Mayor of Freetown and throwing stones at him, APC loyalists and sympathizers decided to put an end to the reckless bravery. They sent a clear message to all the ubiquitous SLPP supporters; to all the political stumbling blocks; to the saboteurs, to the enemies of progress, and to all the subversive elements that are out to derail the meaningful steps the APC Government has been making.

The message was indeed loud and clear: “the gentle strides of the tiger should not in any way be perceived as a sign of timidity.” The President of Sierra Leone under the 1991 constitution has immense powers to protect the lives and property of all Sierra Leoneans, regardless of their political stripes. He has the police force to maintain law and order internally, and the military to protect the state against any external threat. He is the commander in chief, the fountain of honor and the dispenser of the prerogative of mercy.

The president is undoubtedly not a toothless political bulldog; he has the devouring claws of a lion!His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma under the constitution of Sierra Leone can order the arrest and detention of anyone that is out to create a situation of lawlessness and disorder; he can declare a state of emergency if the peace and security of the state is threatened. By the power and authority given to him by the constitution of the Republic Sierra Leone, he can order the arrest and detention of anyone that is out to create unnecessary political tension, anarchy, chaos and panic in the country.

This explains why Vice President Sam Sumana while acting as president, ordered the temporary closure of the radio stations of both the ruling APC and the opposition SLPP for exacerbating political tension that has the potential of plunging the country into another round of turmoil. This brings me to a very serious issue that has been misconstrued and distorted – The Rule of Law. Popularized by that famous political scholar A.V. Dicey, the Rule of Law simply means “The law is supreme.” It means that ordinary law must prevail over discretionary or arbitrary authority; that no one should be made to suffer in body or property except for a definite breach of the law as established by the ordinary courts of the land. It means no man is above the law no matter one’s status; everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. In a nutshell, the Rule of Law is the mark of a free society.

The Rule of Law means that as citizens of Sierra Leone, we have the right to life, the right to own property, and the right to privacy. As peaceful and law abiding citizens, we have the freedom to move in and out of the country, and the freedom to associate with a political movement or party. Freedom of speech and freedom of association are enshrined in the constitution of Sierra Leone, but there is a limit to all this. Freedom of speech does not mean one should go about telling lies with the intention of inflicting malicious damage. This is why we have laws pertaining to libel and slander to guard against the misuse of the freedom to write and to speak. Individuals have the freedom to move in and out of the country. But if the intention is to spread diseases, commit crimes, planning and endeavoring to overthrow the government, then that freedom will be curtailed.

An individual can be subjected to some kind of solitary confinement for fear of spreading diseases. Freedom to life does not mean one is free to take away his life. If caught, the individual can be arrested for attempting to commit suicide. One can also be arrested and sent to prison or even executed for committing murder or treason. Those SLPP scribes who have embarked on a campaign to smear the image of the APC Government by painting the events of Friday March 13 2009 in bright colors should understand that the people of Sierra Leone – not to talk of the international community – are politically mature to discern illusion from reality; truth from lies, and facts from fiction. Yes, people have a right to their opinion, but they do not have a right to be wrong in their opinion.

The opposition propaganda news outlets are not serving the nation by their incendiary writings; their campaign of lies and character assassination is not in the public interest. The comment on an article written by Mohamed Aziz Nabe was not only misleading but totally blown out of proportion. To set the record straight, Aziz Nabe is not national chairman of the All People’s Congress in North America. He was President of the New Jersey Chapter. As a concerned Sierra Leonean, he was emotionally reacting to the disturbing developments in his homeland. A deeply religious man with an impeccable character, Aziz Nabe does not even have the gut to hurt a fly. What we see (the opposition propaganda newsorgans skewed the article) is a wretched farrago; a case of fourth-rate gutter journalism. These are the papers whose editors would not publish anything critical about the SLPP, even when the truth is glaring at them. But they take delight in publishing anything that has the potential of putting the APC Government in an embarrassing situation

.Let us backtrack on events leading to the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections. The two notorious papers of the SLPP embarked on a very negative campaign against APC presidential candidate Ernest Koroma, and his running mate Sam Sumana. The All People’s Congress was vilified, the leaders disparaged and the supporters dismissed as “a bunch of illiterates.” Yet in the end, the All People’s Congress emerged as the victor, while the SLPP the vanquished.

The party that boasts of having more educated people could not win a single seat in Freetown, the center of power. It is not hard to find why the poor performance in 2007 despite the staggering amount of money pumped into the election campaign by Berewah and his cohorts. The party’s record during the over ten years in office was very dismal. The country retrogressed instead of progress under the leadership of Kabba and Berewah. Filth and squalor abound in the city while SLPP party operatives were building gated mansions and castles. Swollen with self-conceit, apologists and defenders of the party lack the common sense to find out what they did that was wrong and what they should do to win the hearts and minds of the people.

