Madam Cassandra Garber admonishes Sierra Leone’s First Lady

Sierra Leone Telegraph 18 February 2021:

It is not often that Madam (Canon) Cassandra Garber who is the President of the Krio Descendants Union of Sierra Leone and overseas, comments publicly on matters of State in Sierra Leone.

But she has this week broken her silence to join the large sections of Sierra Leone community who are concerned about the behaviour of the country’s First Lady – Mrs Fatima Bio, whose almost daily utterances especially on social media, have become a huge embarrassment to the people of Sierra Leone, both at home and abroad.

Madam Garber who is 93 years old addressed the following statement to various women’s groups in the country, to indicate her displeasure at the behaviour of the First Lady. Please read below:

STANDARD OF DEMEANOUR AND LANGUAGE BY THE FIRST LADY OF SIERRA LEONE

Our Beloved Country clocks 60 years of political independence this year, 2021. Thanks to the mercy of His Almighty, it is a blessing to be one of the few FEMALE SENIOR CITIZENS to be alive.

I honour my responsibility as a citizen of Sierra Leone. The STATE has likewise recognized my contributions and has twice awarded me national honours. I therefore regard it a national obligation to voice my disappointment, and displeasure at the new and repulsive habit of exchanging coarse language on social media platforms especially at the level of the country’s leadership.

Globally, the spouse of the HEAD OF STATE is instinctively afforded respect and courtesies by all nationals and non-nationals within a country. Correspondingly, that spouse is expected to exhibit the highest CODE OF CONDUCT.

I can state categorically that ever since we gained Republican Status in 1971, all former FIRST LADIES including Mama Rebecca Stevens, Hannah Momoh, Patricia Tejan-Kabba, all of blessed memory, and Sia Koroma, behaved with the dignity expected of their position.

I therefore lament the present scenario in which Sierra Leone has a FIRST LADY whose general approach is unbecoming, and whose language is very often not only offensive but also unprintable (by acceptable decent standards).

I recently became aware of verbal tirades conducted by the FIRST LADY. Sadly, she appears to relish taking on citizens; the practice of retort and exchanging unpleasantries by the FIRST LADY has now become quite commonplace! In addition, she seems to revel in the use of filthy expressions! Her description of the proposed punishments for rapists will go down in the history of her very own project “HANDS OFF OUR GIRLS”. It is a pity that people in the Corridors of Power do not perceive this behaviour as undermining the country’s level of international respectability.

I lived through the dawning of independence and witnessed the elegance and elocution of FIRST LADIES of Sierra Leone and other countries in the West Africa subregion. I cannot help but recall the outstanding wife of the late Ivorian President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Marie-Therese, a fittingly pioneer FIRST LADY. She married in 1951 at the young age of 21; an inexperienced debutante she went on to perform her state duties so magnificently that she was dubbed by the WHITE HOUSE in 1962, “AFRICA’s JACKIE KENNEDY”. Another FIRST LADY, equally young and inexperienced, Njaimeh Jarawa of the Gambia, maintained the remarkable standards expected of her position.

From the legacies of these women, it is clear that age is not the determinant of GOOD PERFORMANCE. It is time the various strata of WOMEN’s FORUM in our country address the negative utterances of our FIRST LADY. Her elevated position in the community demands exemplary behaviour to all ranks and levels of our citizens. With the customary display of PRIDE shown by our respective EX-PUPILS ASSOCIATIONS, I do hope her alumnae co-members will take this as a wake-up call to rescue the reputation of their ALMA MATER. The FIRST LADY has abundant energy for directing her many projects. We welcome a change in her behaviour and approach.

(Canon) Cassandra Garber, GOOR, JP, MR – February 2021

Addressees:

Coordinator, Campaign for Good Governance President,

50/50 Organization Centre for Public Enlightenment & Dialogue for Peaceful Conference President,

Sierra Leone Association of University Women President,

Zonta International Sierra Leone President,

Business and Professional Women of Freetown President,

Sierra Leone Mothers’ Union President,

Sierra Leone Muslim Women’s Network President,

Women’s Network of the Methodist Church Sierra Leone President,

Soroptimist International of Freetown

11 Comments

  1. I want to thank Madame Cassandra Garber for her bravery in addressing am issue that only women of substance dare comment on publicly as others choose to moan privately. Let us be clear the first lady is am embarrassment to the President and by extension to the nation. We all want our women to be outspoken and have equal right as men, but when you are a first lady your utterances have implications and this has been the achilles heel of the first lady. She will be remembered as the first lady who went against established protocols. It is about time the first lady ‘knows her place’.

