Thursday, March 29, 2012

John Leigh on APC and Voodoo

SLPP Ambassador John Leigh says he left his because of the involvement of some people with voodoo. Here is ambassador John Leigh, working on his Presidential campaign. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

John Leigh also lengthily about current situations in Sierra Leone. What he said then compared to what he is saying now and his beef against Julius Maada Bio.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

John Leigh Gambles on APC

Leigh goes Rogue on SLPP
Perennial Sierra Leone People's Party flagbearer loser Ambassador John Leigh says he has had enough of losing the SLPP flagbearership position and has packed all his bundles and headed over to the ruling All People's congress. He,  Nyuma and some other want to form an SLPP wing of the APC.

LEIGH ON HIS LOSSES

It could be recalled that in 2005, Ambassador John Leigh, who claimed to have spent fifty thousand dollars on the SLPP flagbearer contest, was totally enraged when Solomon Berewa was declared winner and Ambassador Leigh could not even find one individual among the thousands at the convention to nominate him, let alone vote for him.

The Times reported that Ambassador Leigh was so shocked at losing that he "nearly went into coma." The Awoko newspaper at the time reported that Ambassador Leigh was spotted, crying like a baby. The Focus reported that the six other candidates accepted the loss at the time like men, but Ambassador Leigh went into temper tantrums and cried like a child. Mr. Hindolo Butcher who was campaign manager for Ambassador Leigh's tragic run in 2005 stated that up to the eleventh hour, the delegates who were supposed to nominate the ambassador had assured him that they were going to do, only to disappear into thin air at the moment of the nomination. News later circulated that Leigh's campaign mamager had given him a classic case of 419.

Awareness Times reported that when Leigh lost in  2005, he was sweating profusely in a black suit, with his neck tied like a goat, hyperventilating and it was only the intervention of then SLAJ chairman I. B. Kargbo, who called on his colleagues to give him air to breath, that saved the poor Ambassador's life. Ambassador Leigh was so distraught that he started calling the delegates bastards and "swegbehs".
Leigh in foul mood
"E don Baranta"

After the nomination in 2005 Mr. Leigh was repoted to have left the Makeni Convention center in an extremely foul mood and the police had to hastily whisk him away from the vicinity. He came back to America, maintained a low profile for some time, licked his wounds and slowly started to recoup some of his lost retirement savings and prepare for a last stand in  2011, as he was no longer a young man.

In 2011 Ambassador Leigh decided to go to Sierra Leone very early and work the ground. This time, he believed that even with 19 other aspirants, his chances were considerably better as he had been spending a lot of time shuttling between USA and Sierra Leone. He traveled to every major SLPP event, touting his credentials, condemning the inadequacy of current president Koroma, who he called as practically useless and explaining why he will be the best candidate for the Sierra Leone presidency.

Fatefully in July 2011 Ambassador Leigh was this time able to garner only 2 out of 602 votes at 0.33%.
The Segbwema blog correspondent at the convention hall stated that John Leigh left the hall in a mood so dark and bitter that those who saw him knew that something catastrophic was bound to happen. This time however, the Ambassador was able to control his rage and decided to release it all in a resignation letter to the party.

On  December 15,2011, almost six months after Ambassador Leigh's stunning second loss, he sent an ominous and chilling  letter of resignationto the SLPP Secretary General Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie.

Pure Anger
Only history can tell how many days Ambassador Leigh toiled on the letter trying to distill reason from satanic rage. Ambassador Leigh's letter, which I will not care here to reproduce as it is all over the Internet, is an excellent example of how not to write a resignation letter. He started the letter very coolly, making all the proper pleasantries and stating his grievances nicely. As he continued however, boiling Satanic rage took over.

At the beginning of the resignation classic, Ambassador Leigh made it clear that he had only decided to resign from the party after much reflection. He stated that he had decided to go against the advice of close folks who had urged him to stay. He then let all hell loose on the poor unsuspecting Banja Tejansie.

Leigh said that he could not continue to stay in a party who in whose words was " fronted by ex-junta personalities and under the sordid influence of those I personally know as nation-wreckers, money-grubbing lying rogues, false pretenders for money and such-like characters; not to mention the widespread acceptance in secret and off-camera of voodoo juju-swear ceremonies as part and parcel of the party’s unofficial ’democratic’ process in selecting its leadership. " (Leigh, 2011)
Accused SLPP of Voodoo

Short and precise, the letter represented months of pent up disappointment, boiling rage,  frustration seething anger and the only thing most people were betting on was the date of his declaration for the ruling All People's Congress, which was bound to happen.

Green for Red
Official welcome by Sumana Timbergate
In discussions about John Leigh political future, some people were of the opinion that he would act like Margai and form his own party, but realists stated that John Leigh's nature was so disagreeable that only his family members would join his party.

Others stated that as John Leigh was no longer very young he could not wait another ten years for Maada Bio to complete a two term 10 year  presidency as in ten years, Leigh would be a very old man. They believed that with his insatiable lust for power, Leigh would probably just hold his nose and hedge his bets with President Ernest Bai Koroma who he had described in the past with adjectives I cannot even care to repeat here, in respect of the position of the presidency. So John Leigh who has said he does not want to associate with Ex-Juntas, has left Maada Bio and left to Join Idriss Kamara, Karefa Kargo and Tom Nyuma, a paradox that can only be lost on the criminally insane.
Final battle, 8 years, 2 votes


With these defections by some strong SLPP men, Judas Iscariot would not be feeling too guilty for betraying Jesus Christ after all.


