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Archive for December, 2011

Blaming the APC Government even for evils not of its making demonstrates SLPP’s blind determination to wrestle back power

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Blaming the APC Government even for evils not of its making demonstrates SLPP’s blind determination to wrestle back power

Filed under: Breaking News,Diaspora,Editorial,Headlines,Lead Story,Sports |

ONE Sunday morning, a lady late for church service met a man sitting outside the church crying bitterly. “Why are you  sitting here crying so loudly ” , the woman screamed out at  the man. “It is those people inside the church”, the man screamed back . “They are blaming me for everything , even their own human foibles.  Even problems that are outside my purview, they are  blaming  me for them.”  The bespectacled woman asked him , “Who are you  ? ” and he replied “I am Satan, the Devil” . Though she did not care for the Devil, the woman agreed profusely with the man because it is the problem of modern day Christianity. Even when they commit sins through their own lust for evil , their own lack of self-control , bad judgements and deliberate choice to comit sins, christians  blame  the Devil. This is making their redemption impossible because to be saved, they first need to accept responsibility for their own sins, repent and ask God for forgiveness

 

Though there is no attempt here to equate the Devil with any human institution, much less a hardworking Government like the present APC Administration, this is exactly the kind of society the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) has created in Sierra Leone today in their blind, uncontrollable greed to wrestle back power from the ruling APC.  Everything is the fault of President Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC Government. One only needs to visit the website of our noisy neighbours at the New People Online or the Unity , Global Times,  etc.  to see this unprogressive and unproductive trend in action.

The vigilant Sierra Leone Police Force , acting on a tip-off, stages a dramatic sting operation , swoops on  the Freetown Quay and arrests a container of cocaine that was  imported to the country by ill-disposed criminals who have no connection whatsoever to the APC Government. But instead of praising the Police, President Ernest Koroma , who has no way of knowing that such a container was heading for Sierra Leone, is blamed by SLPP journalists and zealots.  If anything, the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma should have been highly commended for their spectacular successes in thwarting criminals’ attempts to bring cocaine and other drugs into the country. What these crack downs mean is that the APC Government  IS DOING A GREAT JOB  TO COMBAT DRUG-TRAFFICKING IN SIERRA LEONE. It has put in place efficient and effective structures that are successfully blocking all attempts by criminals to import drugs into the country. In the past, without such structures the drug-traffickers had no problems importing their dangerous stuff into the country. Certainly, the cocaine trade did not start overnight.It has been going on for long.

Even the last Al Jazeera sting operation by Sorious Samura that exposed what has now been dubbed the Timbergate scandal, shoddy  though the investigative work , was made possible because of the transparent, open and accountable socio-political system being run  in Sierra Leone by the President Koroma Government.  We are made to believe that some people at the top had foreknowledge of the presence of the Al Jazeera team in Sierra Leone but did not stop them from doing their undercover work because they wanted the corrupt timber trade to be exposed . If this is true, it further demonstrates how democratic and transparent this government is, unlike others before it. If true, it shows that this government has nothing to hide and is serious about fighting corruption.

But for the pro-SLPP media , SLPP commentators and party executives , every successful operation designed to  expose social evils and clean up the country is a larvish and golden  opportunity to cast blame on the Government and hold its feet to the unjustified fire of blame. So many ridiculous articles have surfaced in SLPP  newspapers and forums lately about the APC Government turning Sierra Leone into a haven for cocaine importation that one wonders whether the brains of the accusers are screwed in the right place.   Some uncouth and unreasonable writers even tried  to link President Koroma to these evils. This is not only  ignorance and imbecility  in action but stunning wickedness towards the truth.  One could  also see that these articles are well-calculated and designed by SLPP operatives  to unfairly tarnish the image of the President and the  government because not all of them  are written by journalists who can be classified as  imbeciles. It is a deliberate attempt to give the government a bad rap for political capital.

Drug busts take place on a regular basis in the U.S. and other industrialized countries which have the mechanism and the logistical clout to prevent attempts by drug lords to import their deadly drugs into these countries.Yet, when they happen, no U.S. newspaper blames President OBama or the Democrats .There are bank robberies, homicides and rapes everyday in Western countries. There are police killings of civilians now and again , some bordering on highhandedness and abuse by the Police but nobody blames President OBama or the Government. Greed and recklessness in the American mortgage industry caused the latest  global economic downturn that has resulted  in massive retrenchment of workers, freeze on employment, extreme hardship,  leading further to millions losing their homes to foreclosures  , but never have these problems been blamed on President OBama and the Government. Americans are learned and honest enough to know that some of these problems are not within the purview of President OBama and the Government.  They are social evils that have prevailed before OBama was born and will continue even after he would have left power.  Are  mental backwardness and ignorance of the operations of the social and economic system responsible  for Sierra Leoneans, on the other hand, blaming their President and Government for these evils over which they have no control  ? Are we so dumb that we do not know what the government is culpable for and what it is not ?

The problem with Sierra Leone is that journalists and socio-political  activists have lost their way in a country where journalism practice was once so excellent that  Sierra Leone  was regarded as the Fleet Street of West Africa,  in addition to being the Athens of West Africa  . Gone are the days of objective  and probing analyses of socio-economic and political problems by responsible newspapers and writers .  What we have now are imbeciles who do not care for the truth or responsible analyses of societal evils. They are politicians and everything is written to satiate their political excesses. Welcome to the new Sierra Leone where any moron  can get up overnight and start calling himself Editor-In-Chief or a journalist or political commentator . Because of this anomaly, our so-called journalists and newspaper columnists and analysts lack the ability to critically  and scientifically examine and analyse  social and economic evils in their correct perspectives  and discover their true causes .What is seen  in Sierra Leone is the tendency to personalize the news  and ascribe unlearned and self-serving  meanings to it along  political, regional and tribal lines. How are the mighty fallen ! ! !

