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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!

WEDNESDAY JULY 12TH 2000

The Le 6 Billion Logistics

PE was amazed the other day when PE heard the Sierra Leone false prophet Jonah, the Minister, in charge of Finance, announcing that he had disbursed a total amount of Le 6 billion on logistics for our fighting forces within a period of six weeks.

Though PE is not mathematically inclined, PE can get it right from Prophet Jonah that Le 1billion is spent on logistics weekly. The irony of this pronouncement is that PE continues to receive news from the warfront that our forces make withdrawals or should PE say tactical withdrawals from their positions as a result of lack of logistics. PE will therefore like to ask, why are these monies gone?

And besides, the other day PE heard the BBC ‘correslier’ of the millenium, Duke Brima, reporting about kamajors being malnourished. From PE’s investigations, PE discovered that most of the monies meant for the fighting forces are going to the personal pockets of some unscrupulous individuals who were clamouring for the resumption of hostilities.

This was more the reason why PE was and still is opting for dialogue as the only way out of our crisis. But people continue to misconstrue PE as being a collaborator, sympathiser, you name them.

PE is aware of the fact that people are making millions of leones out of the sufferings of the poor and helpless masses by escalating the war. Even monies raised by the war-effort fund recently are believed to have never reached the fighting forces. PE is tired with this nonesense. People should not continue to exploit the nation at the expense of prosecuting a war they cannot end.

War against rats

PE is once again to contend with another war - a war against another set of enemies bent on destroying the human resource base of this nation.

But this time round, PE and PE’s compatriots are determined to face the reality and consolidate their efforts against this common enemy- the rat rebels with the deadly virus that cause the deadly LASSA FEVER.

All rats are rats, but there are some rats that are more dangerous that others. The MATRATUS type, brown in colour with long jaws, are the type against whom war has been declared. It should be borne in the minds of all patriotic and nationalistic Sierra Leoneans that waging war on these fatalistic pests has no embargo. As such PE is recommending that citizens adopt any sort of tactic to eleminate these rat enemies.

This declaration not withstanding, however, it is worthwhile emphasising that the neglect by the ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Freetown City Council is the sole reason for the unimaginable proliferation of rats in almost every nook and cranny of the city.

Rats are hosts in all the gutters within the city and also share homes with people on equal terms as if they are themselves tenants or landlords. Nothing had been done over the years to stop the encroachment of these pests on the settlements of human beings in this city.

It is only unfortunate that they don’t speak and don’t also have human features. Otherwise, they would have succeeded in expelling many people from their homes.

Because of their longstanding association with humans, they seem to have developed the intelligence required to counter any attempt at exterminating them.

A poison or trap, steel or paste set for them is cleverly avoided.

This makes PE wonder how this war against them would be executed, when the gutters remain unclean, piles of debris, filth and dirt continue to make mountains within the city.

It is PE’s resolve that to succeed in this battle, highly toxic chemicals should be sprayed in gutters and on these piles of debris as well as in and around residential homes. We need to take the war to them to ensure that we gain grounds before a ceasefire is called.

A foul play?

PE, with an ominiscent power to unearth sourced stories was drawn to the far Eastern settlement of Kissy Dockyard to verify a scoop alleging that PE’s compatriot was involved in corruption, bribery, unethical behaviour, etc. PE paid a brief visit to the man in the center of the allegations, a certain Mr Johnson, senior personnel and chief security manager of Shankerdas and Sons Company Limited.

PE launched a clever roundabout questioning technique to ascertain the truth or untruth of the story beginining with the gentleman’s curriculum vitae. PE learnt that this Johnson is quite some fellow with a rather admirable record. PE couldn’t believe that such a man with an unblemished police career could degenerate into the level insinuated in newspaper.

PE will freely share with PE’s objective readers the information PE gathered. PE read records dating back to 1955, the year Johnson was enlisted in the police force, rising through the ranks to become Superintendent of Police in 1992. PE also learnt that Johnson retired in 1994 with a full pension as his due entitlement. PE stood stunned and genuinely admired the still active former police superintendent who has served PE’s nation for some thirty-nine odd years.