Sheku Sheriff

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Octogenarian Abdoulaye Wade Concedes Electoral Loss

Outgoing President Abdoulaye Wade
Winner Macky Sall
Senegalese president, 85 year old Abdoulaye Wade, who tinkered with the interpretation of the country's constitution to allow him to run for a third term has today conceded defeat at the polls and graciously called  50 year old opposition leader, Macky Sall, to offer his congratulations.

News reaching the Segbwema blog from the Senegalese capital Dakar states that there are widespread celebrations in Dakar. Speaking in front of thousands of ecstatic supporters, Mr Sall described his victory as a victory for all Senegalese and stated that he intended to become the president of every Senegalese and not just those that supported or voted for him.
Sall Heading to Rally

Poet Senghor, Senegal's first President
Great African Intellectual 
Ex President Abdou Diouf
Mr. Abdoulaye Wade spent about 30 years as an opposition leader, trying unsuccessfully  for decades to unseat the socialist party that ruled Senegal from the end of French rule in the West African country. Abdoulaye Wade's tenacity as an opposition leader was remarkable. He contested four presidential elections. He first contested against President Léopold Sédar Senghor, the country's first president who ruled from 1960 until his retirement in 1980 and then three times against Senghor's chosen successor, President Abdou Diouf, who was in office from 1980 until he lost elections to Abdoulaye Wade in 2000.

When he became president, Abdoulaye Wade advocated for a successful amendment of the Senegalese constitution that would only allow a presidential tenure of two seven year terms. At the end of Wade's two terms however, he had a change of heart and decided to seek a third term, arguing the two term limit was not in effect when he became president and that consequently the rule did not apply to him. In spite of massive demonstrations by the public against a third term, Mr Wade's candidacy was officially approved by the constitutional council, a five man panel of judges. Following the council's decision to allow a third term for the president, there were widespread opposition demonstrations across the country.

Even before the term limit, the president had initially tried to lower the percentage needed to win an outright poll to 25% of the votes. The opposition had seen this as an attempt by President Wade to cling on to power and groom his extremely unpopular son, Karim Wade, to replace him as leader based on the examples of Togo and Gabon, where ex presidents Eyadema and Bongo were replaced in office by their sons. This led to violent country wide demonstrations that finally forced Wade to back down on lowering the percentage needed for victory.

The African Renaissance Monument
In recent years the once popular president Wade's rule has been marred by allegations of nepotism, cronyism, corruption and interference with press freedom. He has also been accused of lavish expenditure in the face of growing national poverty. In 2010, President Wade commissioned a 49m tall bronze statue called the African Renaissance Monument that had been built at a cost of 27 million dollars. Muslims denounced the statue as idolatrous and Christians were incensed when President Wade compared the statue to Jesus. Controversially, President Wade also advocated that 35% of tourist revenue from the Monument go to him for intellectual property rights, since the whole concept was envisioned by him. This caused immense outrage all across the country.

Senegal is one of the few African countries where all its leaders have retired and lived to a ripe old age. In most African countries, the norm is either to be chased out into exile or die violently in bloody military coups. Senegal is one of the few African countries that has had regular elections every so often. The southern part of Senegal known as Cassamance,  separated from the northern part by the small nation of Gambia, has had a low key  insurrection for many years by rebels seeking separation from the predominantly Muslim north.

Sheku Sheriff
Segbwema Blogger

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sierra Leone People's Party Vice Presidential Pick: A Genuine Gem

SLPP Vice Presidential Candidate
Dr. Kadie sesay
In all honesty and sincerity, I was less than excited when I heard that Julius Maada Bio was elected as the flag bearer of the Sierra Leone people's party; the only party in Africa that that has twice lost democratic general elections, while still in power. The reason for my lack of enthusiasm was that I did not know what Maada Bio had done since he peacefully handed over power to Tejan Kabbah in the 90s. Another reason that I did not warm up to Maada Bio was that when he and I were in Bo school, he was a very quiet and nondramatic individual that was always too serious for my liking. His brother, the late Steven Bio of Tida's Atlantic fame, who was our senior prefect was the political one. I also knew some of the other candidates; Wurie, Timbo, Kadie sesay, from our days at Fourah Bay College and found them tantalizing and fascinating as presidential candidates. But when I learnt that after leaving the presidency, Maada Bio had gone back to the world of academia, I was genuinely impressed as not all ex-presidents get serious bookwise, a certain Strasser comes to mind.
Julius Maada Bio

The choice of Dr. Kadie Sesay as a running mate, more or less convinced me that Maada Bio was a person who was genuinely interested in the future of the country, regardless of what his detractors may say.
Flag-bearer Campaign heydays

A Great and Smart Choice
 Many people underestimate the power of the vice presidency. The vice president of a country is not only one of the senior advisers to the president, but in the unfortunate circumstance where the president becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to fulfill his/her constitutional role, the responsibility for stepping up and filling the shoes of the president and carrying out state functions falls squarely on the shoulders of the vice president. Therefore, any serious presidential candidate should give very careful consideration to who he or she selects to this all important position.