The “Ernest Koroma  did  it”  chorus  always robs the readers of the opportunity to learn the true causes of  corruption and evils  or the  cocaine trade .Readers may never know that  cocaine and drug-smuggling are infact entrenched and deep-seated problems that flourished even during the NPRC and SLPP eras.  Maada Bio, SAJ Musa , Valentine Strasser  and some NPRC members were opium addicts  who virtually lived on diamba.  Yet the reader is unable to know that the problem of drug-smuggling  goes beyond complicity by unpatriotic elements in our society  because every news item is personalized to suit partisan, tribal and regional interests.  Powerful International  drug barons with solid international connections are the culprits in a multi-billion dollar enterprise that is taxing the resources of even governments in the U.S, Britain and industrialized countries .  A diplomatic bag belonging to one of the officials of the SLPP Government was even confiscated at a British airport in 2002 . This clearly meant that  the cocaine business was so serious that some impudent Sierra Leoneans even used our diplomatic baggage to trade in drugs , unknown to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Was Ernest Koroma the President of Sierra Leone at that time ?

The SLPP should banish the thought that they will seize back power by unjustifiably blaming the government for everything, even matters that are outside the  purview of government . The SLPP had a very poor record of governance . They ruled for 11 unbroken years and have nothing concrete to point to as achievement during their reign. Whatever the problems, President Koroma has achieved far more in just four years than the SLPP in 11 years. Why would the Sierra Leonean people suddenly abandon a government that is developing their country and relapse and revert to a government that  had 11 years to prove its mettle but left the country in total darkness–with no electricity or water– food shortages, economic hardships and a filthy capital that was an embarrassment to everybody ?

The SLPP  may have forgotten so easily  that it was the worst government in Sierra Leone’s contemporary history but the people of Sierra Leone have not forgotten. They can blame the Government for everything including not sitting right on their comode but the Sierra Leonean people know that President Koroma is not responsible for these problems. He met them flourishing when he came to power in 2007 and is  facing them head-on and taking the bull by the horns. It seems that these problems have escalated but this is not correct. Rather there is now so much focus on the evils as the government tackles them boldly .  It will be a gigantic fight but because he is genuine and means well for our nation, success will crown President Koroma’s  efforts. The SLPP and their propagandists will never succeed to damage the President’s name with their blame games.

 

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PART 2 : SLPP starts brainwashing Sierra Leoneans and our international development partners for 2012 elections

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Filed under: Breaking News,Diaspora,Editorial,Headlines |

By KABS KANU :

The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) have  seriously started brainwashing Sierra Leoneans for next year’s elections. Realizing that they have no achievement or record to run on since all the socio-economic and political developments  in Sierra Leone were made by either the late President Siaka Stevens or the present Head of State Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma , the SLPP  have launched the first of the only two strategies they always employ to gain power in Sierra Leone–Lies/vile propaganda or military coups when they are not able to win elections.

Sierra Leoneans  should take very serious note of  the revelations made last week by the Publisher of Awareness Times, Dr.Sylvia Blyden, who has now proved that she will not support any party that does not go by the rules or civilized norms.   The ungrateful SLPP are now busy demonizing Dr.Blyden but why not ? She has added to the illustrious list of Sierra Leoneans who have realized that the SLPP is unprogressive, unproductive, tribalistic, bigoted and unpatriotic, the only thing that matters to the party being its own lust for self-gratification and perpetuating tribal and regional harmony. It is the SLPP’s way to demonize opponents and people who no longer tolerate their pseudo and corrupt politics.

Sierra Leoneans who think we are too hard on the SLPP must  also steal a page from the books of people like John Ernest Leigh, Lansana Fadika and Sylvia Blyden who once thought that the SLPP was a serious party but the moment they knew that the SLPP is nothing but a self-seeking , tribalistic, corrupt , venal and unpatriotic party , they came out openly to begin exposing the evils in the SLPP. If a former ambassador cannot swallow the truth, I say shame on you, sir.

Dr. Blyden wrote and I want Sierra Leoneans to take strong note  of this statement : “SLPP agents are trolling all over social media like Facebook with aliases and fake identities writing and attacking on behalf of the SLPP.  Some tactics are actually counterproductive and qualify for the description of despicable but others are admirable….However, APC’s online news outlets are far more on top of their game than those of the opposition SLPP which sadly thrive more on nasty personal attacks than attacking the issues….Still on the international media scene, the propaganda wallop of Ernest Bai Koroma by Julius Maada Bio in UK’s Guardian newspaper was masterful. It had blatant inaccuracies but the effect was to demean his opponent to British tax-payers.”

One only has to read these famous and instructive observations by Dr. Blyden to see the seriousness of the situation. This is coming from a brilliant and very intelligent citizen who once thought that the SLPP  had something good up its sleeves and frankly seemed to be fighting many of their battles, though she was quick to maintain  during those times that she was not an SLPP supporter. When you consider how passionately Sylvia Blyden often pursues a cause and the fact that whatever many of us may have  said about her during those days ( many erroneous )  , she is one of the most intelligent persons in the land who makes informed observations and  you know that this  is not a spur-of-the moment observation but something she had spent man -hours studying ! ! !

Dr. Blyden was spot on and rightly said that the SLPP zealots engaged in propaganda use counterproductive tactics that qualify for the despicable and that they thrive on nasty attacks. How True. She also said that the recent article written on behalf of the morally bankrupt Maada Bio in the British Guardian newspaper was meant to demean his opponent to the British taxpapers. What an accurate description of one of the strategies of the  SLPP. And it did not come from a pro-APC  journalist  ! ! ! It came from Sylvia Blyden who once fought for the party .

It is a disgrace to the SLPP that they cannot practice decent politics. The reason as we have said over and over is that the SLPP  does not have any record to run on. The SLPP  cannot point to one single development project in Sierra Leone that was accomplished by any of their governments. The SLPP Government of the 1960s and the Ahmad Tejan Kabbah goverment ( 1996-2007 ) achieved nothing concrete. If you see any beautiful building,  highway, structure or economic and social project in Sierra Leone, it was either constructed or launched by the Late Dr.Siaka Stevens or President Ernest Koroma.  If the SLPP  have any achievement to campaign on, they would have made our ears squalid hearing it touted over and over and over.