PE was also shown official documents, no doubt authentic licences of registration and income tax clearances dating back to 1996 when Johnson formed his Security Agency. When PE enquired why the gentleman would think anyone would just frame a story to besmirch his image, he shook his head and replied that he suspected that the allegation was the handiwork of a dismissed worker whose financial misappropriation and thieving could not be tolerated by management and was therefore laid off.

PE can authoritatively reveal that Johnson’s Security Agency is legitimate, official and has fully paid up all tax liabilities. PE can assure PE’s friends that receipts are available and Johnson is ever willing to produce them. PE is warning this sacked rogue worker to desist from this blakmail or PE will spill the beans and expose his battered and rotten skeleton. PE hopes a word to the wise . . . .

WEDNESDAY JUNE 28TH TO MONDAY JULY 10TH 2000

Say it again, Septimus??

Do you know that it sometimes make an interesting listening when men in high or rather advantageous positions shed lies? Oh yeh, it does indeed.

PE had a wonderful time last week when our erudite United States Professor, Prezo Torker, spoke over the Biza Bodi Congosa’s Focus on Sierra Leone.You know, PE enjoyed it very much as it has taken donkey years without listening to this famous rapper. Perhaps he was waiting for an auspicious occasion to rap. The day came when the disturbing news broke out that the rebels had again taken over Masiaka town.

Professor Torker, PE wants to believe, was also upset as he had been rapping the people into believing that everything was under control. How could he then reconcile with this shocking development when everything was alright with their ‘Pro-government’ forces? PE was the first person to cast some cloud of doubt as to the authenticity of Torker Rap. So,when news broke out later on Tuesday that Masiaka had re-fallen to whoever it was, Septimus jumped out of his chair, grabbed the telephone, dialled, and got the BBC in London. The presenter then said it was breaking news, and live on the air, the erudite man said that ‘government troops’ had re-taken Masiaka.

PE was so happy that PE fell from the chair and prostrated on the ground and thanked Allah for saving this land. PE believed Prof until when it became apparently clear that it was not pro-government forces but UNAMSIL forces that re-took Masiaka. PE was told that the Jordanian guys who did the beautiful trick did not even allow Septimus’ so-called pro-government forces to go there. The reason, as PE understood it, was the lack of trust and confidence in Kai-Kai’s gallant army.

But why should the honourable Torker say what did not happen? Was he trying to cover-up the seeming lapses on the government side? For all PE knows, had it not been for brilliant performance of UNAMSIL, Freetown would have been under threat by now. PE would therefore like to doff PE’s hat to Jetley and say bravo! Keep the good work and don’t let any filthy politician distract your attention. For our Professor, learn to call a spade a spade.

War Or Dialogue, Which One?

PE is alarmed that even after the signing of the Lome Peace Accord, there is still a war going on in the country. PE has always been expressing dismay over the violation of the Lome accord by both factions.

This is a pointer to the fact that all the efforts made by the signatories came to nought. Today, Lome is dead AND GONE with virtually no result.

The waste of time involved alone goes to show that we are a long way off in our effort to rebuild the battered nation. The latest developments at the war front are very negative to say the least.

PE is more concerned about poor civilians dying during battles. As the saying goes, when two elephants fight, the grass suffer the consequence. PE can recall that there are three accords that have been reached and signed between GOVERNMENT and REBEL FACTIONS.

The Abidjan Peace Accord , the Conakry Accord during the AFRC regime and the Lome Peace Accord which is the most recent, took place last year.

PE always listens to people debating about our political problems in the country.Some claiming that the only language which the rebels can understand is war and not peace or peaceful disarmament. Others argue that it is better for all factions to cease fire and resort to peaceful dialogue in accordance with the provisions of the Lome peace accord.

PE believes that the only way peace would prevail in the country is through dedication, love and sincerity of purpose to duty. There should be free movement of people throughout the entire country without fear of encountering some mishap. PE’s last advice is that,every peace-loving Sierra Leonean should realise that peace and reconcilation is the answer to the future of this nation.