EBK with his liability Sumana
The position of vice president should not be a reward for monetary investment in the president's campaign. One of the problems Sierra Leone is facing today is that the current President, Ernest B. Koroma, selected a political novice and unknown quantity in the person of  Sam Sumana as running mate in the 2007 elections. Though the APC had very knowledgeable, charismatic and experirenced politicians and economists in the party, Ernest Koroma decided to go with Sam Sumana who was flush with cash from his diamond and logging operations in the east of the country. The unfortunate result is that Sam Sumana has been more intersted in going around thre world attending business seminars and engaging in dubious and nefarious business activities than paying attention to the genuine needs of the people.

Being the politically minded person that i am, I took time out to attend a meeting the vice president had in Minnesota some years ago with Sierra leoneans in the state,  when he came from Sierra Leone to attend his daughter's high school graduation. I was very disheartened when during the meeting all he could talk about was the discovery of oil, minerals and investment, but did not once address or even mention the  problems of massive poverty, high youth unemployment, failing educational systems, or other problems the country was experiencing and what the plans were to tackle them. He gave a rosy picture of Sierra Leone that was so unrealistic that one of the Americans I went with to hear the talk quietly whispered that it seems Sierra Leone was a better place than even America. I just whispered back that the vice president seemed to be in some sort of denial or he was talking about his own household, which did not represent the majority of households in Sierra Leone.


The choice of the eloquent and experienced politician and academic, Dr. Kadie Sesay was a wise choice in many respects. Many people wanted Maada Bio to go with the richer and more popular Usu Boie Kamara and Usu's supporters are deserting the SLPP in droves because he was not elected, but given that Dr. Kadie Sesay was a very serious academic who had political experience as an ex cabinet minister, I think Maada Bio made a very excellent choice. Usu Boie has the money and business experience, but given the performance of the current president who was also another ex-businessman, the case in his favor was not very solid.
Kadie or Boie-A tough Choice

It could be recalled that in 2007, the current president Ernest Koroma, who had spent decades in the insurance business, ran on the platform of running the country like a business. Though any first year economics student will tell you that you cannot run a country like a business, many people around the country bought his fancy talk and many promises. Fours year on, the experiment of running a country like a business has yielded results and the president has earned a failing grade. Not only has the value of the local currency depreciated by more than 50% during the past four years, but there are now massive shortages of fuel and other essential items, with drivers wasting hours waiting in long petrol lines for few gallons. Even the highly inflationary local currency, the Leone is in short supply. In Freetown today people who have money in banks are turned away from collecting their hard earned cash as the banks simply do not have money to meet the needs of their customers. This situation is reminiscent of the situation that prevailed during the last days of the Joseph Momoh regime, the last APC president that was chased out of the country with his shoes in his hands.

APC 's blessing to the people

CNN's Isha, Daughter of
Kadie Sesay
It runs in the family
I first knew Dr. Kadie Sesay at Fourah Bay College, a very smart, extremely beautiful educated and articulate Sierra Leone woman, a rare breed in those day. Most of us young college students had a crush on Dr. Sesay in those days, a crush many have transferred to her stunningly beautiful daughter, Isha Sesay of CNN, one of the reasons why I religiously watch Anderson Cooper 360. When I first heard Dr. sesay talk, I was proud just to be a Sierra Leonean. Given the high international status of Dr. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the nobel laureate who is president of Liberia, I yearn for the day a woman like Dr. Sesay, articulate, beautiful, charismatic and experienced, would also become president of Sierra Leone. Maada Bio made a wonderful choice.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Good Old Days

Sierra Leone was once great, a fun place to be. Back in the 60s and 70s our elders were rocking. Listen to what my elders used to swing to.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reason for Starting the Segbwema Blog

Yesterday I received a very interesting email from an individual who was interested in knowing my motivation for starting the Segbwema blog, what I gained from it and what my political leanings were. This individual told me that they made it a habit to check the blog on a daily basis. I would of course be lying if I did not say I was flattered. Just imagine, a person wanting to know my opinion everyday!

I would endeavor to answer some of the questions in the encouraging email.
About me; I was born many moons ago in Nixon Memorial hospital in Segbwema. I went to school by accident. All the male members of my family were sent at an early age to Dama in Kenema district for Quranic and Islamic education. When I was born my grandmother was very fond of me and did not want me to go away. So I stayed in Segbwema and started learning the Quran from an uncle, Karmoh Umaru Kallon who lived in the first room of our extended family house.

Our house was on the road to Methodist primary school. Those days USAID used to distribute bulgur wheat for cooking at Methodist school and some of my cousins who went to the school used to bring the bulgur home. One day I decided to go to Methodist for the bulgur and and went and sat near class one. A teacher, Mr. Jajua, saw me and invited me into the class. The rest as they say, is history.

My sister Massah Kanneh, who was living in Freetown at the time, came for holidays in Segbwema and learnt that I had started going to school. She was excited and eventually brought me to Freetown where she had me enrolled into the Samaria Primary School, Wellington Street, just behind Red Lions bakery. My education and food have always been mutual companions!

