Dr. Sama Banya
28 August 2012
I recall the events of that Wednesday morning, when the continuous sound of gunfire reached me as I sat in my Wilberforce Street surgery (now housing GT bank), awaiting the arrival of my staff and patients.
It was later followed by a government statement on the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service, which said that a group of unruly soldiers had attempted to seize power, but that they had been overpowered and that the situation was under control.
We the peaceful citizens were advised to go about our normal business.
But soon after that statement, the voice of Captain Valentine Strasser came on air to announce that, they – the officers from the war front, had overthrown the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh.
There was widespread jubilation all over this city of Freetown, and I mean THIS CITY and later throughout the rest of the country.
Strasser remained head of the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) and head of state up to, was it December of 1995 or January of 1996, when he was overthrown in a bloodless palace coup and he was succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Julius Maada Bio.
It was after he was removed from office and sent into exile, that Julius Maada Bio was appointed deputy head of state.
It was the same gentle and modest Maada Bio, who handed over the Baton of office of a democratically elected head of state to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
Bio was head of state for no more than three months. So why are the hypocrites now describing that military regime as “Maada Bio’s NPRC?”
As the Bard wrote, “Oh Judgment thou hast fled to brutish beasts and men have lost their reason.”
That is not the end of story. Replacing Colonel Mani as Secretary of State (South) under Strasser, was Lieutenant Colonel Idriss Kamara.
It was this same Idriss Kamara who is said to have made himself a Mike Tyson, by punching and throwing Strasser to the ground and overpowering him during the Palace coup.
Idriss Kamara who is now said to be the chairman of the APC in North America is writing absolute bunkum about Bio. Fellows like him ought to submit themselves for a thorough assessment by psychiatrist – Dr. Edward Nahim.
Well, it is no surprise or coincidence that Idriss is today being accommodated by those in power.
So, what a ridiculous new description adopted for the NPRC regime by Bio’s detractors. The fact remains that the NPRC soldiers were the young heroes, who overthrew and thus delivered this nation from perpetual dictatorship, corruption and political violence.
And, on a much lighter note, folks, I am pleased that I do not generally wear a headgear, except at an SLPP rally when I carry my green and white “Palm Tree” cap, or during my early morning one hour walk or when marching for the Bo School or the Prince Of Wales school.
It has been quite some time since I wore my straw hat with the green ribbon and Lion round it.
If I was wearing a head gear last Monday morning, it would have split spontaneously because I could feel my grey-haired skull (Puawui) swelling with pride and delight.
Readers of page two of the New Vision newspaper of that Monday, August 27th day may recall the very warm and unsolicited tribute, paid to me by my friend of many years – Dr. Abdul Karim Koroma (AKK).
I had wanted to call him immediately to express my gratitude and thanks, and then remembered that some smart and unkind fellow had for the umpteenth time borrowed without – my permission, my last mobile telephone, which had AKK’s mobile phone number among others. Here then is a belated ‘thank you’ AKK.
Many were the great times we had together under the wily Siaka Stevens, including those visits you and I made to Kabala to quell intra APC battles, or together with Abdulai Conteh, when we accompanied Stevens to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
As I read your piece on Monday, I chuckled to myself as I remembered how Philip Neville of Standard Times newspaper, Samuel Conteh of the New Citizen, late Mohamed Koroma of the African Champion, and a number of other APC apologists – who alleged in their respective newspaper columns that I got along in politics by betraying my colleagues to Shaki or more recently to Tejan-Kabbah.
They have also added that I introduced violence in politics – especially among my own people of Kailahun district.
It is of such fellows that over two hundred years earlier, Thomas Jefferson – the third President of the United States wrote; “Nothing can now be believed, which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”
Those were hard words even for Jefferson’s times. But, on the other hand, when one reads the calumny and libellous material that appears in some of our newspapers, one cannot help but conclude that Jefferson had a point. Once more – I thank you AKK.
Here we go again, with an interesting quotation:
“To every subject of this land, however powerful, I would like to use Thomas Fuller’s words, ‘Be ye ever so high, the law is above you’.” – (Lord Denning in his High court ruling against the Attorney-General in 1972).
Franklin Kargbo – Sierra Leone’s Attorney General and Joseph Kamara of the Anti-Corruption Commission, did you read that?
Have a pleasant day readers and stay blessed.