Would You Stop This Rubbish

PE does not understand what people mean by the word ‘Pro-government’ forces. PE really needs a lecturer to tell PE the reason or perhaps the meaning of this over-used word. For now, PE will contend with the fact that government has a fighting force out there at the warfront. That force is for the government.

So the idea of referring to this force as ‘pro’ to PE, is ludicrous and to say the least, catastrophic. But before PE goes into that, PE would like to tell our nice authorities that whoever is not for you is against you. PE knows the RUF is not for the government. That is why they are called rebels. They are rebelling against the government and the people. So, those that are fighting to exterminate these rebels are the soldiers. PE believes that if they too turn against the people, they sieze to be soldiers. The new name for them becomes REBELS.

Tell PE, why do we keep on referring to our soldiers as pro-government forces when we have only one army with Tejan Kabbah as the commander in Chief? Is it because the kamajors are fighting alongside the soldiers? For PE, they too should not be referred to as ‘Pro’ as PE knows they are for the people. No wonder they are referred to Civil Defence Forces as they are defending the people against the rebels. If they do otherwise, they too become rebels.

Now back to the implications of apportioning descriptions to our gallant forces. PE thinks one of the reasons why there is a monumental problem in the prosecution of the war is this idea of referring to one group as loyal SLAs, another as West side and so on and so forth. For PE, this is a blunder by the authorities. Everybody, be you a Westside or what, is a soldier as long as you are fighting against the RUF. But the moment you begin to say Mr. X is this, you create room for him to assume airs.

No wonder the ‘junglers’ at Okra Hills are feeling big and important. They think they are so important that they should not be under the command of anybody. PE does not blame them at all. The blame lies squarely on the authorities that always delineate one force from the other. In the end, it is the people that suffer. PE is therefore advising those Booker T. Washingtons to drop this stupid idea of giving different nomenclatures to our patriotic forces.

Fighting For Promotion Or Lack Of Discipline

PE is a patriotic citizen and has keen interest over the security of the state. PE was annoyed to hear that there was serious fighting within the rank and file of the West Side boys and the newly recruited soldiers.

What baffled PE was that, after the May 8th demonstration against the RUF leader, Coporal Foday Saybana Sankoh, the Chairman of the Consolidation of Peace (CCP) Johnny Paul Koroma acted swiftly by commanding pro-government fighters to defend their land.This included the West Side boys who had been classed as rebels. PE is still aware that both the Okra Hill boys, or West Side boys, you call them what you may, were one time allies of the RUF rebels. Their marriage only became divorced when they went into serious battle in the northern province. Of course, people were predicting that they would one day break away, since a soldier is a soldier and a rebel is a rebel.

PE felt sad to hear that the fighting between the West side boys and the new soldiers came about when there was a lack of a strong and central commanding structure.

It is a pity to Sierra Leoneans especially those who have contributed to the war effort fund to hear that the fighters are engulfed in internal squabbles instead of protecting the lives of the people.

PE wishes to advise that, both old and new soldiers come together as one. Despite the murderous crimes the old soldiers have committed, they have been pardoned just for the sake of freeing Mother Sierra Leone from the scorch of war. PE knows they have a lot of experience about fighting a guerilla war.

Some of the rebel’s secret is well known by the soldiers. If only they can come under one umbrella as government forces to fight, then PE will breathe a sigh of hope that everlasting peace will prevail on this our land..

Radio UNAMSIL all the way

The Sierra Leone airwaves are and will be inundated with series of radio waves in the years to come, but thanks to the recently adopted press bill that seems to have in place some regualtory measures as to the how to establish one.

However PE’s attention is drawn to a recently established radio station called Radio UNAMSIL. PE’s attention is not focused on this radio frequency 103 FM because it belongs to the UN mission but rather because of its apparent consistency in the transmission of music. These different types of music are not only of the west, particularly those rap discordant sounds of instruments called music, but music that reflects the image of the world body, the UN. It cuts across the global board. From African to American to Arabian, Chinese, you name it. The UN radio station seems to be bringing the world to Sierra Leoneans through music as it has done through its military presence.