After Samaria I went to Bo School, Wesley Segbwema and did sixth form at Sierra Leone Grammar School before heading for Fourah Bay.

Today I reside in Saint Paul Minnesota where I work for a living and engage in eleemosynary ventures.

One day several years ago,I wanted some information on Segbwema for a college essay and decided too look it up on google. The only information on Segbwema that I could get related to Foday Sankoh and some disarmament exercise. There was absolutely no information on my beloved home town where I was born, bred and nurtured. I resolved that this should change and decided to start writing a blog about Segbwema and about Sierra Leoneans living in Minnesota my home state in USA. The rest as they say is history.

When it comes to politics, I could best be described as a conservative liberal, meaning that you really cannot put me in a box. I am liberal on some issues and conservative on some. On the conservative side for example I believe in low taxes and fiscal discipline. On the liberal side I believe in the universal affordability of health care and social programs that help lift the poor out of the deprivation of poverty.

My heroes are Nelson Mandela, Saul Alinsky, John Maynard Keynes, Majatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In Sierra Leone I cherish the late Sir. Milton Margai and have a grudging respect for the political astuteness of late Siaka Probyns Stevens. Though Tom Nyuma has left me in the opposition, I will always respect him for his exploits in the 90s during our civil war. As they say, a man is a sum of many parts.

On Sierra Leone politics, I have never been fond of APC, a party that worked tirelessly to bring misfortune and economic decline to Sierra Leone by stifling democracy, promoting corruption and propagating violence. I respect Tejan Kabbah for restoring peace and stability to the country and restoring some sort of economic stability after the war. I also respect the fact that he allowed the international community to know the full extent of the atrocities in Sierra Leone leading to the indictment of the top brass of both the RUF and the Kamajors. I resent the fact that he never really fought to grant immunity to Hinga Norman who fought so hard to bring him back from political exile. But all in all, I have enormous respect for him and believe that I'm the end, history will be kind to him.

I am a fan of eleemosynary ventures. I believe that every individual has a unique ability and that society has a moral responsibility to harness this ability for the good of the society. I believe in justice and equality and envision a Sierra Leone where people will be recognized not because of the language they speak, the strength of their pockets or their political leanings, but because of their contribution to solving the problems of poverty, illiteracy and social injustice. I am more a fan of Davidson Nicol than Bailor Barrie.

I hope I have in some way satisfied my curious fan.
Sheku Sheriff-Segbwema Blogger

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tom Nyuma Bails Ship

Tom Nyuma Bails on SLPP
Another day, another defection. News started trickling into the blogosphere yesterday that Tom Nyuma, aka Ranger; SLPP Eastern Province chairman has skipped the uncertainty of SLPP opposition politics for the ruling APC.

Tom Nyuma needs no introduction to Sierra Leoneans. His name is known in most households in the country and his exploits during the NPRC interregnum are also well known. Tom  was among the group of young army officers, led by Valentine Esegrabo M. Strasser that chased then APC president,  Joseph Saidu Momoh from Freetown one cold morning, in bedroom slippers, barely giving him chance to wear his pants.

Sankoh and Nyuma
Tom Nyuma became a major face of the NPRC government of Valentine Strasser. Initially he was Eastern Region Secretary of State and eventually rose to Undersecretary for defense. Tom Nyuma made a name for himself during those days as he was one of those ministers that would don military fatigues and head to the war front to engage RUF rebels. To this day a lot of people from the north of Sierra Leone believe that Tom Nyuma was in cahoots with the RUF rebels. To the people of the east however, Tom Nyuma was a genuine war hero who defended that area against the vicious onslaught of the RUF and even Foday Sankoh had a grudging respect for him.

During the early days of the SLPP government Tom Nyuma, was retired from the Republic of Sierra Leone military forces with the rank of Lieutenant colonel. Tom eventually found his way into the United States of America. In America, APC operatives and those who thought Tom Nyuma was a human rights violator made his life hell. He stayed briefly in Minnesota, but the Sierra Leone population in Minnesota was particularly hostile to him and he bailed for Ohio where he lived for years in relative obscurity, working as a security guard and going to school. Tom Nyuma's foes did not let him rest, even when he was in Ohio, and eventually he was deported from the USA back to the shore of Sierra Leone.

Strasser Today, destitute and broke
When Tom left USA for the shores of Sierra Leone, he faced a future of uncertainty and a fate similar to his old boss Valentine Strasser who is living today in one of the suburbs of Freetown, a highly diminished human being that bears no semblance to the once proud and fearful figure that he once was. Tom arrived in Freetown in 2007, destitute and broke.

After coming home in 2007, Tom joined the presidential and parliamentary elections campaign that was going on that year on the side of the then ruling SLPP government. During that period, an unfortunate incident happened that almost cost Tom Nyuma his life when had a run in with the campaign team of the now president Ernest Bai Koroma who was then the main opposition leader. According to reports at the time, Tom Nyuma had arrived at the Country Inn Hotel in Bo at about 3 a.m with a group of people. Approximately one hour after Nyuma arrived at the hotel, the campaign squad of APC leader Ernest Bai Koroma arrived at the same hotel. Some of the then opposition leader's bodyguard soon learnt that Tom Nyuma was also in the hotel and concluded that this was no coincidence. They reportedly thought that Tom, given his reputation was there to make an attempt on the life of their leader.