The SLPP’s stock-in-trade are  blatant inaccuracies and lies on one hand and military coups on the other. They believe that the only way they can win an election is by tarring the opponents black and defaming him to the international world. It is because of this that I have long resigned fronm online discussion forms, most of which are controlled by SLPP zealots .There are some SLPP  newspapers that I have stopped reading . Nor do I  respond  to any of their editors , even as evidence continue to pour in that one of them  in  London is a mere  diamba -smoking drunkard and wife- beater  who  wants to get  attention and recognition through me.  People tell me that he wants people to notice him through attacking me. I believed them because this is one obscure individual that nobody notices.  Solomon Sesay tells me that the reason he responds to the man is he wants the world to know how this former BBC Presenter is abusing his wife so that the authorities will intervene and save the woman’s life. As soon as I became wise to the fact that he wants to use my fame with Cocorioko  to gain the attention and prominence  he has never received I STOPPED  responding  to him . I have reached the height where puny men can no longer touch me or change people’s perception about me  ( By God’s grace ) .

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If the SLPP paint their opponents black and it does not work, the next thing is to attempt a military coup or insurrection.  In 1967, when the APC defeated them in epic General Elections, the SLPP launched the first military coup ever in Sierra Leone . In the 1980s, the SLPP  launched the first guerilla warfare in Sierra Leone known as the NDORGBOWUSUI conflict. In 1992, SLPP operatives including their present presential candidate, Maada Bio, staged the NPRC Coup which overthrew the APC Government led by the late Gen. Joseph Momoh. If they had not been afraid that the UN and the international community would have intervened, the SLPP  would have attempted a coup after the APC defeated them again in 2007.

All the vicious propaganda  online and in the foreign media about Sierra Leone that threaten to  undo the rebranding work some of have done are being perpetuated by SLPP supporters. Once they are not in power, they do not care whatever damage they cause to the country. They do not care if investors and tourists stop coming to Sierra Leone. They do not care if  foreign aid stops coming. They are ready to strangulate the country , make everybody suffer and at the same time tarnish the country’s name beyond repairs .Once they are not in power, they do not care. It must be recalled also that it was the SLPP that brought the rebel war to Sierra Leone with the aim of overthrowing the then APC Government. For the SLPP,  it is power-for -power’s sake and they would care less if the whole country is razed to the ground. Their interest is not the nation but their party, tribe or region.

SEE PART 3 NEXT WEEK

President Koroma’s integrity and character remain clean as a whistle : Shame on Maada Bio for his dishonest article to the British Guardian newspaper

Friday, December 16th, 2011

President Koroma’s integrity and character remain clean as a whistle : Shame on Maada Bio for his dishonest article to the British Guardian newspaper

Filed under: Breaking News,Diaspora,Editorial,Headlines,National News |

By KABS KANU :

One of the joys of being a supporter of President Ernest Bai Koroma is that you never have  cause to ever defend the man’s character.  The President’s integrity and character are as clean as a whistle. He has never  got  himself in situations that compromise his integrity and character. His detractors have been trying to make political capital of the Al Jazeera documentary that exposed corruption in the banned timber trade , but they fail to realize that once President Koroma himself remains clean and honest in his dealings with national and international affairs, these isolated events will not affect his electability in 2012.

ERNEST KOROMA : A MAN OF INTEGRITY AND CHARACTER

Reputation is what people think of you , and even  the  mob could be wrong about a man . Your character is however who you really are and when it comes to that it is very difficult for even your enemies to destroy you if you do not do things  that affect your integrity and character .

Since he entered public life after graduating from college in 1977 , Mr. Koroma has occupied key positions of responsibilty in society .He headed financial institutions and insurance companies  but he left all of them without any blemish to his character. In fact, one of the reasons that thousands of his countrymen and women rallied around him to support his presidential ticket in 2007 was his character. President Koroma’s character will again give him a deserved second term when Sierra Leoneans vote again next year.

Four years into his rule as President of Sierra Leone , nobody can come out honestly and justifiably to accuse the President of  any wrongdoing bordering on official malfeasance and misfeasance in the execution of his responsibilities as Head of State and Fountain of Honour of our Republic. The other day, President Koroma went to a mosque in the capital and lifted up his hands in demonstration of their cleanness and told his audience that unlike some people aspiring for the presidency he has very clean hands — and nobody , not even his detractors in the press –contradicted him in any way. The reason they did not contradict him was that they had  nothing to use to demonstrate that his hands were not clean.

Since he came to power, President Koroma has never engaged himself in any act of corruption or abuse of office.  Never has his name been mentioned in corruption or public misconduct. No human being is perfect and only a fool  would regard any human  as perfect , despite his sterling character. Man, by nature, has imperfections but one thing one can say about leaders like President Koroma is that they do try their level best to remain clean, transparent and accountable to their nation in all their dealings  with people and situations , and this count  a whole lot in their acceptability by their people and the outside world .

It is a fact that President Koroma’s character is never in doubt. Even those who do not like him give him a lot of credit for the prudent, scrupulous and transparent manner he conducts national and international affairs.

He is a very simple man, not given to any of the trappings of self-aggrandizement and ostentation and because of this, his detractors in the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) and the media have spent four uncomfortable years trying to fish out any personal and public wrondoing by President  that they will pin on him and use  to damage his character but they have failed miserably. They have found nothing against the President.

That is why it is very unfair to President Koroma when some of those in whom  he has placed implicit trust  at times disappoint him by engaging in activities that tend to tarnish the good name of the government.  It is the nature of man to disappoint and so some of the events President Koroma’s detractors are amplifying have happened during the reign of presidents and heads of state all over the world. The Al Jazeera documentary is unfortunate even as the producer’ has been caught out in  distortion and fabrication of some of the events in the video  but even if the so-called investigative work had been flawless ,  it is not a true reflection of President Koroma’s leadership and we expect  those who want to use the foibles of some of the President’s officials to stigmatize President Koroma’s rule to understand this fact.  Apart from the fact that he has himself never engaged in corruption, President Koroma has been very robust in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone . The President vowed before coming to power that during his administration there will be no sacred cows and he has lived up to his pledge. The reason that it seems like there is more corruption now in Sierra Leone is that the All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government is very proactive in discovering and punishing the culprits engaged in corruption. No government has done half as much as the Ernest Koroma government has accomplished   in prosecuting corrupt officials. The SLPP Government, for instance, did not punish any of its corrupt ministers and public officials in the 11 years it was in power.