What is intriguing to PE is that within a short period of its inception, it has won the hearts of many, many Sierra Leoneans. All about the city, people, especially the youth, tune in to radio UNAMSIL.

Yes, PE can tell why this is so. It is definitely certain that there is no ingratitude in this shift of listening allegiance. You see, the people are tired of the so many ills that characterise most of our FM stations like 98.1 and FM 99.9 and Radio France International (RFI).

For our local FM stations, it seems to PE that it is because the people are tired of the too many politicking and canvassing which overshadow their actual roles. If it is not one programme that features only political rhetoric, it is one that emphasises the new finger pointing syndrome. All of which are utter rubbish.

PE is cognisant of one thing and that is, FM stations are purely for music and advertisements, and not for involvement into full-scale programme transmission. In fact PE has observed that a clash of interest is currently on between FMs 98.1 and 99.9.

The people are so traumatised that they need at this particular point in time, to be encouraged. Music will help them to download their hearts. Stay cool Radio UNAMSIL; continue to detraumatise us. Keep it up.

Damn To This Dumbness

PE is sick with this poignant dumbness that has characterised this government. In fact this menace is adding more to the trauma of PE and fellow compatriots.

It is PE’s unarguable conviction that a government that worths its salt does not sit by and watch its country’s image being bastardised with impunity by outsiders without any decisive action.

This is however our nature in this country. PE is wondering why such abject negligence. A government that is dubbed as a government of the people, for the people and by the people, should be proactive as it instills confidence and trust in its people. But when it becomes handicapped by acute dumbness such as what is befalling this SLPP government, then the confidence and trust of the people are bound to shrink and crumble.

The government seems to be scared of outsiders. This is because it has put more hope in them for the solution of its predicament. Therefore it is no wrong if it sells cheap issues of national interest for no less a payment than, in their words, ‘playing diplomacy’. Yes, diplomacy that is played at the expense of the ordinary citizens’ interest under whose obligation it is.

This has affected this nation to a great extent. If those outsiders are now aware, they just play bingo with any aspect of our national issues, be it political, social or economic. The war has reduced the minds of many Sierra Leoneans to despair. But social interraction plays a vital role.

Here again, however, outsiders keep obstructing. PE believes the Sierra Leone Football Association entered this latest World Cup 2002 qualifying competition not with the sole hope of qualifying, but rather as a way of helping in the detraumatising campaign. At any given time when there is an international football match here, people become euphoric. Their lives are rekindled, partly forgetting their problems and sorrows. For the target youths, it is always a success. After the match, they are seen in lively discussions and arguments, all for the sake of putting their worries behind.

But quite recently, Ghana, followed by Togo, refused to come to this country on the flimsy excuse that the security situation in the country is not conducive for them. What? Don’t Sierra Leoneans know the sweetness of life? Is this not tantamout to sabotage and political intrigue?

But the government sits confidently mute, deaf and dumb, while the Football Association authorities struggle it out. PE was expecting government to have reacted by summoning the respective ambassadors of these countries to explain the rationale behind the unforutnate statements from their countries. But no way!

Ah ya! we sorry na dis country oh! The government is used to reacting to issues too late after when the damage has been done. This is no show of responsibility. Government should remember that the impact of these pronouncements is a dent not to SLFA but to itself.

Save Susan’s Bay

Residents of Susan’s Bay are living an unimaginably surprising life amid the avalanche of filth and general squalor.

At certain points, PE concluded that some sort of magic or an under world phenomenon is adopted by these people to avert the occurence of mass deaths or the outbreak of unprecedented epedermis.

Naturally, seasides are environments worthy of relaxation for their sweet and soothing fresh air. But the seaside that happens to be Susan’s Bay is a direct opposite. In fact the atmosphere around the area is still and odorous, and has a provocative, nauseating effect.

That besides, materials used to embank the seaside are of such that they easily keep on spreading diseases.Go there and see for yourself.

It is a stockpile of rubbish, animal dung, and human shit. The colour of the water by the shore is as dark as tar. This is because it is concocted with urine, shit and other highly infested waste waters flowing into the sea from various parts of the city through Susan’s bay.