Devoid of common sense, SLPP diehards made the biggest political blunder recently by choosing as their flag-bearer John Benjamin, the man who presided over the economic ruin of the country and who acquired notoriety in the last election for leading the “Gang of Four” (Patrick Foya, John Karimu, Nyallay and John Benjamin) that was behind all the diabolical atrocities perpetrated against APC and PMDC supporters in Pujehun, Kailahun and Kenema. They even prevented APC presidential candidate Ernest Koroma from campaigning in areas they considered as their party strongholds in the East.

The people of Sierra Leone have undoubtedly not forgotten. They have not forgotten that under SLPP rule Freetown became the Black-Out City of Africa. They have not forgotten that under SLPP rule Sierra Leone had the worst human rights record because of the execution of the largest number of Sierra Leoneans. They have not forgotten that the SLPP fueled the Rebel War that took the lives of thousands of Sierra Leoneans, maimed and injured countless Sierra Leoneans while almost a million were displaced and rendered homeless.

The people have not forgotten the callous indifference to human suffering on the part of the SLPP by paying mercenaries to forcibly restore Kabba. It was the SLPP that introduced the public burning of people opposed to their party. They call it neck-lacing – a tire was put around the neck of the victim, petrol poured over and set alight. That was how the SLPP wasted the lives of Mohamed Sakoma, Alhaji Musa Kabbia, the young and erudite Islamic scholar Sheik Mustaba, and many other prominent northerners for publicly opposing the use of force to restore the SLPP Government.

Those gory killings represent the worst naked violation of human rights in the political history of Sierra Leone. And the same SLPP rabble- rousers and nation-wreckers behind those massacres now want to lecture us about human rights!

Rape in Sierra Leone : SLPP’s heartlessness to women was most shameful and unbelievable

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Written by Our Political Correspondent Jonathan Fynecontry

 

Sunday, 29 March 2009

 

The Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) has no moral authority to question the All People’s Congress (APC) government’s handling of the recent alleged rape incidents in Sierra Leone. If it is true that these women were raped, it is regrettable and I wish to condemn the perpetuators and call for action against them. However, worst incidents of rape happened under the watch of the SLPP government and the sad thing is that all the women raped during the SLPP era never received justice.

The SLPP government failed to acknowledge the sufferings of the women raped and the government was very heartless towards the victims , as reported by international organizations. I am not saying that because the SLPP’s record of protecting wome’s rights was abysmal, therefore the APC should do the same or that rape is justified under the present government.That is not what I am saying.

What I want to highlight here is the SLPP’s hypocrisy, double standards and impunity. As I am going to demonstrate, the SLPP era saw the most brutal and ruthless sexual abuse of women and throughout its reign ; and yet the SLPP GOVERNMENT DID NOTHING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THESE RAPES OCCURED, THAT THE VICTIMS WERE SUFFERING AND THAT THEY NEEDED JUSTICE. TO THIS DAY, NONE OF THE RAVISHED WOMEN HAVE RECEIVED JUSTICE. NOT A SINGLE ONE. THE VIOLATED WOMEN ARE WALKING AROUND WITH THE PAIN, SHAME AND STIGMA.

This flagrant violation and neglect of the rights of women by the SLPP government begs the question : Why is the SLPP now trying to politicize the alleged rapes at their headquarters and trying to stigmatize the APC as if they did any better during their reign ? Is this not the height of hypocrisy for a party under whose watch thousands of women were brutally raped to now turn around and try to make political capital out of six alleged raped viictims in the APC era ? Is it not the height of the worst type of double standards for a party that failed to acknowlege thousands of rapes or provide succor and justice for the thousands of victims to now try to make a big noise out of six women allegedly raped recently ?

This is what is most annoying about the SLPP.They hide their own shame and disgrace under the bushel and try to make political capital out of other people’s. WHAT A SHAME FOR THE SO-CALLED GRAND OLD PARTY OF SIERRA LEONE ? Should not the SLPP first try to remove the log in their eyes before talking about the mote in other people’s eyes ?

The APC Government should not sit back and let the SLPP get away with their hypocrisy and double standards. While providing assurance that everything was being done to address the problems of the alleged six rape victims, the government must present facts to the American Ambassador and the International Community to show that the SLPP’s record of protecting women against rape and providing them justice was the most shameful in Africa.

During the reign of the SLPP, women were subjected to Rape, sexual torture, Sexual slavery and Forced pregnancy.While it must be acknowledged that some of these acts were perpetuated during a war situation, the government’s own forces and sponsored militia, the Kamajors, were among the perpetuators. What did the SLPP government do to bring its forces and Kamajors to justice ? Are the rapists not walking free in our society ? Granted that an amnesty was offered, should not the SLPP government have punished their Kamajors just to send a clear message that the government did not condone the rapes ? Yet, it was clear that the SLPP government supported the atrocities committed by its Kamajors that included rape, sexual torture and forced pregnancies of girls as young as 14 or 15 . With such a disgraceful record , what gave the SLPP the moral gumption to make all the noise we heard recently over the six women allegedly raped ? I am not saying that they should not advocate for the women, but the political capital they tried to make out of the issue was hypocrisy that stank to the heavens.