Because of all the facts above,  the People of Sierra Leone and the international world continue to judge President Koroma by his own personal fidelity, integrity and character, and his reputation and character remain unblemished in the national and international spheres .  This is the reason that   the SLPP Presidential candidate Maada Bio has become very  envious of President Koroma to the extent that  he was not ashamed to demonstrate it recently in a foolhardy article to the GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER of Britain  in which he questioned Former British Premier Tony Blair’s respect  and support for President Koroma. It borders on the ridiculous , the insane and the depraved for a man with a criminal record  like Maada Bio to become envious of  the tremendous  goodwill by President Koroma  being enjoyed from respected world personalities like Tony Blair  . Maada Bio exposed malice and envy in that article not only for President Koroma but the whole nation when one considers that Tony Blair’s constructive engagement with President Koroma is geared towards making Sierra Leone a better place for her citizens .It is not a mere friendship designed to satiate President Koroma’s  personal interests. Tony Blair is more concerned about the welfare of the Sierra Leonean people and there is nothing wrong to express this through a special relationship with President Ernest Koroma , if he respects the integrity and character of the President. Ex-Premier Tony Blair has said many times in public that he works with President Koroma because he finds the Sierra Leonean leader a trustworthy and progressive man.

Maada Bio should know that it is not by accident that people like Tony Blair gravitate towards President Koroma.  The President deserves whatever goodwill he is enjoying from Mr. Blair because of his integrity and character .

We know that Maada Bio will never enjoy such a special relationship with any world leader or personality , thanks to his  human rights records and the extrajudicial killings he engaged in as a member of a military junta that once ruled Sierra Leone.  It is an  insult to human intelligence for Maada Bio to try to put himself where he does not belong–In the  same category with President Koroma. Maada Bio and President Koroma can never belomg  to  the same category . Even President Koroma’s detractors can admit that. Both men are not comparable.  While President Koroma attracts world leaders and personalities to himself like a magnet because of his remarkable integrity and character and the good governance he has provided Sierra Leone  , Maada Bio repels them because of his bad character ,  lack of integrity and human rights record . In fact, Maada Bio is the subject of an inquest being requested by the families of the 29 people he and his junta murdered in Sierra Leone in 1992. One could see that Mr. Bio has no moral authority to criticize anybody.

Maada Bio was even dishonest  enough to compare a hardworking, democratic and progressive President like Ernest Koroma to Robert Mugabe. President Koroma is one of the most democratic heads of state ever to rule in Africa. This is the first time in Sierra Leone that there are no political prisoners. The press is free with over 50 newspapers, most of them belonging to the opposition .They write very critical articles against the government but since President Koroma came to power in 2007, no journalist has been persecuted or even questioned for the salacious articles. For the first time , Sierra Leone has  very active civil society and women’s groups. The whole country is safe as the government is ensuring the safety and security of all people living within the country’s borders.  Just yesterday, during a Peacebuilding Committe Session of the Sierra Leone Country Specific, the country was described by many members states of the UN as an African success story.

We know that Bio wants power desperately in Sierra Leone but he cannot achieve his goal through vicious propaganda and lies. The people of Sierra Leone will vote for the candidate they trust most and the man who has a track record of brilliant stewardship to the nation. And in all likelihood, it is President Koroma who fits the bill.

 

Why President Ernest Koroma deserves a second term ( 1) : He has provided abundant economic opportunities for all who want to work hard

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

By KABS KANU :

Whenever a Presidential election dawns in America  and we talk about the hot campaign topics that determine who clinches the diadem, , we say “It is the economy, stupid “. Well, if that is the yardstick on which elections turn, President Ernest Bai Koroma deserves a second term of office in Sierra Leone, where concerns over the economy have been sufficiently addressed by the Ernest Koroma All People’s Congress ( APC) Government.  In just four years of leadership ,President Koroma has expanded opportunities and provided a fair and equitable opportunity to all Sierra Leoneans and all concerned to earn a decent living . He has also done a great job to build economic resources in the country which are instrumental in creating a prosperous nation in Sierra Leone. President Koroma’s goal is to provide  sustainable economic development in Sierra Leone that will stand the test of time.

PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA : MAKING SIERRA LEONE THE HUB OF BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN WEST AFRICA

President Koroma has achieved this by making markets and the economic system in the country work better for both low-  income and high earning families. Unlike the past when it was the rich and mighty who had all the opportunities to excel economically in the nation, there are now abundant opportunities for any Sierra Leonean to do well if he or she is prepared to engage in profitable business enterprises in the country. What President Koroma has done is that he has opened up Sierra Leone to business and commerce for all Sierra Leoneans, rich or poor . President Koroma’s  other goal is to make Sierra Leoneans a self-reliant people.  In times past, we were stigmatized as a lazy people with obsession for white-collar jobs that have us sitting behind desks doing sweet nothing whole day and being very unproductive . In constrast, President Koroma has created a new society in Sierra Leone where he has opened the eyes of the people  about where  the opportunities and the  bucks exist–The private sector.

The President’s economic philosophy is built around a famous Chinese proverb :

“Give a man fish; he will eat fish for a day , but teach a man how  to fish and he will eat fish everyday “.

President Koroma has engaged in a Private Sector Development Program that is benefitting  Sierra Leoneans who want to work hard to better their economic resources. In 2009, the thoughtful and business-oriented President launched a Private Sector Development Strategy , “  Designed to provide expert advice and implementation support to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to develop and implement a Comprehensive Private Sector Development Plan. For the reporting period, the Private Sector focussed its efforts on developing policies and programmes to stimulate local and export trade , improving the investment climate , encouraging the expansion and diversification of exports and promoting the development of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs ) .The main focus of SMEs has been important as these enterprises are entry points for job creation at lower levels of expertise and adddress the high levels of unemployment among youth and women . A number of initiatives have been carried out by the Government to improve access to affordable finance for SMEs . ” (Page 33 , Joint Progress Report on the Agenda For Change : January 2009-June 2010 ) .

Thus , it was noticed that though Sierra Leone’s economy continues to be bedevilled by the global economic downturn, which is affecting the cost of living, there are economic opportunities which show that President Koroma has not been asleep. He has put his whole Government to work to set up structures in the Private Sector which will provide abundant opportunities for Sierra Leoneans willing to think creatively and work  to reap  the rich dividends  that the private sector provides through small and big scale business enterprises.