It is unbelievable, but yes it happens. People of all ages especially males, are on a daily basis seen bathing in this pool of contagious diseases principally, ferreting for their living.

PE is in pity with those residents of Susans Bay.They are citizens that have the right to live decent lives. But alas! they are not considered. They have been neglected by both past and present governments.

Perhaps that is why God Almighty is protecting them through his ommipotent powers from epidemic diseases that can possibly terminate them.

This is well to the knowledge of the present government. There is of course a Customs collection point there, collecting fabulous sums from businsssmen on behalf of government. It will be no harm at all if they improve on the general standard of that Susan’s Bay environment. Not at least to save the lives of the poor community, but to provide an enabling conducive, and healthy environment for its income generators.

PE is only praying that God continues to protect the Susan’s Bay community. Amen.

MONDAY JUNE 26TH 2000

Where are the ammos?

When PE learnt that the ‘remehs’ of Kothor Foday Sokobana Sankoh had freed the babyish UNAMSIL peacegivers, PE’s heart leapt with ‘gladdiness’. Yah, PE knew that the weaklings would grow this time and at least resist being taken hostage again. Do you know what PE did again upon hearing the news ? Ha, ha, ha! PE jumped to ‘Arianna’ and slept with ‘Malayka Gibril’ and came back the following morning. What a wonderful experience.

You know, PE was with these Zambian guys when those small, small gun-toting boys of the Really Uncouth Freakers (RUF) took them hostage. PE had to hold PE’s lips in amazement at the way and manner in which the small-small ‘remehs’ took the Goliath peacekeepers. It was like a lamb being led to the slaughter house. The guys just gave themselves up as if it was ‘Malaikal Mawti’ that was about to take their lives to ‘Kuru Masaba’.

PE went with them as far as Makeni and hid in one of the big trees around Teko barracks. PE shed tears when PE saw what the small-small ‘borbohs’ were doing to the almight Melchisedechs. PE had to run back to Freetown where the colonial misis, British-England, have assured the residents of optimal safety.

Do you then wonder why PE jumped to ‘Arianna’ when news broke that those softers had regained their freedom? Ee nor easy oh! The Israelites gaining freedom from Pharoah. ‘Nar tin go don pas’. However PE is glad to see his friends back in full gear, ready to do their jobs.

But wait a minute, Mr. Reader, have you ever wondered where these people might have left their guns? If you haven’t, well, PE has. It propels poor PE’s imagination into asking this daring question: Where are the ammos? The answer should not be farfetched. The ‘remehs’ of Sokobanah Sankoh took the peacemakers along with their guns. So, if they released the men, they should also release the weapons. If PE were one of the hostages (‘kuru’ forbid as PE would have fought to the last drop of blood), PE would not have left that jungle without PE’s gun.

But these guys just came back empty handed, and their bosses are not saying anything about the arms. PE is wont to ask if those arms were traded for gem stones. ‘Ee nor fine oh!’ The arms and ammunitions should also be released, otherwise those dreadful bush guys will just decimate the remaining people, this time civilians, they have in their areas of forceful occupation.

So, Mr. Jetley, PE wants you to do something fast to retrieve those arms otherwise, just go back to India and continue in the film industry.

Kamajor Tifi-Tiffi

A monkey never leaves its black hand behind, so the old people say. This popular parable is used to ascribe to notoriety, especially when it relates to bad habit.

PE has for a long time now trumpeted the notoriety of these so-called people’s militia - the kamajors - as being thieves, arsonists, murderers and a politically biased set up. But these observations were taken with a pinch of salt,and PE branded as an anti democrat.

Sometime early this year, in broad daylight at the Portee junction in the eastend of Freetown, the kamajors struck. A whole shop and a house were comprehensively looted and the inmates molested. But because they are pro-democrats, nothing was heard of that. These and several gruesome incidents directly involving these nuisances have continued to occur since the signing of the Peace Accord in Lome, Togo.

In fact was it not tensely argued here that the kamajors did not engage in nefarious activities? Sierra Leoneans were brainwashed into believing that with the ceremonies and talismans involved, they are not to engage in stealing or any act of violence against innocent civilians. If they do, they will die.