The SLPP must publicly acknowledge that thousands of women, including babies , were raped during their reign and that the government negligently failed to do anything about it.

Cocorioko Editor faces death threats from anonymous SLPP supporters

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
Sunday, 22 March 2009
The life of the Editor-In-Chief of Cocorioko has come under threats from supporters of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP). The threats, posted in the Cocorioko forum were brought to the notice of Rev.Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu , by our Forum Police. PLEASE READ THE THREATENING POSTS :The first threat came under the following thread :THE APC WILL GET THEIR WISH

Posted by Promise Keeper on March 14, 2009 at 19:21:33:

“It seems APC is wishing for a second round of war. They will soon get it if they continue on this path. The last time they joined the AFRC/RUF coalition, we kicked their arses. We shall do it again. That’s why we have burnt down the car of the Resident Minister Southern Province. Next in line is Musa Tarawallie. We will burn down his house and car. ”

“The army is already split because of APC tribalism so if they think they have an army, they are in for a rude awakening. Ernest Koroma may not finish his term if he continues to exhibit such incompetence in governance. Again, APC shall get its wish and this time the Southeast may just prevent the central government from looting our resources as we provide 85% of the country’s GDP. ”

“Hey Kabs if war breaks out be rest assured we will expel your ………… you are the enemies within. In fact I am not sure they are safe. I may just send information so that your …….. is harrassed. You have taken our hospitality for granted. You enjoy Southern hospitality but burn with hatred.”

The post was entered from mars.centelia.net at 89.248.173.146

WE HAVE DELETED THE NAMES OF THE PERSONS MENTIONED IN THE POST FOR SECURITY REASONS. .
_______________________________________________________________
Other posts threatened the Editor with certain death if he continued to support the APC government of President Ernest Koroma. One of the posts read :
KABS WILL PAY FOR SUPPORTING APC
Posted by Angry SLPP supporter on March 18, 2009 at 15: 11: 18
“KABS, WE ARE SERIOUS.WE ARE WATCHING YOU. Your support for APC will cost you your life. You can report this post anywhere you want. Stop your support of this government or you will die. APC will not bury you after you we kill you. ”

kabbs-kanu

 

This post was entered from the following IP : 198.208.251.24
THOUGH THESE THREATS were made in an open online forum where people do not use their real names, Police , FBI and Home Security Operatives advice that all threats to human life be taken seriously and not be taken for granted.

We have taken the appropriate measures and informed the relevant security authorities in the U.S and Sierra Leone .

A press statement from the COCORIOKO BOARD is coming out soon.

Added on Date: 07:09:41 03/22/09

SLPP is a bloody and violent political party

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

President Ernest Koroma is Sierra Leone’s best hope for desirable socio-economic and political change. The desperately-greedy for power opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) knows this too well and that is why the venal, vicious and self-seeking party is doing everything to try to stop the President from sparking.President Koroma had barely stayed in power for eight weeks when he accomplished what the SLPP cannot do in 11 disappointing years in power–Bring electricity to the capital.

This was the singular achievement that hurt the SLPP so bad that its satantic and unprogressive leaders immediately vowed: “If we sit down supinely and allow this man to continue to steal our thunder, we won’t have any hope of ever returning to power again in Sierra Leone for decades and decades to come “.The SLPP was so maliciously jealous of the APC’s achievement that even before the new machines were installed, they had started making plots to sabotage the operation. One is beginning to think that it was the SLPP that covertly sabotaged the electrification project.

What the International Community needs to know is that the opposition SLPP is the most selfish political party of its kind in the whole world. Unlike other parties, who think of the national interest , whether in power or in opposition, the SLPP is one self-seeking party that only thinks of its own interest and whenever it is not in power, its main aim is to level the country . The SLPP does not care who suffers in their blind rage and unbriddled desperation for power. over 200, 000 Sierra Leone died and the whole nation’s infrastructure was destroyed because of the rebel war instigated by the SLPP. As far as the SLPP MEMBERS are concerned, Sierra Leone can be reduced to rubble and uninhabitable swamplands if they cannot rule it. To them , the philosophy is : It is either us or no Sierra Leone.

The SLPP demonstrated this clearly in 1997 when errant military oficers seized power from its clutches . The International Commitee, including the sub-regional military power, ECOMOG, were heads up in the crisis and had convinced the soldiers to hand power back to the SLPP in six months. Every mechanism had been put in place for the soldiers to hand over back to the SLPP. One would have thought that a reasonable political party that cares for its people’s lives and infrastructure would have waited for those six short months to pass for the army to hand over to them. There was no way the army would have reneged on its promise because the civilian populace had joined the crusade against the soldiers and had made governance impossible for the junta. But for the SLPP, it was power now or the whole country is destoyed .One does not understand why the SLPP IS SO DIZZINGLY AND DESPERATELY FIXATED ON POLITICAL POWER.It is not as if they will do anything good for the nation when they come to power . Whenever the SLPP rules Sierra Leone, the nation is reduced to more darkness and backwardness :So why really all this desperation for power ?

