President Bio has spoken – No more kid glove

PUAWUI – Dr Sama Banya: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 09 May 2020:

Almost a year ago to the day, that is in May, 2019, I published an opinion in my Puawui column with the title, “When enough is enough- time to call the APC’s bluff.” The Sierra Leone Telegraph edition of the article suddenly appeared on social media within the last few days.

Whether it was in response to the spate of the recent security incidents and threats in some parts of the country is now immaterial, but it’s appearance was timely.

In that article I gave a historical account of the unsocial activities of the APC since 1968, both in and out of power. In particular I reminded readers of the open threat by the then leader of the APC Presidential candidate Ernest Bai Koroma to make the country ungovernable if his party did not win the 2007 Presidential runoff election.

I reminded readers of the brutal and unprovoked attack by APC supporters on the headquarters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) immediately the APC candidate was declared the winner.  I gave instances of other attacks on the party at different times in the eleven years administration of the APC.

There were the brutal activities of high ranking APC personnel like Musa Tarawally, Pat Sowe, Paolo Conteh and others at various times but especially at by-elections. There  were also the open biased activities of law enforcement officials like I G Acha Kamara, Karrow Kamara, and the misuse of the military in bye elections by Paolo and other high ranking military personalities.

Philip Tondoneh’s house in Kono was burnt down; we came under teargas even as we were having a 60th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service and pouring of Libation in our headquarters; the list is endless.

Fast forward to the 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary elections and the atrocities, including murder of the ruling APC, were many.

Since the APC lost that election and true to the 2007 threat of their leader, they’ve refused to accept the reality or the election or given peace and reconciliation a chance.

Foreseeing what lay ahead, President Bio organised a third Bintumani Conference In 2018/19. The APC said they wouldn’t attend and they did not.

President Bio despatched His Vice President, not even his chief minister to the former President inviting him to a meeting in connection with fighting against the Coronavirus pandemic which met with a negative response.

One must then ask to what kind of a meeting or conference, Dr Kandeh Yumkella of the NGC and the leader of the C4C respectively want from Bio and his government?

Rev Gbokoma Spence and his “people of God” who persuaded Bio to meet with Ernest in 2012 for peace and reconciliation have been conspicuous by their silence.

Although President Bio has still urged the various CSOs and human rights groups to expand their mandate, in the opinion of many of us, some of these groups have made themselves conspicuously irrelevant by their biased positions since the SLPP assumed the reign of government.

President Bio has spoken – So which way out?

Bio has spoken; he has spoken like a statesman. Beyond that he has spoken like the head of state and President of Sierra Leone. He has spoken in answer to the many concerns of us his people and our friends in the international community.

No one is being threatened; Peace abiding and peace and reconciliation seeking citizens have nothing to fear. But there will be no room, no accommodations for lawbreakers, would-be saboteurs, criminals and any who wish to destabilise Sierra Leone.

The new IGP and Police council have taken the first steps to curb indiscipline and ineffective officials.

The APC has not condemned any of the violence at Pademba Road prison, Lunsar or Tombo. Their only concern has been the welfare and safety of their supporters in detention. But the COIs will go on.

The judiciary is being urged to deal with cases of lawbreaking etc., with some speed. These are statements of reassurance that law-abiding citizens may go about their normal business, as together we continue to deal with the world’s most dangerous current enemy the Covid – 19 disease.

No more kid glove!

Editor’s Note:

In March 2019 President Bio invited leaders of the opposition parties – including former president Koroma to State House. Should president Bio have kept on the momentum to build the trust and confidence necessary for sustainable peace in Sierra Leone, by following up on that meeting with regular dialogue, as was proposed by the Sierra Leone Telegraph?:

 

20 Comments

  1. Even at this trying time when most is expected of you guys to condemn the wrongs doings of this Bio’s administration, instead you all are busy pointing fingers over what the APC has done. TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A WRIGHT. What would you all be saying if APC took back the reigns of power and decided to go on the payback offensive?

    I guess you all are going to revert back to the same old “they did it to us”. This is why I always say President Bio is missing a great opportunity. This is the time for him to leave a great legacy that the people of Sierra Leone will remember him for, when he will have gone. But he chooses this dangerous path…history will surely remember you just like your uncle ALBERT MARGAI…what a disgrace!

