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Fish for the news in The Pool

MARCH 2001.

The Role Of Pan Africanists In The UN
By Solomon A Turay

Before leaving for Ethiopia to attend to a short home call, our reporter Solomon A. Tarawalie met the UNAMSIL spokesperson Hirut Befecadou and conducted an exclusive interview in her office at the UNAMSIL Headquarters, Mammy Yoko Aberdeen, Freetown.

Pool: When did you arrive in Sierra Leone as UNAMSIL official?
Hirut: I came in April last year.

Pool: What was your first assignment?
Hirut: I joined the UN as Civil Affairs Coordinator, assigned to Bo, and it was important because the UN mission is here based on the Lome Peace Agreement and since that agreement was fast holding by then, UNAMSIL was invited to rebuild the civil society.

Pool: In UNAMSIL, what is the role of the Civil Affairs?
Hirut: The Civil Affairs of UNAMSIL is important because it will helps to rebuild both the social and economic structure of the society, for example in restructuring schools, hospitals, the police force, trading, banking system and everything that has to do with the socioeconomic situation of the country.

Pool: Then what was your role in Bo?
Hirut: In the southern region (Bo), I met the civil society administration and there were lots of projects to be implemented by the UN mission but much was not done because of the May 8th incident. Most of us (UN officials) were evacuated from Sierra Leone, and when we came back the UN structure was changed as more support was given to the military to stabilise the situation in Sierra Leone.

Pool: What brought up your appointment as UNAMSIL spokesperson?
Hirut: In June ending last year I was asked to take over from David Wimhurst the former UNAMSIL Spokesman, and the role was to improve the UNAMSIL information system to the public, as I am not new to it, because I was information officer for the OAU 17 years, although it was a great challenge for me because of the security situation in the country.

Pool: What has been your role now as UNAMSIL spokesperson?
Hirut: Since I took up the appointment, I have for many times informed people about the role, mandate and what should be expected from the UN.

Pool: Tell me your experience.
Hirut: I was born in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, educated in that country, joined the OAU in the country in the 60s. The OAU was my growing ground with Africa as my field of experience, travel very widely in Africa, interact with African leaders and my life has been enriched by sharing different types of culture with Africans; the Continent has made me an old true Pan Africanist. Then also I retired working with the OAU as an international consultant on various development projects, one of which was the UN project on the integration of Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, etc.

I got my first degree in Social and Political Science in the Haile Selasie University Ethiopia, second in International Relations Diplomacy In Italy, and I have all kinds of training on Media programmes with the United Nations, after over 30 years of service with the OAU, and I am now married with two grown-up sons, University graduates.

Pool: With all this kind of experience, what is your advice to the people of Sierra Leone?
Hirut: I advise the people of Sierra Leone to plant on the new hope of peace that just has started, and a tree that grows gives shade, fruits and protection for the country, and within the mandate of the UN, I believe that within the shortest period the problem would be over provided Sierra Leoneans themselves think wisely and work towards the interest of the UN which is for peace. And those who feel the present peace process was a foundation, I would tell them that it was just a beginning, because children have to go to school, and the country needs to focus on education, health, rehabilitation and other development programmes.

‘Don’t Blame Kabbah’ . . . Joe Demby

The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party has held a political rally at the Richard Allen High School, Kissy.

The occasion which attracted hundreds of diehard party supporters was graced by the Vice President, Dr. Albert Joe Demby and the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Okere Adams.

The Vice president, Dr. Albert Joe Demby, delivering the keynote address said the SLPP was supposed to serve the people faithfully but noted that it was not easy as the war still raged on. Dr. Demby reminded the people about the strides the government was making to end the war, among which was the building of a professional army.

“The problems that the party is presently facing are manifold. But the most acute one is the attitude of members who think everything should be for them and them alone,” Dr. Demby said. He urged them to accept change and regard the SLPP as a national party.

“I know it is against the wishes of members for the President to operate on a government of inclusion. But what do you expect him to do in such a volatile security and political situation? Let us work together as a country,” the Vice President advised.

The party chairman for the East III Constituency, John K. Johnson said the rally was organised to sensitise members about the SLPP’s policies to kick-start the campaign proper for the elections. Mr. Johnson stated that disgruntled members have to be pacified as they felt left out in the cold by the President.

The Minister of Agriculture, Okere Adams, stated that the aim of the SLPP was to win “hands down” in the elections. He told supporters that theirs was the only party that could take the country out of the doldrums.

While expressing his delight over the conduct of the rally, Minister Adams promised that the mistake which the party did in the 1967 general elections would never be repeated again. He urged Sierra Leoneans to work together in the spirit of patriotism “so that the country can forge ahead.” “We should all realise that the damage the SLPP inherited cannot be repaired quickly. So, we should all come together and push the nation forward,” Okere Adams urged party supporters.

Government Technical Gets Satellite Television
By Bilal Turay

In collaboration with Administrative Staff, the student union executive of the Government Technical Institute Kissy Dock Yard recently launched their satellite.

In her opening remarks the chairman for the occasion, Zainab Hawa Bangura commended the executive for their hard work, adding that they are the leaders of tomorrow. She said that after the war people should start to rebuild Sierra Leone “as the future lies in our hands”.

She thanked the Ministry of Education Youths and Sports for raising the Institute to that peak as the youths have a huge responsibility to improve Sierra Leone.

The Principal of the Institute, J. T. Cole, commended the Minister, Dr. Alpha T. Wurie, for his hard work and also raised concern about the status of his Institution. He said the Institute suffered greatly during the January 6 incident during which 10 Computer rooms were damaged by the rebels. He called on the Ministry to assist the Institution in that direction.

The President of Student Union, Oluwale, highlighted some of the problems the Institute is facing as it lacks photo copiers, books, transport and furniture. He thanked Ahmed Tejan Sillah of Tagmans Company for advising the students adding, “if we have those people the world would have been a paradise”.

The Minister of Education, Dr. Alpha T. Wurie said he was impressed by the activities of the students, adding that as from now he will think seriously about the Institute. He donated 75 chairs to the Institute and promised that more facilities would be provided to improve the infrastructure of institution.

Fogbo Youths Organisation Appeals To SLRA
By Yayah Bilal Turay

The Fogbo Youth organisation has started its voluntary road maintenance from Newton to Fogbo village, and now that people are returning gradually to the village the youths have called on SLRA to help them in the maintenance.

Speaking to the Pool Press at Fogbo, the chairman of the Organisation, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara, who is also the Ground Commander of the CDU, Fogbo branch said the organisation was formed in 1992, adding that the organisation was looking for assistance from the Sierra Leone Roads Authority or any NGO to come to their aid with working tools like shovels, wheel barrows, cutlasses and other logistics. He said that the organisation was formed to promote social awareness amongst the youths in the community and also to repair roads leading to the village.

He said business people want to go to Fogbo to buy salt or fish, but because of the poor condition of the road, they do not want to risk thier lives. The chairman added that the village relies on channel fishing and salt making but it lacks necessities like health centres, schools, churches, public toilets and community centre for meetings. “So we are looking forward to the Road Transport Authority (RTA) and NGOs to assist the Fogbo community,” he appealed.

