Grave concern over state of emergency on rape and sexual violence – a rebuttal

PUAWUI DR SAMA BANYA: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 February 2019:

“Why have you stopped writing Doctor? We are missing your column”. This is a question to which I have continued to give the same answer over the last five years, since I announced that I was laying down my pen, putting an end to my regular political activities and giving up my practice as a Medical doctor.

In reply, I have always quoted my late Irish friend Derrick Hughes who was in the Sierra Leone civil service for many years, including successful tours as District Commissioner in my home district of Kailahun.

Photo: Dr. Sama Banya

I had asked him while I was still a Medical student in the United Kingdom why he had agreed to be transferred from Kailahun when people revered him so much. After all a D C Cox who was unloved and not liked by the people of the district except by court messengers Sergeant Major Bangalie Jibateh  and corporal Sombo Bangura. Derrick’sreply was, “Sama, it is better to leave a place when you are still wanted than to leave when everyone heaves a sigh of relief at your departure.” And so, I stopped my regular pursuit from just before the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

However, utterances and other actions of some members of the ousted APC regime have compelled me to react to some of those unbelievable utterances. In doing so I am well aware of the Arab proverb that if you turn around every time a dog barks you will not get to the end of your journey.

During the electioneering campaign of 2007, the APC Presidential candidate and later President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma addressed a letter to the then United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone and openly threatened that he and his party would make this country ungovernable if the ruling SLPP was declared winner.

Sadly, the leadership of the SLPP and the Sierra Leone Police took the contents of that letter as the ranting of a frustrated political leader and no one touched a hair of the opposition leader.

Fast wind forwards, the leader of the PMDC party – Charles Margai, after his party’s divorce from the ruling APC, was forced to say at some stage that if he was attacked, he had sufficient young people who would defend him. Mr. Margai was detained at the CID for three days.

The Koroma led APC government passed very important Mining Agreement into law under a certificate of urgency and neither the general public nor Parliament had any opportunity to examine, let alone debate the bills.

The same APC government set up a Commission of Inquiry into the administration of the Sababu Education programme, specifically with the erstwhile SLPP Minister of Education Dr Alpha Wurie in mind without any reference to rules of Evidence or other legal jargons.

To their utter disappointment Dr Wurie and his staff were not found wanting. As for the Gendema incident in a Pujehun district bye-election, the APC government simply placed the Commission’s report on a shelf where it continued to gather dust until they were chased out of office in the 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

I wonder whether I really should bore readers with the Sam Sumana episode.

Readers are familiar with the APC tactics of intimidation of our today’s President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, including the incident around his residence. Pat Sow is still out of the country and the hastily promoted DIG Al-Sheik Kamara on tribal lines has taken voluntary retirement.

Did I hear someone whisper a quotation from the Holy Book about people fleeing when no one was pursuing them?

And what about John Karimu, Dr. J D Rogers and many others?  A deputy Minister of Education was sent to by the faceless Minkailu Bah to every Students Union Election in order to ensure the victory of APC supporters. Need I go any further?

Our Premier League soccer has been reborn with a new surge of energy and enthusiasm by fans.

In the midst of all this Mr. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, erstwhile ACC guru and learned Attorney General in his article: ‘Grave concern over declaration of state of emergency on rape and sexual violence’, admonished the SLPP government not to follow the bad deeds of the previous government.

He has now gone further to express fear that the declared state of emergency may be used in the current COI, which is an insult to both the government and especially the integrity of the COI Commissioners.

The APC government with undue haste endorsed the ECOWAS court of Human Rights decision in the case of the gunboat, and under Joseph Fitzgerald’s tenure as Attorney General, had resolutely challenged and despised the jurisdiction of the same court on the Sam Sumana issue. What a people.

It was Lord Denning – the Master of the Rolls and Britain’s most senior Appellate Judge who wrote that “When Lawyers want to disagree with you, they would say ‘with respect my Lord’; and if they wanted to disagree vehemently, they would say ‘with utmost respect my Lord’ “.

