Richard Bockarie calls President Koroma â€˜A dictator!â€™ â€“ a rejoinder
Sierra Express Media contributor, Richard Bockarie, calls president Koroma â€œa dictatorâ€ for what seemed to me like an attempt by the president of the country to enhance security and cut down on cell phone thefts, which have become prevalent in the country and consequently a total embarrassment to our nation, especially when foreigners are involved. (Photo: Brima M Turay, PRO, APC NA)
Mr. Bockarie, please understand that the increase in cell phone thefts has been used, at one point, by your demi-god Dr. Sama Banya, to discredit President Koromaâ€™s administration and accusing the president of not doing enough to clamp down on this embarrassing trend. Dr. Banya claimed that his cell phone was stolen from his pocket during a bereavement gathering a few weeks ago. Now that the president is trying to insure that cell phone owners register their communication device so that we can have a paper trail of any theft or lost cell phones in the country by simply tracing the registration number to ascertain ownership, you and many others are crying foul!
What else will you not condemn about this administration? The president, in my opinion, is merely doing you a favor by responding to the many complaints by you and many others about cell phone thefts. If we had had this mechanism in place prior to this time, a lot of crimes and incidents and their perpetrators could have been traced through cell phone records. It is very easy to investigate crimes in the United States of America through phone calls by simply comparing the time of call and time of the incident or crime, because the majority of cell phones can be traced through registration records or customer record.
The fact that president Koroma is trying to modernize our communication system, which would help law enforcement and the criminal justice system as a whole to have more latitude to investigate and prosecute crimes, does not constitute what you describe as â€œA dictatorshipâ€. It is an act of patriotism and good leadership. As a leader, you listen to the cry of your subjects and act in accordance with such demands/pleas.
Even the phone companies themselves would realize some form of structure in terms how to trace calls and track any perpetrators within the system. What did the SLPP do to address this matter in 12 years? If they had paid attention to the cry of the people and respect the fact that communication is very important in a country that is barely struggling to re-establish itself after so many years of disruption of our economic growth, we would not be cueing outside the offices of phone companies to register our cell phones.
The people of Sierra Leone have to show some understanding as the government tries to improve the quality of their lifestyle. If we fail to adhere to deadlines in relation to a call for national development, we would miss out on many good things that this government intends to do for all of us. It is already very impressive that you can now communicate with someone in the remote villages in our country through the use of cell phones. It would therefore not hurt a bit if we make sure we know who we are talking to and where they reside in the country. One of the simplest ways to enhance that possibility is through registration and record keeping.
Therefore, my brother Richard, this must not be interpreted as a dictatorship but a smart move by the president of a nation to save you and me the embarrassment of having to defend our citizenry after a cell phone theft, especially from tourists and investors. Do you now see the rationale, Mr. Bockarie? I hope you do!
Brima M. Turay, PRO; APC North America
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