Has State House in Freetown become the ruling SLPP party’s office? – Op ed

Kabs Kanu: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 December 2021:

The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), in their apparent disrespect for political norms, conventions and protocols seem to have turned State House into the party office. This is the conclusion of concerned citizens who have seen an increasing tendency in President Bio to conduct SLPP party functions at State House.

Last week. President Bio set up a huge tent at the hallowed grounds of State House, hoisted the presidential podium and conducted a big SLPP party event there to receive the newly-elected SLPP Women’s Leader and reconcile party women who were at daggers drawn after the contentious and controversial SLPP Women’s Leader elections won by the First Lady’s choice candidate Hawa Foray. What was he thinking?

President Bio’s action to use State House to conduct partisan political events is a gross violation of the official convention and protocol that official resources and buildings cannot be used for the performance of political party business of any kind. The action also violates the law against using state resources for partisan political activities.

State House was the wrong place to stage the big political event of presenting the new SLPP Women’s leader to the party Chairman, President Bio. It is not a state function and should have been conducted at the SLPP party office.

State House belongs to the state and is solely for state functions. No political meeting or campaign directed towards the partisan aspirations of any political party can be held at State House. State House is supported by state funds and resources and is the property of the State. It was misuse of state funds and resources to have held the event there.

State House is the seat of the executive branch of government. It is purely for the conduct of executive and other functions of the government. State House is the executive office of the President, and the President embodies the totality and spirit of the state and the nation.

State House is the principal workplace of the President where he conducts business affecting the welfare and the benefits of the state and the people. He cannot use the office to satiate political party aspirations to the exclusion of the welfare and interests of non-supporters of his political party/ It is wrong. it is illegal.

It is an abuse of office to use state properties and state resources to promote partisan political activities. The President is using State House for selfish political gain, and it is corruption of the highest order.

When the President is at work at State House, he embodies not only the title of President and Fountain of Honour of Peace and Justice of the land. He is also the Father of the nation. He is representing the interests of everybody in the state. it is therefore an abuse of the presidential title for the president to use State House as a political platform to settle partisan political issues.

How can he deviate from State functions at State House to conduct party activities at the very state grounds designated only for state functions?

When at work at State House, President is on government time for which he is receiving salary and other emoluments from the State. President Bio has used government time illegally to conduct party business while on duty at State House.

It was shameful to see President Bio standing on the podium of the President of Sierra Leone at State House and telling the world “I stand here as Leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party “. Is that the SLPP Party office?

President Bio has committed a gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office and according to the dictates of the constitution , Section 51, Act 5, he should be impeached.

18 Comments

  1. Diplomacy is a profession that starts with joining the diplomatic services, years of experience, speaking several languages, having the right contacts and being cosmopolitan. The job at UNGA is for senior diplomats. To finish plenipotentiary is an archaic term and nobody uses it anymore, except for us in the time warp of Sierra Leone.

  2. I disagree with the author of this article.There’s absolutely nothing wrong for president Bio to hold meetings with members of his political party at State House, the seat of the president and Maada Bio is the democratically elected president of Sierra leone . The majority of Sierra Leoneans , over 50 percent, voted for Maada Bio to be presiden in 2018 election and the international communities said the elections was free, fair and credible. Im not a legal expert but common sense tells me it is absolutely constitutional for president Bio to hold meetings at State House with members of his SLPP party. There are Areas you can criticize president Bio, but this is absolutely not one of them.

  3. Interesting to see character assassination and mudsling being thrown around for an ill-advised act taken by our president, contrary to the dictates of any democratic, law abiding, civil nation. In our homes and communities, some of us have been groomed to be patriotic citizens, which entails the observation of societal norms and seeking of the general welfare of our homes and community. What this translates to is, to always say/do something whenever you happen to witness some mischievous actions with a propensity to derail your home or community welfare/peace taking place.

    So whether you are a foreigner, a native that comes from a particular region and speaks a different language, or have a particular political inclination, if you considered yourself a resident of that particular street, village, township, or country, and wants to be respected, you are duty bound to take meaningful action in midst of a malfeasance act. In today’s Sierra Leone however, where majority of our citizens have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to worship political parties and mere mortal demi-gods, such expectations are far fetched.

