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Archive for October, 2013

Brima Bangura ( BB) , another APC foot soldier in New Jersey, dies

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
 By KABS KANU :

Residents of New Jersey awoke to more grief and sorrow yesterday morning when it was announced that another staunch member of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) and one of the finest investigators of the Sierra Leone Police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau ( CID ) during the 1970-80s , Mr. Brima Bangura , had passed away. The popular socialite and Community man, fondly known as BB,  died yesterday morning after ailing for a few months. The news sent shock waves ripping through a community that has buried many of its  young and vibrant residents and activists  in just one year

BB was one of the most friendly and respectful young men your paths will ever cross during your life-time.

BB

PHOTO CREDIT : SALLIEU CONTEH

BB was famous for leading the APC victory songs during public functions , especially the vintage 1967  rallying song that helped usher in the APC victory of the late President Siaka Stevens . The song, rendered in Temne , “APC, SU BA MU KU RAM O, su kara mu ka kuma”, which translated in English , means : “APC , we are obligated to you ; We will  prove it in the ballot box”.

His most noted   mesmerizing performance took place  when the then Opposition Leader and insurance executive , Mr. Ernest  Koroma, kicked off his presidential ambitions in the diaspora in Somerset, New Jersey  in 2004. At a time when many people thought that the APC was dead and buried, BB  helped to revive the passions  of  attendants of the Ernest Koroma Sensitization Meeting with a powerful and euphonious rendition of the rallying song, as once done in the 1960s by old faithfuls like  Borbor Kamara,  S.I.Koroma, C.A. Camara-Taylor, Bangalie Mansaray, Ibrahim Taqi  and Pa Shaki himself. It was one of the signs that the APC  was alive and kicking and was in fact on its way back to power, the other sign being the indescribable rousing welcome received by Ernest Koroma.

BB  remained a noted foot soldier of the party and before his death was the Acting Organizing Secretary of the APC-NA.

This year, the APC New Jersey also lost former Secretary General and journalist, Mr. Shekou Dauda Bangura and former Chapter President, Mr. Mohamed Aziz Nabe.

HERE IS THE WAY THE NEWS WAS BROKEN TO STUNNED NEW JERSEYANS YESTERDAY MORNING :

DEATH IN THE APC FAMILY
Hello Everyone;
It is with profound sadness the APC New Jersey Family report the death of our brother and active APC member, Mr. Brima Bangura, commonly known as BB, which took place this morning, Tuesday, October, 29th 2013, in the Borough of Highland Park, NJ. Late BB was the APC NA Assistant Organizing Secretary, APC NJ Assistant Social Secretary and a community activist. The bereaved family could be reached at 732-339-8062. Please help circulate this sad news to others. You will be later updated with the funeral arrangements for Late BB on these forums
May his gentle departed soul rest in peace!
Alimamy Turay
APC NJ Secretariat.
signature ASTuray

 

Life is so unpredictable : Look at Late BB at Dauda Bangura’s funeral in February

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

By KABS KANU

Life is really unpredictable: Mr. Brima Bangura , popularly known as BB, of Somerset, New Jersey , died on Tuesday morning at his home at Highland Park, New Jersey. Mr. Bangura was a staunch member of the APC North America. He was Assistant Organizing Secretary of APC NA and a strong member of the New Jersey Chapter.

The late Brima Bangura ( BB ) is seen here –Third from right –during the Repass for the late Dauda Bangura –in February this year. The APC New Jersey Chapter is making a presentation to the family and BB is an active participant . Little did he or anybody know that BB  himself will pass away this year. This is the kind of dramatic  and action photo you  will find only in COCORIOKO. We also have a photo of BB  among other muslims praying over Dauda Bangura’s coffin outside the mosque in the Muslim prayer for the dead, known as Janaza. But we will not publish it, because it is very moving.

We extend our deepest condolence to the family and all New Jerseyans, including members of the APC,  who have been plunged into mourning once again by another sad and shocking death in the community –one of over 7 we have had in New Jersey in just one year.