KOROMA TIME IN SIERRA LEONE is not a time for people to sit down supinely and expect the government to employ them and put them behind a desk; Though the government has to provide jobs for its people, it cannot employ everybody.No government can. This is why President Koroma  is reforming the private sector and inviting Sierra Leoneans  to look at the economic and business structures the Government has put in place, think creatively and start some business that will bring in appreciable income .

A friend of mine in New York who hails from the Lungi catchment environs  watched the  impressive economic trends in the public sector  and creatively decided to go into the transportation  sector. He took a loan and bought a boat to  ply the Sierra Leone River from Lungi to Guinea. In so doing, he did not only open a private enterprise that has boosted  his  economic standing but he also created employment  for the captain and his boatmen ,  and when  I spoke to him this week  his business was  flourishing so well that he had started “beating blocks”  to build his retirement home in Titanfor , Lungi. The money he used as deposit for the boat was a loan from his credit union –which had been paid off– and it was equivalent to the same amount some unwise and foolish diasporans  in the U.S. or UK blow up in one weekend to stage loud and unprofitable birthday or outdooring  parties just to showoff . Thus unlike many of the armchair critics in the diaspora, some of them far more educated than him, the boy put his money where he was sure to garner profits.  Yesterday, I was with the young man  as he asked the boat captain to give his family $1, 000 to buy cows for the forthcoming Lailatu Quadr (Night of Prayer ) and the Ramadan celebrations. This is a man who in the past would encounter serious economic difficulties if he sent a paltry $50 for his family. Now, he asks his boat captain to routinely give his mother and father sums ranging from $500 to $600. Instead of sitting down in New York and just criticizing and badmouthing President Koroma and the APC Government , this wise Sierra Leonean used his head and explored the economic and business opportunities that the President has provided and today, he is walking on the sunshine. He cannot stop praising and thanking President Koroma for the business and investment climate he has created in Sierra Leone and for helping to turn his life around .

With the help of the UK Department For International Development  ( DFID ) and the SOROS Foundation Economic Development , President Koroma has set up the Bomba Business Plan Competition , which among other things, is helping to “foster a culture of entrenpeneurship in Sierra Leone and to create a more supportive environment for entrepeneurs ; encourage a wide range of entrepeneurs across Sierra Leone to translate ideas actionable business plans and mobilize a range of support syatems–business advisers, financiers  etc. -to align behind these entrepeneurs. ” (Page 35, Joint Progress Report on the Agenda For Change ).

President Koroma has also laid the foundation for farming to be profitable in Sierra Leone. Through the National Sustainable Agricultural Development Plan ( NSADP) which is primarily designed to put the objectives of the Government’s Agenda For Change into action in Agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy ,  President Koroma has commercialized farming through linking small to large farmers to market economies. In addition, the Smallholder Commercialization Program (SCP ) was launched by President Koroma ,whose aim is to make farming a commercial success ,  and this program has engaged 390 farmer cooperatives in 2009 . The Government is now working on creating cooperative clusters which will also enhance  farming all over the country and make it profitable .

President Koroma’s impressive economic and business reforms have not gone unnoticed in the world.  Lots of investments are coming in  from abroad and creating employments for the people .  Mining has started all over the country and a newly-opened fruit juice company is flourishing , all of them with abundant opportunities to employ locals . President Koroma has facilitated a   business boom by making it very easy to start any  business in Sierra Leone. He has removed administrative barriers and red tapes to trade and investment and as a result, Sierra Leone now enjoys a high ranking in the DOING BUSINESS Statistics (148 ) and has been ranked as the best place to do business in the Mano River Union .

With these achievements which all true Sierra Leone want to see continued in their country, President Ernest Koroma deserves to be elected to a second term next year. Sierra Leoneans should cast their votes for President Koroma so he will continue to make Sierra Leone a land of economic opportunities for all those who want to use their heads and work hard. We have a President who loves to think and put his mental faculty to action.  He is a  results-oriented man who tries to accomplish deliverable goals at set targets. The future of our nation is bright with such a progressive and productive Leader at the helm. Another six years of President Ernest Koroma will make Sierra Leone the economic giant of West Africa, especially now that we will soon become an oil-producing country.

 

Part 2 – Why President Koroma deserves a second term in Sierra Leone

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Part 2 – Why President Koroma deserves a second term in Sierra Leone

The socio-economic and political developments going on in Sierra Leone leave no doubt that the initiator and executor President Ernest Bai Koroma  deserves to be highly appreciated by Sierra Leoneans, whatever their political or regional leaning. As we prepare for the 2012 Presidential Elections, one way Sierra Leoneans can demonstrate that they appreciate what President Koroma is doing for our nation is to vote him  in overwhelmingly for a second term . When a President  sacrifices his time, health and wherewithal to change the face of his nation so positively as President Koroma has done within the short time he has ruled the nation, our appreciation as a people should be seen clearly and unequivocally during the elections.

PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA

Sierra Leoneans should give President Koroma a second term to complete the good work he has accomplished in the country. Having demonstrated to us that he is a man of his words who is busy fulfilling his campaign promises , President Koroma deserves to be given the opportunity to continue working  for the Sierra Leonean people and developing  the nation. Even his detractors cannot help conceding the fact that in the four years he has ruled the nation, President Koroma has positively transformed the nation with his development projects covering every sphere of human endeavour–From electricity to water supply, to good roads, to increased agricultural output and creation of a modern nation where the quality of life of the people has been dramatically given a lift.

We have the interest of the nation at heart , unlike those who are only motivated by partisan, tribal and regional considerations . Some people have never spoken anything good about this government. They see all the magnificent developments going on but they only harp on the negative and these misguided people want to be seen as journalists. What a pity.