SLPP operatives were going all over the country threatening :” If these soldiers do not hand over to us, we will level this whole country down. We will ensure that they have no human beings left to govern. ” And the SLPP carried out its threats. They defied all appeals from the stakeholders and the UN and brought in mercenaries and Nigerian troops to seize power. Though warned that it would be a very costly enterprise in human lives and infrastructure, the SLPP never listened. They brought mercenaries to dislodge the soldiers and boy, did Sierra Leoneands and foreign residents suffer ! ! ! Thousands of people were mercilessly butchered on the streets by the government-paid mercenaries and SLPP supporters. Angry and hungry for blood, the SLPP formed bloody vigilante groups that went all over the country killing innocent civilians, anybody they suspected of not supporting them.People were firebombed in their homes and hundreds were set on fire on the streets . The streets of Freetown were strewn with dead bodies and swarms of vultures took control of the city. That is the kind of carnage the SLPP is capable of orchestrating , so when they accuse the APC of being violent, it is not even the kettle calling the pot black. It is venomous vipers calling worms poisonous. We wonder why families of the victims did not seek mass clas action suits against the SLPP for the horrific deaths of their relatives.

Need we recount the horrendous torture the SLPP subjected journalists to , leading to the deaths of many of them ? Need we recount the hundreds of detainees the SLPP caused to die in captivity ? Need we describes the thousands of children ophaned by the SLPP’s brutality ? Did we recount the thousands of innocent people eaten by SLPP militia members during the war ? The testimonies at the Special Court are there as evidence.SLPP militia men performed rituals where they cooked and ate their victims. The Special Court testimonies can verify these facts. Therefore when SLPP newspapers wave the bloody shirt and try to confuse people and the international community with gory photos of few victims hurt during the clashes (Yes, clashes ) with SLPP supporters, do they want us to start republishing graphic and distasteful photos of the carnage they committed in power ?

For the SLPP to adopt the tactic of waving the bloody shirt, they must be innocent for such a tactic to hold water.But here is a political party whose history is steeped in deep blood , human sacrifices and cannibalism .What moral authority does the SLPP have to condemn the APC or to wave the bloody shirt ?

Even the party’s present Chairman, John Benjamin , does not have clean hands. Was John Benjamin not Prime Minister in a military junta that carried out horrendous human rights violations and extrajudiciously executed innocent and valuable Sierra Leoneans ? Where was John Benjamin’s now much much-vaunted moral conscience when the junta he co-chaired executed innocent people like Dr. Kawuta Dumbuya , Salami Coker, Lt. Col.Yaya Kanu, a hapless palm winer tapper and other citizens on the false accusation of trying to stage a coup ? They were not even tried. They were hurridly taken from jail and bludgeoned to death with matchetes and bayonnettes and their bodies dissolve in acid. If Mr. John Benjamin had a good moral conscience, why didn’t he resign from the junta because of these wicked slaughter of innocent citizens, whose blood continue to cry out from the ground ? Their blood will continue to stalk you, Mr. Benjamin, if you don’t repudiate these horrible deed and ask for forgiveness.

John Benjamin is no better than the blood-thirsty and murderous rebel that got away with murder during the war .Is that the man that would be considered a President-In-waiting ? How low can we sink in Sierra Leone ? That is why Cocorioko has no time to respond to gibberish from SLPP writers . Their conscience has been seared with an iron and they have developed a defiled conscience. How can anybody with a tender conscience condescend to propagate the mantra of such a manifestly violent, bloody and cannibalistic political party ? If those persons had not developed a defiled conscience, how would they go so low into the whirlpool ?

Sierra Leone have been blessed with the election of the progressive , productive and industrious Ernest Bai Koroma as President. It is time for all to rally behind the President and help him accomplish what the SLPP wants to hinder him from achieving. The President needs the help of all progressive forces in Sierra Leone to succeed.

The government has master plans to electrify the city , to complete the Bumbuna Electricity Project , which will supply electricity all over the country; resurface and pave major highways ; rehabilitate hospitals, clinics, schools and colleges neglected by the SLPP ; provide employment facilities for the youth through these infrastructural projects; accelerate farming enterprises to ensure adequate supply of food in the country and try to reduce prices of basic commodities.

The government has not even been in power for two years. Does the SLPP expect the government to perform all these tasks in one year ? Why aren’t they trying to be reasonable and give the government chance to perform ? They spent 11 years in power. The APC never attempted to sabotage them. The APC remained a cooperative opposition that even contributed to the very few things the SLPP achieved in power .Why can’t they exercise the same patience and allow the APC to deliver ?

The onus is on Sierra Leoneans.They must not act like dummies and allow the SLPP to hoodwink them .The SLPP has not even compensated for the damages and ruin they inflicted on the country during their rule . They have not even restituted to the people for the millions of donor funds they squandered .Even right now the party Chairman is about to be dragged before the ongoing Commission of Inquiry to answer to allegations that he signed bogus vouchers for the SABABU PROJECT while he acted as Finance Minister . What makes him and supporters think they are fit to return to power so soon ? Return to power to do what ? Steal more donor funds ? Add finishing touches to a nation they destroyed beyond repairs ?