  2. Lawlessness and violence must be condemned and put to an end for the benefits of all Sierra Leoneans. In light of this, I am attempting to list some of the violence and lawlessness that have occurred during the past 2years to see exactly who should be blamed: 1. SLPP supporters going on the rampage attacking and destroying citizens properties in the south-east that were deem APC supporters after elections results were announced. 2. The Poro men at the borderline of Kenema and Kailahun districts terrorizing citizens by beating and kidnapping others for forceful Initiations.

    3. Riotous conduct that takes place in Bo town between Prince Harding supporters and Jimmy Batilo Songo. 4. Poro men in Bonthe district going on the rampage attacking law enforcement with a subsequent alleged raping of a female paramount chief. 5. Youths in Makali, Tonkolili district attacking their paramount chief and burning his house. 6. Youths in Lunsar Port Loko district attacking their paramount chief, vandalizing his house with alleged killing of a young man. 7. Fishermen and youths in Tombo rioting after law enforcement STOP them from going to the sea after the 3 days lockdown. 8. Reports of riots in Falaba not exactly sure what the reasons are.

    Due to word limitation imposed by Mr. ART. I will stop here for now. Please peace loving Sierra Leoneans and forumites, look at the above incidents and make your judgement. Are those incidents state sponsored terrorism by the APC or they are just spontaneous acts of violence orchestrated by lawless citizens?

  3. It is all about the ripple effect ushered in by the disappointing end of the infamous Commission of Inquiry that was designed solely to discredit the hierarchy of the APC party. The long awaited final outcome of the inquiry left a lot of SLPP stalwarts and die-hard supporters deflated; and today, many are still gasping for air in order to replenish their ruptured egos and reputations. The sudden declaration of a year-long State of Emergency and the consequent disturbances – including the alleged ‘breakout’ at Pademba Road prisons – are merely products or such repercussions.

    Justice Biobele Georgewill, the able and flamboyant Nigerian Judge, had made it quite clear from day one, that he has still got a flourishing leeway in his learned profession. And that, he would not afford to arbitrate as an accomplice to what purely looks like a tribal contest, that could lead the country to the senseless situation of a civil war. Especially considering the previous brutal war that lasted for over a decade. Stop sowing the seeds of war … if Maada Bio is not up to the job, he should take the honourable option and step down – that is what is called patriotism.

  4. The old brutal, violent and savage APC have continued their ways of disrupting democracy in our country. Some of the blame should be placde on President Kabbah for allowing them to thrive within the political space in Sierra Leone. I hope President Bio will put an end to their grotesque violent deeds. I’m so Proud of you Mr President lets take them on their Bluff.

  5. Indeed President Bio has been patient for the longest. The APC leadership who as is known are the fermenters of these disturbances took him for granted and saw it to be a weakness. I am glad he came on strong in his speech, and gave a sterner warning to those disturbing the peace. His speech was Statesmanlike and that of an ideal leader. We are tired of seeing all these disturbances going on in our country, especially so when they are being financed and instigated by a few greedy past politicians who still see it fit to refuse to concede defeat in an election that took place two years ago. I hope that President Bio follows through on his promise to deal with those involved. God bless our President, God bless The Republic of Sierra Leone.

    • Thank you Dr. Sorie Gassama for your eloquent contribution, indeed you said the fact right. The President been silenced for long trying to let the APC leadership realize that, this country is ours but yet they took it for granted to punish the people of Sierra Leone. If you don’t want to or not ready to contribute helping the country for it’s development please be quiet and go to your village take some rest. Again Dr. S. Gassama thank you.

  6. I have been keenly following the reactions of some Sierra Leoneans to the speech of the president HE Julious Maada Bio (last speech) . My only advice is for the youths, remember that the 21st century youths must say no to violence, because remember that those politicians whether active or passive have almost or all their families overseas. So when a violence emerged, we the youth populace have to bear the greater percentage. So therefore do not take the law into your hands, act within the laws of Sierra Leone . Act and take decisions wisely and remember the coat of Arm that binds us together. The president is the fountain of honour, Custodium of our constitution and many more.

    The president has spoken, in fact he spoke well because if a single life is lost in our beloved country carelessly without the culprits being brought to book, he must give account to Allah one day. Therefore he must Act swiftly to protect lives and properties within the laws of our country. So stay away from violence and say no to selfish politicians, otherwise you will have to blame yourself.

    Abdul Nyallay – Deputy Chairman of the Bo District Youth Council, Bo.

