Opinions' free; Facts are sacred
I am mother Sierra Leone
The church bell ominously tolls
Unassailable our course as turbid our retreat
The church bell knells as the owl hoots
Even black birds make desert their cotton tree abode
I am me; mother Sierra Leone in decay
I am that I am, say what you may
When judge will come to just,
MAY 31ST 2000
A commoner writes the president
I have the honour most respectful to write you, Net tiff-tiff don begin
People are no longer safe in their houses. The spate of night armed robbery has restarted, and the pace is quite considerable. Areas in the east end of the city are no longer peaceful.
PE is always awakened during the night by sounds of gun fire and the wailing of defenceless civilians. If it’s not Mountain Cut, it would be up Mount Aureol, Circular Road or Fourah Bay. and I hope you will take some few seconds off your busy schedule to read this. This is an opportunity I will manage not to slip from me, as I have been dying for such to write you. That besides, your Excellency, as I am weighed with a heavy heart due to the events of the last two weeks, I humbly believe that by writing you, it will help in downloading this depression of my heart.
First of all I will like to congratulate you for sticking to the Lome Peace Accord despite the unfortunate events that have of late characterised this nation. That particular stance of yours I warmly welcome because, the degenerating security situation in the city would have been capitalised upon by some blood-thirsty sycophants and pro-democracy fanatics, to reinstitute a circle of violence. No doubt your Excellency, that scenario would have resulted in a complete breakdown of law and order reminiscent to those that happened in Rwanda and Burundi. There were people who were by then ready to settle scores with certain people all in the name of protecting democracy. This country would have no doubt been reduced to the likes of Somalia where the powerful and the armed are the authorities.
In our own case, believe me your Excellency, it would have been extremely worse. Imagine, we had not even gone 50 percent through the DDR programme,and there was the possibility that families, relatives and friends of our SLA brothers would have been targeted. What a pro-active response especially the West side Jungle SLAs would have taken! It would have been a massacre, a pogrom, a genocide. Where would you then be? Surely in the safety net of UNAMSIL.
But having said that your Excellency, one thing that is causing me nausea is your dullness, your ineptitude to take decisions especially when such is highly expected of you by us, the ordinary people, who look up to you as our succour and hope.
Medieval kings gave themselves the attribute of ‘GODS ON EARTH’, as they were the determinants of the destiny of their subjects. Even modern theories don’t entirely deviate from that, though there are certain limitations to modern-day leadership.
Let me ask you, Your Excellency, where were you when things were almost getting worse for your people? What were you doing exactly when the entire security apparatus of this country was in limbo? You see your Excellency, the welfare and security of the ordinary people should be paramount on your agenda at all times. These need not to be fiddled with.
You see Sir, I admire you as a perfect administrator - no contest. But unfortunately, you came into the political limelight at the wrong time, with the wrong set of people around you. Hadn’t it not been so, I bet my life, you would have transformed this country of ours. I see you as one that is much akin to party ideologies at the expense of the common people. You are aware that you came from the wilderness; you were merely used by those around you now to gain what they are now. Any advice that they may wish to give you, Sir, will only be meant at fortifying their present status. Period... What ever happens to the remaining 98 percent, is not their concern. I beseech you to check that out, and to employ some degree of political correctiveness.
Your Excellency, you may tend not to take these my humble points into consideration, but as a member of the downtrodden class, a victim of political impropriety, I see it incumbent on me to make them known to you. Sir, it seems to me that you have been mesmerised into believing that even without a formidable, dedicated and patriotic army for this nation, the so-called civil militia group can provide security. No contest about that. This has been proven by your previous actions, and now it seems that you are at it again.
That action of yours in particular is the fundamental nucleus for the protraction and mass destructive level of the war. Have it in mind that the constitution of which you are the torchbearer guarantees such an institution. No sovereign state can go without an army.
What fears have you over the army? Be it the AFRC loyalists or the so-called new army, they are all the same. There is this addage in our popular parlance that “ARMY MAN DEM ALL NA ONE FAMBUL;” they cannot be disintegrated. They are better united than divided. No contest; our own case here has proven that as correct.
You see, those around you are making you not to have trust in these soldiers. Believe you me Sir, if it were you alone, the soldiers would adore you. Do you think chairman Johnny Paul Koroma has any desire for your seat? This man deserves commendation from all quarters. Had he too been asleep as you and your ministers were, by now you would be drinking coffee in any of the neighbouring countries.
Look Sir, I want to challenge you that some of your men were quite aware of what was about to happen. Imagine your Attorney General stating publicly that with only fifty men, a coup would have succeeded.
Is this not complete negligence and irresponsibility on the part of your government? Sir, Johnny Paul made a dire patriotic move in salvaging this nation on your behalf. Now I am hearing that you are advised not to give him and his boys arms and ammunition. I want to believe, like thousands other Sierra Leoneans, that he was not forced into action. Instead he could have seized opportunity over the dead security situation to do his liking, any contest?
Your Excellency, I commit you to the hands of pro-activeness. Remember you have been warned by the women that next time round it will be you just as it happened to Foday Sankoh.
May God Bless us all,
Sayoh Kamara - A Commoner.
In the continuing interview, Dr. Conteh was asked what has been the result of the survewillance so far.
Q:What should be done in this case?
Q: What agencies and organisations have been instrumental in asisting the AFP programme?
Q: Why is AFP now being put on a high stage which was not the case in the past three rounds held last year?
Q: With your continued surveillance, are you hopeful that there is the strong possibility that polio will be totally eradicated this year?
Q: Let us talk about your personnel. How strong are you on the ground?
Q: Why do you take the stools to either Abidjan or Paris? Are there no local laboratory to handle this?
The Pool Newspaper
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