    It’s no wonder we continue to retrogress in all spheres of developmental indications. We have individuals who come across as educated, yet upon inspection of their heads, you will discover what our renowned artist, Ermerson Bockarie, term ‘coconut heads’, entirely empty, with a lack of any moral standards or credibility. The fact remains, when something is wrong, it’s wrong. There is no two ways about it. If we allow our ruling political parties to organize purely partisan political events in our State House, what message are we trying to send as a nation? Why are our leaders always setting bad examples, with their political sycophants beating the drums about it? It’s sickening!!

  4. The problems of Sierra Leone, is not so much the problems we know that exist in our country in plain sight, but the problems of the country created by well educated socalled experts in the field of what ever position they happened to occupy in our country.That is where the problems of our country lies.Maybe the biggest logjam to our country’s economics development. Two of the major causes of underdevelopment in our country is corruption and so called experts. The two work hand in glove. Now one should be forgiven to think with all the experts we have in government, and well educated and resourceful people we have in Sierra Leone, our country should have made economic strides, in the economic rat race in the world.

    Yes Mr Kabs Kanu might have served his country in various capacities, in his efforts to try and drum up support, to attract more foreign direct investment in our country, nevertheless his efforts or so we are led to believe have not made a jot of differences to many families up and down the country since the end of the brutal RUF wars. Now one is not blaming him for the lack of development in the country, but as a Sierra Leonean patriot, he will be the first to admit all his efforts to help lift our country from the economic disasters we found ourselves have gone to waste. Today Sierra Leone is still ranked as one of the poorest nations on earth. With standard of living falling, and an under performing economy, we can all agree the wheels on the one direction Bio band wagon have come off. Sometimes self praise is no recommendations.

    Bragging about your achievements is not what you do, it should be left to others to make such determination. And in the context of Sierra Leone, it is an unforgiveable sin to venture in to such territory. On the subject of Bio turning State House to SLPP party headquarters, I will caution any one so minded to visit the real SLPP headquarters near government wharf, and think of State House, I don’t think even if you open the grounds of State House, will any event able to accommodate all the party activities you see at the real SLPP party headquarters. It will be an almighty security nightmare for the presidential guard.

  5. It’s now pretty obvious that the destructive APC party propaganda machine is on its last lap. You can even smell the smoke or carbon monoxide emitted by the broken propaganda machine in your living room which is very toxic. This is one of the reason why during the 11 years of the APC misrule, we were rated as the most corrupt country in the world.
    Which part of our constitution states that it is an impeachable offense to invite citizens of political parties or ARIOGBO devils to the statehouse ? Even US presidents usually invite party members occasionally for prayer breakfasts and barbecue cookouts in the White House. But the positive thing is, the rhetorics has been shifted from advocating for another civil war or tribal war to the wild imagination of impeaching President “Talk and Do” Bio who has once again restored the integrity and credibility of our nation.
    Finally, this glorious forum is not for people with “ thin skinned” or “ touchy- feelings”. Emotional roller coaster is understandable based on the fact that compensation from the stolen monies which was meant for the construction of our United Nations residence in New York has been cut off. Any chest beating is prohibited in this forum but thumb sucking with running nose is acceptable.

  6. It must be the height of imbecility and ignorance for somebody to think that a man with a BA degree in English, History and International Relations , a postgraduate diploma in Education and a Masters degree in Education, and who has served as Principal of a high school , not to mention even teach in a college, not to be qualified for a diplomatic job.

    And let me correct you in another area. My articles promoting the President , government and country were not written as a meaningless, purposeless sycophantic exercise . I was also specially appointed to help rebrand Sierra Leone . After the war, Sierra Leone had serious problems attracting commerce, investment and tourism because the world held a very bad image about our country . All they knew about Sierra Leone was blood diamonds, amputations, merciless killings, war, misgovernance, corruption, dictatorship, tyranny and squalor. In his wisdom, President KOROMA realized that the best way out was to rebrand the country—-Change the negative perceptions and project a more positive and progressive image by providing the world information about the good things happening in the country.

    I was being paid so I had to fulfill my responsibility to perform all the multiple functions I was employed to accomplish . And the rebranding worked in many ways. I can tell you that I was responsible for the juice factory that was carried to Sierra Leone. Many investors went through me and it was through my writings that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce visited Sierra Leone to prospect areas of investment.. I was instrumental in President KOROMA being invited by the U.S. Stock Exchange to ring the NASDAQ bell, which represents a unique opportunity to show the world that you have the world economic markets now in your corner. What you call my sycophantic writings provided Sierra Leone that glorious opportunity.

