FLAG OF INCONVENIENCE
No matter how much positive spin we put on this, Sierra Leone was seriously embarrassed by news last week that an Iranian ship flying the Sierra Leone flag was trying to deliver arms and ammunition to the Syrian government in contravention of United Nations sanctions against that country. They call it Flag of Convenience and we don’t intend to bore you with the details of what this is all about. And this is not the first time. We must say however that this country really cannot afford any further bad name having to do with arms and ammunition considering what they mean to our country’s recent history.
We are also very angry that our politicians were much more concerned about saving the government’s image than letting the world know how a rogue ship like that came to be carrying the flag of Sierra Leone for some fee which cannot repair our dented image. Frank Kargbo said on radio that this was an “inherited” problem and under the “Agenda for Prosperity”, they are doing everything to address the issue. Mr. Attorney General, please give us a break. This is utter buck-shifting which is close to dishonesty! One of the vessels had its licence to operate our flag after the UN had put imposed the sanctions. Unless the AG is telling us that the Syrian conflict started when the SLPP were in power. To suggest that your government is still reading about the goings on at the Maritime administration is as disingenuous as it is totally incorrect. Since you came to power, this Flag of Convenience thing has been all over the place. The former head of the Maritime Administration the cigar-smoking Philip Lukulay was slammed with more than one hundred count charge, convicted, fined and thrown out of office. Your government swiftly appointed a new head of Maritime Administration. Are you still telling us you don’t know what is happening in the place? Come on Frank, we are not fools.
Let the government face up to its responsibilities. We know you don’t want to run away anymore like you did under the NPRC. We therefore think that only the truth will set you free. Get to grips with this national disgrace and stop trying to rope the government you ousted almost five years ago into this. By the way Mr. AG, where is MANIFESTO 99? No time for that anymore eh? LOL.
DID OLUNIYI FIGHT A NEC STAFF?
We are still waiting for an official statement from Oluniyi Robin-Coker about what, according to him, happened at a NEC exhibition centre in Freetown between himself and a NEC staff during the verification of the new voters’ register. Please don’t give any interview to our radio stations because we sometimes find it difficult to understand your London accent. The truth is, you are our brother but you’ve been away for too long. We want a press statement before the end of the week. This matter is not going to die. Ministers in your other country, UK, do not behave in the way you are alleged to have acted.
Oluniyi you are only a few weeks in office and look at what is happening around you. If you need any reminding, since you became Minister of Energy and Water Resources, electricity supply has fallen well below the levels maintained by the Professor. Now some of us are asking for the professor to return so you can stay inside De Pa’s office cutting and pasting stuff and making illogical conclusions and development projections.
I hope you understand why we are so concerned that any man, particularly a minister of state could behave in the way you are reported to have done. Anyway, please clear the air as we have already spoken to the NEC official on record.
COMMISSION OF INQUIRY FOR THIS, COMMISSION OF INQUIRY FOR THAT…WHERE ARE WE NOW?
A lot of people were hoping that De Pa’s style of governance would be different, since he campaigned on the promise of change…Well he campaigned on many things including education reforms – in that direction he brought us the ghost-seeking Minkailu Bah and the Gbamanja Commission and those recommendations that anybody sitting under a Mango Tree after a heavy meal on Mount Sugar Loaf would have put together. In any case the Gbamanja recommendations have caused more chaos in the system than anyone could have imagined at the time the commission was set up.
Anyway let’s return to those many Commissions that De Pa has set up since coming into office almost five years ago. A Commission of Inquiry was set up to look into the causes of violence between Muslims and Christians in Kambia. Where’s the report? A Commission of Inquiry was set up to find what was responsible for the mass jailbreak at Pademba Road in Freetown. Where’s the report? Sam Sumana who was in charge of the country at the time of the incident, panicked and sacked Prison Director Moses Showers. Since then a few more jailbreaks have taken place but Bilo Kamara is still in office.
Inevitably we have to talk about the biggest of them all – the Samega Janneh Commission. The honourable judge was brought over from The Gambia to fish out corrupt SLPP people in the previous administration. That’s it. The other day we passed by the Commission’s secretariat at Miatta Conference Centre and found it completely abandoned. Millions have been wasted on it.
As tax payers, we feel obliged to ask De Pa what’s the point of setting up Commissions of Inquiry if he has no intention of making their reports public, implementing their recommendations or even giving them the money they need to complete their work. There were times when people were satisfied just because such Commissions were set up. Now we are going beyond that to ask for the report and the implementation of their recommendations. Times have changed and we demand that we are treated with maximum respect. We vote for politicians but we don’t want them to take us for granted. We will not even bother to mention the Sheares Moses Commission report whose key recommendations were rubbished and not implemented.
PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY – “POLITICS NAR GAMBLE: SEVEN-ELEVEN NAR WAPI”
Huh! What a way to re-enter the political space after many years in the Wilderness. What use to be one of the nation’s most powerful political forces under its charismatic leader, the late Thaimu Bangura is now in absolute tatters. The leader of what is left of a clearly mismanaged party made a disastrous appearance on 98.1 the other day and left the nation truly convinced that the PDP is dead.
The Spokesman told the nation that politics is a gamble, simplistic eh? Since your new office is at Grey Bush, a true gambling den in Freetown, you can go ahead and take your chances there not on the national stage please. Anyway that comedy performance could have won you an Oscar. Thanks bro!
EXAMINATION CAMPS ALL OVER FREETOWN
We have been watching this development with interest in universities and colleges thinking that such examination camps were useful in preparing student for their exams. Then the idea came to senior secondary schools and we thought that public exams like WASSCE needed such collaboration among pupils. But when the practice came down to junior secondary schools and even primary school children, we lost patience with the whole nonsense. And, you know, this is a business organised by teachers just to make an extra penny. These examination camps for junior secondary and primary schools must end as an official policy in schools. Gbamanja Commission oh yeah!!! LOL. Sometimes the camps are organised on school campuses and God alone knows what those young people get up to.
We’ve not witnessed a corresponding increase in performance by the pupils and students since these camps became a common feature in schools and colleges. This is a commercial activity, plain and simple, that must stop now. Instead of going all over the people seeking ghosts, let this Minister of Education ensure that teachers do their job well in schools and stop looking for extra cash.
ALL ROADS LEAD TO THE LODGE – DE PA HUSH O.
The nation is in mourning following the death of De Pa’s mother. For De Pa, these are sobering moments as he tries to come to terms with the loss and the fact that both his parents are now gone to the great beyond. Yes he has many friends, thousands and thousands of them. But some of those thousands are there only because De Pa is at State House today. The day he retires or is thrown out in an election, they will all flee to the other occupant of State House. De Pa will find himself at Sylvanus Street without this steady stream of visitors. Go ask Tejan Kabbah leh e tell you.
Those fake friends are the ones now shedding all the tears at the Lodge fighting hard to catch De Pa’s eyes because next minute they will be pressing for some contract to supply soap and palm oil and plasas to Pademba Road prisons. Pure hypocrites!
We have no evidence for this but we suspect that some people are busy collecting cash and livestock to bring “to the lodge “for the funeral. Those stories will be published after the funeral. Just wait and see.
For De Pa, we can only say, hush yah! Your true friends have left this world. Trust no one from now on, look up to God alone.