Tom, After Severe APC beating
Ernest koroma's men located Tom's room, forced open the door and proceeded to beat him to within an inch of his life and tie him up like rebel. Ernest Koroma's version which he gave to the United Nation's Integrated Office for Sierra Leone , UNIOSIL,  was that at around 4.00am, he had heard some commotion outside his room, but deemed it unsafe and did not come out. He proceeded to call the inspector general of police who then called the local unit command in Bo. Police were sent to the hotel. He stated that his bodyguards told him it was safe to come out. He then came out and saw Tom and one Philip Jimmy tied up like spring chickens.

Ernest told UNIOSIL that police had told him they found 50 rounds of ammunition for a  9mm firearm in Tom's vehicle. Of course Tom totally refuted Ernest Koroma's version, but at the end,  he was deliberately, systematically and severely beaten and spent some time recuperating in the hospital from his wounds and body pain. Of course the SLPP rose to his defense and  helped him during this period of physical and emotional crisis.

Nyuma wins Kailahun for SLPP
In 2008, Members of the SLPP, who were grateful for Tom's exploits during the war and seeing his sorry state, decided that their hero  was not going to suffer a fate similar to that of ex leader Valentine Strasser. They gave him  the SLPP  symbol and he ran against Solomon Musa of the APC for the Kalahun District Chairmanship, which he won by a landslide, winning 52,371 votes  against his APC opponent Solomon Musa who scored 14,252 votes, a whopping 73 percent of the votes. When the results were announced, hundreds of Kailahun residents cut palm fronds, the symbol of the SLPP and jumped on the streets, in ecstatic jubilation. This is the same man that has after four years, decided to defect and pledge his loyalty to those who flogged him within an inch of his life, who would have surely killed him, had it not been for the blessings of God's great majesty.

Most  SLPP strongmen though terribly disappointed with Tom's party disloyalty are not even a bit surprised, as it is alleged and had been variously reported in the past that he had switched allegiances a very long time ago and the Buedu announce was just a confirmation of what many political pundits had suspected all along.

Of course the blogosphere is currently hot with opposition disappointment and anger, but most people are of the opinion that the situation will just help galvanize opposition support in the east as Tom's popularity had been on the wane, given his poor managerial skills and his cozy relationship with the APC top brass. It could be recalled that in the not too distant past, APC operatives had bought a very expensive SUV for Tom that had caused much consternation and alarm in opposition circles.

Those who know Tom Nyuma also note that of all things,  he loves being near the center of power and was never comfortable in the opposition, even when he was chairman of an entire district. Tom,  it is said, yearns for those days when he was minister of defense and district chairman was a title that he felt belittled his once mighty status.

It will be a social scientist's dream to see how Tom will fit into the APC, a party full of people who  in the past so hated his guts that they would rather see him dead than eat with him. Most strong APC guys I have talked to in the past consider Tom a war criminal and a rebel. It will be interesting to see how they will now welcome him and the adjectives they will now use to describe him. In the meantime the Segbwema blogger will be here, giving you updates as they come in.

Sheku Sheriff
Segbwema Blogger
www.segbwema.blogspot.com


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Remembering A Great Son of Segbwema

Salia Koroma with his Accordion
Segbwema, a small city in the Eastern Region of Sierra Leone has had her own Share of prominent Sierra Leone citizens. Towering above the prominent sons of Segbwema is the great poet, sage, story teller, musician and oral history genious, the Late Salia Koroma, who was born in the Kono Town area of Segbwema just close to the river turned  stream Nyeya. Salia was I believe of Southern Sierra Leone heritage, but happened to  be born in the home town of the Segbwema blogger, Sheku Sheriff, the very I.

Yeaterday, someone from Daru, a suburb of Segbwema [I know I will get in trouble] requested a link to some Salia Koroma Music. I have been able to do some research and discover a whole website that is devoted entirely to Salia Koroma. The website is http://nikiibu.wordpress.com/


A Portrait of the Man
I remain extremely grateful to whoever put this great website and compendium of Salia's legacy together, it is truly a labor of love.

In the meantime here are some tastings of the great Salia Koroma from the website:








Thanks to the Nikkibu Notebook

Exposing Modern Day Demons.

As we closely monitor the lead up to elections in my country Sierra Leone, some of us are closely monitoring reports that certain political elements are preparing to once again leash violence upon the country if their political aspirations are not fulfilled. We will keep the eyes of the world trained on them as the eyes of the world are currently trained on the heinous and vicious heathen who claims to be leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA, Joseph Kony.

The Segbwema Blog joins the crusade against murderous Ugandan rebel terrorist Joseph Kony.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Segbwema Blog Philosophy

The Segbwema Pen vs The Sword of Injustice
We know that in the world there are eyes that are blind to evil and ears that do not want to hear it. Our aim is to have a world  that can solve problems without guns in hand. A world in which the power of the pen is mightier than the barrel of the gun. Our destiny is to see a world that will never justify wrong, no matter who perpetrates it. A world in which the quest for human development goes hand in hand and is never diametrically opposed to the quest for human dignity. 


In this struggle we will be the lone soldiers of righteousness. That is the philosophy of the Segbwema Blog and the mission towards which this blog will devote its energy.