Please Sierra Leoneans, take your stand. Don’t allow them. Let’s all give President Ernest Koroma chance to move our country to a better direction. Let us all stop this selfish and self-seeking SLPP menace. It is not good for our country and future generations.

 

Defiant SLPP thugs planning more attacks on Mayor arrested at SLPP Headquarters

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

 

Written by WE YONE NEWSPAPER

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Monday, 16 March 2009 17:26 :True to their nature as a violent party with an uncontrollable membership, members of the opposition SLPP this morning again attempted to prevent the Mayor of Freetown and his staff from entering the Freetown City Council office. According to eyewitness report the SLPP hooligans, who apparently have been in the office for several weeks running, were heard singing Kamajor songs late last night which when translated meant that ‘tomorrow we are again going to show you people that we are the boss’.

Some were also overheard shouting threats against the welfare and well being of the Mayor and other Councilors and were obviously determined to wreck havoc on the Mayor this morning.

However, news about their nefarious plan leaked to the youths who usually rendez-vous at the old bus station and Government Wharf who as early as 6:00am began to gather round about the office of the Mayor determined to protect the Mayor from further attack and harassment by the opposition SLPP.

Popular youth activist of the APC National Youth League Foday Kamara alias Foday Government Wharf upon hearing about the dangerous plan of the opposition SLPP at about 6:00am this morning went to the office of the Freetown City Council from where observed irate SLPP hooligans and misguided youths preparing for another round of attack on the Mayor, councilors and other staff of the Freetown City Council.

Foday Kamara told We Yone that the night security personnel at the office of the Freetown City Council explained the horrific ordeal they had endued throughout the night and appealed to Foday Kamara to use his contacts in the APC to inform the Mayor that he was not secured and should therefore not go to the office today.

“Immediately I got wind of the facts from the night watchmen at the Freetown City Council office” Foday Kamara said “I left for the Police HQ where I met with AIG Munu and informed him about the plan of the opposition SLPP”

It was later understood that AIG Munu took Foday Kamara to the Inspector General of Police Brima Acha Kamara who asked that he should be withheld in custody following his berating of the Police for failing to provide adequate security for the Mayor, councilors and other council staff.

Meanwhile, reports state that staff of the Freetown City Council who were reporting for work as early as 6:30 were prevented by irate SLPP youths from entering into the Council premise.

This, according to eyewitness angered the area youths who by this were swelling in disgust as the SLPP continue their show of threat and intimidation.

Eyewitness told We Yone that one of the Council workers had insisted that he should not be prevented from entering his office on a Monday morning and a scuffle ensued between him and a group of irate SLPP youths who had tried to prevent from entering the Freetown city Council office.

“While the scuffle between the Council staff and the thugs heated, one of the attempted to hit the Council worker on his head but the Council worker was swift enough to dodge his jab and because of his physical fitness he simply bundled the irate SLPP thug out of his way” the eyewitness said pointing out that it was then stones started coming from within the office of the opposition SLPP HQ.

The worker and many other council workers who beginning to report for work at that time had to escape the riotous conduct of these SLPP hoodlums but the area youths who expressed their disgust and outright condemnation of the attitude and activities of the opposition SLPP took upon themselves to retaliate on behalf of the council staff since it was apparently clear that the Police were unable to intervene because they were yet to receive orders from the Inspector General.

The situation became aggravated by the SLPP Secretary General Jacob Jusu Saffa while during an interview over the UN radio popular programme ‘Tea Break’ sent out a war call to supporters of the SLPP to come to their office to stop the Mayor from entering his office.

However, the timely intervention of highly armed Police patrol at State House saved the day. The police patrol entered the office of the opposition SLPP and arrested well over 32 people who were apparently were in riotous conduct.

The Police discovered machetes, grenade, several bags of cannabis sativa (marijuana), cartoons of white substances considered to be heroine, several crates of beer, stout and rum, bags of rice and bags of stones.

Before the arrival of the police patrol the stone throwing battle between the members of the opposition SLPP within their HQ and the angered area youths had become so intense that the members of the opposition SLPP were again like past Friday’s incident overcome by these area youths who entered their offices and destroyed everything they could lay hands on.

Police has also asked some senior SLPP party stalwarts to reort to the nearest police station.

Meanwhile calm was restored to Freetown and people went about their normal business by midday.

Also, a high power stakeholders meeting between leaders of the political parties and the UN will take place tomorrow at the office of the UN Secretary General special Representatives to Sierra Leone at Mammy Yoko, Aberdeen.

 

SLPP PROVOKED THE CHAOS IN FREETOWN — eyewitness says in report to Cocorioko

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

COCORIOKO indicated yesterday that as an objective and independent newspaper, it is not going to apportion blame about the causes of the civil unrest at the headquarters of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) last Friday.

