APC battle lines drawn in China – as Head of Chancery goes on the political offensive

Alpha Kargbo

5 April 2012

It is nearly five long years now since the ruling All People’s Congress party (APC)) took the realms of power in Sierra Leone. For the common Sierra Leoneans (who make up over 80% of the population), life in every successive year has been more difficult than the preceding year.

The plights of Sierra Leoneans have been compounded by the systematic looting of financial institutions by the Koroma leadership and the devastating banking liquidity crisis.

Despite the fact that some 80% of Sierra Leoneans today can hardly afford a meal in two days, the Koroma-led APC Government has spent millions of dollars in heavy weaponry to arm the Operations Support Division of the Sierra Leone Police Force, which is actually a brutal puppet force of the Government.

For its own protection, the Koroma-led Government has ignored the plight of the thousands of destitute Sierra Leoneans, who lose their lives every year to minor curable diseases like influenza.After heavy public criticisms at home and abroad, the APC Government has now scrambled to issue a public statement stating that some of the heavy armours have been transferred to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces for deployment in peace support operations of the African Union and United Nations mission.

To say the least, this exactly shows how out-of-touch the Koroma-led APC Government is with the reality of the people and the very horrible vision it holds for Sierra Leone.

It is this kind of Government that the Head of Chancery and the Acting Head of Mission of the Embassy of Sierra Leone in China, Mr. Paul. A. S. Minah, today spares no effort in defending.

In a meeting called by Mr. Minah on the 19th of March 2012 – that was eventually attended by only five people (three students and two Embassy staff), he vowed to defend President Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government.

In that same meeting (as reported by the Press Attaché – John Baimba Sesay, in the March 20 edition of Sierra Express Media), Mr. Minah cautioned students to stop meddling in national party politics in Sierra Leone.

As if this was the exact backing the APC-diehard Student Executive of the Sierra Leone Students Union in China (SLSUC) has been waiting for, from a senior Embassy official like Mr. Minah, the SLSUC Secretariat seized upon this comment to insult concerned and principled students in the union.

It is important to state at this point that over 80% of the Sierra Leonean student population in China, has been solidly stuffed by APC die-hards of Koroma’s northern brothers and sisters over the past four years.

These APC emissaries sent to China as students (who are also Executive Members of the now defunct APCAB – APC Asia Branch), took over the Student Union Executive and Activities in 2010/2011 academic year and like their APC mentors back in Sierra Leone, systematically embezzled SLSUC funds (see publications by Marcus D. Margai and Bitter Truth in the achieves of the Sierra Leone Online View and The New People Newspapers).

These APC-Emissary Students are so political that they always work to exclude (sometimes by even re-circulating the same old executive members) other students with views contrary to the destructive ideology of the ruling APC party.

With the backing of Mr. Minah (Head of Chancery and Acting Head of Mission), the APC-inspired SLSUC Secretariat went ahead to make the quoted Press Release on the 31st of March 2012 as follows:

“The attention of the executive has been drawn to an unfortunate development that has been undertaken by some misguided persons in the name of ‘CONCERN STUDENTS IN CHINA’.

“These so-called concern students are now in the habit of writing malicious articles about some Sierra Leonean embassy officials, with unsubstantiated evidence – a development that has the potential to plant the seed of discord between students and the mission.

“This situation is totally unacceptable and the executive completely condemn this ugly development and at the same time, totally disassociate itself from such unwarranted behavior.”

This is the blunt affront to all those who stand for decency in an elitist organization that is now breaking apart, under the destructive manipulation and exploitation of these morally irresponsible APC folks.

It is on the note of the above developments that we, the Concerned Students, are writing to ask Mr. Minah to clarify to us and Sierra Leoneans at large, his position regarding his work as Civil Servant of Sierra Leone and his relationship with the Sierra Leone Students Organization in China and the APC Government in Sierra Leone.

Are we, as university students, not allowed to exercise our civic and political rights or is Mr. Minah saying that these rights are reserved only for him?

Why did Mr. Minah, as Head of Chancery, not tell the past and current SLSUC Student Executives that as students they are not allowed to be Executive Members of the APC Asia Branch?

We would in fact like to know why Mr. Minah allowed the formation of APCAB in the Embassy and the use of the Mission Premises as the Headquarters, and even used as the launching ground of the APC Party Branch?

On the other hand, is Mr. Minah trying to tell us that he can do all that is in his power – to allow anything that is related to APC to go on – and crush anything related to other political parties including SLPP (Sierra Leone People’s Party) in the Embassy, so long he is the Head of Chancery and Acting Head of Mission?

Where exactly is Mr. Minah and on the basis of which Civil Service Code is he drawing his inspiration from?

Irrespective of the Civil Service Code Mr. Minah is using today, we would like him to know that we are fully mature Sierra Leoneans and have the right under the constitution of Sierra Leone to exercise our Civic Rights as patriotic citizens of the country of Sierra Leone.

The Embassy of Sierra Leone will remain under our heavy watch and we will expose any corrupt and unpatriotic deals in that mission. We have written this little piece in the warning that you change course and be as neutral as a Civil Servant can be, failure of which will subject you to the fullest scrutiny through our subsequent publications!

 

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