Honorable Robin Fallay Released on Bail

Fallay Released
Breaking news from Kenema is that a high powered legal team led by SLPP Secretary General Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie have finally been able to secure the release of the Njaluahun honorable on bail. Ambassador Foya and other Eastern Region SLPP officials have been working around this clock to right this gross injustice against the young MP. Some degree of calmness seem to be returning to Segbwema where people have been irate due to the disrespectful treatment meted out to the honorable member of parliament.

This is a breaking news item on the Segbwema blog. More details will be made available as news comes in. The honorable is headed for home

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Honorable Fallay Continues to Langish in Kenema Jail

Honorable Robin Fallay
In a blatant show of disregard for the people of Kailahun district, the township of Segbwema and the parliament of Sierra Leone, the Kenema police have upon instructions from the All people's Congress [APC] hierarchy decided to again keep the sitting member of Parliament for Kailahun constituency 7, the Rt. Hon. Robin Fallay in indefinite detention, locked up like a common petty criminal in the stinking cells of a Kenema jail.

Thinking about Njaluahun
Reports from Segbwema state that Honorable Fallay, who was arrested in Kenema on March 6th, 2012 is being held in very deplorable conditions. When the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party initially requested his release, Kenema police stated that he was being held to obtain report from him. Later today they claimed to be holding him for protective custody. The alleged 10 underage girls the MP was accused of trying to register have been released on bail.

Even the idea that a sitting member of the highest law making body in the country can be treated like a common criminal  by the executive of the country, shows the utter contempt and disregard the APC party has for the parliament of Sierra Leone. The fact that Sierra Leone parliamentarians allow this wanton disregard of their prestige and authority to occur in silence, manifests how little regard the entire parliamentary body have for each other and their institution as a whole.

The unfortunate fact is that with the exception of a few, and with the exception of the 60s and 70s, the Sierra Leone parliament has always been filled with mostly half baked political demagogues who were oftentimes elected on the basis of violence, nepotism, tribalism or outright vote rigging. This has over the years undermined the credibility and authority of this great body who are supposed to be the most powerful body in the country, but are today populated by bootlickers to the executive who have no idea what their functions are. If Parliamentarians around the world were ranked in order of effectiveness, the current Sierra Leone Parliament would rank only below Somalia, whose Parliamentarians are mostly refugees.

Earlier this morning, a large delegation  from Njaluahun,  chiefdom Kailahun district constituency 07 joined the SLPP eastern region chairman and other eastern region party brass to seek the realease of Hon. Fallay with the help of lawyers Bonopha and L. Bangura.  Their efforts have currently had no impact on APC officials who are bent on showing their authority and humiliating the people of the region.

Fallay having fun
Reports from the region indicate that there is talk that the honorable may be charged tomorrow. A leading SLPP officials with intimiate knowledge of the situation states that "  This is just another of the 99 tactics of the APC to distract the SLPP from the on-going registration in our strongholds. We will not relent. this gangster regime must be thrown out of office through the ballot box come November 17th this year."

Many argue that even if the allegations against the MP were true, his continued detention and humiliation is senseless, as he is a young sitting member of parliament who is beloved by his people and represents no flight risk. His people are ready to stand by him no matter what. This they argue is just a case of trying to use the MP to provoke prominent SLPP members like the current party Chairman John Benjamin and the former finance minister John Karimu who both happen to be from the area. It is also known that the vocal MP who briefly aspired for the party presidential candidacy, has been a thorn in the sides of the ruling APC who have been devising all ways to take him out.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie on APC's Dirty 2012 Election Tactics

Atrtorney Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie, Secretary General of the Sierra Leone People's Party, the former ruling party which peacefully handed power to the current governing All People's Congress, comments on dirty tactics being used by the ruling party to perpetuate itself in power in the face of rising unpopularity of the current President, insurance salesman turned politician Ernest Bai Koroma

I am so glad I waited



Apple iPad Hero, the New Ipad
Today March 7th 2001 is another historic day for bloggers and technophiles, such as the Segbwema blogger, Sheku Sheriff, who have been waiting patiently for the release of the much anticipated iPad 3, dubbed by apple as the The New iPad or by enthusiasts as the Ipad HD. The iPad HD will make blogging fun and a breeze.
Segbwema Blogger

As someone who has been an apple watcher for a long time, I told a few of my friends that I would never by an initial apple product, as it was always an experimental product that was aimed at finding out what people really desired in a product and later coming out with a 3rd or 4th generation product that would meet the expectations of the buying public.

Most people wonder why Apple is such a successful firm. The simple reason is that Apple makes what people want through regular yearly releases of totally reworked products. Where other firm re-wrap old products in new skins with minor enhancements, Apple releases, though frequent,  are usually a marked improvement upon earlier generations and concentrate on those things consumers complain were lacking in the old versions.

iPhone 4S
The New iPad has a screen resolution of  2048 x1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi), while the iPad 2 had a screen resolution of  1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi). This gives the New iPad a picture and video display quality that is simply mind blowing to the viewer. In essence the retina display on the iPhone 4, which makes picture and video so crisp and clear on the iPhone 4 has been brought to the New iPad. The amazing technological breakthrough is that Apple has been able to achieve this feat without any loss of power or compromise in battery life. Apple has also managed to keep the price of the New iPad within the old price range of the iPad 2. 