    Sierra Leoneans are smart and educated but partisan politics has made us dumb, narrow-minded and stupid. We only look at things from our own very narrow political party perspective. Therefore, though we are a well educated and intelligent people, our partisanship and seeing good only in people belonging to our party and misrepresenting anybody that belongs to the other party ,has cost our country more international goodwill and support than we presently receive. We need to stop being the ignorant people and imbeciles we are not.

    • Mr. Kabs Kanu states that he has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s in Education. Additionally his work experience prior to the Sierra Leone Mission at the United Nations was in teaching. Well, Mr. Kanu you have just underscored my argument that you were not qualified for the job at our Mission. Yet your good friend, Ernest Koroma, hired you. Do you really believe that in a free and competitive world you would have been more competitive than the scores of Sierra Leoneans with doctorate degrees in International Relations, International Law or Economics? And there were/are many with foreign affairs experience who unlike you have never at any point in time renounced their Sierra Leonean citizenship. So, like many in the past and present, Mr. Kanu benefitted from an egregious patronage system at State House. Yeah, sometimes it does pay to be a praise singer of an insecure head of state.

      Kanu also states that he successfully rebranded Sierra Leone in international affairs. First, ,you do not have the intellectual skills to undertake such a challenging task. Prior to your stint at the Mission, all your work experience had been in the classroom with Special Education students, Second, because you were not intellectually suited for your job, you became a weak link in the foreign policy process of our country. The result was that Sierra Leone’s Mission to the United Nations became a joke

      Lastly, Kanu, how could you have gotten Ernest Koroma to ring the bell at the NASDAQ, when the NASDAQ is a virtual stock exchange. Unlike the New York Stock Exchange, buyers and sellers of stocks at the NASDAQ are connected by computers over a telecommunications network.

      • I think Mr. Bilal Coleman is one of the Paopa bullies on the internet who wants to silence Sierra Leoneans. Who do you think you are? If you think your president is justified in what he did, give us reasons but your smear campaign against Mr. Kabs Kanu was the wrong approach. Who are you?

      • Wait a minute. Are we not being illogical and unreasonable , Mr. Bilal Coleman ? We can only accept the fact when we are willing to accept it. I think if a man has a BA in English, History and International Relations +a masters degree , I think he is well qualified to be a diplomat at the UN +Kabbs Kanu said he has been a principal and teaching experience in America ? Even if APC practiced open market employment system, this is one of the best we can get . No ? . Are all diplomats assigned to the UN PHD holders ? Is PHD the only necessary prerequisite to serve well our country as diplomats ? If so, African countries since Independence have failed . None named PH.Ds as their UN ambassadors and diplomats.

        SLPP, you like to put paper qualification over intellect, over performance. This SLPP government with a highest quantity of PHDs have failed us. The President ‘s wife regarded them as fools. What have they delivered us ? Good governance ? Quality service ? Nothing . . You know they are failures. This government has failed our populace. It has not provided anything . So, your PH.D argument is not logical or sound. This is why the country has failed and our government has performed very poorly .

        You disagree with Mr. Kanu, right ? Let us hear from you if President Bio is representing our country well . Even if you have a PHD you might not have intellect like somebody without. Let us accept, hard as it is, that Mr. Kabs was fully qualified for the assignments at the UN, by his qualifications outlined. Kanu would have done even better than PHD holders. Look at the PHDs in our government service ? What have they delivered ? Nothing. We do not need PHDs for our missions. Intellect and performance to me, is what is needed . Please stick to the point of argument.

    • Hello Mr. Kabs Kanu, what an arrogant self representation. That fits together with the poor quality of your newspaper the “Cocorioko”.

  7. You guys will never change. Why do you always have to fight the truth ? Why do you always have to use monikers to contest truth that even people within your ranks supported ?

    And you are so unblessedly misinformed. Do you know how much I accomplished at the UN for Sierra Leone ? Because I do not boast? If you speak to anybody who wants to be honest, I was one of the best diplomats at the UN, serving Sierra Leone in a multiplicity of capacities.I know that ignorance is very legend with Sierra Leoneans. They would sit outside and just guess and conclude.

    Do you think writing to promote the government was all I did when serving as Minister Plenipotentiary at the UN ?You SLPP guys must be really misinformed. Ask the right people and they will tell you. I was one of the live wires of our country’s diplomatic work at the UN, if you do not know. You can talk to people like Ambassadors Rupert Davies, Osman Keh Kamara, Amadu Koroma and even Foreign Ministry career diplomats like Saidu Nallo and Sulaymannnah Kpukuma. They will tell you about the multiple roles I had to play.