Shortly after Dauda Bangura died , another big tree in the APC North America, Mr. Aziz Nabe died in March. Many other  present and past residents of this community died during the year, notably Mr. Festus Koroma, Ms. Catherine Coker , Mammy Khadi Pearce, Mr. Momoh Unisa Kamara, Mr. Andrew Komeh, Mr. Joseph Wisman jr , Mr. Morris Dakiya , Member of Parliament Madam Alice Mammy Foyah etc. In fact, the past year has been very hard on New Jersey. During the tail end of last year, other community activists Haja Fatu Dumbuya,  Alpha Ahmad Tejan-Cole and Mr. Ahmad Mustapha also died shockingly .

JAMES 4 teaches us in verses 13 and 14  about the unpredictability and impermanence of life.

13.) Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14.) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Many people interviewed by COCORIOKO yesterday said that they were afraid about the events that had transpired in New Jersey during the past year. The mortality of man never became more certain to them than the past year. Others said such events should draw us closer to God because nobody knows when it will be his/her turn.

During the Independence Anniversary celebrations in April,  christians and muslims got together and organized an Interfaith Prayer Service to seek the face of God and pray his divine intervention in the community to stave the deaths. It seems we all have to continue praying.

May the soul of the Late BB  rest in peace.

Koranic reading will take place at his home in Highland Park today Thursday October 31.

DAUDA'S FUNERAL 164 (600 x 450)

 

FROM LEFT : APC MEMBERS CONSOLING THE FAMILY OF MR. DAUDA BANGURA AT HIS REPASS  : Madam Saffie Kosay ; President of the NJ Chapter Alhaji Badara Kamara; Mr. Suliman Conteh; Secretary General Mr.Alimamy Turay , THE NOW DECEASED BRIMA BANGURA ( BB) , Madam Madina Rahman and another sorrowing member. PHOTO WAS TAKEN BY REV. LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU OF COCORIOKO. 

SIERRA LEONEANS: TOXIC WORDS : A TIME BOMB WAITING TO EXPLODE

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

By Syl Juxon-Smith :

IS IT FRUSTRATION OR DESPERATION DRIVING THE NATION OR DELIBERATE WILFUL INSULTS AND ACTIONS THAT CAN POTENTIALLY BACKFIRE AND EXPLODE….!

 

WE USE TO BE A VERY RESPECTABLE, TOLERANT INDIVIDUALS AND COMPASSIONATE PEOPLE EVEN PUTTING OTHERS BEFORE SELF, GIVING OUR ROOMS TO OTHERS WHILE WE SLEEP IN THE PARLOUR, OR OUR BED TO STRANGERS WHILE WE REST ON THE FLOOR. SUDDENLY A CHANGE IN DYNAMICS HAS AFFECTED OUR PRESENT MENTALITY WHICH IS GRADUALLY GEARING TOWARDS ANARCHY AND SELF DESTRUCTION SINCERELY WHICH MUST BE ARRESTED IMMEDIATELY BEFORE IT IS OUT OF CONTROL.

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WE ARE OPENING THE GATES OF HELL, EXPOSING OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND STABILITY TO ENEMIES OF PROGRESS AND DESTRUCTION SADLY AS WE FAIL TO TAKE NOTE OF EXISTING AND LOOMING DANGERS FROM THREATS ALREADY HANGING OVER THE COUNTRY. We are acting in a diminished manner in behavior, attitudes as we display our tendencies on news media’s, forums and especially “Facebook” which has the largest following in the whole world today. Don’t we realize that we are hurting not only our elders, leaders, families but the whole country and our sovereign integrity…?

 

IT WAS VERY SHAMEFUL AS A SIERRA LEONEAN TO READ ALL WHAT WAS ESPECIALLY ON FACEBOOK THE THINGS WRITTEN ABOUT THE PRESIDENT AND THE VICE PRESIDENNT BEEN CALLED NAMES. let us just take it from a family perspective of which these two gentlemen are the first and second fathers of the nation for now; Would you like it or take lightly of any of your parents are called names from an animal? NO, NO NO…!