  2. Mr Fallay, you are wrong on that point. Asking Mrs Garber, to counsel our first lady privately is a slippery slop of suppression of free speech. The idea of your suggestion that her comments will give licence to those who want to portray her comments, as Krio descendants against the SLPP government, maybe only shared by you, not even president Bio, and his wife. I think both of them will see it and appreciate it, as Mrs Garber dispensing what I could only term as though love. When you are in the pressure cooker of Sierra Leone politics, boy you need it. Yes everyone is entitled to their opinions. The right to offend, and be offended is enshrined in our constitution. When it comes to exercising your free speech, there is no age limit apllied by the farmers of our 1991 constitution. Any suggestions otherwise is misleading and wrong. We live in an age of mass communication.

    Trump used his until he got kicked out of TWITTER, and FACEBOOK. In my opinion, the only time you should be censored, is when you advocate violence, tribalism and using language that is not fit for publication or undermining the security of the state. Sometimes, the only way you can impact on matters of substance in a country like ours, is by going public. We can agree to disagree, but it is not within my right to try and muzzle you. Well I sometimes praise Bio’s government when he gets things right. Criticism for Criticism’s sake is anti democractic and a futile exerrcise. In the majority of cases, I criticise his government, because I do not think our country is heading in the rigth direction. Mr Fallay, if you are the president of our country and doing the right, I will heap praise on you. But if you are doing things that are detrimental to the development of our country, expect to get an earful from me.

    Bio’s number two our vice president Juldeh Jalloh, is a Fulani. Now if we go with your premise all Fulanis ars against the government then, we need to put our points of views, without the worries of being tribalistic or judged to be tribalistic. Unless of course you are wedded into that sort of thinking. I do not doubt your sincerity. Mrs Garber is entitled to her opinions, just like any of us in this platfrom.

  3. Mrs Garber is a bona fide elder citizen of Sierra Leone and has every right to get involved in the politics of the country. The days of saying that some people in the country should not get involved in politics in Sierra Leone are long gone. Mrs Garber is doing exactly what she would do to any of her much loved children – admonish them when they go astray or do something wrong. No-one dislikes the First Lady. I personally like her a lot, but do agree that she is wrong in picking a fight with citizens on social media and using inappropriate language. No one is jealous of her either. She is First Lady for a season and then will be back to be an ordinary citizen just like every one of us. I hope she takes this admonishment by Mama Garber in good faith.

  4. Folks, i mentioned a few days ago that our friend chief Fallay has graduated to a new level of DECEIT and PROPAGANDA in 2021. Forgetting that when it comes to cyber communication, your trails and foot prints are within everyone’s fingertips, Fallay has the GUT to even make up a LIE about an earlier exchange that transpired between us. Below is a few snippet of what actually transpired contrary to his delusional LIES.

    “Young4na says:
    DECEMBER 31, 2020 AT 12:57 AM
    Folks, if my math is correct, 8 billion Leones is equivalent to $80,000 dollars per current exchange rate in the country. While this amount might sound a lot from a naïve individual, this is peanut for the current elite PAOPA criminal cabals, many of whom if thoroughly investigated, could be found wanting for taking home an excess yearly loot in the range of $150,000 – $200,000; if not more.”

    “Alusine Fallay says:
    JANUARY 2, 2021 AT 5:53 AM
    Young4na, with all due respect, in this glorious forum “You are entitled to your personal opinion but not your own facts”. In one of your recent comments, you stated that you just arrived from Sierra Leone were you spent about 7 weeks. And I can categorically tell you that you never exchanged $1 for Le8,000. That statement alone is misleading to readers on this glorious forum; and to further minimize the total Cheque amount handed over to the president is just unfortunate.”

