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THE POOL NEWSPAPER
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Fish for the news in The Pool

PUBLIC EYE!
The Pool's satire page!

MONDAY MAY 29TH

CSE, thy work is poor

PE is a great admirer of modern science and technology. PE enjoys the sight of perfect architectural performance anywhere. It is PE’s strong conviction that once an employee is paid on agreed terms by an employer, the work assigned the employee is expected to be done perfectly. No Yuki yuki nor for dae, ha ha ha.

PE has some knowledge on construction as PE has worked in two outstanding construction firms, and has even had the chance of selling out some of its balance stock of materials to CSE while in The Gambia. No contest.

PE has no qualms about the quality of roads being constructed by CSE. PE has never concentrated on the works; so no comments.

However, PE will want to establish here that the pavement on the Goderich/Lumley street intersection is a completely poor job.

PE knows that in road construction, especially in areas where there is heavy rain fall, the road is designed in a way that does not allow for any ponding on the tarmac.

PE knows that road a under construction is designed in a cone shape slightly dropping at a considerable percentage on one side, thus giving a slope. This is because when water drops on it, it will quickly drain, thereby keeping the tarmac dry at all times.

But apparently PE is seeing the newly constructed road now serving as a reservior or a breeding place for mosquitoes. Water is thickly settled on the side that is now used as a parking lot for poda podas. In the not distant future, the continued pounding on that area and the attendant vibration due to vehicles cause the appearance of potholes which consequently will result in the destruction of the road. CSA is expected to have provided means of water outlets on the sides to avoid the road’s short life.

Moreover, what about the footpaths? No protection for pedestrians. Dis nar trouble, oh.

Net tiff-tiff don pas mark

People are no longer safe in their houses. The spate of armed robbery at night has restarted, and the pace is quite considerable. Areas in the east end of the city are no longer peaceful. PE is always awakened by sounds of gun-fire and the wailing of defenceless civilians. If it is not mountain Cut, it would be up Mount Aureol, Circular Road or Fourah Bay.

It seems these robbers are capitalising on the fall of the rains at night as they execute their mischiefs.

PE wonders what the night patrol teams are doing. In certain instances, the sound of gun-fire and the wailing of people coincide with the sound of a passing vehicle. Could it be that the patrol peronnel are themselves hustlers of people’s sweat?

PE observes that the team appears almost immediately at such scenes, but they do not make any arrest of the culprits. Could it be any monkey trick?

Last week in a single night, four compounds were raided by these criminals, and at any of these places, the patrol team appeared only when the deed had been done. PE feels the situation shouldn’t be handled in such a negligent and careless abandon. The security personnel or patrol team should be deployed at strategic points where they would be able to respond decisively to any alarm. But by zooming only along the main streets while the corners of the city are unchecked is a mockery of the entire exercise.

PE again sees a lot of hoodlums passing with arms in a manner characteristic of criminals. They go with these to ghettos and street corners. Public announcements will not remedy this situation. It must be seen of government to be enforcing what it says in real terms or else, PE will be forced to qualify government to the status of UNAMSIL- a toothless bulldog.

If this armed exercise is not curtailed now, the people’s confidence in rearing our boys will surely dwindle, Act oh!

Alpha, Stop This Stupid Thing

PE is warning Alpha Wurie for the last time to stop the obnoxious habit of announcing the most times erroneous payment of teachers’ salaries. PE can’t quite comprehend why any time the long overdue salaries of depraved teachers are about to be paid, Wurie and his cohorts would blare it over the radio. Do these people think theirs is the only ministry that pays salaries?

If it were PE, nobody would have known anyhting about people’s salaries. What is burning is the fact that even when these fake announcements are made, there are still no salaries for teachers. Definitely the Ministry of Education is making a derisive mockery of the teachers’plight. As long as the officials there are filling their fat pockets with the poor people’s money, the teachers can go to doom with their multitudinous problems. Yes, after all, they are not their architects. They too have their lives to live.

But PE is appealing to these insensitive monsters to stop exposing the teachers to more problems. By going on the air, telling the whole ‘duniya’ that teachers are about to be paid is like sending them to their graves. This pattern, to say the least, is cheap propaganda. If Alpha and his Ministry have nothing to do, then let them leave the dying teachers to wallow in their difficuties. If not, PE will say all the good work Alpha has done for the Ministry is meaningless.

In fact, PE wishes to tell the Honourable Minister that if he does not try to solve the multifaced problems of the teachers, he will become very unpopular. No matter how hardworking he is, as long as the teachers are not taken care of, he will not succeed.

PE knows it is not possible to solve all the problems within the stroke of the clock, but the issue of teachers’ salaries is paramount. Teachers should be paid on time without anybody knowing that.

So Alpha, tell whoever is responsible to stop the stupid and unacceptable act of airing the payment of teachers. It is undone and repulsive.

Look, who was it that advised you to do that? IMAGINE: A treacher has to pay somebody and you go ahead to announce that teachers’ salaries will be paid which of course does not happen. You tell me: what position would that teacher find himself? Funny, embarrassing and disgraceful.

The same thing happened last week. It was announced that teachers would be paid on Wednesday, May 24. It never happened. When the day came, school bursars were told a different story. What is more disheartening than a blatant and naked lie? That day, disappointment was written on the faces of teachers.

What PE would want to proffer as a piece of advice to Alpha is: “ Don’t you ever annouce that you are paying teachers on such a date when you know you can’t.”

Selective Distribution, NPA

PE has a burning issue that PE wants to share with the top management of the National Power Authority. PE is sure the officials there do not know everything that obtains in their area of operation.

Well, this is PE’s plight: light ditribution. PE lives around the Mount Aureol Terrace, Leah Street to be precise. What is happening when PE is to get a share of electricity is not good. It seems PE’s residence is always singled out as the one that should not get electricity. Any time and every time there is light, PE’s house will go without. Interestingly or rather painfully, all the other houses that surround PE’s house will get full electricity while PE helplessly looks on.

It has happened several times and PE has reported the matter to both the Blackhall Road and Falcon Bridge stations but nothing has been done to rectify the anormally. And in case you want to doubt why it is only PE’s residence, or perhaps the installations are faulty, well PE wishes to tell you that the electrical installations are quite good as once in a blue star, PE gets light.

Also, it is not only PE’s residence that is experiencing this problem. The thing is that whenever it is the area’s turn to get electricity, every house, including PE’s, will get. After about an hour, PE’s and other residences will be given blackout while others will continue to enjoy light.

When it started, PE promptly reported the problem to NPA and the official there promised to solve the problem. But up to this minute, the problem still persists. So, PE and other people are going without electricity for months on end. It seems as if nobody cares. PE is telling the NPA management that though PE is paying electricity bills, PE continues to swim in darkness while others enjoy.