 

To do such thing is out of normalcy and disrespectful which must be cautioned. This callous behavior has sent very negative signals about our characteristics as a nation to the whole world through FACEBOOK and the electronic media. Since last week, I have reflected back on the many conversations and threads running through groups on Facebook and other outlets which is enough to show the world how divided we are as a nation manifesting in our intolerance and disrespect for leadership and elders. It was the type of sensation and personal insults that screenwriters and the press adores. The simple, yet poignant moments that transform character driven movies into award winning films became obvious to me that we have crucified the PRESIDENCY AND SOVERIGNTY on the altar of media communications for unjustifiable reasons, I finally understood why desperation and frustration make excellent components for telling a story on screen And on newsprints, to score political, partisan and social points for economic aggrandizement’s. BUT FOR WHAT REASONS NONE CAN REALLY TELL OR MAKING SENSE OF THE INSIDUOUS AND SEDITIOUS DISCUSS WHICH WAS ONLY BEEN DRIVEN BY SENSATION, DESPERATION AND FRUSTRATIONS IN THE SYSTEM.

 

While in life people want to manage their frustrations before they turn into anger, journalists and media experts want to inflate the frustration to drive the news and paper through conflict. Along the same lines, creating a character that tries to hold back from being who he/she is in order to get along with others is the perfect formula for intense dramatic scenes. There is a storyline behind everyone who is holding back from living out his or her potential. Most of it can be traced back to some fear of loss, dejection, rejection, pain, greed, envy or jealousy.

 

WHAT HAS GONE WRONG IN OUR BELOVED COUNTRY, WHAT ARE WE NOT DOING RIGHT, WHERE IS OUR MANNERISM AND RESPECT FOR OUR ELDERS AND LEADERS…? “Every one of us has an irrational/destructive emotional side to our personality. This dark side when it gets out of control can sabotage relationships, friendships and a country in an insidious way.”

 

SIERRA LEONE SEEM TO HAVE MANY PASSIVE WARMONGERS: 

 Instead of fault-finding or engaging in character assassination, these toxic partners try to thwart their partner by constantly doing that which they deny they are doing in such an indirect way as to escape accountability if they are confronted. A passive aggressive person is as much of an overbearing controller as the most aggressive, in-your-face person you could imagine only they do it insidiously and underhandedly.

 

INDIVIDUALS ARE RESORTING TO SMOKE AND MIRRORS

Because you lack the courage to get real about what is driving the pain and problems in your relationship or life, you criticize friends, partners and even the people you work with about one thing when you’re really upset about another. What is real never gets voiced, and what gets voiced is never real. The real issues will eventually burst forth in a torrid way like we see in unfolding events and stories to arose tensions.

 

WE CHOOSE NOT TO FORGIVE 

When you choose to bear anger at others, we trap ourselves in pain and agony and the negative energy can crowd every other feeling out of our heart. If you wallow in resentment and refuse to forgive and move on, you will tear up your own life, your relationship and the country apart. You can’t change the past but you can deal with the resulting feelings and hurt by truly forgiving managing the present positively.

 

FINALLY ARE YOU THE BOTTOMLESS PIT

Are you so selfish, needy and greedy that you constantly undermine your chances of success? Can you never get enough satisfaction, love, attention or appreciation? Your partners, friends or boss will end up becoming frustrated by never seeming able to “fill you up.” We all want reassurance, but an insatiable appetite for it never gives anybody around you any rest, inner satisfaction or trusts.

 

TIME TO FREE OURSELVES FROM THE INTERNALIZED SENSE OF INADEQUACY, TRIBALISM, INFERIORITY COMPLEX, GREED, VICES, PARTIANSHIP AND FIND OTHER POSITIVE WAYS TO FEEL SELF-WORTH AND REAL VALUE TO BE USEFUL TO OURSELF AND BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY CALL SIERRA LEONE……! “A strong friendship and bond doesn’t need daily conversation, doesn’t always need togetherness, as long as the relationship for others and country lives in the heart, true friends and love for our leader and elders will never part from us…”

 

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

MAY GOD ALMIGHTY TAKE CONTROL OF THE MINDS AND HEARTS OF OUR PEOPLE – AMEN

 

President Ernest Koroma returns home

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

By Jarrah Kawusu-Konte

President Ernest Bai Koroma has returned home after a week long trip overseas to provide spousal support for his amiable wife, First Lady Madam Sia Nyama Koroma who underwent a very successful surgery last week in London. She is recuperating at the moment.

EBKRETURNSHOME (600 x 448)

Welcoming him at the Presidential Lounge at Lungi International Airport were Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, Deputy Chairman and Leader of the All People’s Congress, Ambassador Osman F. Yansaneh, Secretary General of the All People’s Congress, Bai Mahmoud Bangura, President APC Youth League, Henry Macauley, Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paramount Chief Bai Sebora Sheba Gbereh the 3rd of Kaffu Bullom and a coterie of State House staffers, including the Communications Unit.

