Is the malevolent political virus spreading in Sierra Leone?

Dr. Sama Banya

26 September 2012

“Using official government issued jeep….ex-president Kabbah solicits support for Maada Bio.” That was how the awareness times newspaper reporters – Michael T. Kamara and Augustine Samba, prefaced their report of the visit of the opposition SLPP flag bearer Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio to the Kambia district.

It is well known, especially in the news media that the new Pensions Bill for Retired Presidents, Vice Presidents, ministers and deputy ministers, makes provision for the State to furnish them with personal and utility vehicles.

That is how former President Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah and his two former vice presidents – Albert Demby and Solomon Berewa, respectively, have each received a deluxe Toyota jeep; the utility vehicles have yet to follow.

There are NO RESTRICTIONS, not even implied ones on the use of those vehicles. The retired gentlemen – there are no women as yet until Dr. Kadi Sesay assumes office, could use their vehicles according to their needs or desires, including journeys to John O’Goats in Scotland or to Lands end in southern England.

Former President Tejan-Kabbah used his newly acquired vehicle to travel to Kambia, where he introduced the opposition flag bearer Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio to the people of that district.

The Awareness Times reporters saw everything evil in that and therefore made it a sensational headline, which was also repeated at the conclusion of their report.

They and their boss see nothing wrong with the different circumstances in which President Ernest Bai Koroma and his ministers use government vehicles. The malevolent virus must be catching on fast.

How absolutely disgusting. It is not that these journalists are ignorant of the fact that the vehicles are for the personal use of the beneficiaries, with no conditions whatsoever, but like their publisher they simply want to create mischief.

Shortly after Christiana Thorpe had handed the Presidency to his Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma in September, 2007, certain prominent members of the SLPP abandoned their party for the ruling APC: honourable Arthur Harvey, honourable Fatmata Hassan, honourable Sidi Tunis and honourable Musa Tarawali, along with Messrs Banki John – a director of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Syl Fannah of NaCSA, were some of the people who went over completely or reduced their contact with the SLPP now in opposition.

With the prospects of the SLPP retrieving power from the APC next November, some of these people are having second thoughts.

Others like honourable Sidi Tunis have even denied ever having left the party and is now vying for the party symbol within his constituency. Sidi was on FM 98.1 Democracy radio last Thursday in an effort to clear the air.

The young man is my friend, but quite frankly, I was NOT IMPRESSED or CONVINCED by his performance.

“What you are, speaks so loud that the world can’t hear what you say; they’re looking at your walk, not listening to your talk; they’re judging from your actions every day.”

Think about that Sidi and ask yourself whether the party must allow you to contest at the same level as those poor people, who have kept the party flame alight in that particular constituency in Pujehun district without the kind of financial resources you received from your contacts.

Now that Charles Margai and his close associates, who also form the majority and have the most influence within their party, have had time to digest the consequences of the Appeal court decision against them, I wonder what their next plan is.

On Sunday afternoon, I saw a large number of PMDC supporters dancing their way from the national stadium where they had been for the nomination of their local government election candidates.

The honourable Justice Hamilton’s judgment, with which his colleagues – honourable Justice Showers and honourable Vivian Solomon agreed is coined in legal jargon; rather than saying outright: “The results of the recent PMDC convention are hereby nullified”, it simply goes on and on and even refers to chief Hinga Norman versus Dr. Sama S. Banya.

What is it with your Lordship? And if the PMDC is ruled out of the election process, then all I can say is that Ernest Bai Koroma’s “eye for an eye” exercise with Charles Margai may have cut his own nose to spite his own face.

Where does he expect Margai’s supporters to cast their vote on November 17?

The saying that “pikin abul run bot ii nor sabi hide” may well apply to him and his APC.


The harsh economic policies of this regime have driven people into desperation. Robbery in broad daylight around the clock tower and elsewhere has become a common occurrence.

Young people in their early twenties have devised the 419 system of thieving and this poor and “senile” old man of 82 was the victim of one such device.

A young man – no older than twenty, went into my surgery last Friday pretending to be very ill, but had no money. I played the sympathetic doctor by attending to his needs.

He not only collected his prescription when he left, but also my double-sim mobile telephone. I am sure that I may not be the only victim of such dastardly act.

And so until I have funds to get another mobile telephone, the only telephone contact with Puawui remains on airtel. “Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.”


The correct title of the booklet is “Farewell address by his Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, GCORSL etc., fountain of honour etc., commander in chief of the armed forces etc., etc.”

The emphasis is on the word F A R E W E L L. Indeed the pa had made his valedictory speech to Parliament. It was actually GOODBYE and as he drove along Siaka Stevens street, the only noise was the wailing of his sweep motor cycles and vehicles.

Then a youth shouted, “Ernest dey do in last trip tiday!” (Ernest is doing his last trip today). And so it is going to be with another occupant at state house with a new direction after November 17.


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