Is it another APC praise-singer or a Sierra Leone Government’s Press Attaché?

Alpha Kargbo

19 March 2012

Jobs carry responsibilities that people who have them must live up to at all times. To live up to those responsibilities, however, requires that one commands a detailed understanding of the job role.

It is but all now clear to us – Sierra Leoneans, that Ernest Bai Koroma, the President of Sierra Leone under the APC-led Government – himself does not understand his job requirements and responsibilities.

Since Koroma took the reigns of power in 2007, so much have we seen him putting the least imaginable “square pegs in round holes” in the offices of Sierra Leone.

In fact it reads to us that because APC itself is just another “square peg in a round hole” institution, all that the party does today in the country is nothing short of a topsy-turvy order of business.

Here, we take a brief look at John Baimba Sesay — the president’s appointed Press Attaché to the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Beijing, China.

By all credible measures, J. B. Sesay should be the last person any sober-headed leader that has the nation’s interests at heart, could consider for the office he now abuses in Beijing.

But ironically, he does so at the expense of a considerable chunk of the Sierra Leone tax-payer’s money.

Does J. B. Sesay really understand the responsibilities of a Press Attaché? We have been monitoring Sesay for quite sometime now and by all indications, it is increasingly clear that he simply does not know the basics of his job.

Instead of doing the work he is paid to do as a Press Attaché, Sesay is idling day in and out in his APC given office (which is actually a cubicle at the basement of the Sierra Leone Embassy), rambling on about APC’s dirty politics in Sierra Leone.

In earnest, what does Sesay actually know about demography, registrations and elections to warrant him to write so much about these issues today? Or is he just carried away by his illusive emotions, which like his mentor – the president, Sesay is just another Limba clansman from the Northern Province of Sierra Leone?

This is sheer idleness, mere lack of sense of purpose and responsibility of office or even gross negligence of duty altogether. As lost as he may be in his illusions today, Sesay’s state of idleness seems to stem from a range of complex, mutually non-exclusive factors.

The first of these factors is that Sesay serves as a Press Attaché in a country he knows virtually nothing about. Take for instance the language, culture or political and business ideology of the Chinese people (which elements he should be trying to explore), Sesay is just a novice in all these subjects on China.

Sesay does not even know how to say hi in Chinese, let alone how to say China (the country he acclaims to work in as a Press Attaché) in Chinese. In fact to start with, Sesay does not even know the most basic requirement here in China; and that is eating in Chinese.

By this we mean that the Chinese and all who claim to live here in China must know how to use the chop-sticks for eating. It is just the most basic table etiquette of the Chinese people that all who are formally or otherwise accredited to China must perform.

This is to say that as far as the Chinese culture is concerned, Sesay is just a novice, and this must affect his ability to carry out his job effectively.

He is just another product of the APC’s order of business and the worst “square peg in the round hole”. This, however, comes as no surprise to Sierra Leoneans as it is just a common topsy-turvy order of business of Captain Koroma and his APC political ship-wardens.

Getting back to the actual issue at hand, there are today hundreds of competent Sierra Leoneans who have at one point or the other lived and studied the rich diversities of professional disciplines (including journalism) in China.

This rich resource of people have a wealth of knowledge about the Chinese people, language, culture, political and business ideologies and the rest of other things that could qualify them to undertake the role of Press Attachés in China.

This is the most perfect source that a head of state with commendable integrity, wisdom, vision and sense of purpose of national mission, should be tapping into in filling such sensitive posts overseas.

To be a productive Press Attaché, one should be able to speak the language or at least command basic knowledge of the culture of the host country. This is because the business of a Press Attaché should focus around one of raising awareness of the host country about the mission country – vis-à-vis that of the mission country about the host country.

However, this two-way process requires that one has sufficient command over the cultures and socio-political nuances of the host and mission countries. This is one of the basic qualities that J. B. Sesay, the current Press Attaché to the Sierra Leone Mission in China and many others in our overseas missions, lack.

A Press Attaché must be able to explain in no uncertain terms (via such media as newspapers, radio/TV talks, and business, socio-economic and cultural fairs) to the people of the host and mission countries the qualities and opportunities of their respective countries.

This will not only strengthen the people-to-people relations between the countries, facilitate cultural exchanges and create business opportunities, but will also provide livelihoods and sustained understandings amongst the people of the participating countries.

What we instead have witnessed over these several months of his stay in China is that J. B. Sesay has increasingly become focused on illusively analyzing and rambling about reelection possibilities of the incumbent Koroma-led APC Government in Sierra Leone.

Irrespectively, the trend of this calculated political nuisance continues to compel us to wonder about Sesay and to ask who actually is he and what is he really in China for? Is Sesay working for the Government (and people) of Sierra Leone or for the APC party?

Is Sesay just another APC stooge sent to the Sierra Leone Embassy in China – on a destructive mission aimed at frustrating patriotic Sierra Leoneans living in China by beating aloud the drums of deceitful APC praise-singing?

Or is Sesay simply in Beijing to see to it that the Embassy of Sierra Leone is indeed reduced to an APC party office?

Let us at this point hasten to remind all patriotic Sierra Leoneans that the Sierra Leone Embassy Mission in Beijing today still remains the Official Headquarters of the so-called APC Asia Branch (APCA), which is a dangerous offshoot of today’s APC – characterized by corruption and violence.

So for Sesay to continue to praise-sing APC – ignoring these abuses is, in itself, a frustrating betrayal of the people of Sierra Leone, whose taxes are used to pay his salary and per diems.

We are therefore frantically asking Sesay and his boss – president Koroma, which business person, in his/her right mind, will invest in Sierra Leone today given his high-profile but deeply flawed election analysis?

Sesay must know or at least be made to know that, it is just an impossible scenario for people to invest in the APC stage-managed Sierra Leone today where crocked Chinese businessmen are deeply engaged in subversive arms deals to the killer APC party and Government of Sierra Leone.

Yet we continue to witness Sesay’s increasing ties with APCAB and his deliberate and desperate efforts to disinform both the people of the host country of China and the mission country of Sierra Leone.

We want to assure Sesay that he his now under our watchful eyes like the “montane millipede”, and we will continue to closely monitor what he says and writes here in China as a Press Attaché to the Sierra Leone Mission in China.

Sesay ought to know better and it is in lieu of this that we are strictly advising him to better get back to his job, reset the clock and begin to do exactly what his job role requires.

If, for whatever reason, Sesay thinks he cannot carry out the responsibilities of the office of Press Attaché, he should accordingly say so clearly to all Sierra Leoneans and request the president – his “square peg” boss, to recall him and find him an alternative job that best befits APC praise-singers.

We further want to make it categorically clear that we cannot allow Sesay to continue to stay here on our tax money and consciously abuse us in the face.

This is not the APC Embassy, but rightly the Embassy of Sierra Leone. So all who work in the Embassy must do so in the national interests of Sierra Leone and not those of any political party of Sierra Leone; neither APC nor the SLPP party.


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