MORE DETAILS COMING SOON

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL JOINT PRESS RELEASE : Sierra Leone: New law promotes transparency — Long-Awaited Information Act Could Spur Greater Government Openness

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL JOINT PRESS RELEASE

29 October 2013

Sierra Leone: New law promotes transparency

Long-Awaited Information Act Could Spur Greater Government Openness 

The Sierra Leone parliament’s passage of a freedom of information law is a major step to ensure greater government transparency, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Sierra Leone’s Freedom of Information Coalition said today. The new legislation, enacted today, is crucial for effective, transparent, and accountable governance. The Right to Access Information Act establishes a right to access government information and requires all parts of government to adopt and widely disseminate a plan for making records publicly available. The legislation also imposes a penalty for willful obstruction of its provisions. presidentwaving2

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT : DR.ERNEST BAI KOROMA

The law was first proposed in 2003 but has languished in Sierra Leone’s parliament since 2010. President Ernest Bai Koroma must now sign the act for it to enter into force. “One of the most important things in Sierra Leone right now is for everyone to have the right to information,” said Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, executive director of the Society of Democratic Initiatives, which coordinated the Freedom of Information Coalition’s campaign for the bill’s passage. “Sierra Leoneans can’t hold elected officials to account without access to basic information about what the government is doing.”

Sierra Leone is recovering and rebuilding from a long and brutal armed conflict that ended in 2002. With foreign investors returning to the resource-rich country, the government is leasing land for commercialized agriculture and mining. Some affected residents who have sought more information or challenged these deals have faced reprisal ranging from harassment to arrest. Freedom of information is recognized as an essential element of the right to freedom of expression in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international instruments.

By passing this law, Sierra Leone’s government is significantly advancing its commitment to international and regional human rights obligations. Donors to Sierra Leone, as well as other multinational bodies, have called on the government to increase transparency and adopt other good governance and rule of law measures. Passage of the law would enable Sierra Leone to meet the minimum eligibility requirements to join the international Open Government Partnership, which meets in London from October 31 to November 1. Sierra Leone has applied to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which works to improve openness and accountability about how revenues from natural resources get managed. But its bid was suspended in February, pending further information, because of insufficient documentation of mining revenue and company payments.

Transparency of government information in Sierra Leone has been hindered by the country’s criminal libel law, which the authorities invoke against journalists, civil society members, and others who criticize the government. On October 25, two journalists from a privately owned newspaper, the Independent Observer, were arrested, charged with sedition and other offenses, jailed, and denied bail for criticizing President Koroma. “If fully and effectively implemented, the new information law can help transform Sierra Leone into a model of transparency and rule of law for all of West Africa,” said Solomon Sogbandi, Amnesty International Sierra Leone Director. “We urge the president to show the necessary leadership and political will by signing this long-awaited bill into law.”

For more information, contact: In Freetown, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai (English, Krio), Coordinator, Freedom of Information Coalition, +23276647456; +23233647456 or measdrb@gmail.com In Dakar, Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus (English, Spanish), Amnesty International, +221 338642664 In New York, Rona Peligal (English), Human Rights Watch, 1-917-363-3893 or peligar@hrw.org

Parliament Enacts Freedom of Information Act

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

By KWAME YANKSON

 

Freetown, 29th October, 2013- The Sierra Leone Parliament today enacted into law, the Right to Access Information Act, 2013 otherwise known as, the “Freedom of Information Act”.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Alpha B.S. Khanu in presenting the Bill told parliamentarians and members of the public that the Right to Access Information has today become a human right component in the administration of modern States aimed at promoting transparency, good governance and accountability. An important feature of the bill, the Minister said, is that which has to do with efficient records keeping within Ministries, Departments and Agencies and even Non-Governmental organizations.
Records keeping among State and Non-State actors had collapsed over the years, and it is the fervent belief of the Minister that with the advent of the Right to Access Information Act, Sierra Leoneans will inculcate the art of record keeping and the development of libraries and archives.