Is that not selective distribution? Or is PE not fit to enjoy electricity? Please CEMAT, help PE out of this predicament or else PE will have no option but to bang at your offices. You are doing a wonderful job- far better than Mustapha Kargbo and his lot. Electricity is at least frequent. PE knows exactly when PE should have light, and it is steady.

But oh yah, if something is not immediately done to rectify this dangerous problem, then PE will cry foul. Just go to Leah, Vinton and Will Streets, Christiana Terrace up to Fatarahman Street and see what PE is telling you.

The problem is painful and unbearable. Light should be distributed equitably, not selectively. PE is waiting to get an early rectification. Lonta!

WEDNESDAY MAY 24TH 2000
Guilty of Misprison of Treason!!

Leadership or its role calls for staunch responsiblity to all spheres of the lives of those deemed to be responsible for.

But in present day Salone and especially with those at the helm of the political divide, it is utter rubbish.

PE was astounded, filled with shame and the feeling of abject neglect, as PE watched and listended to PE’s dramatists and jokers as they posed in front of both local and international pressmen.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting and the Spokesman of PE’s government, and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, were supposed to be having a press conference to disclose to the world "sensitive documents" that are presumed to be inimical to both the economy and security of the nation.

PE was equally bamboozled by the huge turnout of members of the press because they regard these issues as highly sensitive, thus they deserve attention.

But alas! the conductors of this conference hadn’t these considerations in their minds. State security! To be treated with levity and nonchalance as characterised by these two honourable gentlemen of our Republic. PE saw no seriousness both in their speeches and composure as deemed by the circumstances. They were seated behind the table, laughing and joking with issues that were capable of sending this nation to complete abyss. This went to the extent that many of PE’s colleagues felt bored by the situation and decided to quit prematurely.

PE observed that nothing was culled from what these guys were narrating. The conference was short of the ingredients that could have qualified it to be something serious. It came to PE that may be somewhere along the line, an elixir of political mix had been prepared, a way of coercing and persecuting certain people in this society regarded by their class as potential threats or political nuisance. They failed entirely to disclose names of people they claimed to have been clandestinely collaborating with the RUF leadership to orchestrate destabilisation in this country.

PE will not be surprised if those names happen to be close associates of their class.

PE cannot stop PE’s heart from profuse palpitation as Mr. Attorney-General categorically stated that Sankoh could have succeeded in overthrowing Tejan Kabbah with only fifty men.

There is every reason for PE to conclude that Mr. Attorney-General is guilty of misprison of treason. Not he alone but the entire leadership. But would these be touched by the ongoing investigations?

Tom Carew, Keith Biddle, Act Now!

PE is amazed, tormented and disturbed by what is gradually becoming a security threat to the citizens and other residents of Freetown. It is becoming apparently clear that people’s lives are at risk following the rampant roaming of armed robbers along the length and breadth of the city. PE does not and cannot sleep for fear of being robbed. PE does not know what to do when night falls.

Lately, PE had had to digest the killing news that marauders (courtesy FM 98.1) attacked the UN peacekeepers and killed two of them. PE cannot comprehend the nefarious attacks on people who have left their wives, children, parents, properties and comfort just to salvage a volatile situation. It is disheartening to hear of a shootout between these decent people and armed bandits.

Definitely there is a security hiatus somewhere along the line. Everyday, the government keeps telling people that the security of the country is in the hands of UNAMSIL. But how can these people effectively do their work when they are being attacked and molested on a daily basis? How can they when those children of Satan still hold about 250 hostages? It is the people that should give the peacekeepers the encouragement and push needed for them to face the hazardous task of protecting us from those sadistic murderers.

But ah yah, everyday, we keep on calling UNAMSIL different names aimed at frustrating their efforts. As if that is not enough, armed men, well, bandits to be precise, are attacking and killing these people.

Why should Johnny Paul’s boys behave the way they behaved? Why should they attack innocent people who are merely helping this country out of its predicament? These people do not even know the genesis of our war. They are not responsible for our woes. So, rather than killing and calling them names, we should bless them and exhort them to do more. If we continue to behave like simpletons, they will just pack out and leave us to wallow in our filth.

The Sierra Leonean should be grateful to God and his fellow man.

Keith Biddle and Tom Carew should act now.

What if Sankoh had died?

PE is not surprised by the latest euphoria manifested by PE’s compatriots. The over-anxiety of seeing Sankoh eliminated permanently.

PE would want to ask these psyches the difference this would have made in urshering the much clamoured for peace in this country. PE observed one particular characteristic of PE’s compatriots, and that is, sentimentalism. Issues, especially political issues that have the potential of causing more trouble for them are always treated with sentiments. Sentiments that are engineered by a chosen class of people within the hierachy of the political divide. In this country of PE’s, this class is pseudonymed pro-democrats, not pro-peace, oh, ha, ha ha.

One other important characteristic of PE’s compatriots is their lack of the reflective capability. They are normally moved only by immediate events to draw their misplaced conclusions.

But the reflective PE, who has since 1992 been following the war with keen interest, and has been a direct victim of the war is not in that class of myopic observers.

PE reflects quite well that during the NPRC rule, when the war was at its peak, there was a comprehensive propaganda campaign about the real existence of Foday Sankoh. There was this talk that he had been killed in a shootout near Magburaka. Another talked of a foreigner using the pseudonym Foday Sankoh to present himself as a Sierra Leonean. Nobody then had proof of the real physical existence of Foday Sankoh, but yet still the war raged on with intensified propensity. In fact it reached a stage just before the Abidjan peace talks, when cracks in the pro-government side gave way to splinter groups. It was only quite later that PE noticed that it was the handiwork of the silent Sankoh.

PE heard of a group calling itself Sierra Leoneans In Search of Peace (SLIP) and National Force for the Restoration of Democratic Order (NARFORD). All these were armed factions, the consequence of which witnessed the upsurge of highway ambushes in areas that were then considered perfectly peaceful, most particularly, the Kono - Masingbi highway.

Sankoh after the Abidjan peace agreement was incarcerated in Nigeria. That did not see a lull in hostilities. In fact throughout this period, the war reached areas that were again relatively secure. Back in Freetown, while he was at Pademba, the rebels struck a one speed intensified attack spanning from Kono to Freetown, with the most revered ECOMOG troops making the mosty extraordinary tactical withdrawal in modern war history. Sankoh was not then an active player.

If we are to cherish his death at this particularly crucial moment of the peace process, PE observes that as .... well .... it’s up to the government. PE knows that the people of this country, oh! not Freetonians, (PE is referring to those hapless downtrodden in the provinces) are tired of war. No politricks with their lives and the future of their children and the youths.

It’s PE’s belief that no matter the frustrations and anguish PE’s compatriots may be feeling, peace is the only way out of this our nemesis.

It is PE’s fear that splits will emerge within the rank and file of the RUF combatants. PE as well as most considerate Sierra Leoneans are aware that once this occurs, then we as a people would have gained nothing from all the sacrifices so far. Whenever and wherever there is a gunbattle, civilians, innocent civilians, bear the brunt.