Mr. Kamara condemned the banning of channel fishing in Sierra Leone, stating that the Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Okere Adams, has made the fishermen at Fogbo lose confidence in him.

“There are fishermen who have spent their life time in channel fishing only for the minister to ban it in one day.

Returnees Call For Empowerment
By Sayoh Kamara

Returnees at the UNHCR Transit Camp at Jui have called on the High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Luud Lubbers, for empowerment and capacity building.

This call was made by the chairlady of the Women’s Wing, Madam Musu A. Jimmy in her welcome address during the visit of the High Commissioner to the Camp, Tuesday 13th February.

According to her, the call was specifically for the women whom she described as the most vulnerable. She maintained that by such empowerment, they would be assured of self reliance and a sustainable living, thereby lessening their dependency on the United Nations and its line agencies. She called for micro-credit schemes and other non-formal capacity building activities that would engage the women.

Madam Musu described the High Commissioner’s visit as a manifestattion of his concern for Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea as well as returnees. She expressed her gratitude for the tremendous assistance accorded them by the UNHCR and other UN agencies. She described these efforts as making a difference in their lives.

Madam Jimmy highlighted the problems faced by Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea, referring to them as precarious that deserve urgent action. She disclosed that they were exposed to inhuman treatment ranging from rape, unlawful detention and indiscriminate killings in the hands of the various warring factions in that country.

High Commissioner Lubbers expressed delight at the sight of the returnees in their country of origin and stated that his agency was working assiduously to relocate them to areas of relative safety around the country.

He confirmed that while in Guinea, he indeed saw several Sierra Leoneans that were in an absolutely dangerous situation.

He disclosed his agency’s concern about the empowerment of women, stating, “You have not been forgotten; we shall surely help you.”

He assured returnees of making their case known to the wider international community for their continued assistance. He also urged all Sierra Leoneans including the returnees to cooperate in the search for lasting and sustainable peace in the country.

Government Blunders Over Results
By Sayoh Kamara

A group of concerned GCE O’level students are accusing the president, Minister and officials of the Ministry of Education of double standards over the release of their 1998-99 November/December, GCE O’level results by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC)

The students and their examiners are alleged to have involved in incidents of examination malpractices - consequent upon which the results were seized. Allegations which the students are vehemently challenging.

After a marathon pursuance of the matter with Education Minister and officials of the Ministry, the students decided to launch a formal complaint and seek of redress with the president and head of state.

But now, they are charging the president through his Presidential Affairs Minister, Momodu Koroma of reneging from an earlier assurance and promise of “solving their problem”.

A hand written Memorandum suit to this press accused the president through his minister with deliberate delay over the issue aimed at “starting their rights to education for no just cause,” and referred to the allegations as “unfounded and a mere ploy to muzzle their education and youthful aspirations.”

The students are stating that it was unnecessary for the authorities concerned to have withheld their results for two years only for the Presidential Affairs Minister to be sending them to and fro on flippant excuses of the matter is under investigation.

According to them issues of importance and of sensitivity should not have been delayed to act upon. “Now they have wasted our time unnecessarily only for the Presidential Affairs Minister to write us that our results have been cancelled,” the students lamented.

Earlier, the Memorandum highlighted the frustration the students experienced on the hands of Dr. Alpha T. Wurie. He is quoted as haven remarked on the issue that, as far as his ministry is concerned in the government, once he has taken a decision even the president cannot reverse it. “He can talk to you sweet but cannot make any change,” Dr. Wurie is quoted as having said.

The students were at most expecting a recompensation for their resources and time wasted for the government to have come up with an encouraging outcome or at least to have allowed the Exams Council, (WAEC) to have acted promptly and unilaterally. According to the Memorandum, they had affirmed to comply with whatever methods adopted by the government as long as it does not jeopardise their rights to education.

However even though both the President and Ministry of Education are insisting on the cancellation of the results, indications are rife that some of these have been released to their colleague candidates whose parents or relatives have influence within the status quo.

“We are much worried over this development and are as well concerned over the secure of our own results,” the students emphasised.

Whether the cancellation of these results is based on the alleged malpractices or minister’s direct interference is not certain, but is however clear and that is if the results were to be cancelled it should be across the board with as exception.

Jonah Quits Government

Dr. James Jonah yesterday announced to the Press that he was quitting the government of President Kabbah as Minister of Finance.

He however promised that he would still continue to serve the country in any capacity without salary.

Jonah disclosed that during his tenure as Finance Minister he succeeded in eliminating ghost workers from the government payroll and added that the Finance Ministry now operates on a very transparent system.

Jonah remarked that the government’s battle against corruption was really paying dividend but that corruption could not be eradicated overnight.

He described as lies stories reported in local tabloids about his dubious roles in the award of contract for the rehabilitation of his George Street Ministerial building and the sale of the Sierra Leone embassy in New York. He said he played no part in the two deals.

Jonah said as a citizen he was not in support of the extension of the life of this present government for another six months after the expiration of the present. He disclosed that he is confident that president Kabbah too would not encourage another extension. He said the Electoral Commission must not focus on the lack of money but on the overall security, as when there is security, the money will be made available.

Jonah said he is leaving behind US$1.22 billion as foreign debts owed by Sierra Leone. On the press, Jonah said he was of the belief that democracy would never survive unless the government maintained` a free, independent press.

Dr. Jonah leaves together with the Financial Secretary and Deputy Financial Secretary, Emile Lasite and Sahr Kortuque respectively.

Big Demo Against SLPP Stopped

A group calling itself THE GRASSROOTS AWARENESS ORGANISATION (GRAO) has completed plans for a big demonstration today against the extension of the life of this government to another six months by Parliament without consulting the people.

However, the planned demonstration itself has been stopped by the Sierra Leone Police Force against the background of non compliance with the Public Order Act.

The demonstration, according to the organisers, was to have some 30,000 grassroots people who would take to the streets of Freetown to protest against the continuity of the SLPP government for another six months.

According to the Regional Police Commissioner, Western Area, Christopher John, the organisation failed to secure a clearance from the Police through the Inspector General. He stated that the police in that respect are using their authority on the basis of neutrality in its management of public demonstrations in providing security.

“They can re-apply for another date. Once we have established the rationale behind the demonstration, we’ll give them the go-ahead,” he stated.

He further maintained that a demonstration of such magnitude should be organised haphazardly without the knowledge of the police. “We would need to negotiate on the pattern of the demonstration to ensure that it passed peacefully as indicated,” Commissioner pointed out.

Documents retrieved from the 8 Fergusson Street office of the organisation revealed some strong link between the organisation and the Revolutionary United Front.

In one of the letters, RUF Group Commander, Morris Kallon, expressed appreciation for the move, stating that it was in the right direction. The letter also urged the organisation to send a representative to witness a similar action in their territories.

Answering questions from the press the president of the organisation, Lansana Korto Conteh, disclosed that the organisation was duly registered with a membership of 3,300. He maintained that the demonstration was meant to be peaceful and that his organisation had no links with RUF. He also stated their action was only meant to send a signal to the international community that they were not in favour of any further extension by the SLPP government.

Mr. Conteh stated that they are much concerned with the extension of the mandate of the present government as it has instilled fear in them for a possible return to hostilities.

