Dr. Sama Banya: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 September 2012
The publisher of the Standard Times newspaper is notorious in the profession for his malevolence, character assassination and of course prejudice. He is among the majority of journalists who in recent times have looked at ‘The Truth’ straight in the eye and then turned away.
I would compare his blind prejudice only with that of the publisher of the Awareness Times newspaper who picks on a subject and bashes it to the point of boredom.
The two publishers who have been brought together by their common characteristic hate, have recently been engaged in criticizing a public statement made by the former head of state – President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah, when he presented the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) candidate – Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio to the people of Karena in the Bombali district.
The former head of state described the charismatic flag bearer as the fittest person to be the next President of Sierra Leone.
The Awareness Times publisher has been boring us with an attack on the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) to produce the video in which the former head of state actually used those words; meaning that, if in fact he did, then of course she would then publish some very scathing remarks about the old man.
Well madam, in order to satisfy your curiosity, I would like to confirm that the former President actually did use those words and so what?
The publisher of the Standard Times newspaper has again been at the former head of state’s throat for speaking his mind about the Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. Let me also confirm that among the names currently on the cards for the November Presidential election, Maada Bio is the fittest candidate for the position, OK?
The Standard Times publisher has described President Tejan-Kabbah as a ‘flip flop’ character and goes further to insult the man by describing him as being senile. I doubt whether he understands the real meaning of the word ‘senile’ for him to have applied it to the former head of state.
It was the Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, who as chairman of the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) and head of state, ended the four year military rule and handed power over to the democratically elected civilian President Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah in 1996.
Shortly after, the new President launched a scathing attack at a public ceremony on Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. That was SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. It is said that “A week in politics is a long time.”
So, we now have the former head of state describing the former NPRC boss as the fittest man among those competing for the Presidency today, and what is wrong with the statement to incur such wrath and venom from the Standard Times publisher, if it was not the latter’s penchant for attacking the former President, whenever his instinct dictates?
During the 2008 Democratic Party campaign for the nomination of the party’s Presidential candidate, the former United States President – Bill Clinton, had gone to the late senior Democratic Senator from Massachusetts – Edward Kennedy to seek the latter’s support for Clinton’s wife – Hilary, who was also contesting.
Bill Clinton said to Senator Kennedy: “After all only a few years back this fellow,” – meaning candidate Senator Barrack Obama – “would have been serving us coffee.”
That was barely four years ago. Last week at the Democratic national convention in Charlotte North Carolina, the same Bill Clinton extolled the virtues of President Barak Obama as the best candidate for the Presidency and therefore nominated him to the Presidency of the United States.
The statement delivered in typical Clinton style received tremendous, nay a standing ovation from the vast audience of thousands of delegates and observers. Was Bill Clinton flip-flopping?
Less than two years ago, President Koroma’s minister of information – I. B. Kargbo described the PMDC leader – Charles Margai in such derogatory terms as ‘extortionist’, and ‘blackmailer’ – who often demanded money from the President, and when he didn’t get it, would go on the offensive against the President.
The minister and his boss are today wooing Margai and his party with thousands of dollars, while his newspaper the New citizen has been extolling the virtues of the PMDC leader in the most flattering language.
Margai himself had said a lot of unsavoury things about the President and his APC government. But Neville is conspicuously silent on all of that and yet continues to chase the former President on every occasion.
What is wrong with former President Kabbah’s response to the deposed former President Joseph Saidu Momoh? Does it occur to the Standard Times editor that the response enhances Kabbah’s posture as a responsible statesman?