Don’t consider PE a pessimist. PE is a fervent admirer of peace. At this point in time when Sankoh has lost all that made him big, PE believes with prudent diplomatic manouvres and political threats, Sankoh and his cohorts will be forced to surrender to pressure, thereby bowing to the high wishes of the people.

Sankoh has lost popularity and sympathy both within and without his fighting force. Let’s not finish eating our cake before it is baked.

Try the film industry

PE is a film fanatic. PE likes to watch good films especially blockbusters. But PE regrets to say that PE has not been fortunate to watch any sober film from PE’s native Sierra Leone. PE is not saying that there has never been a film show in this country. No, as PE has heard of films like HAWA and OFF TO AMERICA.

However, these films are not only few and far between, but are also substandard. No wonder they died as soon as they were born. Nobody has ever heard of them again.

Today, PE is enchanted by Nigerian films. Everywhere PE goes, Nigerian films are the order of the day. Most of these films lack the basics that go to make them worthy of their salt. “But how for do? Shub yanda pass emti bade.” PE does not now hear of the Amitabs, the Dhamendras, the Shatrugan Sinhas that were the order of the day during the 1980s. No more of the Bruce Lee’s, the Katawongs of the Chinese fame.

Rather, it is all Nigeria, Nigeria, Nigeria. To be candid, PE is not jealous of Nigeria for its bounty. But PE is saddened by the fact that there are groups that can act better films than some of their Nigerian counterparts. Definitely these groups can perform wonders if they explore this virgin industry.

There is plenty of fame, money, recognition, pomp and pageantry. One of such local groups, PE wants to believe, is the popular Kailondo Theatre. With its vast array of classical stars like David Vandi, Ernest Brewa and more, Kailondo can perfectly shoot a film which will definitely earn them a whole lot of money. PE is convinced that the Film industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. If tapped to the fullest, this country will even want to forget about killer diamonds and so on.

Why not give it a try, Kailondo? Please do and see how internationally acclaimed you will be within a year. You will become heroes. PE wishes to tell you that PE got the inkling of your ability to perform wonders in the film industry through the last play you performed at the Liberty Hall titled “Where is my Bride?” It was just too fantastic. The video clipping which showed the treachery and foolhardiness of our relations was perfect. PE wished it was a film.

Go on, guys, try it big. You, PE and Sierra Leone will definitely reap the benefit.

FRIDAY MAY 19TH 2000

The Jesse Jackson Euphoria

PE enjoyed the euphoria that swept over the alleged statement made by the Reverend Jesse Jackson of the United States of America. No less officials than our top government functionaries told the listening public that Jesse Jackson said that Sankoh and Mandela are one and the same. And of course, their tabloids took it one step further. Having a field day at the expense of Clinton's Envoy, they went wild. One even published that Jesse Jackson said he would only be satisfied when Sankoh becomes President.

In fact, PE admired the speed with which the Foreign Minister took to launch his protest to the American Ambassador in Freetown without first getting a clear picture of Jackson’s statement.

Even if one does not enter a diplomatic university, no reasonable creature will ever compare the name Nelson Mandela, an internationally acclaimed statesman to Foday Sankoh who is an international pariah.

But what beats PE’s imagination is the response from the gullible public towards the alleged Jackson statement. PE heard some people saying on the radio call-in programmes, “If Jackson ventures to interfere this time, it will be a war between America and Sierra Leone. We are not going to accept it. We should be allowed to do what we want to do.”

Readers, PE will tell you that something is wrong somewhere with some people. The ways of thinking and talking far exceed what is expected of a sober human being.

Who on earth can challenge America at this time? Who? Can you tell PE?

Look, PE will like to give a short lecture to people who are always ready to swallow whatever is said on radio. When Jessie Jackson speaks, it is Bill Clinton that speaks. When Bill Clinton speaks, it is America that speaks and when America speaks, it is the United Nations that speak. So who can challenge Jackson?

Let’s be careful. Let’s not be intoxicated with power. Sierra Leone cannot do anything presently without the support of the International Community. We, including PE, are total parasites to the Western World.

Therefore we should know what to say, when to say it and where to say it. If America sneezes today, Sierra Leone will be the first to die of pneumonia. Let’s be careful.

So Sankoh is alive?

‘Bifoh you gee Salone man eat for eat, gi am talk for talk’. The Sierra Leonean is a big talker. No doubt about that. He can talk and talk and talk.

‘Doubt nor dae dae at all not.’ This is all due to the prevalence of idleness, the pervasion of ‘kongosa’ and the lack of morality.

PE remembers well the saying that the home of the devil is the brain of the idle. And indeed, there is plenty of destruction because the devil has built his nest in people’s minds.

With nothing to do, people are always engaged in talking and talking and talking what they do not know, most times to pervert the minds of the pure and serious. PE is flatly and honestly fed-up irritated by and disgusted with their sort of attitude.

It is this same borku-borku tork tork that has protracted the war on to this point. Talking about the war, PE’s mind is drawn to the plenty unsubstantiated noise people were parading with regarding the mysterious disappearance of Foday Sankoh. Lots and lots of filthy lies were said about the whereabouts of the rebel leader. Some, with their usually credible theorems and reliable lies fed PE the fat that sankoh had died in mysterious circumstances. Of course the author of that fallacious stuff had to spend days on end convincing gullible, well, fellow idle beings, that her proposition about the ‘mysterious death’ of Sankoh was factual.

Can you imagine that when it appeared otherwise, the individual had took lock herself up in a cubicle writhing in shame? PE too was not spared the cake. A friend of PE’s told PE that a disappointed politicians said the mysterious rebel leader was dead. Mind you, it was a parliamentarian that spread that rumour. As if that was not enough for poor PE, somebody who described himself as a very reliable person told PE that Sankoh had trudged to Kailahun.

PE swallowed the news hook, line and sinker so much so that PE had to publish it the otherday.

However, the crafty, wily and professionally equipped PE merely asked a question about Sankoh’s whereabouts.

But thank God, all the lies and false news have ended, now that Sankoh has been arrested and detained. Nobody will lie together to PE any longer. Sankoh never died nor did he ever step foot in Kailahun. In fact he had nowhere to hide or run to; he has resurrected after being killed by the usually reliable and credible sources.

He will now be in a position to answer to some burning issues relating to the war, diamonds and lots more. Welcome, Mr. Ghost. PE is waiting to hear your own version of the story.

WAEC nar so?

WEAC is at it again. Yah, the glorious examinations body has continued to play pranks on poor teachers who helped to make what it is today. PE knows, and of course it is true, that there are cankerworms in that place who do not want to see the progress of these poor, hapless teachers. PE does not understand the rationale behind the undue delay in the payment of the teachers’dues. PE wants to suggest that it is just a case of flagrant corruption and ineptitude.