    I served in many committees. In addition to being Minister Plenipotentiary, I was the Coordinator of the African Union Committee of 10 ( C10 ) on UN Security Council Reform. I was one of the team that met regularly to devise means of canvassing and promoting the African Common Position in consonance with the Elzuwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration. It was what emanated from our brains and pen work that the African Union ( AU) used to articulate the African Common Position. We additionally wrote the summit reports and resolutions. I also acted as focal point between the C10 and the Foreign Ministry and State House.

    I also served in the UN Peacebuilding Commission Special Sierra Leone Configuration. All the progress attained that led to Sierra Leone being classified as a UN model of peace and reconciliation could be attributed to our team which worked assiduously with stakeholders internationally and in Sierra Leone to put in place policies and structures that helped our war-scarred country to build and consolidate peace.

    I also represented Sierra Leone at the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the Stock Exchange where I helped promote the investment potentials of Sierra Leone, leading to investors going to Sierra Leone. My promotion of the government was not a meaningless, purposeless sycophantic exercise. It was part of my assignment as per dealing with the U.S Chamber of Commerce and Stock Exchange to rebrand Sierra Leone and help change her image to stimulate commerce, investment and tourism.

    I was fully qualified for these roles and excelled myself but as is always the case, Sierra Leoneans will never appreciate one another‘s sacrifices, once we do not belong to the same political party.

  8. But Mr. Bilal Coleman, let us forget about Kabs Kanu the messenger and corrupt sycophant!

    Why should president Bio use the State House to conduct political party activities. While I read with hesitation anything that comes from Kabs Kanu pen or mouth especially against this government or South Easterners in general, I am perturbed if this is true to see president Bio behaving in such a lackadaisical manner. It is like he cares less about what people think about him and his leadership. He seems to be saying I am tired and I don’t want a second chance. I hope that he will do the right thing by stepping down now and allow his more matured vice to finish his term and run as the candidate in the 2023 elections.

    • Mr. Abdou Abdalah, I established in the first sentence of my earlier comments that I do not condone President Bio’s use of state property for political party activities. But when you have a corrupt former public official and a well known tribalist and regionalist like Kabs Kanu attacking the president for a wrong doing, there is no way he should be left off the hook.

      One may wonder why Kabs Kanu is now sending articles to the Sierra Leone Telegraph for publication when he has a news outlet. It is because readership of Cocorioko has declined significantly over the years. People are tired of a man who while casting himself as a man of God, is embroiled in the promotion of the most egregious forms of tribalism and regionalism in Sierra Leone. Kabs Kanu is the most divisive Sierra Leonean of our times. And he is doing all this for personal greed.

      Kabs Kanu’s beef with President Bio emanates from him being fired by the president for being a waste of public resources at the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations. In the first place, Kanu was not qualified for the job that was given to him, and secondly, because he brought nothing to that position, intellectual wise, he failed miserably in the conduct of his duties. Prior to working at our Mission to the UN, all Kabs Kanu had doone in his life was teaching Special Education kids in Liberia and the US and publishing utterly useless newspapers. Is this a man that any sane person should take seriously?

      • Bilal Coleman, you are a miserable and incorrigible imbecile without any understanding. Your sick and sorry brain needs laundering. You are a rabid and hopeless SLPP sycophant who is angry because I have hit the right cord in exposing your president’s party’s retarded political gimmicks. The truth has stung you beyond endurance. I know how to get on your nerves, eh?

        I was overqualified for the job because I had a BA in English, History and International Relations; Postgraduate DIP.ED and a Masters degree, where most of the diplomats had only BAs or first degrees in Law, which was more than the requirement, even. And many did not have the vast and long experience I have had working in different capacities as a long term teacher, Principal of a high school, instructor in a teacher training college on a World Bank project and Special Education in America. I also served as Curriculum Specialist for the Republic of Liberia. By your own confession, I have taught Special Education in high school in the U.S. Do you know the level of intellect, maturity and professionalism required to teach children with learning and other disabilities? You need special university training for this. Even a Ph.D man without the required training would run away from the classroom at first attempt because he will not know how to manage the classroom, not to mention apply the required teaching method for each disability. If you want to show intellect, it is in the classroom seething with children with diverse mental, learning and physical disabilities. It is not the same as teaching a normal class. But you are too dumb to understand that.