SLPPYOUTHS (600 x 311)

SLPP YOUTHS : Eyewitness reports that they provoked the chaos 

We have however started receiving eyewitness reports of what transpired in Freetown that day. We will publish them verbatim and unedited as we receive them. Here is the first eyewitness report received by COCORIOKO :

The True Story about the SLPP attack on the Mayor, Councilors and Citizens of Freetown

By Umaru Mansaray

Provocation is not good. When you keep provoking somebody, one day the person will become fed up with your provocation and react . This was what happened in Freetown between supporters of the All People’s Congress ( APC ) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) on Friday. .

My name is Umaru Mansaray. I live at Kroo Town Road in Freetown . I am not a supporter of the SLPP. I am also not a supporter of the APC. I am just an ordinary citizen. What I am going to tell is the truth, what I saw with my own eyes .I decided to come forward to tell my story to the press because I want to see peace in my country. I am telling what my eyes saw that day

The clock tower by the Eastern Police Station in Freetown was formally unveiled on Friday the 13th of March, 2009 amidst much jubilation by the citizens of this city. There was much pomp and pageantry as the Matotma society, the Abacha Street women and lots of other groups were represented at the function. The residents and traders of Mabela, Magazine Court, Guard Street, Fourah Bay and Kissy Road etc were jubilant as they expressed appreciation to the Mayor, His Lordship Herbert Williams and Freetown City Council for the replacement of the clock after all these years.

During the ceremony, there was too much disruption coming to affect the occasion. Some factions of SLPP supporters were heard saying about the clock “Banya Fakee” meaning in Mende ‘you do not fool us’ or ‘lie to us’. To which the street traders and others responded “Dis nah reality” “Baksenehsu” which in Temne means ‘be patient with us’. The area residents were heard saying that the SLPP needs to be patient like the APC was over the last ten plus years when they were in power. But it don’t seem like SLPP wants to be patient with APC which everybody was saying. The festivities were moved from the clock tower to the Freetown City Council building at Government Wharf for refreshments.

Allegations from some amputees and folks that hang around the SLPP office area stated that one Mandere, an SLPP supporter, and Lansana Fadika, the newly elected SLPP Western Regional Chairman, had earlier that day arranged for some youth from their party (SLPP) to gather stones and bottles, bag and keep them in the vicinity around the SLPP office for reasons that later became clear. The amputees heard the SLPP youth saying :” Den wan ya , if den pass na ya tiday, we go show dem peppeh “,meaning in Krio : “Those people if the pass through here today, we are going to show them pepper ”

As the first crowd of jubilating citizens approached the FCC area coming from the clock tower celebrations they found the street barricaded between Howe Street and Charlotte Street on Wallace Johnson Street and there were a few unarmed police officers standing around. The crowd was approached by Lansana Fadika and Mandere who told them they could not pass that route. Members of the crowd were begging them to allow them pass but they were adamant.

Shortly after, the Mayor and his crowd were coming down Charlotte Street from Lightfoot Boston Street approaching the FCC building when the Mayor was accosted and pushed by Lansana Fadika saying that the Mayor should not come down that street because it was directly in front of the SLPP office. Mandere then unleashed their paid thugs to start throwing the bottles and stones they had collected at the jubilating crowds. The Mayor and a good number of the crowd of innocent citizens were wounded. The windshield of the Mayor’s vehicle was broken. It is reported that Marda Bio was also present and active in all this commotion.

Some of the APC procession were women. The SLPP youth beat and stripped them naked . They beat the masked devil and it had to run away to save his life. Sticks , broken bottles and stones were flying like missiles from the SLPP Headquarters. There was one stone that hit the Lord Mayor on his head .

At this point, more APC youths came to the fighting. They were angry because of the things they saw happening . Allegations by some of them said that the SLPP youths had also stoned the car of the Vice-President , Chief Sam Sumana , at the Clock Tower.

The point at which the pro-SLPP newspaper team arrived was when the citizens that were under attack and area youth who came to the Mayor’s rescue were retaliating for the attack by throwing rocks back at their attackers and at the SLPP office. What they reported and the pictures they are circulating are half-truth to divide the country. They did not show pictures of SLPP youths attacking the Mayor and the passing procession. I am certain the reporter is a good reporter who got eyewitness accounts at the scene, but somehow did not cover that first half of the story in her reporting.

The fighting then started seriously which ended in the SLPP HQ. When the J.J Saffa’s car was set on fire, Fire Brigade which came ,started to put the fire out but were threatened by the SLPP mob with disaster if they tried to extinguish the fire.

This week has seen a number of events that warrant our profound concern and attention. The violence in Kailahun, Pujehun and Freetown and the mysterious death of Gbondima Gbondo who was vying for the SLPP leadership and happened to suddenly die in Kenema the same weekend of the SLPP convention. His death was kept quiet until days after the occurrence.

The people of this country have too much at stake and have intermarried and intermingled too much to buy into any tribal nonsense. We are one people and we will not be divided. Sectionalism will not work for 2012 or consequent elections

Today, it was reported that the vehicle of the Resident Minister,Eastern Province, Mr. Juana Smith , has been burnt by SLPP youths. This is provocation again by SLPP youths similar to the provocation that took place on Friday. So, to me, SLPP is the one provoking these confusion. They have to stop provoking APC youths for there to be peace.