The money is there to pay the invigilators and examiners, but oh yah, the cankerworms are still holding on to it.

They want to buy limousines and build skyscrapers with it. But woe betide them. PE is right at their heels, watching every step they take. You see, one thing that has torn this nation apart is the rampant and broad daylight robbery and corruption that have become the order of the day. Every nook and cranny is infested with corruption. So, WAEC too is not spared in the fray of ‘kuku jumuku’.

The Council is becoming more corrrupt than the word itself. Why hold on to people’s money after you have gainfully utilised them? Is that not satanic? ‘Bo do yah, una try pay the pipul dem yah. If not to that, nar peppeh den go put nar unar eyes dem’.

PE hates to mention that but PE will never feel comfortable if the issue remains as it is. PE’s corpse will not rot in the grave if PE does not say something concerning all this important issue. PE knows you are eager to know what is all about. It is simply the issue of the O’level results of the north.

Those results were so tampered with that they were liberally ridiculous. PE cannot farthom a whole province not able to produce a Divison one. Is that not funny and unbelievable? In the first place, those results were never intended to be released but for presure from all angles. The guys there wanted to sit on the results and attribute it to the rebel war.

What a disappointment! But when fire was put at their back, they produced what amount to a provocation of the situaiton.

Well, that is well and gone.

This time, they will not do that. WAEC will surely cough the teachers’ money. They have worked for it, so it is their bonafide property. PE is therefore calling on the officials at the council to expedite the payment of the examiners and invigilators. Otherwise.

Peace, not war

War is not good in any situation. PE knows very well that where there is war, development is thousands of miles away. Where there is war, hunger, malnutrition are the common visitors. Where there is war, education will be a mere dream. Where there is war, health for all will be death for all. There is nothing positive in a war situation. Any bullet fired will either kill or injure an individual, a creature, a tree or pollute the environment. All these are the negative tendencies of war.

PE is therefore not in support of any war at any given time. PE has condemned it and will continue to condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

PE is again repeating PE’s usual clarion call, especially to the international community and to the leaders of this battered nation to be sincere with themselves and give peace, lasting peace, to the people of Sierra Leone.

PE is well convinced that no amount of military might will end this war militarily, only dialogue can. Freetown may be safe for now, because of the large presence of UN and British soldiers but for how long will they be here? Most importantly, what about the millions of poor innocent Sierra Leoneans in the rural areas who are at the mercy of the rebels? PE calls for a peaceful dialogue not war.

MAY 12TH TO MAY 15TH 2000

What’s the furore about?

Sierra Leoneans are at it again. They have started naming names again for reasons best known to them, but may be, to burn people alive with tyres again.

Please readers tell PE, was it a crime to work officially for Foday Sankoh after the singing of the Lome Peace Accord on July 7 last year?

PE thinks it was not a crime. After all no right thinking being would ever imagine that a man like Dr James Jonah will go so low as to enter a shop and buy furniture to decorate the house of Foday Sankoh. Who was thinking that ECOMOG or UNAMSIL will ever guard Sankoh or who would imagine that Sankoh and Kabbah will sit and hang heads together to decide the fate of the nation?

So PE thinks to work for Sankoh was not a crime, simply because you work for somebody to earn your living but you can never tell what’s in his mind.

PE nearly laughed his sides out when news filtered in that some people had been receiving monies from Sankoh. Ha! ha! ha! PE can tell you for free that there were people clamouring to eat Sankoh’s money but were unable to lay the contact. Many including parliamentarians, cabinet ministers, journalists, permanent secretaries, teachers, traders displaced, etc. benefitted from Sankoh’s gesture.

PE knows some journalists who were regularly telephoning Sankoh to beg for money and giving notes to some of their staff members to collect cash on their behalf. Now they want to say otherwise. PE knows them very well; so it is advisable to stop naming names or else the beans will spill.

PE will tell you for free that it was not a crime to eat Sankoh’s money, after all it is the nation’s wealth. Besides, PE receives money from president Kabbah, ministers, etc. So what’s the noise about? Better to shut up than potraying yourself to be Mr. Clean when you are the filthiest. Who’s journalist was begging for Sankoh’s telephone number and pleaded with Sankoh to give him money to buy this and that because he is this and that? Good to take time.

Sankoh gave SLBS Le2 million and a video camera, was it a crime? Bo do ya, leh we yerri far, yah.

What’s that, Taylor?

Did PE hear him right, or was PE dull of hearing? Was that Dr.Charles Gankay Taylor of Liberia speaking? Oh, not at all.

PE did not hear the man at all. It was the Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, Guinean-born Lansana Kouyate speaking the mind of Dr.Taylor. And what did he say? That there should be cease-fire? Cease what? PE was wont to ask. Did you mean to say that the guns should go silent after so short a time? ‘Bo, do yah lef, Mr.Taylor. Usai you bin dae wae den rebel den siz the United Nations pipul dem?’

We will pursue the war militarily to its logical conclusion. This time, no joke. The rebel SLAs (oh,sorry, they have been forgiven for the atrocities they committed during the odious January 6, 1999 invasion of the city. Don’t you ever, ever, call them rebels. They are loyalists as long as they prevent their brothers, oh sorry, their enemies from entering the city.) are ready to die for us.

Nobody will tell Pa ‘Kuament’ to cease shoting. So, let Taylor and his henchmen go to blazes.

Hey! wait a minute, PE, wait a minute reader. There is some sense in what the Liberian prexy said.

What PE should realise is that there is an olive branch extended to the gofment (excuse PE, if you differ) and the UN.

The rebels early this week released some of the abducted peace keepers. And Dr.Taylor’s argument is that if there is a lull in the fighting all of the abductees will be released.Well and fine. But the apprehension nurtured by many is that the cease fire may serve as a leeway for the rebels to re-group and unleash dastardly attacks on government forces.

Anyway, be it as it may, force is not the solution to this country’s concer. No wonder the UN Special Rep, Adeniji, sounded it loud and clear. For him, the peace option should be vigorously pursued now that Freetown is absolutely safe (Thanks to JP and his Westside boys). Well, perhaps Adeniji too is nursing the fear that if fighting continues, the lives of the abducted peace keepers will be in jeopardy.

Brothers, PE shares your concern. PE therefore joins you in the tacit call for a cease-shooting while at the same time, PE tells the ‘kuament’ not to rest on its oars, otherwise, the averted catastrophe may want to rear its greedy head.

Well done, JP but ...

The man of the moment in Freetown is Johnny Paul Koroma. Every where and on every lip of many a Sierra Leonean, the name Johnny Paul Koroma is heard and even seen written on the walls of houses. Johnny Paul, the once Son of Satan has suddenly become an angel, a son of the Most High. This exaltation came about during the tongue - wagging of a coup plot against the legitimate gofment of prezo Kabs. JP had to move in quickly to foil what Berewa described as ‘ a very bloody coup.’ Three cheers to JP the saviour of the palm tree govment:

Hip, hip, hip, hurrah; hip, hip, hip, hurrah; hip, hip, hip hurrah. Bravo, Johnny Paul, what a wonderful feat you performed. Today, and at this very moment, Rokiamp and its environs are completely safe from rebel gbosgbose.Yah, the golden city is free from any enemy threat.

