Dr. Sama Banya (PUAWUI): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 March 2019:
For over eleven years they sang the praises and virtues of President Ernest Bai Koroma. They were totally taken in by whatever he did, without ever thinking or deciding that certain actions were not in the best interest of good governance.
They refused to accept, let alone declare even where they could see clearly, that many of the policies of the then President and his government were divisive and a hindrance to national cohesion.
To them he was simply the best and everything he did or touched turned instantly into gold. Many such people, particularly the media operatives did not fail to receive their reward. The majority of those who took part in the then SLBS “Front page” radio discussions were sent abroad to our various diplomatic missions as press attaches.
They were supposed to sell our country to the countries of their accreditation. On the contrary they continued to flatter the President on affairs at home instead of informing us about development and other matters in the countries of their accreditation or coming up with how to strengthen our relations with their host.
Others had virtually nothing to report other than the courtesy calls by other accredited diplomats to our heads of Missions. Of course much of the blame for that lay on the shoulders of people like Alhajie Ibrahim Ben Kargbo former Minister of Information who were only compensating their “yelibas” for jobs well done.
One of former President Koroma’s priority areas on assuming the Presidency was the energy sector. His predecessor the former President Alhajie Tejan-Kabbah spent a good deal of time in re-establishing governance structures such as the Judiciary and the courts, schools, hospitals, while at the same time pursuing an end to the rebel war on restoring peace.
NASSIT, NaCSA, the NRA to name but a few were other beneficial innovative projects. The scars of what Foday Sankoh and his gang of inhuman beings did to the country, especially to the women and young people remain to this day.
Yes, we got the energy; Freetown received light. President Koroma was cock-a-hoop with glee. He announced in New York that he had brought 24 hours uninterrupted and affordable electricity to Freetown.
What he did not add was at what price; but Haja Afsatu Kabba and the infamous Income Electric deal said it all later. She was temporarily sacked, appealed against her conviction which was later overturned without a formal hearing.
APC was continuing its 99 tactics not only at winning (or is it rigging?) elections. Following that was the other dubious arrangement with the South Africa energy giant Ecron. Bumbuna then came on in hurry and that was when the President was shouting from the roof top about uninterrupted and affordable electricity.
I have brought all this up because of an article in last Thursday’s edition of the Standard Times newspaper by our former man in Beijing Mr. Pa John Baimba Sesay in which he attempted to give us a synopsis of the energy situation in the country and as expected giving the credit to the erstwhile APC administration.
Baimba Sesay deliberately said nothing about all the scandal which surrounded the energy sector under his APC patrons. He would not even mention that the SLPP opposition did not criticise the idea of the Turkish ship bringing energy in itself.
Rather it criticised the financial deal which threw an onerous burden on us consumers. He also deliberately forgot to mention that the new SLPP Energy Minister Kanja Sesay renegotiated and got a better deal without any kickback in the deal.
Baimba Sesay went through a narrative of the various energy sources undertaken by the previous government without any mention of which were still just proposals. He dropped a clanger by declaring that the APC government raised the output of the Dodo hydroelectric project from 4 to 6 MW. That simply is NOT correct.
The output of Dodo was raised to 6MW during former President Tejan-Kabbah’s tenure. I was present at the ceremony and I hurry to add that it has not met the energy needs of Bo and Kenema especially with the present low level of water at the dam site.
I did not expect Mr Pa John Baimba Sesay to make mention of the “Do-as-you-say policy of President Julius Maada Bio and his New Direction government. However let he and his kind be aware that we now have a thoroughly sophisticated population who won’t be taken in by biased propaganda, because they could now see for themselves.
Political novices or cry babies?
It was with much amusement coupled with disbelief that I read excerpts in the Exclusive newspaper of a press release by members of the opposition APC in reaction to a recent meeting with his Excellency President Julius Maada Bio at the latter’s invitation which was extended to all political parties including the ruling SLPP.
The reaction was one of expressed anger and frustration only after they had consulted their general membership. There was the familiar grousing of how the country’s hard-won democracy under the APC was being trampled on by the Paopa administration, (at least there was no mention of junta government this time) that people were being sacked left and right, Parliament was being sidelined etc etc.
They are quoted as declaring that they would never join an SLPP administration as if President Bio had extended any such invitation to them. That really tickled me, but to cut a long story short, whatever made the APC leadership to delude themselves that the SLPP or President Bio needed their participation in governance?
The SLPP has a surfeit of capable men and women who have already proven in under a year that we are capable of showcasing this country not by words but by positive action and results, witness our record in less than twelve months.
In their last year in power, the APC administration placed a moratorium on recruitment to the public service and then in the same breathe carefully selected 35 men and women of their supporters and employed them into the Foreign service through the backdoor. Oh APC!
I suggest that you look at yourselves in a mirror and see how ridiculously funny you look and sound as you talk about democratic principles or discourtesy. Was President Tejan-Kabbah ever allowed to say a word, never mind read his address at erstwhile President Ernest Bai Koroma’s 2007 inauguration?
Everything these people do or say now is a reflection of their fear of a Nemesis coupled with a determination not to appear before the Commissions of Inquiry. Somebody had better advise them that they are fooling no one. They never thought that there would be repercussions to their eleven years of blatant impunity.
The time to pay is now and there is no way they would wriggle out of the tight corner, except those who have nothing to answer. We are getting tired and inpatient.