        I excelled myself and helped Sierra Leone shine in her role as Chair of the AU Committee of 10 states, with your President now using the ideas that came from our brains to now serve in that position in the UN Security Reform negotiations. If I had not excelled as Coordinator, other African countries would have quickly protested because we were not only working for Sierra Leone but African nations that were fixated on success in Africa achieving her goals in the UN Security Council. Somebody who helped come up with ideas and strategies to canvass and promote the African Common Position with resounding success in consonance with the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration did not bring much on the table? You are simply envious and idiotic in your remarks. How could President KOROMA had kept me on the job for 11 good years, Mr. Moron, if I did not excel when we were working not just for Sierra Leone but Africa and other interest groups that supported Africa’s cause? The bulk of our service was to the UN, my dear, not just to Sierra Leone. Do you know the intellect required to pen down statements that were delivered to the world during UN meetings and summits. I had a hand in every statement read by the Ambassador and President during AU and UN summits. You are really an idiot and I do not even know if you will understand what I am saying and if I should waste my time on you.

        I have also explained how I served in the UN Peacebuilding Commission Special Sierra Leone Configuration where members came from different countries. Do you think a clueless person like you would have sat through such a commission for 11 years and remained there if he did not deliver? What about the investments and commerce I helped go to Sierra Leone working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S Stock Exchange? Was that not a contribution? Are you mad? Is your intellectual impoverishment beyond redemption? You have never served in the prestigious position of a diplomat at the UN and you are envious, eh?

        I sent my articles to many newspapers because the lawless, unconstitutional behaviour that President Bio keeps putting up need to be read in the widest possible fora beyond Cocorioko and thankfully, all the papers gave my article front page treatment. It was published by the Sierra Leone Telegraph, Awareness Times, The Nationalist, Sierra Leone Live, The Forum, Northern Times and other papers. I aim to be sending out my articles now to all these newspapers because of the crusade against misgovernance, lawless and unconstitutional rule, human rights abuses and corruption. Cocorioko is still a most widely read and popular newspaper but a biased fool like you will not know that. I will not mention that Cocorioko has won 14 awards, including one from NOSLINA, a respectable and internationally honored organization studded with intellectuals from our country, many of them professors of Journalism and Mass Communications in the U.S. Can a moron and imbecile like you understand why they gave us an award? When you read the International Trade Guide on Sierra Leone, a yearly booklet produced by international trade experts on every country to give tourists and business magnates a stupendous idea of what each country has to offer, it was Cocorioko that was mentioned under the media section as the real deal in the internet. If a moron like you does not understand that, we are proud to receive such recognition and international honor. More people read Cocorioko than ever before now because readers love the bombshells we are releasing daily on the misrule and corruption in Sierra Leone.

        I am a respected and genuine Man of God. That was why I served government for 11 years in a senior diplomatic capacity and my name was never mentioned in corruption. Even when an alleged corruption came as closest as ever involving the very UN Mission I worked for 11 years has come up, my name has not been mentioned, though I was among the heads of the Mission. This will show you that I take my godliness even where I receive my daily bread.

        • Rev. Kabs Kanu – please you can respond to Bilal Coleman without throwing insults. Yesterday I warned Bilal to do the same. Can you two please debate the issues inherent in your article amicably. Here at Sierra Leone Telegraph we take mutual respect very seriously. Also, can you please note that our rule on maximum word limit on all comments posted here must apply at all times. Please ensure that your comments are no more than three paragraphs of 6 to 9 sentences each. Thank you.

  9. “It is an abuse of office to use state properties and state resources to promote partisan political activities. The President is using State House for selfish political gain, and it is corruption of the highest order.” Kabs Kanu

    Not that I condone President Bio’s use of state property to conduct party affairs. But look at the character condemning President Bio. This is the man that was pitch-forked into a position at the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the United Nations by his college mate Ernest Bai Koroma to the detriment of qualified Sierra Leoneans. What did he bring to that lofty position? A lowly bachelor’s degree in English and several years experience as a Special Education teacher, Some had even doubted Mr. Kanu’s Sierra Leonean citizenship at the time of his appointment, And as if this gross abuse of presidential power was not enough, Ernest Koroma basked in Kanu’s sycophantic praises of his corrupt leadership throughout his tenure in office.

    No one should be surprised that Kabs Kanu instead of doing the work of promoting the welfare of Sierra Leone at the United Nations, spent all his time publishing sycophantic articles in his Cocorioko ragsheet about Ernest Koroma. Was this not an abuse of office and a theft of taxpayer money? What a hypocrisy that this same man would now raise issue with President Bio conducting party affairs at State House?

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