But wait, Johnny Paul, wait a minute. A proverb in one of local parlances says, “Put you yai don mek you see you nose”. Remember when you were fighting for a peaceful resolution of this crisis during your days as head of an illegal junta?

Everybody, including poor, PE, was agaisnt you (oh sorry for the fallacy). People wanted your head because you kicked their gofment out of power (well, PE can understand that as it was unconstitutional).Today you are a hero. Every soul of Adam is ready to forgive you and your boys because they are warding off a great plague which you cured in a day. PE is happy that indeed the average Sierra Leonean can realise their madness and visualise. ‘Had it not been for JP’, they will say, ‘Freetown would have been a dead city. Aleluyah, Glory be to the Highest.

What PE would advise you, brother, is that be wary and cautious in your steps, otherwise you will soon tread on the toes of the very people you are trying to save.

Don’t forget that Sierra Leoneans are as fickleminded as Julius Caesar’s commoners. Today, they are here, tomorrow, they will be miles away. What a pity.

Go on, JP, go on and accomplish your mission which God has given you but please, please, becareful.

Where’s Kothor Sankoh?

PE is amazed and flabbergasted. PE is tormented and disturbed. Oh, yes, the old wizened PE is worried and confused. About what? you may want to ask.

Well, PE is disburbed by the sudden turn of events both in the political and the war. Remember the powerful and nationalistic demo against the rebel leader? Of course PE knows you will never forget that day as peaceful pro-democrats were slain by the enemies of the people - yes, literally shot and killed. Did PE hear some people say May 8 should be declared MATYRS’ DAY? PE is in line with that as poor people sacrificed their pretty lives in pursuance of peace and democracy.

That day! oh no, that day was indeed bloody. Somebody has to account for it; somebody definitely has to stand trial for bastardising the Lome Peace accord; that person will have to tell the nation and the world at large why his boys behaved the way they did. And who’s that person? You know the answer, PE knows the answer and the ‘gbogboh Jamaah’ know that person very well. He is none other than Corporal chairman Foday Saybanah Sankoh. He will tell you and me the reason behind his boys’ behaviour. But now can he when he has mysteriously disappeared?

Reader, this is what beats PE’s prying imagination. Sankoh melted into thin air just like shakespeare’s witches in Macbeth.

Where has he gone? How did he go? Where did he go?And what are his plans? This is puzzling, eh? Very puzzling indeed. PE cannot imagine; under the watchful eyes of the Nigerian peace keeping forces, the rebel leader could stealthily and quietly sneak out unnoticed. Today, tongues are wagging different theories about his disappearance. Some say he has been killed, others say he has escaped and gone back to Kailahun to restart his REVO(?) and still others say he is kept at the Mammy Yoko hotel under the closet of the now wide awake UNAMSIL peace keepers.

PE does not know which theory to adopt when both government and the UN are denying having any knowledge of Sankoh’s whereabouts.

Where is Kothor Sankoh then?

Stop the fighting

What advise would PE give to the faction leaders other than to tell them to stop the fighting? The recent stalemate over the peace process is a concern not only for PE but also for patriotic Sierra Leoneans who want to see the final end of this menace.

Believe PE, the fluid situation is extremely disturbing and worrying. PE does not understand why this little nation is always troubled by war, war, war and war. Is it a curse form the Almighty Creator for some iniquities our forefathers, fathers and children have committed? Oh no, this thing should not happen to us any longer. The people are fed up with the crazy and eratic behaviour of these war-hungry guys. Whatever happens, when there are hostilities of any kind, it is the people that suffer.

No doubt about that. PE can still recall the horrible days of the January 6 ‘wahala’of Freetown. PE had to go to length to save PE’s life. It was an unpleasant scenerio as PE has to hide in a cellar. The filth and stench was so pungent that PE nearly contracted some ailments. But thanks to the Almighty Redeemer. PE is yet alive to tell the story. Is this the same situation you want to subject PE and other people to? No, PE will resist to PE’s last strength.

If these people are not tired of shedding blood, PE is disgusted with seeing corpses. The fighting in Makeni and other areas in the country has sent the wrong signals to foreign investors who may want to come to Sierra Leone to invest. It has sent the disturbing sign that this country is not yet safe. They will not come again. There will be no employment facilities, no bread and butter for the ‘dreg’ man. PE is calling on Sankoh,Kabbah, Johnny Paul, Hinga Norman and all those whose hands are stained with the blood of ordinary Sierra Leoneans to come to the their senses and relieve the few surviving people of this yoke. They have their lives to live, so give them the chance.

Don’t let your greedy passion hinder the progress of the people. PE will not tolerate any more war in this country. Enough is absolutely enough. We need to develop as a people; we need to be at par with the trends of other countries. Sierra Leone is not a pariah state. We should not be an island. War is not good for any society, be it developed, developing or under-developed.

Let us inculcate the culture of peace so that development and progress will once again be our friends. Let us stop the fighting and come together as a nation so that we could forge ahead and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

Sierra Leone is for us all and not for a few misguided imps who think they should hold the people to ransom.

Welcome, Leone Stars

PE is a sports fan. As such, PE always follows with keen interest the issue of sports, especially football in the country. True to form, there has been a dramatic deterioration of sports in the last few years partly because of the rebel war and partly because of the inefficiency and ineptitude of the sporting authorities. Today, PE and other sports loving fans can not enjoy anything called football. This notwithstanding, PE, as a patriotic citizen, still loves the national team, Leone Stars.

So, when PE heard that government was dragging its feet over the funding of the national team’s trip to Cape Verde to participate in the Zone Two tournament, PE shed tears. PE knew this was going to be the straw that would break the camel’s back. PE knew the zone two would be a training ground for our local players who need international exposure.

The team’s participation in the competition was extremely vital. PE would tell you why. The exposure of our boys would definitely put them in a good stead to face mighty Nigeria and Ghana. It would of course wipe away the inferiority complex they have over their foreign-based counterparts. And sweet Sierra Leone would once again be on the soccer map. When PE understood later that though the tireless and patriotic efforts of the indefatigable National Team Manager, Paul Kamara, the team was leaving for Cape Verde, PE clapped and sighed with relief.

PE was told that had it not been for the tact and skill of Mr. Kamara in telling the government of the repercusions of Leone Stars’ not participating, it would have been something else. PE therefore wholeheartedly thanks the dynamic sportsman albeit journalist, PK, for his timely move. PE hoped PK’s efforts would be complemented by the officials accompanying the team so that the whole nation would rejoice. How would this rejoicing come about? By bringing the trophy to Freetown as a peace gift to the always - threatened people of Sierra Leone.