“The RUF lacks confidence in the SLPP and vice versa in the face of the DDR. This stalemate could explode into warfare,” Mr. Conteh said.

UN Envoy Lubbers Visits Lokomasama
By Sayoh Kamara

The Commissioner of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Luud Lubbers on Wednesday, 14th February 2001 visited returnees at the Lokomasama Resettlement Project, in the Lungi Peninsular.

The purpose was to familiarise himself with how the returnees were coping, to assess their relationship with the host community, to evaluate the assistance rendered by the UNHCR and other line UN agencies as well as their implementing partners and to also assess what further assistance they may require.

At the court Barray in Petifu Junction where the High Commissioner was received by the Paramount Chief Bai Sama Lamina Sam III, samples of materials and food supplement assistance were on display. They were identified by the various implementing agencies that were responsible.

In his brief welcome statement, PC Bai Lamina Sama III expressed pleasure at the visit of the High Commissioner to his chiefdom. He stated that it was a demonstration of the Commissioner’s concern and commitment to associate himself with the plight of Sierra Leonean returnees and refugees. “This your visit, barely two months following your assumption of office, is an assurance to us of your determination to ensure the protection of the people whom you are responsible for,” the Paramount Chief stated.

He disclosed that his chiefdom presently accommodates some 17,000 returnees. He described the relationship between returnees and indigenes as cordial, stating further that the returnees are very cooperative and law abiding.

He thanked the UNHCR, other UN agencies and their implementing partners for the assistance rendered. He maintained that inasmuch as the assistance is for the returnees, they are also serving the purpose of the indigenes.

He however called on the High Commissioner to continue his good work, adding, “I still expect more since I am ready to accommodate thousands more of my fellow compatriots.” He wished the Commissioner success in his tenure of office.

Responding, High Commissioner Lubbers said he felt great to visit the chiefdom. He described the returnees/indegenes good relationship as “a demonstration of cooperation”.

He thanked partners of the resettlement programme for their collective work in ensuring the success of the programme. “Although this programme is aimed at resettling returnees, it is as well important in the light that it shows how good partnership can work in any community,” Mr. Lubbers pointed.

He expressed the hope that this resettlement programme would be emulated by all Sierra Leoneans in their search for peace and general good. He encouraged returnees to cooperate with their hosts and assured them of a brighter perspective in the near future.

At the Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood Primary School, Mr. Lubbers told his audience that the school built by UNHCR is not just to provide shelter and protection, but that it will rebuild the lives of the children for their future.

He also visited Rogberray were he talked to returnees and gave them the same message of assurance.

The Resettlement locations are provided with essential facilities ranging from hospitals, schools to sanitation.

Government of Inclusion . . . Kabbah Calls For Suggestion of Names
By Sayoh Kamara

The President, Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, has called on Sierra Leoneans to suggest names of people they deem competent and with integrity for inclusion in his government within the course of the six-month extension.

He made this pronouncement during the passing out parade, Thursday 15th February 2001, of 56 officers and 1222 other ranks of the Sierra Leone Army that had undergone training in diverse combat skill crafts with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifle Regiment at the Benguema Training Centre.

The President was responding to the demand by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) for the formation of an interim government headed by a neutral person.

Kabbah stated that it is his responsibility as a democratically elected president to uphold the constitution and as such he deserves to take into consideration positive suggestions of citizens and determine how appropriately they can fit in line with the constitution.

“Send your suggestions of names of people whom you thimk are fit to be included in government,” President Kabbah intimated.

The President noted that he cannot know everybody by name or capability, and stated further that the suggestions of the general public will help him do the job.

However, he pointed out that he has always maintained a government of inclusion since he won the presidential election in 1996. He also emphasised the point that he has never attempted at practising the winner-take-all policy that was practised by previous governments in the country.

Meanwhile, the president has called on Sierra Leoneans to unite in the search for peace and development.

In this regard, he called on the military as partners to uphold and respect the constitution.

In The Pool

“The mobile is charging. Yes, by tomorrow people will be calling me through my mobile. In fact, Taimeh, I want you to call me during the night as I will be somewhere with my mobile,” Sorie Ibrahim Sesay was on Friday delivering a sermon to the fishes about a ‘particular’ mobile phone. That day was a pretty good one for the Sports Editor. By all indication, the use of a mobile phone was a novelty to him. Thanks to the magnanimity of big fish Chernor Ojuku Sesay who willingly left his GSM with my wonderful Sports guru.

Adizatu, the Computer manageress was all smiles as Sorie I was perambulating from one end of the office to the other. At one stage, I thought he was haughty but I was wrong. Adizatu continued pounding the kernels of the computer like nobody’s business. She was running after time as it was already 6:00pm. She wanted to go home and have a feel of her family. The speed with which she pounded was unimaginable; but of course she was accurate, diligent and careful. She is one of the few computer secretaries that can work under any condition.

Bilal was just from a tour of Tombo and Fogbo. His story was very interesting as he met several people, including the Team manager of Mighty Blackpool. Bilal said the Tis Tas Boys played to a goalless with Tombo United. Very wonderful. The tour must have done my Senior Reporter some good as he was very buoyant when he entered the pond.

But Abass, commonly called ‘Of The Babies’ was a different man altogether. He seemed to be out of sorts. He was very laconic in his utterances. What I later understood was that there was a hole in his pocket. Quickly, very quickly, the big fish stitched it with some dough. It was only then that I saw a ray of smile on Bass’s face.

What about the innocuous Super Kekus? Well, to be frank, the guy is just too spick and span. The powerful News Editor was just from a UNAMSIL press briefing when he met Osman Tolo on the door way. Tolo was sullen and sulky as he passed the night at the production place. Kekus tried his best to put life into the production assistant by greasing his palm.

Saturday was a different day altogether. I arrived at the office at 10:30 am and on his newly acquired mobile phone. I did just that. The kind of response I got from the other end of the line was funny and interesting. You want to know what it was? No, I will not tell you. I’ll keep it close to my chest.

Big Fish Ojuku was among the contingent that left for Liberia. I understand the Deputy Minister of Sports, Abass Collier, protested to Justice Tola Thompson against Ojuku being part of the delegation. The reason: The Pool told the government right in their face that they were wrong in stopping the team from

But Pa Tolla was too smart for political Collier. Football and Politics!!! Readers, Ojuku will, on Thursday, give you a minute by minute account of the team’s performance in Liberia. Just secure a copy and read interesting things. We fear no soul except God.



Kabbah Visits West Side Base

For the first time in three years, president Tejan Kabbah, last Saturday, traveled by road from Freetown to Masiaka town in the Koya Chiefdom, Port Loko District, which was the base of former renegade soldiers popularly referred to as, Westside boys.

Addressing thousands of internally displaced persons of Koya Chiefdom who turned up to give the president a hero’s welcome, Kabbah assured them that his government will do all in its power to help the people rebuild their homes.

He emphasized on the strategic position of Masiaka town which he said was similar to Port Loko town, fifty years ago when the latter was the gateway to the provinces.

He assured the people of his government’s determination to provide total security for the people of Sierra Leone and admonished them to exercise patience as security matters are not meant to be discussed publicly.

