ICC Minimum Facilities
President Ernest Bai Koroma
President of Sierra Leone
Dear President Koroma,
|That Fateful Day|
My brother, I can remember the effort you made to encourage me to step down after that election, but I remained stubborn.I remained defiant and intransigent, up to the day I was caught like a rat hiding in a small one bedroom in a bunker in Abidjan.
|My Honey Simone|
For over a week I had not been able to comb my hair, take a bath or even brush my teeth. I still remember how you people offered me a way to get out of that situation with my dignity intact. Instead I listened to my advisers, my wife Simone and my heart.
As you know by now Mr. President, it is not easy to leave that job. Being a president in our own corner of the world is special. People jump when you tell them to jump, clap when you ask them to clap and cry when you ask them to cry. The country’s money is your personal piggy bank from which you can take anytime you want, as even your bank governors are in your back pocket.
Mr. President, you know our people treat you like God and pray for you even when you are doing wrong, as long as their own interest is protected. Who will want to leave that kind of a job? Ask Saddam.
|Our Brother Saddam|
Why do you think the great Saddam Hussein was caught hiding in a hole like an Arabian rat? Why do you think our own man, the king of kings, Muammar Ghadafi, who used to sponsor rebels to overthrow our West African brothers, was caught hiding in a drainage pipe and dragged out like a snake to be humiliated for all the world to see. Why do you think I was caught in a small water-less room with my hair all disheveled like a mad man? Look at pictures of my beautiful wife on that day, she looked like a homeless woman that had not slept in a bed for 7 months, I still tease her about it. My brother African power is not easy to give up.
My brother Koroma, I hear that some of your men have started going round your small country whispering that you should be given a third term. I also hear that you have asked them to make you your party’s leader for a third term and warned your party members not to campaign for your post. Well it seems like you have started to walk in my footsteps. You must have started to think that once you give up, all that crowd around you will disappear. All those who call you the “world’s best” will soon find another world’s best. All those fine people that smile at you will vanish and you will probably go back to your hometown to do some farming. If you decide to hang on, there will be thousands who will encourage you, but be careful you don’t make a mistake like I did, otherwise while you are in The Hague, they will be in London, giving interviews on BBC.
|Back in the Day|
My brother this Hague is not the Europe we used to see when we used to come on visits. It is in the southern part of Holland and unless you are interested in Cheese and milk all your life my brother, be careful. If you have gathered enough, leave your party in the hands of somebody you trust and retire in peace. Your predecessor President Kabba used to warn me, but I did not listen to that old man. Look at him today, he is resting peacefully in your country with his beautiful young wife, while I am here in this cold cell eating cheese and milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
|The Great Ghaddafi's Hole|
My brother, you made two trips to Abidjan to advise me to do the right thing, but power had blinded me, deafened my ears and clouded my reasoning. As I lie every day in this cold dark cell, I often kick myself for not having listened to you. I took the advice of my subordinates who did not really care about me, but cared only about their own jobs. Since I came here I have received only three letters from them. Two was to ask for a bank account number and the other was to send me a picture of his wedding. I hope this case goes well, but my brother, be careful not to make my own mistakes.
I will write more when you reply. If you can, please send me some Colgate toothpaste. Prison toothpaste tastes like chalk.
Former Ivorian President for Life