PE is therefore exhorting the players to do all in their best and power to bring laurels from Cape Verde. PE knows they can do it; Paul Kamara knows they can do it; and the whole nation know they can do it only if they want to. This is the time they should tell the Doubting Thomases back home that Sierra Leone is endowed with natural and human resources, and that without the foreign-based guys, they can still do it. PE therefore wishes Leone Stars a bon voyage and successful tournament.

Bormeh site is a killer

PE has a premonition that PE’s compatriots residing in the mid-eastern surburbs of Freetown would soon discover that they have been afflicted with one disease or the other. PE is horrified about the total neglect and disregard for health standards manifested by workers of the waste disposal unit of the Health Ministry. PE has seen mountains of solid waste spilling and littering the road walk and motorway along the Bai Bureh highway. PE is shocked and worried for several reasons.

PE is aware of the fact that the waste site is very close to the ferry terminal. In fact PE can say that the site is rather inconveniently close to the first port of call of tourists and visitors to PE’s country. PE is certainly stunned by the reckless attitude the health authorities are showing towards the safe disposal of solid waste.

PE cannot understand why, for instance, the disposal of rubbish is concentrated mainly near the road and footpath, instead of the dump itself. PE knows for sure that there is still enough space to dump rubbish beside the site.

PE beholds an ugly spectacle each time PE passes through the site which PE thinks the health authorities have earmarked to breed mosquitoes and a reservoir for killer diseases. PE shudders to imagine what will happen when the rainy season sets in. PE has noticed that there are virtually no carterpillars to push back the solid waste deposited site. PE attempted to conduct an on-the-spot inspection of the dump site, but PE was greeted by a battalion of house flies greater than those unleashed upon the stubborn Egyptians to force them to release God’s chosen people.

PE nearly suffered a heart attack when PE saw a company of huge flies settle in the mouth of a sleeping child nearby. PE can’t even begin to imagine the consequences of misplaced health priorities on PE’s hungry and bankrupt compatriots.

PE assures PE’s numerous readers that PE would secure protective gadgets and invade the abandoned disposal site to unearth the reasons for subjecting PE’s citizenry to hazards of unimaginable proportions

PA KABBA HIT THE POINT BUT…

PE is a very wise being. PE is not only that, the genius has the power of explaining circumstances as they unfold with no assistance offered. This clairvoyant quality of PE’s is the most outstanding factor responsible for the satisfaction enjoyed by PE’s numerous readers and admirers.

PE always say to fellow compatriots that if only Sierra Leoneans are sincere, committed and dedicated to this nation and change for the better, a lot can be attained. PE is making this submission fully cognisant that Sierra Leoneans in authority, from the peak to the bottom, know the source of our problems. What they lack from PE’s observation is the ‘How To Solve it”ingenuity.

Imagine the head of state endorsing the citizenship of Lebanese? This is no allegation ,but a reality. Prezo Kabs wants to tell PE that he is not aware of this issue of Lebanese carrying dual citizenship.

Well,PE is reminding Prezo kabs, (Bo, in sef sabi say dem all get orda citizenship, ha) that all of his so-called Sierra Leonean- Lebanese are more Lebanese than Sierra Leonean.

Preso, during your chat with the Ambassador from Lebanon,you hit the nail on the head when you emphatically (well PE is not really sure ha ha) told the Lebanon Rep. that his nationals are indeed engaged in activities inimical to the progress and development of Sierra Leone. That is just that!

PE will also want to inform the Lebanon man on behalf of Preso Kabs (maybe he forgot – deliberately) that these Lebanese have sought safe haven in Sierra Leone following the outbreak of hostilities in Lebanon. They came like church- rats with absolutely nothing. And now they are contributing towards the development of our economy by fleecing Sierra Leoneans to re-develop Beirut city.

PE will also want the Lebanon man, together with Preso Kabs to carry out an investigation on what developmental activities these Guinea-pigs have undertaken in the country, make proper audits on their accounts – if they have, and compare with their investments in western countries particularly Lebanon. They are incomparable! This manifests the difference between two claimed citizenships.

What ever the case may be, PE is confident that one is bound to be nearest to their hearts than the other, no doubt. Look PE is not trying to be xenophobic. It is borne out of nationalism and the desire of seeing this country’s sons and daughters prosper. So the Lebanese in Sierra Leone have gripped our economy in such a way that they have become its controllers. No kind of trade policy adopted in this country is adopted without Lebanese concurrence. The 1964 Trade Act is lying dormant. It needs re-awakening, but how?

So how are we? PE is now fully aware that sooner or later parliament will start sitting Lebanese MPs.

Admirer Writes PE

Good day,

What a worrying situation this nation is going through again after about six months! PE, you are my friend. I will not therefore hesitate to tell you that the current situation vis-a-vis the political and security scenarios is a cause for concern. Frankly speaking, our president is fast asleep, dreaming about nothing but leisure and pleasure, and a total dependence on foreigners.

PE, Pa Kabbah, is more of a diplomat than a president. I am afraid, my true friend, this country may degenerate again into an orgy of destruction and annihilation. My hopes for the future are extremely gloomy. Just look at what is happening in the country even as I write you this sad missive.

On Saturday, the innocent peace keepers were rudely attacked by gunmen in Kenema. Is this not a worrying development? And interestingly, the so-called government did not utter a single statement in condemnation of such an unholy act. The thing itself was only made public on Monday, days after it occured. I am suspecting some double standards on either the government as a whole or some of its members.

Nobody, including you, PE, will fool me this time into believing any trash. I will have to examine every little bit of news, information or happening before I make my final judgement. I tell you for free, sweet PE, that Kenema attack on the peacekeepers was well planned and orchestrated by highly placed politicians and civil servants to undermine the peace process. It was an attempt at testing the resilience and resolve of the peacekeepers. I am not trying to sow bad blood between one group and the other. I am merely postulating that the attack was intended to destabilise the morale of our defenders and protectors. But one day, everything shall come to light.

Could I just bring your attention to a bugging and nagging thing that is hitting the newswaves. This Kamtoko versus Jagico affair is giving one the creeps. You see, the problem is the constant and persistent finger-pointing. It seems as if Veep Demby has entangled himself in a web of wild-fire allegations. Whether he accepted a tip from Diallo or not, he should do something to clean the stable. The controversy is too hot for him to ignore just like that.

Before I finsih with this Jagico thing, let me just prove those who are ‘Sierra Leoneanising’ Lamrana Sow wrong. He is a Guinean by nationality. He came to Sierra Leone as far back as 1983 and resided in Kenema. He started business in a small scale by buying cigarettes from the Aureol Tobacco Company, and travelling from Kenema to Koidu to buy goods. He later came to Freetown to continue his business. He became a sole distributor for Rothking cigarette. Today, he is bent on hijacking the sole distributorship of Boss cigarettes from Kamtoko Africa Trade Links.

