Puawui – Dr Sama Banya: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 May 2019:
“The SLPP government of Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is guilty of human rights abuses. Hundreds of people have been removed from their jobs and replaced by Paopa supporters, how does the President expect the families of the affected victims to be happy with his government?”
This is just one of the propaganda messages that supporters of the previous APC Administration continue to spew against the government of president Julius Maada Bio, which happily continues to receive accolades from almost everyone else except APC.
The sad thing is that critics like Mohamed ‘the Drops’ Sankoh and his likes, never see any good in any actions of the SLPP government, and never seem to tire of repeating it’s imagined sins of omission or commission. No matter what the contents of the rest of their writings are, they always come back to the same subjects.
If genuine employees are removed from their jobs without good cause, then it tantamount to abuse of human rights and should be condemned. If civil servants are removed from their jobs mainly on suspicion that they were supporters of the previous regime, then complaining would be justified.
But from my own knowledge, appointments to the public service in Sierra Leone fall into two categories. There are the civil service appointments which are generally preceded by an interview and a selection. Before such people assume their duties, they would be left in no doubt about the terms and conditions of their service. In the same vein they are left in no doubt as to what the consequences of serious misdemeanours would be – and they may therefore be even required to sign an agreement bond.
One may ask, what should be done with such people whose behaviours were contrary to laid down civil service rules, after putting on party colours and joined the forefront of election campaigns?
Next, there are those appointments that are made purely on the bases of political considerations – like board members, at the pleasure of the President or for the duration of the tenure of the administration.
When an hypothesis is taken as the basis of criticism of a system – no matter what amount of logic is applied, it is crooked thinking. What are the facts of the matter for which Mohamed Sankoh does not see any need for a Bintumani conference?
Mind you, I personally do not see any need for a third Bintumani, a point on which he and I agree but for very different reasons all together.
When an audit finds some one hundred people in the office of the Chief of Staff at State House posing as genuine employees on the government’s payroll and without any Curriculum vitae or appointment letter, such characters have then mainly bloated the government payroll and could and should be removed forthwith, which is what may have happened to those to whom Sankoh refers; there should be no qualms about it.
In a similar way, the National Telecommunications Commission (NatCom), which should be a highly technical and professional outfit, had another eighty people on its payroll – none of whom could produce a letter of appointment or curriculum vita; there was again another hue and cry when they were shown the red card.
I need not repeat the names of such professionally qualified individuals like Dr John Karimu, Dr J D Rodgers, Abdulai Kakay, Emmanuel Gaiima, Brigadier General Komba Mondeh (who received very excellent commendation from the Nigeria staff college) who were employed by a previous SLPP administration. These people were all removed from office – quite often in the most embarrassing way by the APC which assumed power in 2007.
The Mohamed Sankoh’s and others do not include the cruelty meted out to them as human rights abuse.
There was not as a whimper from any of our so-called human right activists. What I find in the latter group about all their grovelling is that, they forget that 70 percent of our population is illiterate or that the remaining 30 percent or so are with respect so gullible that they might all be lumped as illiterate.
Now, former President Koroma then the main opposition candidate had said in 2007 that his party would make this country ungovernable were the SLPP candidate to be declared the winner of the runoff election. And, as if on cue his supporters ran amok and ransacked the SLPP offices after their candidate was declared the winner.
And now he or his party supporters continue to deny that SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio won the runoff Presidential election in 2018 and behave as much.
They move around with their campaign t-shirts and caps unmolested, all among mostly illiterate people, and some hypocrites cry foul when we say enough is enough; they complain of threats to their lives.
As Siaka Stevens would ask: “Where did it all begin?” Someone reminded his readers in a newspaper column recently of the Mende proverb that says: “When you caution the dog you must also caution the bone or whoever gave it the bone.”
Why are our hypocritical do-gooders not doing that, rather than expressing dismay at the stand that many of us are now taking? No, we will neither be intimated nor blackmailed into succumbing to criticism which is based on crooked thinking.