In his welcome address, the Paramount Chief of Koya, Alhaji Bai Kompa Bomboli II catalogued the destruction unleashed on his chiefdom by both the RUF rebels and the former renegade soldiers.

These destructions, according to the Chief, include 200 villages, which were completely razed, schools and hospitals.

The Paramount Chief said his people are farmers and are willing to re- start tilling the soil but need tools, seeds, shelter and food for work.

The Chief thanked the British and UNAMSIL forces for closing the Westside boys’ chapter and the security provided by the two forces in his chiefdom.

In his contribution, the triple R Commissioner, Kanja Sesay disclosed that the Koya Rehabilitation Programme will be launched this week in Masiaka with some international NGOs including CRS, WFP, UNICEF, ADRA, OCHA etc.

The Agriculture Minister, Okereh Adams assured the people of the provision of agricultural tools, machines, vegetable seeds, and livestock.

Kamajor Boss Beats Female Police

One of the Commanders of the now notorious kamajor civil militia, Alfred Musa Jambawai, who last week publicly assaulted a female police at the Pademba Road/Campbell Street junction is now bluffing that as long as Chief Hinga Norman is alive, nothing will come out of his action.

The female police officer, W/PC 5586, Kadi Yilla was brutally assaulted by Jambawai on February 6 for merely executing her official duties.

Jambawai said the police had no right to call for inspection of his driving and vehicle documents. This resulted to an argument and Jambawai, considering his kamajor connection, physically assaulted Kadi Yillah, tearing her police uniform.

Kadi reported the matter and Jambawai were subsequently charged to court. The kamajor commander refused to appear in court and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. The matter was allegedly reported to the kamajor Chief, Hinga Norman, who reportedly authorised for the cancellation of the bench warrant.

In a rather shocking development, the complainant, Kadi Yillah was invited to make a statement at the Complaint, Discipline and Internal Investigation Department, police headquarters, with the allegation that she insulted Jambawai.

The kamajor commander has totally refused to appear in court and the female police officer that was the complainant is now defending herself at the CDIID.

Six Months ‘Wahala’. . . Citizens Condemn Parliament

There were sharp reactions of criticisms from citizens and some prominent politicians on the rapidity with which Members of Parliament hurriedly passed the bill extending the life of the Tejan Kabbah-led SLPP government and Parliament to another six months.

The renowned SLPP critic and Interim Leader of the National Unity Party (NUP), John Benjamin said one cannot expect anything better than what happened.

Benjamin said nobody is calling for elections now but the government must give the people a specific programme that will be implemented in the next six months.

Mr. Abdul Razak, a prominent businessman said the greatest crime Dr. James Jonah has committed against the people of Sierra Leone is the introduction of the Proportional Representation system in the political atmosphere of this country, which has led to the entering into Parliament of most unfortunate elements.

Majority of the present Parliamentarians have no constituencies. They are happy with the present no peace no war situation, which they will continue to use to extend their stay in parliament.

what baffled most people was the failure by Parliamentarians to first demand from government the necessity of the extension but rather hurriedly approved the motion. “We are totally disappointed by these bunch of hustlers. If it is left with them they want to be there forever,” Razak concluded.

Maskita Resurfaces In Kailahun

Sam Bockarie alias Mosquito has arrived in Kailahun, the headquarter of the Revolutionary United Front. This was confirmed to this press yesterday by our impeccable source.

Our source revealed that Bockarie arrived in Kailahun from Liberia last week but is yet to be recognised by rank and file of the RUF.

The source said Bockarie is yet to meet with the new RUF leader, General Issa Sesay or any other top Commander of the RUF.

it could be recalled that in a BBC interview last month, the spokesman for the RUF, Gibril Massaquoi stated that Sam Bockarie could come to Sierra Leone, but not as a member of the RUF. He also stated that his acceptance depends on his reapplication and confirmation by the RUF high command.

Many people interviewed on this issue expressed fear about the return of Mosquito in Kailahun and viewed the act as a deliberate ploy by Charles Taylor to carry out his deadly acts in this country. Whether Bockarie will be welcomed once again by the rank and file of the RUF is the question on every body’s lips.


President Kabbah has again sent a warning to the RUF rebels not to attempt to engage in any military activity again as such will be suicidal on their part.

He said the army and the police are now well trained and equipped enough to take the war to the rebels. He called on the rebels not to allow the people’s patience to worn out or else his too will run out.

The President disclosed that the British government has provided two military helicopters and 140 vehicles for the military and for the police, 120 Land Rovers, 10 trucks, 500 bicycles, 75 lorries and eight escort bikes.

President Kabbah warned the Koya displaced people especially those residing in Freetown displaced camps to return to their villages, as the area is now safe. He said NGOs will now concentrate on supplying relief items to those who have returned to their villages rather than those in Freetown displaced camps.

Water Crisis Hits Wellington, Kissy
By Bilal Turay

Thousands of People from Kissy Wellington and some parts of Calaba Town are suffering a lot in the course of fetching safe drinking water.

Speaking to The Pool, Mr. Momoh Sesay, a displaced at the Approved School Displaced Camp said it is almost two weeks now that they have gone without good drinking water.

Residents in Portee, Rokupa, 45, 55, Granni Church, Sorie Lane, Davies Street Whyse Moore Terrace and Congo Water have to travel between two and three miles to get safe drinking water.

Mammy Sento said condition in the camp is terrible, OXFAM, which is responsible for the health and sanitation for the camp, opens the taps once a day. She noted that without water the human being is terrible. She appealed to the NCRRR to assist the people in the area of water supply.

PAL’s Village Club Opens
By Bilal Turay

Residents of Kissy Wellington and Calaba Town will now have a place at Ferry Junction to enjoy themselves. The Pal’s village was officially opened last Friday February 9, 2001.

Speaking to this press, the proprietor of the club, Albert Bendu who resides in Norway, said the name itself symbolised African Culture, adding that he is trying to create job opportunities for his Sierra Leonean brothers and sisters.

He said there are plans for the Pal’s village investors to visit Sierra Leone. He said the multipurpose modern club contains a bar, restaurant, pub and night club, adding that he has spent Le40 million so far on its upkeep. He said that the club can boast of 60 CD players and 4 cartons of cassettes.

Mr. Bendu has been in Norway for some time and he has won the heavyweight championship in Norway.

He appealed to the RUF to hand over their guns for the benefit of the children. Pal’s Manager, Abdulai Kamara, called on the easterners to support Pal’s society.

In The Pool

“OFKAY, pass on these envelopes to your staff,” was big fish Ojuku’s edict to his second-in-command.

There was a mixed reaction from the fishes. Some smiled, some winced while some remained apathetic. I did as I was instructed.

The only female fish in the pond, Adiza, was the first to receive her white envelope. She quickly tucked it in her bag, away from the prying eyes of the one and only Sports Editor, Sorie Ibrahim Sesay of Mattia fame. I could not discern any visible reaction from Lady Adiza, something that beat my imagination.

I however got what I wanted from Sorie Ibrahim who jumped, clapped and of course yes, was head over heels for his envelope. Believe it or leave it, I was ignorant of the actual contents of the special envelopes. My layman understanding of there function is to carry missives.