    “Young4na says:
    JANUARY 2, 2021 AT 3:28 PM
    …. Now in regards to the recovered money of $80,000 or $800,000 as you have pointed, I hope you read my first few words in the statement “Folks, if my math is correct, 8 billion Leones is equivalent to $80,000 dollars”. Unlike those of you who have sold your souls to political demi-gods, spreading propagandist messages to suit their cravings, and continue to lie your way when caught, I will always own up to my human mistakes. So indeed if my math was wrong, I welcome any corrections. …”

    “ reinhard wiecha says:
    JANUARY 2, 2021 AT 4:49 PM
    Sorry Mr. Young4na, your math is not correct. 8 billion Leones is about $800.000
    8.000.000.000 Leones = $800.000 (0000)”

    “ Young4na says:
    JANUARY 2, 2021 AT 5:12 PM
    Reinhard wiecha, thanks for your corrections sir. Noted!! Obviously, I happen to be among those who err in mathematical calculations.”

    Here is the link containing the entire exchanges for those who cares about the TRUTH. Let’s keep exposing these LIARS!!

    https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/acc-hands-over-8-billion-leones-cheque-to-president-bio/

    • Special Agent Young4na – Alusine Fallay is not a Patriot,but another of Maada Bio’s loyal Henchman;I have seen you hand him defeat after defeat,just like The Great Sayedna once did on this glorious forum by stripping him completely of his alarming deceptions,lies and hateful,biased propaganda,yet the SLPP man still refuses to change his questionable ways.(lol)Fallay is exactly like his criminal SLPP President who has no integrity and credibility whatsoever.(lol)

  5. The reality is, nobody can stop elderly citizens from speaking their minds. But as president of a whole tribe, it is different especially in a politically polarized country. The illiteracy rate in our country is one of the highest in the world and some crazy people can misconstrued the advice from this young beautiful lady who at 93 years her face has no wrinkles. She is a living testament that “black don’t crack”. But my point is Sierra Leone is one of the most peaceful countries in our region based on the fact that even during our 11 years civil war tribalism was not a factor.

    Now I am even concerned that some members of the destructive APC party will probably take this lady’s advice and spread false information that the Creoles are against the SLPP government especially when everything coincides with the corruption allegations against the First Lady which the ACC is currently investigating. I hope the family of President Madam Cassandra Garber of the Krio Descendants Union will advice her to stay out of politics. If she has any advice for the First Lady she can do it privately.

  6. Mr. Young4na accused me of “ peddling LIES”. I believe that your PRIDE is still HURT because I called you out on one of your comments so you are still trying to fight back. With all due respect, I have not been responding to your comments because of the “BIG FAT LIE” that you attempted to push down the throats of readers of this newspaper. Unless you rectify that LIE that I called you out on, I won’t respond to you. If you have the audacity to LIE that 8 billion leones (which was recovered by the ACC commissioner from members of your destructive APC party) is equivalent to $80,000 then you can lie about anything because mathematics is LOGIC and can’t be made up. Below is your comment:

    Young4na says: JANUARY 2, 2021 AT 3:28
    Few weeks ago when I was in town, I was mostly getting 1,060,000 Leones per $100. Now, if we are to be conservative and take 1 million Leones for $100, then 86 million per month is equal to $8,500. Now in regards to the recovered money of $80,000 or $800,000 as you have pointed, I hope you read my first few words in the statement “Folks, if my math is correct, 8 billion Leones is equivalent to $80,000 dollars”. Unlike those of you who have sold your souls to political demi-gods, spreading propagandist messages to suit their cravings, and continue to lie your way when caught, I will always own up to my human mistakes. So indeed if my math was wrong, I welcome any corrections. Now if over 2.5 million dollars have been recovered and slated towards the medical diagnostic centre, what is the hold up Mr. Fallay? Why for almost 3 years, all we hear is the empty talk? Why not start some physical development with the 2.5 million dollars?