PE, I do not blame those foreigners who always claim Sierra Leonean citizenship when they want to exploit us economically. I blame the immigration authorities for allowing every riff-raff person to settle without proper documentation. Now, even Icelanders are claiming citizenship. What a sad development. One day, we will be ruled by an Indian or a Chinese.

Goodbye,

Admirer

Kabbah is sleeping

It is still 2 am. The cock has not yet crowed. So our man is fast asleep. Kabbah is in a deep slumber while the nation is sinking into economic deprivation and political degeneration. PE wonders when this man will wake up from this nauseating sleep.

PE remembers very vividly when The Point newspaper published a story about two and a half years ago headlined “Kabbah, the President that sleeps in his wing”. Not long afterwards, he was unceremoniously booted out of power by a small group of soldiers. What followed afterwards is a different story altogether.

PE cannot quite understand the fledgling President. He does not seem to be able to govern this nation. He has a soft spot which his close associates have seen in him. So they always test his pulse to see if he is alive. Fortunately for them, Kabbah is always a dead man. He always acts posthumously. No wonder this nation does not know what peace is though there is democracy. Kabbah is out and out too soft a president to rule mother Sierra Leone.

Presently, the development within the security network is too bad for a traumatised people. The rebel soldiers at Okra hills have moved twenty miles out of their base. They are gradually advancing towards the city. PE read in some tabloids that the guys did that to forestall any attack from the RUF but PE is adamantly not convinced. They did the same thing when their government was evicted from power. They re-grouped in Kabala, advanced towards the city and caused undescribable damage. If today they have started again, PE is worried. Kabbah must wake up and act fast.

Again, the same rebel soldiers on Monday demonstrated right in the heart of the city for their ‘salaries’. That was well and good Kabbah promised to pay them. He should pay them. But PE is worried about the manner through which the request was made: rowdy, rude and noisy. It spelt doom and disaster. But nobody said anyhting about it.

PE is urging Kabbah to come to his senses and imbibe some wisdom if he is to succeed. Otherwise he is the failure of the century.

SLBS, you too reckless

The so-called voice of the nation, the Sierra leone Broadcasting Service, is indeed a reckless organ. In addition to its bullshit it calls news, the SLBS has no formulae or programmes. It goes off when it wants to, and comes on when it feels like.

The news readers are terribly terrible as they keep on ‘englishnising’ PE’s African names. They cannot pronounce correctly a single African name. they call words as if they are from cyberspace. They behave as if they are extra terresterial beings. PE does not just understand what is becoming of the government-owned radio station. Is it a case of negligence as the government has another radio station? PE does not think so. It is merely a case of acute professional incompetence.

The guys at the New England Ville should realise that they are serving the nation and not themselves. PE wishes to reiterate that their behaviour on Monday night was very unprofessional and rude. PE was listening to a programme aired over the SLBS when the national anthem was played. PE listened with rapt attention, thinking that the first gentleman of the state was about to deliver an address to the nation.

Immediately after the anthem, the station went dead. PE waited minutes on end for the president’s address but behold, it was not forthcoming. Rather, the station was rudely taken off the the air. PE was left in bewilderment and consternation. PE could not believe it. What? The announcer or whoever it was did not have the courtesy to tell the listeners that the station was closing. It was very unbecoming for the people working there to leave the listeners to wallow in a web of disbelief and dissatisfaction. It is the national radio station. It must therefore behave accordingly.

If it does other wise, then PE is left with no option but to call it a plethora of uncouth and half-baked lot who call themselves broadcasters. PE knows there are a few sober-minded guys that can do the job. But when the hopeless lot try to undermine the good work of the few, then PE will say you either perform or leave.

Corruption will not die

‘Woe on to those in power that fidget with public funds at the detriment of the down trodden.’ This is the prayer of the humble, honest, dedicated and patriotic PE at all times.

The continuous wrongdoings of authorities and people in positions of trust seem to continue unabated. And it seems as if there is no way they could be minimised or rather stopped at all. Instead like the sensitive memosa that folds up its leaves as soon as it feels an object, the imbued corruption of this nation continues relentlessly.

The bogus measures adopted as a way of curbing this menace fall short of their desired effect because there is always a way of eluding them. It is an irony anyway as those in the corruption network are the very ones devising methods to tackle it. Funny eh ? Ha ha (Bo you dae send tifman for kaych tifman, ha ha)

If this is so, then what PE heard tends to blure the image of honourable Ngor Demby. A supposed model-turned shameful culprit! Can you imagine, the rumour that this Pa successfully grabbed Le12 million for medical checkup. That is a long time now, but this Pa is still fumaging around with his tense security (not even the preso has such, ha, ha). PE will not be surprised if Ngor issues another press release blasting this as ‘unfounded’, ‘baseless’ and aimed at destroying the image of... (ha, ha, nar so dem kin confus en stupid Sa Lone pipul them)

It was in such mysterious manner that Ngor allegedly wallowed in a brown envelop containing some US$20,000 as price for the birth right of a fellow compatriot. He denies it. But even if it happens, what does that mean? So within a four month period Ngor has accummulated Le12 million plus US$20,000.

The comedy about these acquired riches is that tomorrow, Ngor will be heard pompously saying, ‘I sweated for this wealth, or my hard-earned....! This is exactly what all the corrupt beings in this country have been boasting of to PE. They feel more blessed than PE and PE’s compatriots.

In this country, stealing of public funds by whatever means is a blessing in disguise. One is always admired for that (not PE by all standards ha, ha). This is one thing that has wrecked not only the country’s economy, but also the social and moral standards of individuals. They see hardwork to achieve wealth as stupid and an unserious gesture.

Hard work to most Sierra Leoneans is absolute corruption. And when you are corrupt, especially with public funds, don’t ever swindle, pilfer, misappropriate, sqander small amount. Take as much as possible. This is because when you are caught (the chance of which is extremely slim) you are assured of a strong defence. The judiciary can even be bought out of that. If caution is not taken, there would hardly be a sit for the defence counsels because they know what gains lie ahead. The case of Harry Will, and co. is a case in point. Even those not officially contracted offered their unequivocal services. (So if you dae tiff, no tiff small oh! you go losis.)

APRIL 10TH 2000

ECOMOG withdrawal, what’s the furore about?

PE is enjoying the noises caused by some so-called ‘peace-loving’ Sierra Leoneans over the withdrawal of ECOMOG troops (Nigerians) from Sierra Leone.

PE is a very patient and observant being. PE does poke nose into the affairs of people, just to test their nerves and sense of reasoning. Well PE can safely conclude that most of those barking about ECOMOG’s withdrawal are those who had caused the deaths of innocent Sierra Leoneans for their own selfish ends. They are worried that the exit of the ECOMOG mercenaries will see the re-awakening of pathological revenge. As the saying goes, “if somebody smells his hands, he must have played with rubbish.”