I was not particularly bright in Physics or Mathematics during my days in the Prince of Wales School. Every time I was asked a difficult a question, I would take time talking round the question instead of saying outright, I don’t Know.  Mr. Taylor the Principal who also taught physics in Prelim would then retort “TUT TUT TUT Banya. Words and nothing but words.”

Over to you then former ACC guru, AG and Minister of Justice – Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara – words, and nothing but words.

4 Comments

  1. Sir, no doubt the APC previous administration like the government before did many very nasty things that are beyond our imagination. But, should we continue to do business as usual or has it got to stop? If you answer to the latter, now is the time, under this current administration’s new direction to stop the nasty previous ‘yuki yuki’ and start to do the right thing and lay the foundation for continuity.

    Most of us in this noble forum are being mis-categorised as APC or SLPP sympathisers for the way we react to certain comments posted on this noble site. But the truth is, like what Elijah Cummings of the US House oversight and reform committee, who reiterated one of our colleagues’ Mr.A Mansaray) favourite quotation that says “…OUR LIVES BEGIN TO END THE DAY WE BECOME SILENT ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MATTERS….” Sometimes it is very difficult to face reality but truth be told, we have to, because its worth it!

    That’s why we can’t sit by and allow business as usual to continue..and one way we can do it is by calling things the way they are…just like what you did tonight!…That’s why some of us are counting greatly on this current administration and looking forward to see it set the record straight so that its legacy of “fighting corruption” will be remembered forever!…

  2. This issue should not be politicised. Old men who should be grand fathers abuse these kids – some for rituals, satisfaction of sexual desires and other wrong motives. If the APC government is against the state of emergency, it shows that rituals through sex with under aged virgin could be the ultimate goal to return to power. Once this has been exposed, rituals and spiritual powers behind that mission has been paralysed.

  3. Thank you Dr. Banya for your article. Some of us grew up reading your commentaries because they are not only educational but always peppered with humour and Political Theory. No one would doubt your working knowledge of the shenanigans of the APC party because of your position in the party during the one party rule.

    Another South-easterner, who is well versed in the APC theology is Victor Foh. But unlike you, he decided to lay in bed with the devil and today he has become a pariah finding his voice and conscience.

    The bottom line is that the APC has never shown respect for our constitution. It’s laughable to note that they are casting all these aspersions on the SLPP when the leadership is trying to do everything by the book. Having failed to derail the Commissions of Inquiry because of the mounting evidence of corruption and state looting, their operatives are now engaged in grand standing and political theatre to deflect attention from their criminal and treasonous behaviour. Shame on them.

  4. I personally believe that the APC party should be concerned about any state of emergency because in their playbook there is always a hidden agenda. I am not really surprised to hear the loudest opposition coming from former attorney general Abdulai Conteh (In the Cocorioko newspaper) and also former attorney general Joseph F Kamara both from the APC.

    According to history of the APC, Late Prime minister Siaka Stevens declared a state of emergency on November 20, 1968 to suppress opposition in some parts of the country, followed by September 14, 1970 in order to silence opposition opponents like John Karefa Smart,Mohamed Sorie Fornah and Mohamed Bash-Taqi ( May their souls Rest In Peace).

    Late President Stevens also declared state of emergency on February 1,1977 before a parliamentary elections and by June 1978 Sierra Leone became a one party state.

    Late President Joseph S Momoh declared state- of economic emergency after assuming power through handpicked just to enrich his cohorts and himself.

    Late President Joseph Momoh also declared state- of – emergency on November 2, 1998 after executing his Vice President ( late Francis Minah)- and was renewed on March 8,1998, which resulted to the death of about 100 people; so anyone who was part of that government has a right to be concerned and the same applies to former members of the past regime that declared state of emergency because of the Ebola but ended up sacking the elected Vice President because they know that it was illegal for citizens to demonstrate under a state of emergency.

    My personal advice to the two former attorney generals who I believe are two of the smartest people in our country, when it comes to Law, should explain in simple terms so that we the ordinary people can understand the consequences of this new law that have just been certified by the wonderful speaker of parliament ( Dr. Abass Bundu).

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