Umaru Mansaray

Kroo Town Road

Freetown.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 14 March 2009 )

 

SLPP/APC clashes : Another view

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Written by PEDRO DA CINTA : COCORIOKO FORUM

Saturday, 14 March 2009

When the APC was in the political wilderness for eleven years they were on record as one of the best opposition parties ever in African political history.They played their roles as and when required and as dictated by situations.They were on the sidelines as silent spectators when the ruling SLPP was grandstanding during some auspicious state celebrations or doing the ‘sokobanah’ in political events.

In parliament they played their opposition role which included constructive criticisms to put the ruling SLPP on their toes as well as co-operating in good faith in anything that will be of advantage to the common man.They accepted defeat in grace in two elections whose results were as questionable as the unexpected win of a carpet-bagger.In 1996 the APC witnessed the conduct of an election by an SLPP sympathiser in the guise of a UN official who in the end manipulated the results for a Tejan Kabba win.In 2002, the APC again saw for the first time the emergence of a phenomenon aimed at proficient vote rigging which later got christened or dubbed SLPPically as ‘WUTETEH’.The APC knew very well that elections were not free and fair but for peace sake decided to take its members to task in seeking a democratic and more realistic way of wining the State House.The APC devised their strategies and moved on.While doing so the party,its supporters and sympathisers did not apply any unpatriotic or militant gimmicks to create or incite upheavals or devise and implement any plan aimed at tarnishing Salone’s image by negative propaganda in a bid to scare away potential investors or demoralize the diaspora.

During the APC opposition era people learned and knew exactly what an opposition is and its role both in and out of parliament and were so impressed that they believed it will make a very good ruling party as well.While the SLPP regime was floundering and failing people were quick to place their bet on the APC as the potential saviour.

After positions were reversed following the elections in 2007 the citizens who had expected the same politics got a rude shock!The SLPP with the rotten propensity for attaining power at all costs started crying foul after the final results were announced which signaled the failure of their wuteteh invention and so the end of their deceitful grip on power.In consequence the SLPP resorted to evil machinations which I will come to later.

The SLPP which have been deceiving people that the APC is a violent party and always portrayed themselves as the victims shocked the nation and the international community in 2007 when they militantly declared their strongholds as no-go areas for the APC’s canvassing activities.One would not forget the thuggery that was meted out to the APC in Bo, Kailahun and Pujehun led by John Benjamin,Tom Nyuma et al which nearly cost lives.The APC was forced to withdraw without even saying a word and never retaliated when the SLPP went to their strongholds for the same.This behaviour of the SLPP was reminiscent of the notorious master thug Kendeka and the blood-thirsty N’dorgborwusui eras in the south where many innocent lives were destroyed for only supporting the APC in a move to make the south APC-free.People started becoming very apprehensive and the events in the south in the run up to the 2007 elections became serious causes for their concern.It became crystal clear that the SLPP which had been hiding its paws is a party with histories of violence.

Now back to the fallouts of the SLPP’s 2007 loss.The party rank and file could not stomach such a humiliating defeat by the opposition which was a sure sign of rejection by the people and so resorted to evil machinations.They set up online news rags and bought some sympathetic newspapers in Salone with the sole aim of demonizing the APC so as to scare away potential investors and also make their achievements look insignificant and like failures.They are using radio stations to incite a rebellion and misinform the international community and the diaspora about the real situation in Salone.They engage in insidious activities with a view to sabotage the smooth functioning of the APC regime by planting agents in ministries and even the State House.They stage manage events where they use their thugs dressd in red to perpetrate acts of violence to tarnish the image of the ruling APC.They fabricate stories about the president and his ministers and plant them in tabloids on their payroll.In public or international fora they never say anything positive about Salone because it is being ruled by the APC being oblivious of the fact that they are Saloneans too and that whatever they say or write will reflect on them.Their attitude is EITHER US OR NOBODY.

Since the SLPP became the opposition no co-operation has been extended to the ruling party in matters of national interest.They don’t seek the welfare of the people only themselves and hence their monotonous cry-babyism.The most stupid act of critique which is the only note-worthy thing they have done so far was when they ridiculously tried to make the global problem look like an APC creation.

The Salonean populace has been silently observing the unfolding drama with consciousness.They were giggling when the SLPP has been fooling themselves and now have decided enough is enough.They will not only re-elect the APC in 2012 but also start teaching the negative, unpatriotic, diabolical and thuggish nondescr1pt SLPP lessons on responsibility and patriotism.

 

What ensued at the SLPP party office should be an eye-opener for all.Those who are trying to politically mislead people are just engaged in a labour of love.The whole incident was no attack by APC thugs but rather the people’s reaction to SLPP’s negative politics.They were in power for eleven years maintaining the status quo in Freetown which is the capital.When the patriotic and people-friendly APC came to power they decided to take the bull by the horn.