But perhaps that is the main reason for the overwhelming casualties they have been suffering during the course of the war, and up to date. If those conditions were being strictly adhered to, PE strongly believes that the massive destruction to both lives and properties would have reduced considerably.

But you know, their adverse actions were downplayed to the extent that the kamajors have seen themselves as saints in the eyes of their godfathers.

As if to prove credible PE’s observations, during the night of Saturday 17th June, they were at it again. An alleged attempt to steal a vehicle. This resulted in a shot out that engulfed half of the city.

Will they actually stop? Especially at a time when government is endeavouring to make the city arms free. But in the not too distant future, the other side of the kamajors will be shown, and that is their murderous antics. This will surely close the chapter on them.

What’s this gibberish about?

Don’t say PE likes to ask questions as anybody who does not know and fails to ask is a ‘tupit’ person. You see, when the going gets rough, PE also peeps out and peers outside to get wind of any information that may satisfy PE’s curious and inquisitive soul. What now, if a highly sensitive national issue crops up and our entrusted ministers mumble and fumble over it? PE will definitely ask and ask and ask until a credible and tangible answer is proffered.

PE has a monumental question to ask government; it demands a monumental answer also. What is this noise about not having enough evidence to try the incacerated rebel warlord, Bra Saysay Sankoh? PE does not understand what the big man at the Information Ministry is saying about ‘gofment’ having to be careful with the issue of Kothor Sankoh. All that PE could gather from brother Yulis Spicer was that Sankoh may not be tried after all.

So if that is the case, tell PE what the noise is all about keeping Sankoh. If you do not have enough evidence, Mr. ‘Kwament’ to bring the man to justice, just hand him over to PE who has a container-load of facts and files to send the poroman into oblivion.

Let PE tell you, my dear beautiful reader, this Palm Tree collection of inert guys that called itself “kwament’ is a shame and disgrace to this nation. If at this point in the watch, a Minister talks on the radio, cleverly but poignantly telling PE that his cabal do not seem to have anything against the worst human right violator since Adam was in his mother’s womb, then PE will just retch and throw up. What a shame!

Well, there is always the other side. Leave him if you cannot try him. PE will do justice to him without let or hinderance. This brand of politicians has one quality, and that is eating their lunch before time. They are good ‘talkers’ but not good doers. They always bite more than they can chew.

PE has two important passionate appeals to make to the ‘gofment’. The first is, please, please, please, Mr. Minister of ‘Kwament’, stop the gibberish. If you know you are doing what is expected of you just be silent. Otherwise, you will irritate the masses and perhaps even galvanise them into an anti-government demonstration. Remember what the civil society did to the Lion that used to roar in town? PE knows that is the least you want to go through. So, you better be diplomatic in your utterances, if you do not want to be booted, oh sorry, rooted out like the Lion. Don’t forget, PE is fickleminded.

The second appeal is about PE’s friend, Abdoul Kouyateh. His is a sensitive case, PE knows, but justice delayed is justice denied. Charge him now or release him. You are trampling on his democratic right.

Fighting Over Sankoh’s special booty

Yes, PE is still with the wonderful Poroman Saybana Sankoh, but this time on a differenct note altogether. Yes, this time, PE would like to laugh ha, ha, ha over the noise about who Sankoh’s wife is. Ha, ha, ha, even though the man is dying, there are still people that want to be classed as his wives. Oh, of course, why not? After all, Sankoh was, and still is a virile man.

Oh, sorry! PE understood that the Lion was stripped naked when he was caught by Johnny Paul’s fighters. So, there is every possibility that his virility might have escaped from him. However, that notwithstanding, Sankoh still has women who are dying for him, so to speak. Why not? The guy has cash and diamonds.

PE was bemused last week when a flurry of verbal attacks came from PE’s small and old radio set. First, it was a woman called Fatou Sankoh and then another woman who called herself Josephine Sankoh. Ha, ha, ha, Sankoh, you are great. Two beautiful women are throwing punches at each other. All are trying to own you; each is attempting to overshadow the other.