Our standpoint that President Koroma deserves a second term is inspired by the socio-economic and political developments the President has accomplished in Sierra Leone since he was democratically voted in in  2007. The developments are there for everybody to see.  There are those who do not want us to say it.  They think that they will silence us by making all kinds of salacious allegations against us and writing all manners of scurrilous articles against us.But let it be said that nothing will discourage us from speaking the truth—highlighting the achievements of President Koroma and the All People’s Congress (APC ) Government.  If the President is doing a marvelous job, why should somebody not say it ? Many well-meaning Sierra Leoneans have gone to Sierra Leone , seen all the good things going on in the nation and reported them faithfully to the diaspora. This is the one  thing that gives us the greatest incentive to continue our positive coverage of the government–  the plurality of consensus among Sierra Leoneans that President Koroma is doing a great job. Everybody who ges to visit Sierra Leone says the same thing we have been saying–That Sierra Leone is undergoing a remarkable transformation under President Koroma.

The latest person to witness with his own eyes how well President Koroma is positively changing the face of the nation  is Mr. Allieu Iscandari, a noted Sierra Leonean attorney who lives in California. Mr. Iscandari is presently in Sierra Leone on a visit and he has sent us a report that commends the government highly for its development projects. The interesting thing is that Allieu was writing from Bo, the heartland and stronghold of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ). The road development projects in Bo are amazing and demonstrate that President Koroma ’s choice of places he takes his development projects  is based on the national interest, unlike the last SLPP  government which concentrated the little development it initiated in its South-Eastern regional stronghold.  WE BRING YOU MR. ISCANDARI’S LETTER TO THE PUBLISHER OF THIS PAPER AND OTHERS, BELOW :

The iinfrastructural development in Sierra Leone  under this government is moving at ‘WARP’  speed. Its is simply incredible that any government in a short period of time.can achieve so much. Put in a nut shell I am impressed and very much so. The major streets of Bo town are all paved with narry a pot hole in sight. The road to Bo from Calabar town through Bo is a first class ride and so beautiful that I had to drive and have my driver take the back seat and sleep. I didnt drive more that 60 miles and I enjoyed it all the way. There were some speed bumps on the road which I didnt think was necessary but in retrospect they are necessary due to the excessive speed of vehicles on the high way. This week alone there have been at least two major acccidents on that highway that resulted in a loss of lives. Awoko lost members of his family to a tragic accident and may God Grant them Janna. There is also the issue of the massive traffic gridlock going from up gun through congocross in the mornings and in the evenings. This is partly due to the fact that construction crews on the wilkinson road axis choose to work during commute hours rather than at night which in my opinion would have been more effective and have contributed less to the traffic jams within that axis. The project however does portend to be a first class job when it would be finished.
WHILE  thanking Mr. Iscandari for his encouraging report, we enjoin all Sierra Leoneans to place value on these good news coming out of our country.  There was a time when the only news they  heard from Sierra Leone were the distressful ones. It came to a time when many Sierra Leoneans said they stopped going to parties, dances, outdooring and funeral occasions because they wanted to stop hearing the bad news from Sierra Leone which were generously revealed at these functions. Thankfully, the situation has changed today. We must be grateful for these wonderful news.
Come 2012, let us vote for President Ernest Bai Koroma . He deserves it. If we are a progressive  people, this is what we will do. We must vote continuity to the heart-warming socio-economic and political changes going on in our country.

Blaming the APC Government even for evils not of its making demonstrates SLPP’s blind determination to wrestle back power

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Filed under: Breaking News,Diaspora,Editorial,Headlines,Lead Story,Sports | 