  7. Mr Matturi let give honour to whom honour is due, and I was an opponent like you when the SLPP was in opposition and vehemently opposed the re-election of Brigadier as the SLPP flag-bearer presidential candidate again in 2018 as it was in 2012 including my concerns of the defections in 2012 that greatly dented our elected representatives. We cannot choose whom our mother wants as her lover/husband despite our frustrations, concerns etc of her choice/wishes. In politics money talks and the persons who had it and can spend it can get what they wants. You have to accept it as facts and you can do nothing to change it.

    My father was a senior member of the ruling counsel of the Ahmed Tejan-Kabbah led SLPP regime and the house which my elder sister in Switzerland rented for my father in Jones Lane opposite the St Antony Church between Savage St and Syke St in Freetown was burned down during the 1997/98 AFRC military junta era in there hunt for leading SLPP MEMBERS. Mr father had to reside to his local church until the ECOMOG led intervention force reinstate the Ahmed Tejan-Kabbah SLPP party government back in late 1998 and my father was given a room at the Brookfields hotel together with others who had lost their residence DURING THE AFRC ERA. Your uncle Mr Matturi was active in those days of the SLPP/APC as MY father was more close with Mr Salia Jusu-Sheriff as his mentor, uncle, member of parliament for his motherland etc but we cannot decide whom the delegates of the SLPP party wants as their presidential flag-bearer and they are the only persons empower to vote for that according to the party constitutions

  8. This is exactly the problem we are seeing in this country. Everyone who talks about problems in the country would take his time to narrate what the APC has done and what it has not done. It is as if what is going on in the country today is a making of the APC. Experienced statesmen like Dr. Banya should provide the antidote to the malaise that is wreaking havoc in the country. We are tired of this APC accusations as if the APC is still running the state machinery. For goodness sake let the government look inwards and see what it is not doing right and see to it that the right thing is done.

    There is nothing wrong yesterday in calling Palo Conteh to share his experience in dealing with the pandemic; but to do so half-heartedly with reservations on both sides is always a recipe for suspicions. So whatever President Bio has to do to steer the state ship, let him do so with the abundant human resource we have in and out of the country, and let him leave out the APC for now. The people want to move on with their lives and this is paramount above all other considerations. We want our elder statesmen to push forward more positive ideas to move the country forward rather than sounding the drums of war.

  9. In President Julius Bio’s speech to the nation, he noted that: “Evidence emerging from investigations have named known local leaders and members of the APC as being responsible for inciting, planning, financing, mobilising, and in some cases actively participating in violent terrorist attacks against the people of this country.” Since there is incontrovertible evidence tying the All People’s Congress (APC) to acts of terrorism and since Sierra Leone lacks the judicial infrastructure to successfully prosecute terrorists, the Government of Sierra Leone must now make a formal request to ECOWAS, the African Union, the International Criminal Court, the United Nations and the European Union for the establishment of an independent tribunal to prosecute APC terrorists.

    And if members of the Bio government have perpetrated terrorist acts against Sierra Leoneans, they must also be prosecuted. Simply put, let the chips fall where they may. The United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone that successfully prosecuted terrorists of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) was established on the request of the government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. So, there is a precedent that favors President Bio. It is also important to note that the rapidly changing political dynamics in Sierra Leone has rendered any overtures to the APC an exercise in futility.

  10. Usman Daramy says — “ If you are convinced in your little mind that you are prevailed by the virtue of you being borned this evening, and that you will stay young henceforth – so be it. Should you also choose to disrespect the old man as exhibition of the APC character for being what the APC is that would be uñderstañale as well – because that is the DNA of the APC.The APC is sanctuary for international scammers, certicate forgers, and looters of the poor. You are all ponds in your usual stupid schemes to distract, and frustrate the attempt to expose the cabal in the compliancy of your looting”

    Hahahaha, what do we have here? An extremists delusional SLPP POAPA in a toad form, ranting and going ballistic exposing his so called home upbringing. Wow, political buffoons are indeed miscreant in a civilized society. It is exactly ilks like Usman Daramy that our nation needs to eradicate. Not knowing the difference between left and right, they are willing and ready to destabilize, and attack any citizen who speaks the truth about their so called political demigods. The minute you say something blunt and honest regarding their leaders, they automatically assign you registration to the opposition party.