But PE is asking these ‘patriots’ whether they were thinking that ECOMOG will be here forever. Was this the reason why people were burnt alive with tyres and others writing all sorts of rubbish to implicate innocent citizens?

PE knew very well that one day ECOMOG will leave. After all they are not Sierra Leoneans. They are Nigerians. Their parents, wives and children are not happy for their children, husbands and fathers to be sent to fight a senseless war. PE and even the Nigerian Chief of Staff cannot tell exactly how many Nigerian soldiers died in Sierra Leone because of the egocentric nature of Sani Abacha.

Only a fool, not PE, can deny the fact that the intervention of the Nigerians prolonged the war and suffering of the people of this country. What PE and other sober thinking Sierra Leoneans were agitating years ago for a peaceful settlement to the crisis was rejected because according to them, “ECOMOG is here; they will flush them all out; they will kill all the rebels and soldiers, and all sorts of rubbish talks.”

Now PE is asking you the killers, did ECOMOG succeeded in pursuing the military option?

A big No.

What should have been done first now comes last. So PE cares not whether ECOMOG leaves or not, after all Sierra Leone is for Sierra Leoneans and Nigeria is for Nigerians.

PE is advising you so-called ‘patriots’ that if you think the leaving of ECOMOG will make you uncomfortable in Sierra Leone,then it is better you hold the briefcases of General Kpamber and General Khobe and follow them to Nigeria. Hope it is clear. No more hullaballo.

Lonta!

The Oga Vacuum

Don’t be scared! For PE is not expatiating on the security vacuum created by the withdrawal of ECOMOG. PE the observer and analyst, is quite sure of the current security set up, no cause for complaint.

You see this vacuum created by our ogas is purely one of relationship. There have been lots of psuedo relationships since this ECOMOG issue came to be involved into our lives. An issue that has left blueprints on the minds of several Sierra Leoneans (No matter how you look at it, ha, haa!). Had the vacuum caused any dent on the security set up of the country, oh! sorry, Freetown, no doubt PE would have alerted PE’s numerous friends by suggesting otherwise.

Do you know what your highly intelligent PE is hearing from those of our sisters who, over the years, have provoked social scandal and nausea in this country? PE is referring to those ‘Wonsee worwors’ - bleached girls, ladies, women, some of whom have abandoned their marriages and schools, while other have wrecklessly abandoned their considerate and dedicated lovers for want of dollars or better still, ‘ECOMOG money’.

Most of these were pampered by their parents into indulging into love affairs with strangers who, through illusive stories of better lives for their daughters, fall into the neat trap of these cautiously organised band of extortionists, hustlers and sadists and ... ha, ha, haa.

Some marriages were forged in order to gain absolute monopoly over them and their parents who again because of their economic shortcomings, are bound to ensuring that. This strategy is upheld irrespective of the consequences. Some have invariably gone with their new found high expectations. What is happening with them there could be anybody’s guess, ha, ha, haa!

Many youngmen were forced to accepting the decisions of their spouses or lovers based on the circumstances. Those few who attempted at challenging such ladies met with the worst humiliations, no doubt.

Now they are gone and therefore the vacuum. But what is the new development? PE has observed that these turncoat ladies have automatically changed their alliances to UNAMSIL. They now say “ECOMOG don go, UNAMSIL don cam”, and more interestingly there is this new parlance: ‘We are covered by the blood of UNAMSIL! Wow! It seems to PE that this set of Sierra Leonean women is volunteers in its own ways is providing the other solutions for the other problem - sex war! UNAMSIL blood will never cover them.

By technique or what, they are all almost engaged. Not even bothering to know whom they deal with. At Lungi where PE was last week, it is no longer a secret. As for the Indians and Kenyans, novices in the game in Sierra Leone, they just give as they are asked. In fact they are the ones chasing the ladies - money, sorry, dollars in hand. PE observed a marked influx of these sex traders there. It is very lucrative for them over there.

You see the vacuum has been filled naturally. But can you imagine the consequence of such wretched and immoral way of life? Well PE observes this as the real incoming vacuum. Although it is said that the dreadful killer disease is on the rise here, authorities are confident that the growth rate is considerably low. But this would no longer be the case. Assist-In-Dying Slowly (AIDS) will be the cause for the next vacuum on the human resource index in this country. The unreserved determination of our women to get the dollar is what will surely land this nation into its next fray of worries.

PE’s worry indeed starts from now. Though the vacuum has been realistically filled, it remains a threat as those now filling it may cause the worst vacuum that could be equally disastrous as the decade of carnage this country has experienced.

The Children’re our future

This nation has reached a peak wherein much consideration need to be given to the children. It is not a secret that a nation depends on her growing population who serve as the future cadres.

But PE has of late observed that much is not done towards that trend. This especially goes for our school-going children. Most centres of learning are not really conducive for our school-going children. The immediate vicinities of some of these institutions are chaotic and as well tumultous. This, in themselves through PE’s observation, is having a negative impact on the standard of learning of these children.

PE is most particular about the Ansarul Islamic Secondary School, The Annie Walsh Secondary School and the Richard Allen Secondary School. Whether it is an endorsement by City Council or not, the encroachment by traders, youths (Diamba boys) on the lands of these institutions is uncalled for.

Go to Ansarul and find traders, omolankays and youths clustered by the fence. This mixture of nausea and filth is characterized by noises and other sounds that are enough to distract the children’s attention from their normal classes. No reverence is given to the fact that they are sitting by an institution that is producing future leaders for this country.

The same scenario goes to both Annie Walsh and Richard Allen. May be the Annie Walsh case is a bit moderate. But how about girls who come late and find the gate closed? These normally tend to keep company around and by this, many sordid things can develop, ha, ha.

For Richard Allen, the traders there have gone the extra mile by constructing permament structures directly against the wall. PE was at a PTA meeting there once when the Principal was fuming against it. He complained that these people were potential threats to his pupils as there was the tendency of getting them influenced by their bad habits. This could be drug-taking, womanizing and other related - delinquences which might be detrimental to the education or moral build up of the children. These need to be stopped! School areas are not for criminals!

What is worrying PE is the lack of interest shown by authorities towards this phenomenon. The Richard Allen school authorities have duly complained to all the stakeholders for traders and youths, but nothing seems to be happening. Why is that? Even with the case of Ansarul which is even worse than the others - nothing is done. Rather, to PE’s dismay, a joint meeting between the Ministry of Sports, Police, Petty Traders and Youths on the 29th March 2000, resolved to maintain the nuisance around the Ansarul School, ‘temporarily’.

Those provocateurs at Richard Allen remain there and continue to endanger the progress of the children. Soon, it will be they the encroachers that will start calling the school as ‘Diamba school’. PE will not love to hear that. Things may one day get out of hands. The children themselves want a better future. They will someday resist these threats with their own threats.

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