Khanu in his usual confident and convincing posture allayed the fear of some parliamentarians who were of the belief that the Right to Access Information Act is aimed at giving Journalists a field day to poke into the private lives of public officers. He said the exempt clauses in Part 111 of the Act are the safeguards for individual’s personal lives, traditional societies and that of our national security.

“The Act does not favour Journalists in the strict sense of the word, rather every citizen including Researchers, academics and the ordinary man at Krubola in Koinadugu district stands to benefit from this Act”, Khanu emphasized.

Hon. Frank Kposowa of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s party in his contribution informed the House that Sierra Leone has joined 94 countries in the world including 11 countries in Africa that have enacted the Right to Access Information Bill. He said the Bill is designed to fight against ignorance and make way for an open government initiative… “It is designed to restore human dignity and to usher in effective monitoring of Government expenditure. This will build up confidence in the system.” He concluded.

The passage of the Right to Access Information Act 2013 has further increased His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Koroma’s democratic credentials. Upon assumption of office in 2007, he committed himself to ensuring that every citizen has access to timely and accurate information by creating institutions like the Open Government Initiative (OGI) where citizens have direct access to the President and all State functionaries through town hall meetings to explain Government’s policies and programmes uncensored.

The creation of the Office of the Government Spokesman and the hosting of weekly Press briefings at the Ministry of Information and Communications further demonstrates President Koroma’s genuine commitment to transparency and accountability in the governance of the State.

ALPHAESSEXThe Right to Access Information Bill was first introduced to Sierra Leone’s Parliament as a Government motion by the former Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo in 2010 and committed to the Legislative Committee on two occasions.

WHATEVER THEY MAY SAY, PRESIDENT KOROMA REMAINS THE BEST HEAD OF STATE SIERRA LEONE HAS HAD SINCE INDEPENDENCE

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

BY KABS KANU :

One thing about our people. In fact, two things. One, we forget easily. Two, there is that despicable spirit of unthankfulness in many of us. We forget too easily what others have done for us in the past . Whatever any of his detractors can say now about him, one thing stands sure. PRESIDENT KOROMA REMAINS THE BEST HEAD OF STATE SIERRA LEONE HAS HAD SINCE INDEPENDENCE.
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The prosecution of errant and irresponsible journalists, however strongly people feel about it, will never change the fact that President Koroma in only five years in power has accomplished far, far more than all the achievements of his predecessors put together. When we needed most a hands-on President to take us from actual physical darkness to the light, God brought President Koroma and today the electricity situation has improved in the country. Light may be erratic in some areas but the fact is that there is now more electricity than there was during the reign of the hopeless SLPP Government. The Government’s solar lights program which has carried electricity to the most remote towns and villages is worthy of commendation.

There is still much to be done, but it was President Koroma who restored water supply in Sierra Leone. The system is not much perfect yet, but at least pipe-borne water is no longer a forlorn dream in Sierra Leone. The potholes in the capital need to be addressed and the government, as we know it, will certainly do so soon, but it is President Koroma who has brought pride to our nation by constructing modern highways and impressive infrastructure that have changed the image we once had of being a stone-age country. We cannot use the potholes problems to overshadow the great things this President has done for the nation. After all, the government has strong plans to resurface and recondition not only the streets in Sierra Leone but other parts of the country.

Under President Koroma, Sierra Leone’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. As recent as only a week ago, the IMF highly commended the government’s micro and macro-economic performance which has opened the road for more assistance from the organization. The President has boosted agriculture and mining activities in the country and put structures in place to address youth unemployment.

President Ernest Koroma still has the best record for the promotion of fundamental human rights and freedom of expression in Sierra Leone. We have never had such a vibrant press, civil societ, and women’s and children’s groups before. I CAN go on and on and on. You never miss the river until the well runs dry. President Koroma is serving his second and last term. Soon, he will retire and unless he is replaced by a President that will outperform him, Sierra Leoneans will sit down one day and call for the return of President Koroma. They will say : “Woiya, ah President Koroma. We wish he could come back “.

Most of the people criticizing the President because government is enforcing the libel laws of the country have no moral authority to condemn him because many of them are supporters of Maada Bio and the worthless and foolish SLPP, who cannot hold a candle to President Koroma in everything. Maada Bio is a thief and a killer , yet those criticizing President Koroma would want him to be replaced by Bio. How ironic.