The New iPad is more powerful. Games and apps run smoother and faster with graphics that are simply unparalleled. Those firms who have been playing catch up to the highly successful iPad 2 must be heaving sighs of despair. It is like being continually unable to defeat the fastest hundred meters sprinter in Freetown, Sierra Leone and suddenly facing the prospect of being put on the tracks against Usain Bolt, the fastest sprinter in the whole wide world.

When the first generation iPad came out, I remember the secretary general of Tegloma International Federation, Jeneba Bangura, famously saying that there were no women at Apple for naming the tablet the iPad, a name similar to a popular female product. She had little enthusiasm about the success of the device. I know that Jeneba would not make the same statement today. 

If ever there was a laptop killer, this is simply it and unless Microsoft comes up with some quick answer they are in serious trouble. Specifications about the New iPad can be obtained on Apple's website at www.apple.com

Segbwema Member of Parliament Arrested

Honorable Robin Fallay Constituency  7, Segbwema MP
Detained in Kenema police station and refused bail
News from Sierra Leone being monitored by the Segbwema blog indicates that Honorable Robin Fallay, the Sierra Leone People's Party member of parliament for Kailahun constituency 7, which includes the township of Segbwema, was arrested yesterday at approximately 8.00pm GMT Sierra Leone time and detained at the Kenema police station. The arrest stemmed from allegations of voter registration malpractice.

Hon. Fallay together with the principal of Holy Ghost Secondary school and a teacher are accused of falsifying birth record with the intention of registering underage voters in the constituency. They were remanded in custody and refused bail.

Further reports indicate that earlier today the alleged underage voters, who were also arrested were arraigned in a Kenema magistrate court where they denied the involvement of honorable Fallay in the conduct for which they were accused and were granted bail. The matter was adjourned to April 3rd 2012.

Top SLPP officials went to the Kenema police station to secure the release of the Segbwema MP, led by Ambassador Patrick Foya, but were unable to secure his release and he was to remain in custody till the next day, in appalling jail conditions. The SLPP top brass in Kenema are looking at arranging some legal representation for the MP and co-accused.

John Benjamin SLPP Chairman
Working feverishly to secure MP's release
Reports from Freetown also indicate that the SLPP chairman John O. Benjamin, who also happens to have hailed from Segbwema, and other top officials were working fervently to secure the release of Honorable Fallay.

It is interesting note that in recent weeks credible reports indicating that ruling All people's Congress APC party were engaged in massive underage voter registration in the north of the country which is their political base and ferrying nonresidential people to register them to vote in the southeast have been outrightly dismissed by the government as lies and negative propaganda without any investigation or arrests.

It is also interesting to note that the APC  administration is now finding it increasingly easy to arrest opposition members of parliament and hold them without bail, depriving them of their basic civil right of presumption of innocence before guilt and diminishing their status and the status of their constituents in the eyes of their fellow Sierra Leoneans.

Credible reports indicate there there is much uneasiness in Kenema and Segbwema over the arrest and continued detention of the popular MP, but top SLPP officials in the area are urging their supporters to remain calm and not give the ruling party the excuse of using such incidents to interfere in voters registration in areas that have historically been the base of the opposition.

Updates will continue to be provided as calls come in from the area.


Segbwema Blogger

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Light of Democracy Dimming in Sierra Leone

Just four years ago, the small  nation of Sierra Leone, an exotic and pristine beauty on Western Coast of continental Africa,  became a rare symbol of democracy on the continent. On a continent renowned for dictators and tyrants, this small country that had emerged from a tumultuous period of civil conflict had successfully conducted free and fair elections that had seen the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party gracefully conceding power to the main opposition All People Congress party, an opposition party that had previously ruled the country for 23 years and had managed its decline from a once prosperous country to one of the poorest and most destitute nations on the face of the earth.
Kabbah-Symbol of Democracy

The old All People Congress Party, led by ex-presidents Siaka Probyn Steven and Joseph Saidu Momoh had presided over the systematic decline of Sierra Leone from 1967 to 1992, a period during which the country was virtually brought to its knees through decades of misgovernment. Siaka Stevens who had attained power through democratic means from the ruling SLPP (deja vu) converted the diamond rich country into a one party dictatorship, banning legal opposition parties and presiding over the systematic pillaging of the resources of the country for personal gain. In 1980, in a bid to satisfy his monumental ego, Siaka Steven hosted the Organization of African Unity (OAU) conference in Sierra Leone. The financial cost of hosting this conference was so astronomical that the then Governor of the bank of Sierra Leone, Samuel Bangura, voiced his opposition to its implementation. The governor was murdered at his residence in an infamous act of political intrigue and the conference was given the go ahead.

Joseph Momoh
Most Corrupt President
After the OAU, the economic  fortunes of Sierra  Leone went into an irreversible decline. National output and productivity declined, national debt increased, and the standard of living of citizens decreased with an acceleration of the rate of inflation in the face of stagnant wages. The Leone, a currency that had once held its own weight against the dollar went into free fall. In 1980 one Leone was more valuable than one dollar. By 1992 when the then president Joseph Saidu Momoh was chased butt naked from Freetown by young soldiers asking for their pay, the value of one Leone was practically worthless, unable to buy even a cup of groundnuts.

