Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 August 2022:
The government and police of Sierra Leone have made themselves into a ridiculous laughingstock, after a “wanted list” of suspected, so called “terrorists” – published by the government last week, went viral for all the wrong reasons.
The list contains names and photos of people the government says not only took part in the Bloody Wednesday Street protest against rising costs of living, but according to President Bio – some of the protesters whom he refers to as terrorists, were carrying guns. Where is the evidence?
President Bio’s spokesman – Yusuf Keketoma Sandi said on Twitter two days ago: “These were groups of marauding gangs. Some of them carrying weapons. We have videos of them going to police station to steal bikes. That is not a cost-of-living protest.”
But only one photo among the dozens on the list, was shown by the government to be carrying a gun. And shockingly, that individual turned out to be no other than a deceased Nigerian pop artist, known as Dagrin, who died in 2010 in Nigeria.
Was the President, the police, and their communications team very desperate to paint the protesters as terrorists to the extent of photoshopping the evidence?
No matter the government’s intention, Nigerians across the world are not amused, as the Nigerian satirist and commentator – Pararan on his mock news explains:
Speaking on Aljazeera last week, President Bio strenously insisted that the protests had nothing to do with rising costs of living, but a planned insurrection by terrorists, aimed at overthrowing his government whilst he was on holiday in London with his family.
So far, only supporters of the government and ruling SLPP party operatives have bought into this propaganda, aimed at deflecting the attention of the people and the international community away from the serious issues facing the country, including – human rights abuse, extra-judicial killings, poor governance, corruption and poor leadership.
No independent organisation inside or outside of Sierra Leone has described the protesters as terrorists or insurrectionists as President Bio would like the world to believe, which has now left the President’s global credibility seriously damaged and in tatters. Sierra Leone deserves better leadership.
This is what President Bio told Aljazeera:
Thanks to Bio and his spin doctors , Sierra Leone is sleep walking to become the 51st States of the Disunited States of America .All the political fire ball ingredients and incidents of political gridlock, conspiracy theoriest and street violence deployed in the streets of America as a measure of last resort to make a political point , and driven by extreme elements of both side of the divide is now repackaged , tagged and imported to Sierra Leone . Even the political paralysis that have dogged the American political establishments for decades ,Red states versus Blue states, is now fully integrated to our political lives in Sierra leone .Instead of importing the American can do culture , and living the American dream ,Bio’s ideologues is scavenging all the things that are rotten about America’a underbelly and feeding it to our people as the best thing we can desire for .Not opportunity for all,but misopportuntiy for all .The aim here is to create more divisions in our communities so he can stay in power forever .
The Idiots guide for would be African dictators is fully at work here .Even the political language used by some parts of the American divide is been copied and pasted in Sierra leone .Like the word insurectionist , think of January, 6th the storming of the Capitol building in Washingthon Dc ,the citadel of American power.And the word terrorist and the war on terror, and now we are treated to an FBI style of Sierra Leone most wanted with mug shots of those alleged criminals or young men protesting about the cost of living crisis that was produced by the inept Sierra Leone poilce , not the FBI , because at least they will not post such half baked false information about a wanted Sierra leonans and a Nigerian musician that died few years ago. Anyone listening to Bio and his cohorts will be forgiven to think Sierra leone is now virtually under sige by hungry and and angry terrorist .In the age of social media and a government that is full of PHD holders , what planet do this people inhabit ?
Bio has no economic plan because there is no economic plan in the first place .Power corrupts , power corrupt absolutely .The FBI will never make such mistake because they would have done their home work to produced those mug shots accompanied with a reward price place on their heads .But this is Bio’s Sierra Leone .He is fixated with arresting and placing people on trial, there is now a SPECIAL COURT FOR DEAD PEOPLE IN SIERRA LEONE.Lonta !
Bio, the so called Sierra Leone image rebuilding messiah, has never but once been able to shed his leopard spots. By all indications, the art of being a leader, an outstanding and people’s centered leader for that matter, comes naturally. Hence, one can never be expected to succeed in any leadership role without the character and temperament required to excel.
For crying out loud, exactly what good, benefits or returns that the ‘image builder’ thinks will come out of the pronouncement and propagation to the entire world that, Sierra Leone, the nation that is desperately in need of huge international investment, has TERRORIST cells both in the nation’s capital and other parts of the country? Which investor in their right mind will even dare to risk to come to such an environment, especially so when no other but the first gentleman of that nation, the president, has declared his own nation, hosting terrorist cells? It’s beyond disbelief!
The sad aspect of all this is that, the ordinary Sierra Leonean, and majority of our international partners know very well that there is no such thing as a terrorist cell in Sierra Leone. What we have is a political stalemate, with the current regime doing everything to stifle citizens’ rights to freedom of expression, freedom to protests, amidst extreme hardship and political intolerance.
Nations like Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, etc, who have ongoing and unending conflicts were once flourishing and peaceful nations, until their leaders decided to label and annihilate those citizens who dare express their dissatisfaction against the leadership as terrorists. Now some of those leaders have been killed in the conflict that ensu,e while those who are still clinging onto power continue to fight for survival. So Mr. President, think before you speak!!
People in the hereafter, including foreigners, please be extremely alert to the high probability that the President of Sierra Leone, Maada Bio, and his gang, may well exhume you to answer to charges of terrorism. Never in the history of mankind has a government fallen so low as to be looking for the dead (a foreigner for that matter, a Nigerian) as a wanted man. Bio needs to spend some time with one of his catholic priests, he is beginning to see things that are not there.
“The government and police of Sierra Leone have made themselves into a ridiculous laughingstock, after a “wanted list” of suspected, so called “terrorists” – published by the government last week, went viral for all the wrong reasons.” SIERRA LEONE TELEGRAPH .
I rest my case .