But be it as it may, Sayoh Kekus, the innocuous News Editor, was matured enough to hide a grin. He is a guy that is a lot more diplomatic than diplomacy. Perhaps this is because he is now akin to UNAMSIL. Any way, that “glorious” Monday was inglorious for Yayah Bilal and the Production genius, Osman Tolo of T-Boy fame. The guys were not just around to receive their gift from the Big Fish.

And you know what that means, don’t you? I had to carry the “heavy” parcels in my bag for a couple of days before Bilal went for them. Thank God, there is still no report to pilfering.

Work went on smoothly the following day with all the fins of the fishes on deck to ensure the publication of The Pool. But as always, it was not an easy task. Adiza pounded on the computer like nobody’s business; Sayoh scribbled with ingenuity and efficiency; Bilal dotted his I’s and crossed his T’s, while Sorie Ibrahim penned down a comprehensive report of the Alphajor Bah gala matches.

This name rings bell, doesn’t it? Well, let me remind you that the China-based football maestro has a fan club back home called Alphajor Fan Club, which is coordinated by big fish Ojuku, and a few others, excluding Magba Taimeh (No ill-feeling, please).

Lest I forget, the Sports Editor, Chief Honourable Mr. Sorie Ibrahim Sesay has been given an additional responsibility by me - that of seeing to it that Adizatu does the correct page layout. More grease to your elbow, Sorie!

And more grease to your elbows, wonderful readers. We in the Pool do not care a wick what other people say as long as we serve your interests. Ours is to say the truth, nothing but the truth. No political gerrymandering. No Coasting. Good day and have a nice reading.


Admirer Writes PUBLIC EYE


Long time, no see, eh? Well that is life. One has to keep a low profile if the climate buffets one. I had to go underground for some personal reasons.

Well, as a friend, I should let the cat out of the bag. I went to Kambia, but my brother, the transgression of the Guineans was so fierce and bloody that I had to escape with the only life God gave me. The Guineans are bombing Kambia district with impunity. For them, Samu chiefdom belongs to Guinea. I cannot tell you the amount of innocent lives that have been lost - poor, innocent, defenceless and armless civilians who are just putting the pieces of their lives together. I personally do not blame the Guinean soldiers at all. I blame our government, which has reneged on its sacred duty of protecting the lives of Sierra Leoneans. Guinea can go ahead and kill all of us and nobody cares a farthing.

PE, another burning thing I want to discuss with you is a write up I read in the SLPP’s mouthpiece called mmmm ..... ehhh .... Unity. I read the piece with rapt attention and interest.

At one point, I laughed. I could not imagine a moribund party newspaper accusing a vibrant, independent newspaper like yours of propaganda. Is that not ironical?

I cannot understand why Unity is always on tenterhooks when “our” government is blasted for inefficiency. The guys in that paper are always battle-ready to abuse decent people with no just cause. But don’t blame them PE, they are all frustrated gray-heads who are merely eking out a living.

Are they not the very people who said all those advocating for an interim government were stupid fools? Have you seen their foolishness and bizarre practice of the profession? For them, democracy is when you support their party. What a shortsighted, myopic vision! I think they should be decent enough to let people express their God-given opinions on national issues.

I want these uncouth writers (they are not journalists at all) to know that if everybody thinks the same, then nobody thinks at all. My own understanding of democracy is when there is room for a divergence of opinions for the good of the country.

Frankly speaking, PE, these manikins are happy over the continuous killing of people in the Kambia district. I will not touch on the implications of their shallow but virulent attack on your paper. That I will do later. Let me tell whosoever is connected with that sham of a paper that if they don’t want to read or hear what you are writing, let them go to the bottomless part of hell and weep their iniquities.

I urge you to continue exposing the inadequacies of our democratically elected government. It is not the personal property of any Tom, Dick or Harry. I will address this issue again in my next letter.

Good day and continue the good work. Forget about the disunited Unity. They are just a bunch of hustlers who are always cap in hand, moving from one Minister’s corridor to another.


Gross Indiscipline At PZ

For PE to notice that youths of this country are yet to reconcile with there uncalled for attitudes of the past is much astounding.

These attitudes are what have darkened the image of youths in this country for the past ten years.

It was PE’s conviction that with all the blames cast on the youths of this country (for partaking senselessly in this senseless war of ours, ha, ha, ha), now is the time for them to be thinking otherwise so as to cleanse themselves, and to show up for the Herculean challenge of preparing for the future leadership of this country.

But alas! this to PE, seems a far fetched conclusion. Rather, it seems as if youths (well, there are certain conscious ones that really show responsibility) take pride in them in associating with hooliganism, thuggery and rebellion.

This was particularly demonstrated by the so-called youths that form the thievery syndicate around PZ.

PE is particularly pointing at those that have clad themselves in sheep’s clothing: Dollar Black Marketers, most of whom are either rebel informants or are doing business directly for the rebels.

These hoodlums, apart from prostituting this country’s economy through the channeling of fake dollar and Leone notes as well as masterminding currency exchange rates most especially against the Leone, are also elements against the infrastructural development of this country.

PE was at PZ on Saturday afternoon, 10th of February, watching a show of gross indiscipline and sheer disrespect for development by these PZ dollar racketeers.

They were attacking a Senegalese operator of the Grader machine of the CSE construction firm. The operator had merely gone to remove his machine from where the thugs had conveniently rested their oars. The machine was due to do some work along the Sani Abacha Street.

PE heard the Senegalese telling them to clear off the machine so that it could be moved without hurting anybody.

Instead of heeding, they kept on sitting, until the operator got out of impatience and started the engine.

Much to the surprise of PE, one of these hoodlums with plaited head uttered obscene words at the poor operator. In a further astonishment, PE saw this same thug filled his filthy hand with sand and pebbles and threw it at the operator’s face.

Another was seen throwing missiles, then another, then another until the whole area was plunged into absolute pandemonium. They had all gone berserk with rudeness and abject gangsterism. At one point some of these street boys attempted to climb on to the machine to force the poor operator into a duel. Even the only police officer then could not make any difference. He was overpowered by the mob, and his throat grabbed the operator.

As if that wasn’t enough, PE overheard some saying, “you feel say we dae frade. Some of we if ee cam pan cam, we kin old gun. Na wae you nor sabi we na im make.”

PE was flabbergasted on hearing those disappointing statements. This forced PE to conclude that behold some of these so-called ‘dregman dem’ are not ordinary, and that some of them have what the rebels refer to as D.I. meaning, Different Intention.

PE wondered what feeling the Senegalese operator might nurture against the Sierra Leonean youths. Perhaps he would be stating that no wonder this country is in such a mess. Those youngsters that are expected to portray good character can conveniently attack anyone that is seen to be on the path of progress and development.

Be wo na shame bo, youths dregman dem na PZ.


Government, Parliament, Grab Each Other, No Budget Today!

The much expected annual budget supposed to be delivered this morning by Finance Minister, Dr. James Jonah at the House of Parliament will not be delivered after all due to a seeming rancour between the two arms of government, the executive and the legislative.