ONE Sunday morning, a lady late for church service met a man sitting outside the church crying bitterly. “Why are you  sitting here crying so loudly ” , the woman screamed out at  the man. “It is those people inside the church”, the man screamed back . “They are blaming me for everything , even their own human foibles.  Even problems that are outside my purview, they are  blaming  me for them.”  The bespectacled woman asked him , “Who are you  ? ” and he replied “I am Satan, the Devil” . Though she did not care for the Devil, the woman agreed profusely with the man because it is the problem of modern day Christianity. Even when they commit sins through their own lust for evil , their own lack of self-control , bad judgements and deliberate choice to comit sins, christians  blame  the Devil. This is making their redemption impossible because to be saved, they first need to accept responsibility for their own sins, repent and ask God for forgiveness maadabio-army   Though there is no attempt here to equate the Devil with any human institution, much less a hardworking Government like the present APC Administration, this is exactly the kind of society the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) has created in Sierra Leone today in their blind, uncontrollable greed to wrestle back power from the ruling APC.  Everything is the fault of President Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC Government. One only needs to visit the website of our noisy neighbours at the New People Online or the Unity , Global Times,  etc.  to see this unprogressive and unproductive trend in action. The vigilant Sierra Leone Police Force , acting on a tip-off, stages a dramatic sting operation , swoops on  the Freetown Quay and arrests a container of cocaine that was  imported to the country by ill-disposed criminals who have no connection whatsoever to the APC Government. But instead of praising the Police, President Ernest Koroma , who has no way of knowing that such a container was heading for Sierra Leone, is blamed by SLPP journalists and zealots.  If anything, the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma should have been highly commended for their spectacular successes in thwarting criminals’ attempts to bring cocaine and other drugs into the country. What these crack downs mean is that the APC Government  IS DOING A GREAT JOB  TO COMBAT DRUG-TRAFFICKING IN SIERRA LEONE. It has put in place efficient and effective structures that are successfully blocking all attempts by criminals to import drugs into the country. In the past, without such structures the drug-traffickers had no problems importing their dangerous stuff into the country. Certainly, the cocaine trade did not start overnight.It has been going on for long. Even the last Al Jazeera sting operation by Sorious Samura that exposed what has now been dubbed the Timbergate scandal, shoddy  though the investigative work , was made possible because of the transparent, open and accountable socio-political system being run  in Sierra Leone by the President Koroma Government.  We are made to believe that some people at the top had foreknowledge of the presence of the Al Jazeera team in Sierra Leone but did not stop them from doing their undercover work because they wanted the corrupt timber trade to be exposed . If this is true, it further demonstrates how democratic and transparent this government is, unlike others before it. If true, it shows that this government has nothing to hide and is serious about fighting corruption. But for the pro-SLPP media , SLPP commentators and party executives , every successful operation designed to  expose social evils and clean up the country is a larvish and golden  opportunity to cast blame on the Government and hold its feet to the unjustified fire of blame. So many ridiculous articles have surfaced in SLPP  newspapers and forums lately about the APC Government turning Sierra Leone into a haven for cocaine importation that one wonders whether the brains of the accusers are screwed in the right place.   Some uncouth and unreasonable writers even tried  to link President Koroma to these evils. This is not only  ignorance and imbecility  in action but stunning wickedness towards the truth.  One could  also see that these articles are well-calculated and designed by SLPP operatives  to unfairly tarnish the image of the President and the  government because not all of them  are written by journalists who can be classified as  imbeciles. It is a deliberate attempt to give the government a bad rap for political capital. Drug busts take place on a regular basis in the U.S. and other industrialized countries which have the mechanism and the logistical clout to prevent attempts by drug lords to import their deadly drugs into these countries.Yet, when they happen, no U.S. newspaper blames President OBama or the Democrats .There are bank robberies, homicides and rapes everyday in Western countries. There are police killings of civilians now and again , some bordering on highhandedness and abuse by the Police but nobody blames President OBama or the Government. Greed and recklessness in the American mortgage industry caused the latest  global economic downturn that has resulted  in massive retrenchment of workers, freeze on employment, extreme hardship,  leading further to millions losing their homes to foreclosures  , but never have these problems been blamed on President OBama and the Government. Americans are learned and honest enough to know that some of these problems are not within the purview of President OBama and the Government.  They are social evils that have prevailed before OBama was born and will continue even after he would have left power.  Are  mental backwardness and ignorance of the operations of the social and economic system responsible  for Sierra Leoneans, on the other hand, blaming their President and Government for these evils over which they have no control  ? Are we so dumb that we do not know what the government is culpable for and what it is not ? The problem with Sierra Leone is that journalists and socio-political  activists have lost their way in a country where journalism practice was once so excellent that  Sierra Leone  was regarded as the Fleet Street of West Africa,  in addition to being the Athens of West Africa  . Gone are the days of objective  and probing analyses of socio-economic and political problems by responsible newspapers and writers .  What we have now are imbeciles who do not care for the truth or responsible analyses of societal evils. They are politicians and everything is written to satiate their political excesses. Welcome to the new Sierra Leone where any moron  can get up overnight and start calling himself Editor-In-Chief or a journalist or political commentator . Because of this anomaly, our so-called journalists and newspaper columnists and analysts lack the ability to critically  and scientifically examine and analyse  social and economic evils in their correct perspectives  and discover their true causes .What is seen  in Sierra Leone is the tendency to personalize the news  and ascribe unlearned and self-serving  meanings to it along  political, regional and tribal lines. How are the mighty fallen ! ! ! The “Ernest Koroma  did  it”  chorus  always robs the readers of the opportunity to learn the true causes of  corruption and evils  or the  cocaine trade .Readers may never know that  cocaine and drug-smuggling are infact entrenched and deep-seated problems that flourished even during the NPRC and SLPP eras.  Maada Bio, SAJ Musa , Valentine Strasser  and some NPRC members were opium addicts  who virtually lived on diamba.  Yet the reader is unable to know that the problem of drug-smuggling  goes beyond complicity by unpatriotic elements in our society  because every news item is personalized to suit partisan, tribal and regional interests.  Powerful International  drug barons with solid international connections are the culprits in a multi-billion dollar enterprise that is taxing the resources of even governments in the U.S, Britain and industrialized countries .  A diplomatic bag belonging to one of the officials of the SLPP Government was even confiscated at a British airport in 2002 . This clearly meant that  the cocaine business was so serious that some impudent Sierra Leoneans even used our diplomatic baggage to trade in drugs , unknown to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Was Ernest Koroma the President of Sierra Leone at that time ? The SLPP should banish the thought that they will seize back power by unjustifiably blaming the government for everything, even matters that are outside the  purview of government . The SLPP had a very poor record of governance . They ruled for 11 unbroken years and have nothing concrete to point to as achievement during their reign. Whatever the problems, President Koroma has achieved far more in just four years than the SLPP in 11 years. Why would the Sierra Leonean people suddenly abandon a government that is developing their country and relapse and revert to a government that  had 11 years to prove its mettle but left the country in total darkness–with no electricity or water– food shortages, economic hardships and a filthy capital that was an embarrassment to everybody ? The SLPP  may have forgotten so easily  that it was the worst government in Sierra Leone’s contemporary history but the people of Sierra Leone have not forgotten. They can blame the Government for everything including not sitting right on their comode but the Sierra Leonean people know that President Koroma is not responsible for these problems. He met them flourishing when he came to power in 2007 and is  facing them head-on and taking the bull by the horns. It seems that these problems have escalated but this is not correct. Rather there is now so much focus on the evils as the government tackles them boldly .  It will be a gigantic fight but because he is genuine and means well for our nation, success will crown President Koroma’s  efforts. The SLPP and their propagandists will never succeed to damage the President’s name with their blame games.

Sham delegation from Sierra Leone and the pseudo-peace in the SLPP-NA

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

 

 By Solomon Sesay :

Augustine Fallay and Foday Sesay , what a shame. You have two grownups who are citizens of the same motherland and members of the chaotic and rotten soup SLPP talking about peace but cannot look each other in the face. It is appalling to say the least but yet they want Sierra Leoneans around the world to believe that the sham delegation from Freetown brought peace to their conflict-ridden SLPP NA and SLPP Alliance branches. Come on guys give us a break; we know peace when we see it and from the look of this snapshot, the SLPP NA and SLPP Alliance are nowhere close to peace.

Augustine Fallay (Right ) and Foday Sesay could not  even look at each other in the face at signing of pseudo-peace deal. ADVICE–Mr. Augustine Fallay and Mr. Foday Sesay next time please look up and smile for the camera

Even Solomon Berewa and Momodu Koroma after losing the 2007 Presidential Elections put a pleasant face to their defeat and gave the world a smile. Here you have bullheads of the same green party, who are stuck-up in idiocy talking about peace and their party’s comeback in 2012, yet they can’t raise their heads up and acknowledge the humanity of the next individual. It must have been a cold SLPP handshake and there is no end to the chilliness the thought of a SLPP reemergence gives to peace loving Sierra Leoneans. Do not believe a single word they say. Members of SLPP are on bad terms and falling apart all around the world. They cannot put a face to it. Fallay and Sesay looking down is a pictogram of the form of defeatism that will preoccupy the SLPP past the polls in 2012.