Yah, Fatou Sankoh, as PE understands it, is a Senegalese naturalised American citizen who bumped into Foday some time in February. Well, you know the guy. Though 62, he still can pull a fast one on women. The moment Fatou saw bra Sankoh, she became enchanted and went on board the wagon. Quick-quick, a marriage ceremony was arranged. They became husband and wife for better or for worse. Fatou stole the show recently when she mysteriously appeared in South Africa as Sankoh’s wife. Though she was asked out, Fatou, PE fears was able to transact the buisness she went there for.

Yah, here was Josephine in Ivory Coast, masquuerading as Sankoh’s wife. But thank God, she still bears the name of Josephine Tengbeh. Josephine realised that the Senegalese-cum-American baby wanted to steal the show from her. She therefore quickly debunked Fatou’s claim. What an interesting drama. PE knows why these two ladies are fighting for Pa Foday: his wealth. You know, Sankoh is in prison. If he does not come out of it, then there has to be someone to claim the ill-gotten wealth. So why not fight for supremacy now so that the entire ‘duniya’ will know that indeed Sankoh had a wife. Funny eh?

After 26, No hope

To some people, it was a shock. To others, including PE, it was no surprise. PE is referring to the recently announced LIFE EXPECTANCY age of Sierra Leoneans by the World Health Organistion (WHO).

Well readers, if you were not furtunate to hear the annoucement, the World body said after 26 years, you can die at any time, to put it more bluntly.

Do you want to contest? No, not PE. But sit down and give a thorough thinking of the situation in the country and judge for yourself whether the prediction is right or wrong.

At present, Sierra Leone has the highest number of guns scattered all over the country more than any other country, the least standard of education; the worst pot-holed roads; the darkest city; the least volumed newspapers with only three printing machines to print over 40 tabloids; the least equipped hospitals; the most corrupt judiciary (embezzled one billon leones and you are acquitted and discharged); the most corrupt civil service; the highest number of rotten vehicles; the highest users of second hand clothes, shoes, bags, bedsheets, towels etc;

With all these qualities at your disposal, are you not lucky if you can live up to 26 years in Sierra Leone?

For PE and colleagues we are now doing our over-time since we are over 26. To the young ones, do it quickly before 26. Good luck.

Old Road Is very old

Do you know where the Sierra Leone Roads Authority Offices are situated? PE will give you the direction. Take a taxi at PZ, disembark at Ferry junction just after UNAMSIL checkpoint in the east. Turn right and come just 100 metres and you will see a big fence painted black and white. Knock at the gate, that’s SLRA. Move up 50 metres further and you meet PWD junction. That’s old road.

This old road has the highest number of vehicles plying the east, because the area is the most congested in the entire city. But decent vehicles including taxis have abandoned the road, PE will attest to this.Why?

The road is too nasty. The pot-holes are so deep that sometimes passengers have to climb down to help lift the rotten poda-podas risking to ply the route. Drivers constantly complained that they take their vehicles to the garages after every trip.

This is shameful for SLRA. Clean first your backyard before thinking of another. Hope this is clear.

Labour Congress, a Toothless bull dog

The Sierra Leone Labour Congress is a body supposedly set up to seek the intrest of the working force in the country, PE can testify.

But ironically, this organisation is acting on the opposite by collaborating with governments (past & present) to inflict more terror on the lives of the people.

The only vibrant Labour Congress leader, PE can recall, is the late Baimba Kabia who opposed the ruling APC time without number. He was prepared to go to jail at any time in the interest of the workers.

The worst regime in the Labour Congress, from PE’s investigation, is that of Hassan Barri. Hassan Barrie and his cohorts were real ‘yes men. They never opposed any government policy. No, not to PE’s knowledge. They were real hustlers and bootlickers who were always ready to tow the line

How many times has this government increased the prices of petroleum products? In 1996 when it came to power, the petrol price was Le800 now it is Le5,500, over 600% increase. Labour leaders do nothing.

Can’t you be ashamed and copy the examples of your counterparts in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Guinea, etc?

Admirer’s Missive To PE Hi PE,

Could you please allow me to write just a few words to you? Please do, as I want to treat a very important issue.