Parliamentarians have been lambasting Dr. Jonah for being corrupt by dubiously selling Sierra Leone’s embassy in Now York.

Government too have been describing Parliamentarians as reckless people who are misusing their privileges.

Though the budget will not be delivered today, the price of petrol has been slashed from Le5,700 to Le5,200 and the price of dollar has fallen drastically to Le1,800 to a dollar.

Meanwhile, the executive arm of government, yesterday, in a press release, warned Members of Parliament to stop misusing Stand Order 23 (SO23) by uttering reckless and irresponsible statements and accusations against certain important individuals in the society.

The release added that such reckless behaviour and misuse of privileges will scare away patriotic Sierra Leoneans from holding public offices whenever called upon.

In the said release, government denied an allegation made by PDP Member of Parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Sorie accusing the Finance Minister, Dr. James Jonah of selling Sierra Leone’s embassy building in Now York for a pittance and under dubious circumstances.

The release also denied the sale of the residence of the Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the US and added that the present Ambassador to the US, John Leigh left the building for repairs to be carried on it.

However, Hon. Ibrahim Sorie dismissed government release as total rubbish and a deliberate attempt to sweep the facts under the carpet.

Some Parliamentarians are blaming the government for protecting Dr. Jonah. “The man is a corrupt element. He conducted the last elections under very questionable circumstances just for him to be appointed Sierra Leone’s ambassador to the UN and later Finance Minister.”

But members of the public are blaming the very parliamentarians, calling them ‘Yes men’ and rubber stamp elements. “Was this not the same Parliament which approved James Jonah? Was it not the same body that approved Sama Banya as Minister of Foreign Affairs after he was first rejected? They better keep quiet.”

C-MET Hosts Programme Director

The Centre for Media, Education and Technology, (C-MET), a local NGO working for Media Development and Responsibility within the framework of affordable Technology, will host Madam Kakuna Kerina, Program Director at the International League for Human Rights, in New York.

Kakuna will be in Sierra Leone for a week, beginning December 15.

While in Freetown, Kakuna will officially launch The Centre for Media, Education and Technology at 41 Main Motor Road, Congo Cross. She will also meet heads of NGOs various Media institutions and government functionaries

In collaboration with the International League for Human Rights, C-MET is presently implementing a project that will enhance media capacity building and provide various channels of communications for grass root communities in Sierra Leone.

Kakuna is expected to distribute fax machines, computers, scanners, printers, and other accessories to media institutions, including SLBS, FM 98.1, FM 96.2, SLAJ and the Guild of Newspaper Editors.

Kofi Annan Due On Saturday

The world’s most powerful Civil Servant, Ghanaian-born Kofi Annan will arrive in Freetown tomorrow Saturday, December 2 at the start of a three-day visit.

Mr. Annan will meet both international and national staff working with UNAMSIL. He will meet with President Kabbah and visit UN troops deployed in Port Loko. He will later address the press.

Meanwhile, Mr. Annan last Monday in New York appealed to member states to provide additional funding for UN’s emergency peace keeping operations for the coming year.

In the meantime, UNAMSIL have indicated that three battalions from the Bangladeshi army are expected to join the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone any time from now.

UNAMSIL spokesman, Hirut Befecadou said the 3000 troops from Bangladesh will include signals, a medical team and a considerable number of infantry personnel. This additional troops will fill the gap created by the withdrawal of the Indian troops.

By Sorie Ibrahim Sesay

The Project Coordinator of the North Central Agricultural Project, NCAP, Mr. J. K. Pessima, has reaffirmed his project’s commitment to cater for needy farmers in their areas of operations in the Tonkolili and Kono Districts.

Giving a historical background of the project, Mr. Pessima said that NCAP was established in December 1993 to replace the then Magbosi Integrated Agricultural Project which was sponsored by the World Bank. NCAP, he said, is funded by the International Funding for Agricultural Development, IFAD.

Mr. Pessima explained that NCAP comprises three components, namely, the Agricultural Services which comprise personnel of the Agriculture Ministry, FARMCO which he said make agricultural inputs available to farmers and the Rural Banks established to give financial assistance in the form of loans to farmers.

He said NCAP also has some infrastructural programmes like the rehabilitation of feeder roads to enable NCAP personnel to reach their farmers in remote areas. He however stated that the feeder roads rehabilitation programme has not kicked off due to the war and the non-availability of funds.

The Project Coordinator further explained that funds made available to them in 1994 by IFAD enabled them to effectively operate FARMCO and open the rural banks. Thus in that year, NCAP opened rural banks at Mile 91, Makali and made proposals for the opening of one at Magburaka in the Tonkolili district when the rebels invaded the area, thereby closing the programme. “We had the intention of establishing five rural banks each in Tonkolili and Kono districts, but for the war,” he said.

Mr. Pessima stated that continuous rebel activities in these areas made the government not to pay for the service charges; hence the suspension of NCAP activities in 1997. He said since then, no fund has been made available to the programme.

However, with the change of Management in 1999, the dynamic and charismatic Coordinator, Mr. J. K. Pessima, went to Rome, Italy together with Ministry of Finance personnel to convince IFAD to lift the initial suspension on the programme, assuring them of government’s willingness to pay its debt.

“It was agreed that the amount was to be paid on three installations by the government,” he explained.

IFAD accepted the deal and ordered FARMCO to supply NCAP agricultural inputs like seed rice, groundnut, tools, etc. to restart the programme with no cash paid to NCAP. “We gave these inputs to credible farmers belonging to farmers associations we had previously identified as viable groups in these regions,” he explained.

As a follow-up to the 1999 Rome agreement, Mr. Pessima explained that a team of IFAD officials visited the country early this year to formulate a year’s programme for Tonkolili district (since Kono is not accessible due to the rebel war) and see how best they could entirely lift the suspension. He said to ensure the implementation of the programme, NCAP approached UNDP to pay the services in US dollars since the government was unable to pay due to some financial constraints.

The UNDP agreed; and the suspension was lifted accordingly on the condition that the UNDP continue to pay to IFAD the remaining amount or else the suspension will be reimposed. “I want to make this point clear that we received no funds from IFAD and we are still expecting them to fund the programme to carry out our extension services,” he said.

Mr. Pessima stated that IFAD is only prepared to fund the programme pending on the government’s willingness to pay its debt. He said at present, NCAP is collaborating with other NGOs like Africare, Caritas, ADRA, The Future In Our Hands, CCDP to assist farmers in carrying out agricultural activities in these areas. “We provide the personnel with the necessary advice while they provide the input,” he said.

The Coordinator explained that recently, a week-long workshop was conducted at Mile 91 in collaboration with the CCP to improve technology on Crop Production.

He said with their assistance and with the Indian UNAMSIL battalion in the area, NCAP was able to establish seven community farms involving the host population at Mile 91 and the internally displaced persons from other regions of the country. He said NCAP presented assorted vegetables to farmers to establish community farms.

Mr. Pessima concluded by saying that in order to ensure proper coordination in the field, they hold weekly meetings with all NGOs involved in Agriculture to discuss past, present and future activities and at the same time identify their operational areas.