    REPLY
    reinhard wiecha says:
    JANUARY 2, 2021 AT 4:49 PM
    Sorry Mr. Young4na, your math is not correct. 8 billion Leones is about $800.000
    8.000.000.000 Leones = $800.000 (0000)
    For your information, the link that I sent about Michelle Obama was before your comment.
    “OPINIONATED” does not always entail negative comments but because someone has strong opinions.
    Sometimes those opinions can draw controversy from a polarized society. Example was in 1998 when then First Lady Hilary Clinton launched counterattack against the “Vast right-wing conspiracy” alliance with prosecutor to destroy her husband.
    Below is a link of example between of attacks on our First Lady and First Ladies Clinton/ Obama:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36992955

  7. I bow to our nonagenarian leader of KDU. Well done Ma for this statement. This is why living to a good old age and with a sound mind is such a good thing. Older people have lived long enough to witness so many things, so they are able to share their history, advise us and direct us. Unfortunately many younger people have lost their morale compass and know no boundaries and lack respect, whether it is in the way they talk, behave and general interactions with people.

    Mama Garber has always been a strict disciplinarian as evidenced when she was Principal of Freetown Secondary School for Girls (FSSG). For her to comment, shows how horrified and appalled she must have been to hear our First Lady’s utterances on Facebook and other social media sites. She is well in place with her comments and I hope Fatima Bio listens to her keenly and takes her advice.

  8. You know gentlemen, it’s high time we stop giving our prescious time or moment,to some of these attention seekers, by not responding to any of their nonsense piece let alone mention their names in any of our responses!! I know it is a very difficult thing to do especially, when you are reading a comment of a lunatic, the urgency to respond to that lunatic so as to put some sense into his or her medulla is just too much to ignore. But hey,dont be fooled, it is a ploy used by these nonets in seeking one’s attention. Spreading blatant lies is all they do. All in the name of “opinion”. Opinion my foot!

    Therefore, with immediate effect, I will save my prescious fingers from hitting any letters on my keyboard or keypad to respond to a dreamer. Rather, I would educate or nuture them by making a general view point instead of responding to them directly. That is the only way the cap could fit the wearer. #FallayGazerMaturiJalloh…do I need to increase the……

  9. Yeah. What an honest lady she is. Look at that good looking and respectful face of Madam Cassandra Garber. A picture tells a thousand words. Fantastic and fascination article there by the wise, respected and humble Madam Cassandra Garber. When Madam Casandra Garber speaks, we listen. What is wrong with that? I am afraid I have to disagree with Mr Alusine Fallay for comparing the present First Lady Fatima Bio with respected former first ladies like Mrs Hillary Clinton and Mrs Michelle Obama. These former first ladies were never involved in any financial scandal during their tenure as first ladies. They never triggered a kleptocracy in their countries. Deny or argue. Compare and contrast.

    See what is happening now in Sierra Leone. Kleptocracy is the order of the day due to this massive financial scandal surrounding the First Lady Fatima Bio. As long as the ACC does not investigate the First lady Fatima Bio on how she spent our money on her “Hands off our Girls” party and extravagance, the kleptocracy she has created will continue within the Bio SLPP kakistocracy, I’m afraid. Anyway, the people will have to kick their butts out of power in 2023 to allow them to explain how they spent our money. God bless Madam Cassandra Garber and give her long life to witness the changes in 2023. Amen and Amen. Father God.

  10. Is it now that women like Madam Garber could write and comment on the words of the first lady? I see it as playing injustice to the present First Lady, Md. Fatima Bio. She does not deserve such address and therefore, I in my opinion feel she isn’t being treated fairly. This is the first lady in our history that has got the greatest criticism by members of the public. She want to marry, people criticize. She try to help push the bills for rape and sexual offenses, people criticize. When recently a worker at a bank hacked her facebook account and wanted to question the individual, a good number of people criticize her, little did they realize that it was a criminal offence to hack into someone’s media account. We are aware that the First lady is doing her Job to unify the nation, give support to the leadership to help the country develop.

    We know that most of the outcry that some members of the public, we have read stories of other women in the media using words displeasing and then covertly hide themselves under the emblem of politics, no comment has ever been made by Madam Garber. Remember, our first lady is also a politician so therefore, expect her to carry out her democratic and human rights. Mama Fatmata Bio, move on and keep the banner high of your husband. Your husband went through series of criticisms before becoming president. Now they want to extend that to you, so that you can feel discouraged and discontinue your good work. Move on and help Sierra Leone become a better nation. As long as your actions have nothing to do with deterrence to the nation’s development, you still have the public support.

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