What is wrong if Sierra Leone’s authorities move to enforce libel laws to curb irresponsible and reckless journalism ?

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Posted by  on October 25, 20130 Comment

By KABS KANU :

Because they had been left to do what they please by a media-tolerant President and government, the media in Sierra Leone have become so lawless, so irresponsible and so reckless that newspapers and radio stations have established their own serfdoms through which they have been terrorizing the nation. Unlike the golden era of journalism shortly after Independence when Sierra Leone was dubbed THE FLEET STREET OF WEST AFRICA  because of the quality of her journalism, the country’s media have sunk to their lowest depth of irresponsibility and recklessness in recent years.

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Media men and women have taken the law into their own hands and established their own depraved standards and ethics. Everyday, screaming newspaper headlines damage the reputation and long-established good names of innocent people in the name of journalism. Untruth , bold-faced lies, false accusations and defamatory stories compete for space with the advertisements that run through the pages of the newspapers. There is no regard for professional ethics as even profanities and obscenities have become the order of the day in our newspapers.

Through the respective serfdoms of their domains, newspapers harry, harass, threaten, intimidate and bully citizens. You either play ball with them by bribing them into silence or your reputation is dangerously damaged. Whole day, barely-educated men and women who have become pressmen overnight without the requisite training and experience , trudge from office to office and business concern to business concern, intimidating people that they had just received damning information about them and if they do not shell out money the scandalous and destructive stories will be published against them.

Conscious of the fact that we live in a gullible society where every defamation story is believed, innocent victims scurry to stuff brown envelopes with leones or dollars to persuade the so-called press men and women from damaging their names. The Lord forbid if their paths cross an errant politician with skeletons in the cupboard. That politician is doomed as the  merciless media personnel will milk him/her  dry. Since this is the method through which they make their living, journalists no longer strive for excellence in their newspapers .There was a time when you longed to turn the pages of our newspapers for creative, interesting, educative and well-researched articles . In those days, you had thrilling feature articles on different aspects of life and of course, the sports pages were full of exciting previews , reports of games with action pictures. Today, the scanty space left by advertisements  and sports stories plagiarized from the internet are occupied by defamatory stories against people and institutions ( I guess those that failed to pass the brown envelopes ).

It is a disgrace to our nation. A country where western learning and creative arts like journalism were first introduced and flourished before being spread to other West African nations had become the cesspit for the most lawless, irresponsible and jungle-styled journalism.

In their perfidy, the pressmen and women refuse to accept that press freedom does not invest the right on anybody to damage the names of other people. Your freedom of expression stops where the rights of other citizens start. In our constitutional democracy, people have a right to their good names. Libel laws were established to ensure that innocent people were protected from their reputation being needlessly impugned or their privacy invaded by lawless media personnel.

Also not to be forgotten is the fact that Sierra Leone is a country of laws. What kind of nation will we be building if we do not enforce the laws of the land ? Just to ensure that certain misguided journalists who have a personal ax to grind with politicians and public figures carry out their vendetta against these citizens, should we sit down and allow the laws of the land to be violated with reckless and wanton relish ? Should people surrender their hard-won reputation so that brown-envelope journalists make their living ? Should we allow vindictive journalists in the pay of certain opposition politicians to flourish in their perfidy of  seditious libel against the President and his officials just because we are afraid of being accused of attempting to muzzle the press if we try to enforce the law ? Should we sit down and allow irresponsible journalists to incite the public against the President and endanger his welfare and that of the nation because we want to pursue the ideal of freedom of the press ? Which one comes first : National security or the perception that the media is free ? Should we surrender the security of the state to vicious men and women parading as journalists just so that people would say we have a free press ?

No way. The Government owes a duty to the general populace to enforce the laws of the land and to ensure the safety and security of the nation. Inciting remarks in the media calling for the President to be exterminated like a rat have the potential to undermine the peace and security of the nation. Those who commit these offences must be brought to justice just like the thief at King Jimmy Market or the rapist in the alley at Krootown Road. No one is above the law. Laws were made to be enforced without prejudice to any citizen. A crime is a crime, regardless of who commits it.