PE, to be candid, this nation has once again found itself in a quandary following the demonstration against and subsequent arrest of Chairman Foday Sankoh. Everything has gone back to where it started. Now we have a full-scale war in our hands with precious lives going everyday. Say what you may, PE, there is a flaw in the system. We are all sick with hypocrisy and parochialism. We tend to dance to the whims and caprices of the corrupt and self-centred politicians. So, whatever they say, we do. Otherwise, we would have thought twice before engaging in what turned out to be the bloodiest demonstration ever.

PE, I was in the forefront of the anti-Sankoh match, and I was flabbergasted by the disturbing fact that non of the politicians who were hollering that they would be the flagbearers were there. Again, the much trumpeted security was nowhere to be seen. Rather, the poor democrats’ lives were exposed to the diabolical danger.

Why God saved my life? Up to this moment I am writing you, PE, people are still dying from the wounds and gunshots they sustained during the May 8 demo. Well, one would think one would be gratified by the fact that the allegedculprits would be brought to book.

But the conflicting signals one is getting from the corridors of power are sending one to the gutter. It is disheartening and nauseating. If nothing is done, I, for one, will never heed to anybody’s call for a demoanstration as we are still in a state of emergency. I only hope the CSM will do more than just giving a bag of rice and a few thousand leones to the bereaved families.

President Kabbah too should do something concrete to avert such ugly incidents in the future if he wants to continue enjoying the confidence of the people. For now, the concept of “Wait and see” is in vogue.

Another burning issue concerns the progress of our fighters at the warfront. Do you notice, PE, that they have spent a very long time at the Rogberay axis? Yes, they have. Any time they venture out, they suffer a setback. It is not that our boys can’t fight. It is just because they always shamefully and regretably run out of arms any time the enemy strikes.

I am therefore appealing to government to provide the requisite logistics if the war is to end militarily, otherwise, let’s go back to the diplomatic option. If you can’t fight, don’t bite.

Admirer.

Life or Light?

PE listened with rapt attention when Prezo Kabs was addressing parliament. It was a beautiful address. But one thing that struct a chord in PE’s shallow mind was the fervent promise by Papa Kabs that a generating machine would be available to help in resuscitating the always dwindling electricity in the city. By all indications, it will be a laudable venture if the circumstances were normal. PE really wants to enjoy the full glare of electricity.

This will however not be at the expense of PE’s life. Perhaps Papa Kabs think all is bright and beautiful as far as the war is concerned. So, he can go ahead and bring a generating machine. But PE will like to say that we should have our priorities right.

Instead of bringing or loaning a machine which may cost millions of dollars,we should, for now, concentrate on ending the war. If there is no peace, no amount of electricity will make PE enjoy.

So please Prezo Kabs, the war should be apriority. The other ventures will naturally fall into place if there is perfect peace. Rather than light, PE needs life. Ensure the security of PE and PE’s compatriots and see what will come after that. Lonta

No Protection For The Youthman

PE is saddened by the unfortunate fact that people, mostly youths, die every day of the year. You may think their deaths are natural,so PE should not fuss and fret.

No, that is not the case at all. Most of these deaths are not natural. People are sent to their graves by armed bandits. No sleep, no rest and no respite for the dregman. Come nightfall, bandits and hooligans raom the streets of the city, especially in the eastend ofthecity and terrorise the people.

Last week, a youngf teacher of the Richard Allen High Shool, Mr. Yongai, was killed in cold blood by a gang of armed robbers. What puzzles PE is the continued ineffectiveness of the so-called night patrol team. It seems as if there is no security for the people.

Ironically, almost all these dastardly acts always take place during curfew hours. PE does not really see the essence of the curfew. At one point, PE called for its lifting so that people could keep vigil to protect their lives and properties. But such appeal fell on deaf ears, and yet still, government cannot provide an iota of security for the citizenry.

People are now at the mercy of those gun totters. No wonder some people leapt with joy when news broke that they would be re-armed to fight the rebels. They knew they would use the guns to kill people and steal their properties. PE says, we want protection yah, Papa gofment.

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