The APC showed respect for the capital by cleaning away the eleven years garbage left by the ‘dorti koaloambo’ SLPP.Yesterday they replaced the colonial clock by a modern one much to the cheers and appreciation of the citizens.

The SLPP could not hold back or hide their jealousy and had to make such achievement appear insignificant.As planned they started throwing stones at the dynamic Mayor of Freetown which prompted a swift reaction from the people irrespective of party affiliation.
The people by such reaction has clearly spelt it out that the SLPP is a useless party that is allergic to peace, progress and development.
As of now no cry-babyism or shedding crocodile tears to save face will help the SLPP. The people now know their gimmicks!

The Limba tribe is the third largest tribe in Sierra Leone

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

By Med Nabe, USA


A Gentleman

This is a very good narrative, and the writer should have done us a favor by identifying himself so that those of us that have some reservations about the experiences we get from the Limba cronyism would ascertain whether the writer was a credible story teller/defender of the Limba hegemony. I

t is a fact that the Limba tribe is the third largest tribe in Sierra Leone with its Biriwa, Sellah, Safroko and the Tonko divisions. It is true that they were a peaceful subservient people until Siaka Stevens raised them up to prominence when he proclaimed and identified himself as a Limba. The advent of their prominence in politics and political power completely changed the dynamics and political correctness in Sierra Leone. The Arrogance of power abounds,and the audacity of subsumed culture of corruption exemplified.

During the Siaka Stevens era, Edward Kargbo, a limba from Kamakwe was the longest serving minister of Transport and communications, but the cocoon like writer did not mention him in his narrative. The APC under Siaka Stevens succeded in making infra -structural development in the country… Siaka Stevens, in his final days as the doyen of politics in Sierra Leone, did a miscalculated mistake by appointing Joseph Saidu Momoh President of Sierra Leone over and at the expense of Sorie Ibrahim Koroma whose corpse would have been far effective in governance than J.S.Momoh. In his days as President, Siaka Stevens maintained a delicate balance between the tribes in the country.

However, his appointment of Momoh his Limba nephew as president was the beginning of the end of the APC party.and its leadership.The upsurge of the Limba Clan in political prominence from their mediocre status as hewers of wood and palm wine tapers escalated the arrogance of power in government. Many of them never identified themselves as Limbas in their lives until Siaka Stevens , the Doyen of politics in Sierra Leone, encouraged them to come out of their self inflicted misery .This was so especially for those adopted by the Creoles in the then colony and came to be known as Creoles themselves.

It was very true that the Limbas came into prominence with the arrogance of power during the Momoh Presidency.They had the first non-lawyer speaker of the House of Parliament. They had the infamous manipulator of the police force whose time of being Inspector General of the Police was the longest ever in the history of the police force in Sierra Leone. President Stevens never messed with the promotions of members of the Police Force and Customs Department. He always goes by the books. But when we had the acclaimed Limba clan and AKUTAY dominated APC government, the country and government quickly went to the dogs.

The arrogance of power had its toll on the complacency and reckless governance of President Momoh, when the then Minister of Trade and Industry Ben Kanu ( Limba and AKUTAY Mogul) refused to quit the position of Acting Second Vice President when the incumbent 2nd Vice president Pa A. B Kamara returned from his call of duty. This was a very embarrassing situation. At that time, seeing the incompetence of the President, every Akutay man thought he could do what he wanted and that was the case. Bambay Kamara went around seizing peoples wares just because they did not go through him. The debacle with the Isreali Businessman Skiper, the rice Shipment of Miss Aminata Kallay,to name a few.

However, among them you still have a very few of them who were modest in character and were not seen in that public display of arrogance of power, like Pa E.T. Kamara, Edward Kargbo and Sanie Sesay. The APC started to crumble down when it was Akutalized. Bambay Kamara became the most powerful Limba man in the country. If you do not go for weekend retreat at his firm in the outskirts of Freetown, your position in government was in jeopardy. This was why so many people had to join the Akutay Friendly Association because, if you failed to associate with them, you will find “san-san” in your dinner. And you obviously know what it means. That was a time if your girl friend got missing during the weekend-(their weekend starts on Thursday evening), ten chances to one, she had been kidnapped and taken to the harem of Bambay Kamara.

So to some of us the innocence the writer was trying to portray about the Limbas in government was the worst yet since we got independence. One of the gravest mistakes President Stevens regretted for was giving power to Momoh and his clan. Thank goodness, we have a better leadership in the APC now, and we will keep on fighting so that the semblance of AKUTAY in the name of ROGBANEH Descendants Association who were trying to rogbanehlize this new APC leadership will not thrive. But in certain chapters of the APC in Northern America, there is an upsurge of Limbaism presently brewing. But we are watching with fox eyes. This time around, that sycophancy will be met with the utmost resistance because this president is not a Limba and does not tolerate nonsense from any tribal stupidity. He is a Sierra Leonean and represents all Sierra Leoneans. You can see why he chooses to find his life partner from the East.