President Koroma
No hope for the hopeless
So when the New APC, under the leadership of then opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma, once again took the mantle of leadership for the once decadent APC, some of us welcomed the news with apprehension and misgivings, but were ready to give him chance as we were of the opinion that having been through all the problems of Sierra Leone, he would try to give the people a chance to once again regain some element of their once lost glory. Some people argued that given the misdeeds and excesses of 23 years  of APC misrule characterized by misgovernment, corruption, tribalism and nepotism, Ernest Koroma would try to redeem the name of the party and try to build on the economic stability that he had inherited from President Ahmed Tejan Kabba whose government had managed to stabilize the economy, even though he had faced violent periods of armed insurrection.

When President Ahmed Tejan Kabba handed over power to Ernest Koroma, Sierra Leone's democratic institutions were solid both relative to other countries on the African continent and in absolute terms. Under Kabba, the opposition was given free rein to organize and campaign without fear of intimidation or violence. Once violent military and rebel leaders were given the opportunity to participate in governance, opposition radio stations and newspapers were free to operate and citizens were able to form civil groups with say in how the country's democratic future would be determined.

Though the APC party would want the world to believe that Tejan Kabba was an ineffectual leader under whose leadship there was not much progress, nothing could be further from the truth. In 1996 the NPRC military government handed over power to Tejan Kabbah with the RUF rebels still armed and terrorizing parts of the country. Tejan Kabba through diplomatic and other means broke the back of the Revolutionary United Front and had most its main leaders brought to trial and eventually convicted for crimes against humanity. Kabbah undermined and brought Charges against vicious Liberian Warlord turned president Charles Taylor who is languishing today in the Hague, in legal limbo. Foday Sankoh the mysterious and despised leader of the RUF was caught and prosecuted, he died before he could see justice, but reports from hell say he is not having a good time there at all.

Under Tejan Kabba the special court was established with the support of the international community that eventally indicted Charles Taylor. Tejan Kabbah worked with the United Nations to establish  the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), which was established with the Economic Community for West African States Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG)'s military support. UNAMSIL was eventually able to bring security to all parts of the country. The United Nations secretary general's representative to Sierra
Leone Victor Angelo was actively involved in political machinations in the country, but Tejan Kabbah never raised any vocal objection and allowed the UN representative free rein to meddle in the country's political affairs.

In 2007 Tejan Kabbah presided over elections that was generally assumed to be free and fair, even though thousands of ballots from ruling party support bases were thrown out by the National Electoral Commission citing irregularities. The opposition was declared the winners and Tejan Kabba graciously conceded without fuss, fighting or violence.

Forward to 2012, presidential and legislative elections are due to be held in November 2012, a date that is suspicious, as most people around the world will be paying attention to the American presidential contest. Today in Sierra Leone;
Minister Tarawally
Thuggish
VP Sumana Al-Jazeera

  •  opposition radio stations are banned, the country's currency has reach the 430000 mark against the dollar, unemployment is at an all time high and hope and prosperity is at an all time low.
  •  musicians that used to once challenge Tejan Kabbah through political songs now do so at risk of loss of limb  or life.
  •  political violence is rife, the main opposition leader and former leader Brigadier Julius Bio was attacked by ruling party loyalists in his hometown, the second capital city Bo, an incident that was clearly incendiary, given the love for him in the region.
  •  infighting among APC members for the vice presidency has seen gangster like shootings by government party agents in the main diamond district of Kono. The interior Minister Musa Tarawally is accused of thuggishly sending people to intimidate supporters of VP Sam Sumana.
  • the vice president and some of his henchmen were filmed soliciting bribes in an undercover investigative journalism sting by Al-Jazeera, 
  • the united nations representative to Sierra Leone, Michael von der Schulenburg has had his character viciously attacked by pseudo journalistic agents of the government and finally hounded out of the country.
  • there are claims that the government is busy ferrying people from Liberia and Guinea and registering them to obscure the results of the November elections.
  • there are reports that the UDM party is a creation of the APC to muddy the political waters and sow confusion in November with an agent of Koroma posing as opposition leader.
  • the national government is actively involving itself in student government elections at the countries universities to ensure the election of student governments that are pliable and malleable.
  • several government ministers have been indicted for corruption.
  • tribalism, nepotism, official corruption is at an all time high, with the government paying journalists to write glowing stories to fool the world in a process described as rebranding.
  • several government functionaries have been implicated in drug smuggling with plane and container load of cocaine appearing in the country in mysterious circumstances
In summary the democratic institutions put in place by Kabba, the people  of Sierra Leone, UN, and ECOMOG and years of hard worn peace seem to be in jeopardy due to an inept government  seeking to hang on to power by all means in the face of popular dissatisfaction and disaffection. Sierra Leonean fed up with years of endless promises, political gimmicks, and sheer incompetence are demanding change, but the government is seeking to deploy all the arsenal at its disposal to thwart the popular will of the people for personal gain. All eyes are on Sierra Leone and we can only pray that things do not totally fall apart, as the light of democracy seems to be failing in Sierra leone