Sierra Leone’s journalists are subject to the laws of the land and must practice their trade within the confines of the law. If other professionals like doctors and nurses are prosecuted when in the reckless and unprofessional practice of their trade somebody is harmed or killed , why should the journalist not be prosecuted for violating the laws of libel ? What makes the journalist different from other professionals who get prosecuted for professional violations and mistakes ?

When the SLPP Government of President Tejan Kabbah was in power it prosecuted so many journalists it considered to have  violated the libel laws of the land . The SLPP would say that they were enforcing the laws of the land. What makes it different when the APC Government  does the same ? At least, this government did not try to murder the journalists as the SLPP and the NPRC did . The Ernest Bai Koroma Government respects the rights of its citizens. All the government is doing is to make sure that the laws of the land are enforced and it has a constitutional duty to do so.

 

Britain seeks ways to work together with President Koroma for the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity.

Monday, October 21st, 2013

 

 FREETOWN: President Ernest Bai Koroma received the British Minister for Africa, Mr. Mark Simmonds (in photo) at State House in Freetown, during a courtesy call.

President Koroma thanked the British government for the support given to Sierra Leone during the difficult days, and disclosed that government is moving the country forward, always realizing that Britain has been a very supportive partner.

Mark-Simmonds

MARK SIMMONDS

President Koroma recalled that when he took up governance in 2007 Britain provided substantial support up to holding the business and investment forum in the United Kingdom, which was very successful and established the basis of inviting investors to Sierra Leone.

The Head of State also stated that the British government provided support for the building up of governance institutions, especially the military, the Police and other state institutions, adding that DFID has been very helpful in the areas of education and health, which have gone a long way to positively affect the lives of the people.

Government, President Koroma said will continue to engage the British government as the biggest player in providing Sierra Leone with continuous support as a way of building the democratic process, and further reiterated government’s continued partnership with Britain.

He said government is determined for the Anti-Corruption Commission to continue as a credible institution that can be used in the fight against corruption, while expressing government’s profound delight for Sierra Leone now serving in the UN Human Rights Council.

He revealed that a lot of progress has been made on governance and that government has positioned itself as a country belonging to the group of countries that are most improved in terms of governance, according to the World Bank and Mo Ibrahim Index.

President Koroma said as a way of moving forward, government has to continue with the implementation of its programmes from the Agenda for Change and now to the Agenda for Prosperity, with a space for the private sector to grow, adding that until there is a very dynamic private sector, the country will not be able to do much, because the private sector should be the driver of growth, and government is still looking at how to create the enabling environment to ensure transparency in the entire process.

He therefore advocated for strategic partnership with Britain in the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity.

Earlier presenting the British Minister to President Koroma, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara said the British Parliamentarian is on his first visit to the country, to study the partnership between both countries and look at how they can work together for the implementation of the Agenda for Prosperity.

Hon. Mark Simmonds disclosed that the United Kingdom holds Sierra Leone in very high esteem in terms of bilateral relations between the two countries, and that his visit to the country is geared toward having firsthand experience on how the two countries are working together, adding that the visit also reaffirms ties between both countries.

He thanked President Koroma for placing high premium on the passing of the sexual violence and offences law, among others, which the international community will continue to support.

Hon. Mark Simmonds also lauded efforts of government for the deployment of troops in Somalia, Sudan and other United Nations peacekeeping missions in the world, which he emphasised the British government value very much, observing that both countries can now see how to further train the armed forces.

He pledged the British government’s commitment in doing more to strengthen economic and trade relations between Sierra Leone and Britain so that more businesses can invest in the country, creating jobs for the unemployed.

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Alimamy Pepito Koroma and Munda Rogers fired

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

The Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, Hon. Alimamy Petito Koroma and the Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority, Munda Rogers have been relieved of their posts with immediate effect.

HERE IS THE PRESS RELEASE FROM STATE HOUSE :

Alimamy-P-Koroma (1)
ALIMAMY PEPITO KOROMA
In the past few weeks, several meetings were held at State House to review our infrastructural projects.
The outcome of these meetings has left His Excellency the President with the conclusion that the Ministry of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, and the Sierra Leone Roads Authority have not proved themselves equal to the task of managing the implementation of the road projects.
In consequence thereof, His Excellency the President has decided to relieve Mr. Alimamy P. Koroma, Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure and Mr. Munda Rogers, Director General of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority of their duties with immediate effect.
End of the Press Release