Credible information indicates that the SLPP delegation from Sierra Leone accomplished nothing of substance. The delegation from Freetown could not provide convincing explanation why Maada Bio was taken off the list at the eleventh hour. They did not persuade prominent members that it was their responsibility to mend fences so that when Maada Bio comes, he will meet a single tuneful branch. However, the wise ones did not buy their hogwash justification for leaving Bio behind. One individual even made reference to President Koroma who took the lead in resolving conflicts among members when the APC was in opposition.

He said, “Ernest Bai Koroma got a big reward for his efforts and today the All People’s Congress is together all around the world.” In dismay he continued, “In our case it seems Maada Bio expect others to do the legwork in order for him to ride into town like our messiah and not our number one public servant.” Do we want a leader that will shy away from our enormous national problems and issues? Since we cannot trust Bio to resolve a single conflict within the SLPP, he is most definitely unfit to deal with our national problems and issues at this time. Reliable sources reveal that majority of SLPPers in North America are sadden by their party’s direction and the Maada Bio, Kadie Sesay ticket. Despite their rhetoric and clatter, many could not entertain thoughts of their comeback just as Augustine Fallacy and Foday Sesay can’t put a face, look up and smile at their gobbledygook peace meeting.

At a time when Sierra Leoneans are now dealing with issues bordering on the nation’s progress, the SLPP is still hung-up on peace. Are they too slow or do they just can’t get it? These are guys who pride themselves on being Sierra Leone’s elites. Read their articles, engage them in conversations, or listen to their spin on national matters, they assume they have the right answers and know it all. To them, no one knows what is best for the nation except those who wear green hats. There is a big ideological gulf between the various factions, but yet they think Sierra Leoneans must ignore their gap and bring them back. Maada Bio has credibility problems with the international community, but yet they want Sierra Leoneans to risk gains the nation has made to bring him back.

The SLPP lacks cohesion. There are debilitating infightings within the SLPP, but yet they want Sierra Leoneans to dress in green, drink palm wine and go along with their booboo parade. We will rather listen to the Refugee All Star Band and dance with paddle, than jump to the tune of SLPP’s “Dead march in Soul.” The picture of Fallay and Sesay reveal the SLPP NA and SLPP Alliance peace talk was arid and on the surface.  Worse of all, the collective portrait of the SLPP suggest their plans for Sierra Leone is lifeless.  Next time, it won’t hurt if Fallay and Sesay smile for the camera. However, Augustine Fallay, Foday Sesay and others, should not show us white teeth with black heart in the image. Just like a house at odds will fall, counterfeit depiction of peace, love, unity, etc will not last it in the public’s view. Lunta

When crusading journalists are themselves guilty of the crimes they condemn others for : The saga of Victor Sylver

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Dear readers ,

Whenever I  find people  desperate to tarnish the good names of dignitaries, and I   investigate whether they are living up to the standards to which they are holding up  dignitaries and you discover that they are not , it is very disappointing. There is nothing wrong with journalists uncovering misfeasance and malfeasance in government. After all, government officials are not supposed to be engaged in corruption. But when the journalists who bring these government officials to account are themselves criminals  one is left wondering who to trust–These criminal journalists or the politicians.

SOLOMON SESAY

The  journalist I want to  question here  is one of President Ernest Koroma’s critics on the internet.  He pretends to be an exponent of corruption or human rights violations, but a close look at his articles shows that he always has somebody he focuses all his attacks on. . Every article even when attacking government ultimately ends in a bashing orgy on one of these men.  Read Victor Sylver’s articles  and see whether what I am saying is not true.It is always gossip about one journalist or the other.  It was this that attracted me to him. I became interested in knowing who this man was whose journalism is devoted only to harassment of fellow journalists. I wanted to know what makes him what he is . That was when the facts about Victor Sylver started coming out.

Those who do not know him well will think he is a serious journalist when they consider that he was  a one-time producer at the then Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) , and  is used as a stringer once in a while by the BBC , though among Sierra Leoneans in London know him to be a   bus driver. I am in no way teasing him for doing a menial job because I believe in the dignity of labour. What I cannot stomach however are people who are guilty of the very things they criticise.

Victor Sylver has gone wild on the internet since the Sorious Samura documentary that exposed illegal dealings with the banned timber trade in Sierra Leone. His paws are all over the internet, with over a dozen monikers in anti-government forums and in his blog, defaming President Koroma and the government for corruption. But then this is the  same fellow who  was fired from his job by the bus company because of theft . He used to convert passengers fares to his own use. A hidden camera, I learnt the last time I was in London,  found out that he was  doing more than driving the bus. He was lining his pockets with fares being paid by the passengers.  He was stealing the bus company’s money to help feed his excessive boozing and diamba-smoking habits. Readers, how do we reconcile such a journalist’s fervour with condemning corruption and this fact of he  himself  being a thief   ?

Victor Sylver also writes interesting articles in which he condemns human rights abuses and seems to be advocating women’s rights. I myself used to admire him for these articles until I came to know that apart from being a thief, Victor Sylver  is also a human rights abuser. I was very disappointed the day I was given the heads-up on the nasty beating  Victor Sylver is giving to his wife. I could not reconcile myself to understand how somebody will be so outspoken about human rights abuses and women’s rights and he himself is so mean and abusive to his own wife and children. Readers would think I am trying to interfere in Mr. Sylver’s private life or what he has left of his marriage to a respectable woman from a very respectable family who does not deserve the merciless maltreatment she is enduring from her monster-husband.  However, where human rights , especially of women and vulnerable members of society are concerned, it is everybody’s business. There is no privacy with human rights abuses and wife-beating. We Sierra Leoneans know how much our communities have been shocked whenever a fellow Sierra Leonean  killed his wife. We had felt very guilty and we had wondered whether we could have done something to prevent the calamity. Well, it is our culture of silence that is responsible at times for these disasters. When we see an abusive husband mistreating his wife and we do not speak out and tomorrow we learn that he has killed his wife, we are bound to experience the guilt we often feel.

But back to the topic. Sierra Leone will not be a better place ever if the journalists who condemn evil are themselves guilty of these evils.

Solomon Sesay .