NUP presents the Way Forward For Sierra Leone

The meeting between representatives of political parties and members of the visiting team from the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has resulted in the National Unity Party issuing a press release on what the party believes is the way forward for the peace process and Sierra Leone. In the release signed by the interim leader, John Benjamin, the position of the party was presented as follows:

1. That the party acknowledged with appreciation and profound thanks the leading role of the United Nations and other friendly nations in the search for sustainable peace in Sierra Leone. However, reflecting on the intransigence of the RUF to cooperate with the government to push forward the peace process, there is need for the mandate of UNAMSIL to be reconsidered. The RUF has for example, become a group of bandits/terrorists with no political base. Subsequently, the UN mandate should be for peace enforcement rather than peace keeping since there is no peace to keep. Even if the troop number is increased to over 20,000, for as long as they cannot be effectively deployed throughout the whole country and secure peace for the majority of the citizens of this country, it will amount to wasted effort.

On the other hand, if the mandate of UNAMSIL cannot be changed, then the government troops who have now been retrained should be equipped to take the lead and liberate our economic areas more so Kono, Kailahun, Makeni, Kambia and Tongo Field.

Any negotiation now with the RUF should be contingent upon the RUF’s sincere willingness and commitment to automatically withdraw from all Economic Areas and to free the abductees, to allow UNAMSIL’s deployment throughout the country.

2. That the party strongly believes that transparent, free and fair elections will not be feasible with the current climate of insecurity and war. However, since the legal mandate of the democratically elected government comes to an end very soon, it is imperative and expedient that a transitional government of National Unity, made up of all political parties presently in Parliament and representatives of major stake holders including civil society organisations. The inclusion of the RUF in such a government must be predicated on their commitment to the disarmament programme.

3. There is need for urgent serious steps to be taken to ensure that the DDR Programme is effectively implemented. Efforts should be taken for example, to provide the necessary logistics, materials and other requirement to facilitate the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants. The whole DDR Programme should be decentralised, and delinked from political interference.

4. Neutrality of the National Electoral Commission and its entire staff should be transparent and enforced by all political parties. This is necessary to avoid the most recent mistake of the present government who now have as Finance Minister, the very person who conducted the election that have given them the mandate to rule. The country’s fragile democracy should be guided by the electoral system so that the polarisation of political parties does not become a setback to the process. The Constitution should be observed, respected and protected, at all times and not interpreted and used by the government as and when it pleases them.

5. We share view that our crisis is mainly attributed to diamonds - blood diamonds which is being exploited to fuel the war machinery of destruction. However, we also believe that diamonds are not the only cause of our current predicament. Poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy, weak and ineffective government and non-performing opposition parties have also played a predominant role. Against this background, we humbly appeal to the International Community to provide us with the necessary support to free our country from this senseless war. We are also appealing to all Sierra Leoneans to play a constructive role rather than a destructive one in nation building.

The NUP is also reported to now operate their own website on the internet. The address of this website is


November 2000

APC, PDP, UNPP, PDA, PPP, PNC Dissolve Names

At a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Grand Alliance over the weekend, the six political parties in the Alliance agreed to dissolve their names. The Steering Committee was given two weeks to come up with an acceptable name that the Alliance will carry in the forth coming elections.

It is widely rumoured that the parties will adopt the name GRAND ALLIANCE PARTY (GAP) as the official name.

Honourable Hassan Kamara, PDP member of parliament, is expected to chair the Committee that will draft the constitution of the Grand Alliance.

***In The Pool with OF-KAY***
Difficulty, thy name is man

Hurray beautiful readers, The Pool is back after some two weeks’ absence. I will not hesitate to tell you that the problems are myriad.

They range from lack of electricity to printer default. But as you know, Shakespeare says: Frailty, thy name is woman. I will like to replace it with ‘Difficulty thy name is man’. It has not been easy at all for the fishes in the pond. We have not been able to reconcile ourselves with the kind of work we have at hand as the God of the fishes deliberately (no, not deliberately but inadvertently) refused to send manna from heaven. You know what, the fishes have been gulping and quaffing the little water available in the pond. This is to the extent that they have to swallow a mountain of mud. Still, there is no end in sight for our plight.

Readers, I told you that one of the problems that hit us was that of the printer. It was a problem indeed. But as you know, even Satan, the greatest enemy of mankind, has a friend. Well, we too had some philanthropists that provided the much needed succour for us.

Should I mention the names? No, I will not. Oh, no, I should so that you the readers can help us bless them. These kind-hearted, godly-minded and helpful people are the famous guys at the prestigious Independent Observer newspaper. I will fall wanting in my gratitude if I do not, with all my heart and soul, extend special thanks to these good-natured people.

During our time of distress, they came to our aid; during our time of need, they provided us with succour. They allowed us to use their printer any time we wanted to without any precondition. I am very much thankful to them for everything they have done for us.

But the Independent Observer people were not the only helpers. I should therefore also mention the two indefatigable guys at the Daily Progress Press, Commander M. Magba Taimeh and General Jerry Tryson-Metzger. They are our brothers and everything. They allowed us to use their posh computer room when our generator was giving us the creeps. Oh yes, cool air from their air conditioner ‘banged’ us here and there. Had it not been the fact that we have our own office, I would not have climbed down again.

Readers, we are now back at our pretty office. Things are not easy yet but they are very manageable. We are going on beautifully with our work. But you may see some slight changes in our regular columns, especially the inside pages.

But don’t let that bother you. We may have those changes to suit your comfort and not to distress you. We know that you are the determiner of our palatable columns but we need to inject new life into the paper to be at par with the trend of things in the international world. So don’t worry, stay cool and be happy. You are for us and we are for you. We are back, fully charged with all the vigour, resilience, zeal and determination you can think of.

The Pool newspaper will continue with its three times a week publication with no (hopefully) problem at all. Just be ready to patronise us and we will give you the best of the best.

To our international readers on the internet, the Pool will appreciate your generous donations to assist your men and women down here in the land of "You Go Sober."

Good day and good bye until our next edition in a day's time.


Western Area Handball Competition November 20

The Western Area Handball competition is kicking off on Monday, November 20. So far, only four clubs have registered. They include German Leopards, Stadium Stars, Prisons and Juba Rocks.

Meanwhile, German Leopards Handball club has elected a new executive. The following are the new names. 1. Chernor Ojuku Sesay – President
2. Daniel Kargbo- Deputy President
3. Ishmail Leigh - Team Manager
4. Abu Bakarr Kamara - Deputy Team Manager
5. Abdul R. Conteh - Sec General
6. Adikalie Kamara - Head Coach and Technical Adviser
7. Mbalu Kamara - Treasurer
8. Mr. Kebbie Kamara - Adviser
9. Mr. Felix - PRO
10. Mohamed Sesay - Ag. Team Captain


Go, Tejan Kabbah, Go!!

The people of this country have become totally fed up with President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah for both his actions and utterances which are totally opposite to the anticipation of his electorate.

Of course, all his monumental pre-election promises have been a failure. The construction of the bridge to Lungi is a farce, the coming of the railway is false, the provision of jobs for the jobless is zero, the improvement of the economy is naught as things continue to move from bad to worse.

When the Kabbah government was overthrown in 1997 through its own indecisiveness, the aftermath following the forceful reinstatement of the government is nothing good to write about.