  11. In a country where everyone is insincere and dishonest,no one should give crutches to tired,weary limping old men,and women…that will be enabling them only to destroy,sow discord,and promote strife as Dr Banya is doing here. Wiser heads should cool things down,and not add liters of fuel to burning fire..what has an old man to lose if peradventure all hell breaks loose,and anarchy and war demands,that the eventual price for the return of peace will mean,millions of young lives must be brutally sacrificed in the trenches of strife?

    Be careful- a grey head didn’t turn white and silver overnight…it should remind one of lessons learned,convictions proven,and knowing without doubt that kind, soft and gentle words, and the keys to long lasting peace.

  12. May the Almighty bless all patriotic citizens of Mama Salone, most of the mayhem is caused by unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans. Now some of us have seen how worse APC have been, but surely this is 21st century no one will get away with any form of madness.

    Indeed My government, our government will hit hard and even harder on any state terrorist and will use the full force of the law, within the broad spectrum of the law of Sierra Leone incase of any act of terrorism against the state. May the Almighty bless us, long live Puawui

  13. Please citizens of Sierra Leone let us live within democracy. Our country is a democratic nation. We all know what that means. May Allah bless our country (S/L).

  14. Thanks for your continuous education in this newspaper because “If you forget where you come from, you will never know where you are going.” I just read the article that you highlighted in blue and all the comments, so I will like to ask Mr. Sahr Matturi what his real position is on this glorious forum.

    • My position is very clear Mr. Alusine Fallay. I want to be part of the voices of people, on this glorious platform, who would like to see barbarity, violence, unlawful incarceration of peaceful citizens/opposition members, dictatorship, autocracy, intolerance and the violation of the human rights of our people, kicked out of Sierra Leone politics and our society forever. More importantly, I would like to be part of the voices of patriots who would like Sierra Leoneans to consider themselves as one people and not on tribal or regional grounds. We should try thinking of Sierra Leone as a country, rather than as a party or regional property.

      All the problems we have in Sierra Leone today is, because we lack the later. The idea and saying “Na we them dis” has to stop. Believe me Mr. Alusine Fallay, it’s going to stop. Have to. Sierra Leone can’t continue like that forever. If President Bio and the Bio SLPP does something good, I will support. If the Bio SLPP does something wrong, I will say it. God bless Mr Alusine Fallay for his candid question.

  15. When the wise Daddy Dr. Sama Banya speaks, I respect his views and try to figure out what he is saying. First of all, the leadership qualities of Dr. Sama Banya is different from the present Bio SLPP leadership qualities. Secondly, the SLPP of men like Dr. Sama Banya, late Mr. Salia Jusu Sheriff, late S. L. Matturi etc, is different from the Bio SLPP leadership everyone now knows. One of the regrets many people have even this day, was why did the SLPP never elected men like Dr. Sama Banya as Leader, who would obviously have been elected as President and what a good President Dr. Sama Banya would have been.

    There might be some who don’t know Dr. Sama Banya and who would like to see his words/comments differently. All I would say to every one is this; Dr Sama Banya is a honest, caring, kind, loving, helpful, tolerable and very open individual. He is not tribalistic, a champion and very inclusive. He was one of the Medical practitioners in the heart of Freetown, who would provide free medical care to anyone, irrespective of ethnicity or financial background. Finally, I would like Dr. Sama Banya to know, that the problem in Sierra Leone today is not with the SLPP party, but the intolerance, barbarity, unlawful incarceration, human rights violations and violence and abuse by the Bio SLPP on the opposition and peaceful citizens.

  16. Once again old man Banya trumpeting war in our nation. I have no respect for such elderly citizens. For Christ sake, you have serve in both camps of the APC and SLPP during your 30 plus years in civil service. Why not serve as a peacemaker or mediator between these two groups now that you are approaching your grave? Absurd!!

    • I am trying very hard to site an instance in the old man Banya’s wiriting that this very very young man is alluding that can be classified as war trumpeting. If you are convinced in your little mind that you are prevailed by the virtue of you being borned this evening, and that you will stay young henceforth – so be it. Should you also choose to disrespect the old man as exhibition of the APC character for being what the APC is that would be uñderstañale as well – because that is the DNA of the APC.

      The APC is sanctuary for international scammers, certicate forgers, and looters of the poor. You are all ponds in your usual stupid schemes to distract, and frustrate the attempt to expose the cabal in the compliancy of your looting. All that you are doing is just intertaing the worped minds that gravitates towards the missfortune that befell poor Sierra Leone in the name of the APC.

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