Political wrongness in Salone army
A soldier of 17 years service, Tuesday 19th faced dismissal owing to assertions that he jubilated with SLPP supporters shortly after High Court’s submission of judgement in the matter between executives of the forenamed party and Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbie (member).
SLA 1817- 7832 Alhaji Sidikie (in photo) Tuesday 19th was spotted celebrating with a considerable number of Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) supporters at the Periphery of Law building soon after High Court’s submissions of its ruling in the matter between SLPP executive and Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbie.
It is alleged though that the soldier was spotted on camera (as broadcasted by SLBC TV) dancing with SLPP supporters in uniform.
Sidikie, has served the military for 17 years and up until his dismissal was attached to the 5th Battalion – on deployment at the Army monumental site at Slater Terrace adjoining the Sierra Leone law court.
His usual haunt (on duty or off duty) was usually the periphery of the Sierra Leone law court in Freetown.
Having been accused of taking a political side, nay rejoicing in uniform for the main opposition SLPP party, he was whisked down to the 5th Battalion headquarters at Wilberforce, kept in cells for about 24 hours and on the following day escorted in marching order before Lieutenant Colonel O.J Sesay to answer to disciplinary charges against him.
He was found guilty, dismissed and made to lay down kit belonging to the Sierra Leone Army.
Findings by this press have it that the dismissed soldier was at the law court to find food (cookery). That after getting food, on his way back to his deployment he met with a coworker (a police officer attached to the operational security division ‘OSD’ but works as security at the court).
I caught OSD Waka Waka at the main gate to the court, where incidentally was his deployment and was in discussion with him when unexpectedly a crowd of SLPP supporters emerged from the inside of the high court celebrating their party’s winning of a case complained against them by Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbie.
He (Sidikie) said he was on duty on the 15th July at the Army Monument site, but felt hungry and therefore strolled across to the law court where he usually buys food.
“After taking food, I left the cookery shop and was on my way to where I was deployed when caught by my police friend alias Waka Waka who was on duty at the law court’s gate. Waka Waka engaged me into a friendly discussion.”
“As we discussed, a group of court visitors (later proved as supporters of the SLPP) suddenly burst into jubilation; singing and dancing in celebration of their party’s end of court case.”
“It was then that ‘Waka Waka’ asked me to help him control the approaching crowd, which I did.”
“As I was busy controlling the crowd of SLPP supporters, I never knew I was being videoed by camera crews of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) at all, Sidikie emphasised.”
Crosschecking the side of the military, head of media and communication, Major Ken Jabbie, admits to information leading to the dismissal of SLA Alhaji Sidikie, but said that the commanding officer of 5th Battalion, Lt. Col. O. J Sesay, under whose supervision and jurisdiction was the soldier, be approached for a talk.
Soldiers who spoke to this press on grounds of anonymity, refer to the dismissal of their former colleague as unwarranted and a complete violation of the rights of junior military personnel.
“Sidikie’s sacking must have surely not come from his direct commander but the powers that be – politicians,” a soldier who asked for his name not to be mentioned said.
“It is ridiculous and most unfortunate that a soldier of 17 years service could be dismissed because he was on camera controlling a multitude of allegedly disorderly SLPP supporters at a state owned building – the law court.”
Read detailed interview with the officer that ordered the dismissal of SLA 1816-7832 Alhaji Sidekie in our next edition.
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