Showing posts from October, 2013

Preparing for the Agenda for Prosperity

After years of promises, one could be excused for becoming an African pessimist. From the moment we were born to this very day, successive leaders have told the citizens of my poor country Sierra Leone that things would be better. From free education to free health care, we have heard it all. So if today we express a healthy dose of skepticism, it is not unpatriotism or cynicism as some would call it, but just plain old common sense. Believing in lies all your life is not idiocy, it is madness. So for now, my approach to African political promises is simple; seeing is believing, and it does not matter which party is making the promise. Our country Sierra Leone is facing a youth population explosion problem, especially in the urban areas. The result of the protracted civil war of the 90s was the movement of people from the rural areas to the relative safety of the urban centers of Bo, Makeni and the capital Freetown.Freetown a beautiful colonial city with serious geographic limitations…

Be Careful What You Wish For

I heard that former Sierra Leone President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah has not been well lately. I wish him all the best and many will keep praying for him.

Well meaning Sierra Leoneans will always remember President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah for dragging Sierra Leone out of the mouths of hell. A veteran UN diplomat, Tejan Kabbah took over power from the Julius Maada Bio led National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) government and ruled the country over a tumultuous period, from 1996 to 2007.

A seasoned international diplomat, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, a civilian, was able to end the long running civil war that both the All People Congress (APC) and NPRC governments under three military leaders, Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh, Captain Valentine Strasser and Brigadier Julius Maada Bio had been unable to end, by marshaling immense diplomatic skills and engaging the international community to help end the war, disarm the militants, put the main perpetrators of the mayhem on trial and ensure a thriving dem…

Dark Clouds in Sierra Leone

What is happening in Sierra Leone today is a real tragedy. Here is a country that barely a decade ago was engulfed in a horrible civil war in which thousands were mutilated, maimed and killed. The situation degenerated to such a primitive level that the international community had to step away from the sidelines and get forcibly involved to bring an end to the mayhem, and put the country on a path to multi-party democracy. Or so they thought.

Barely 12 short years after the all that bloodbath and mayhem, all the problems that led to the conflict in the first place are now rushing back into the country like a giant wave propelled by a vicious tsunami.

Just a year after President Ernest Bai Koroma was reelected for a second term on a promise of an Agenda for Prosperity, the political situation has become virulent, the economic disparity in the country between rich and poor has reached  levels unprecedented in any African country, with the educational system is in shambles, as exemplifi…

Sierra Leone Democracy at Risk as Parliament Gets Ready to Degrade Speaker Position

Over the past few weeks the All People Congress (APC) Government has embarked on a campaign of intimidation of journalists and opposition figures in Sierra Leone.

Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay, editors of the Independent Observer  have been arrested, locked up for days and refused bail for comparing the President to a rat. When the pro-government Awareness Times Newspaper had somebody writing as Mohamed Azonto Kamara calling the Vice President an ASS, nothing happened, as the publisher  of the rag, who is also the Special Assistant to the President has launched a campaign of disrespect against the VP on the grounds that people are disrespecting the President for his sake. She had earlier in the year promised the journalists in the country that they Will be ''sanitized," and it seems she is using her influence with the President to make good on her threat to 'sanitize' the few independent journalists left in the country.

The two journalists are both to be dragg…

All Peoples Congress (APC) Lawyer writes Strongly Worded Letter to Sierra Leone President Ernest Koroma

M Alieu Iscandari

Letter to the President of Sierra Leone.

dear Mr. President,

I received the following communication from State House,from one Sylvia Blyden who purports to SPEAK for you? here it is :

"Alieu, JUST F**K OFF. You are sick. Once again, go and seek help. U are sick bo... U are really sick... talking about EXPLODE... make ar block you sef. F**KING IDIOT"

Is this the level of communication that emanates from State house or have the standards really sunk that low since Ms. Thing your chief speaker came in. I have been hearing all around town that as soon as she passes by their are rumours of "there goes the neighborhood" I cannot understand for the life of me why you would hire a person with such foul mouth who has so far since her appointment failed to live up to the expectations of the diplomatic etiquette's that comes with working in such close proximity with your office. was this lady forced upon you Mr. President? I ask because it seems like since th…

State House Palava Continues: Enter Azonto

Using the Awareness Times Newspaper as a cover, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone is now using the mysterious Awareness Times journalist Mohamed Azonto Kamara aka SEA to clear all the obstacles in his path to hand picking a puppet and installing him as leader of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party. A puppet that will be a potential future president of the impoverished and debt plagued West African Country.

Taking a cue from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who got around presidential term limits by appointing a stooge Dmitry Medvedev as a bench warmer President for one term and then coming back as President after the end of the first term, it seems as if all the old APC tactics of the 1970s are back with a vengeance.

Some time after the 2012 elections, some of President Koroma's stooges in the media and the government started to float the idea of a third term. The President's campaign manager Balogun Koroma went on radio and insinuated that having done such…

Taylor Prevented from Joining Allies in Rwanda

To the last moment of his freedom, Charles Ghankay Taylor's megalomania remained on full display for the world to see. The authorities overseeing the former Liberian rebel war lord turned President's incarceration just refused his latest request to join his RUF buddies Issa Sesay and others in a special prison in Rwanda. Charles Taylor who just a few weeks ago had  his fifty year conviction for  war crimes in Sierra Leone upheld by an appellate branch of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, has been making more demands since his arrest and transfer to the Hague than the queen of England herself.
A former Liberian criminal fugitive, Charles Ghankay Taylor mysteriously escaped detention in USA in the 1980s, came to Africa and was able to use the support of former Libyan tyrant Muammar Ghadafi and Burkina Faso despot Blaise Campaore to launch a popular rebellion against the murderous regime of Samuel Kenyon Doe in the small West African country of Liberia.
After years of terrible…

Sierra Leone Political Updates: Zainab's Dilemma

Zainab Bangura, the former Sierra Leone community activist turned foreign and health minister who abandoned a cabinet position in Sierra Leone's corruption plagued Health and Sanitation Ministry to accept a United Nations position as a Special Representative to the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict at the level of Under-Secretary General is currently a dilemma of sorts.

Mrs. Bangura, a graduate of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, was appointed to the position after years of campaigning for women's rights, especially in conflict situations, having been very active during the rebel conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia and having gained valuable experience  and international recognition for her role in an area of the world where the concerns of women are usually relegated to the background,  it came as pleasant surprise for most Sierra Leoneans when on June 22nd 2012, UN Secretary general Ban Ki Moon nabbed Ms. Bangura for this position, a very lucky…

Is It Koroma-Sumana or Blyden-Tam Baryoh

The public press war between Sierra Leone's perennial trouble monger Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to that country's President, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and David Tam-Baryoh, the home buddy of the Vice President Sam Sumana seem to be turning from ugly to ungodly. Just when neutral observers thought the madness at State House could not get any worse, it has now become a full scale exhibition of lunacy.
Olayinka Blyden, the former RUF rebel activist, whose short tenure at Sierra Leone's Statehouse has been marked by one unnecessary media crisis after the other, due to an unfortunate tendency of writing without regard to her new public role, is a woman constantly on the prowl for controversy and in a new heightened state of paranoia, she now sees an opposition conspiracy in almost every negative thing happening in Sierra Leone today. Over the past month President Koroma withdrew from a trip to engage in various activities in the Un…