Thousands of people lost their lives through reckless killings by Ecomog, rebels, SLAs, Kamajors and civilians.

What is now more frustrating on the part of the civil populace are the utterances of the Head of State towards the plight of the ordinary citizens and refugees in neighbouring Guinea.

That he was pressurised to contest the presidential elections and that most Sierra Leoneans presently facing persecution in Guinea are rebel collaborators, are to say the least very unfortunate statements from a Head of State.

“These unfortunate remarks by the president have given the leeway to the Guineans to continue molesting and harassing Sierra Leoneans.

SLPP ‘Scribe’ is a thief, a Liar . .

Rumours are rife that former Hon. Michael Abdulai is being eyed by SLPP stalwarts as the party’s Secretary General ( courtesy pro-SLPP tabloid).

This press immediately searched through its archives to assess the character of the proposed SLPP scribe and was able to establish that Michael Andrew Foray Abdulai was until 29, April 1992, Parliamentary Representative for Moyamba 1 Constituency since 1997. He was Parliamentary Special Assistant in the Ministry of Education from 1978-1982, Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour from 1982-1985, Minister of Trade and Industry from 1985-1986 and Minister of Transport and Communications from 1986-1988.

This press was also able to establish that since the 15-year reign of Abdulai, he never constructed a single infrastructure for his constituents, but rather he introduced to them thuggery and killing during elections. It was during the 1982 elections that he mobilised thugs to burn and loot the houses of prominent people in his constituency he considered a threat, including the house of the new Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. A. O. Bangura.

Michael Abdulai is presently holding the certificate as the most corrupt Minister this country has ever produced since it gained political independence from Britain in 1961.

The 1992 report of the Justice Beccles Davies Commission of Inquiry, Volume Two put the final nail on Abdulai’s coffin and proved that he is a certified crook.

The Commission recommends the following penalties against Abdulai: “That Michael Andrew Foray be stripped of any titles, honours and/or awards bestowed on him by the State, and be banned for life from holding any public office and from doing any business with government, all government agencies and parastatals on his own behalf or in association with any other business, person or persons; that he pays compensation to the State in the sum of Le150 millions.

If a man who was found guilty of corruption by Sierra Leone’s most respectable judge, Justice Beccles Davies, could be eyed for an important post of Secretary General of a ruling party, then this nation is heading for doom.

“But that should not be a surprise. The SLPP is good at converting certified criminals to statesmen", a political activist remarked.

Dyfan Is Dying for $10,000

The former Sierra Leone soccer idol, Ishmail Dyfan is presently in China for medical treatment. He left Freetown last week Wednesday.

Latest report from China stated that Dyfan is presently under intensive observation awaiting major stomach operation. Doctors in China described his condition as “extremely serious". The Chinese doctors are demanding a down payment of US$10,000 (Ten Thousand United States Dollars) to carry the operation.

Dyfan could not provide the money at the moment and the doctors too have not carried out the operation. He is reported to be in a very critical condition. He needs urgent help from home. The nation must help. The government must come in to save this one time national hero.

Ishmail Dyfan has sacrificed a lot for this nation both as a player and national team coach. In 1997, he risked his life, by shuttling between Freetown and Conakry to enable Leone Stars to participate in the Zone II tournament. That was a real sacrifice.

... And Need For Soccer Ambassador

This is another reason why we are persistently calling on the government to appoint a soccer Ambassador.

If the appointment of Zuher Kudsy by the SLFA as Sierra Leone’s Soccer Ambassador in the Middle East had been backed by the government with a special backup letter, the situation might have been different.

Kudsy must have approached prominent foreign embassies to solicit help.

The nation must help. Sierra Leoneans must help. Football clubs must help to save Dyfan. He is too young to die now.

SLFA Activities: Know Better

The Public Relations Officer of the Sierra Leone Football Association, Chernor Ojuku Sesay has reacted to demands from certain quarters that the present ticket prices for entrance to the stadium for National league matches be reduced from Le1" to Le500.

Mr. Ojuku Sesay said if Sierra Leoneans can afford to pay Le2" or more to watch foreign clubs play on video screens, there is nothing wrong to pay Le1" to watch local teams on national league, at least for the improvement of local teams.

Mr. Sesay said most members of the public are of the opinion that the SLFA is using the National Stadium free of charge.

“This is a very big mistake. The National Stadium is a different entity under the control of government. The SLFA is paying a fixed amount every week for the use of the stadium. We pay like any other association for the use of the stadium and its facilities," he reiterated.

The SLFA, according to the PRO will soon start sponsoring radio programmes to educate members of the public on the activities of the FA and people are free to call and cross check any information.

“We are running a very, transparent administration. Even the clubs can attest to this," he concluded.

Sun Colour Studio Renovated
By Yayah Bilah Turay

The Sun Colour Photo Studio on Saturday September 7th officially opened it newly renovated studio at the P.Z Building.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the ceremony, Charles T. Kamara commonly known as CTK admonished members from various studios to work hard and unite in the interest of photography in the country.

He further advised members of various studios to be law abiding, as he put it “We are in a civilised society and as such we must always try to respect authorities".

He called on the executive members of the Sun Colour Photo Studio to work hadn in gloves with the entire membership.

In his own remarks, the Chairman of Sun Colour Studio congratulated members for taking off their precious time to grace the ceremony. He called for unity among members of the profession. “ I cannot succeed without your total cooperation," he said.

Chairmen of the various Studios in the city took part in the ceremony.

In a short but impressive address, the Vice Chairman of Sun Colour Studio, Ibrahim Conteh commonly known as Socrates called on members to work in the best interest of the profession.

He appealed to them to respect customers as that may add to their credibility. The cutting of the tape was done by both the Manager of Sun Colour Studio Mr. Chio and the Chairman, Mr Bomboli Barrie.

“Suspend Special Court For Now" . . . CCP Chairman

The Chairman for the Commission for the Consolidation of Peace, Johnny Paul Koroma has said in Freetown that the discussion about establishing a special court for Sierra Leone should be put on hold for now. The CCP Chairman who was speaking when some journalists called on him said he would prevail on the government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations to put to a later date the establishment of the court.

He said he could not conceive the idea of lulling someone to disarm while at the same time threatening to try him. Johnny Paul Koroma said the priority of the government and that of the international community should be that of the disarming of all combatants. “This will give the much-needed peace to our people," he opined.

The former AFRC Chairman however said he supported the idea of bringing to justice all those that committed horrendous crimes during the decade-long civil conflict. “But such a trial should come after the restoration of total peace all over the country," he stated.

The CCP Chairman called on all those holding out in the bush to come out and join the disarmament process. “Let us give our people the chance to live their normal lives," he urged.

He explained that even when he was Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, his vision had always been the peaceful settlement of the crisis. “I still believe that with a little more effort, the war will end," he told his visiting journalists.

Johnny Paul Koroma urged the new leadership of the Revolutionary United Front to be sincere to the peace process and the Lome Peace accord.

The CCP Chairman’s call for the suspension of the Special Court has been widely lauded as a step in the right direction. Most people believe that it is inconceivable or impossible to disarm some one you want to put on trial for his past actions.

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