Army Politics…Soldier ‘Fired up’ for opposition SLPP
A soldier of 17 year standings Tuesday 19th faced firing ‘the sack’ on account of allegation that he had joined opposition SLPP supporters jubilate court’s conclusion of a matter between the party and an executives member Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbie.
The sacking of SLA 1817- 7832 Alhaji Sidikie came due to claims that he was caught on camera in company of number of Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) supporters celebrating high court’s outcome of their party’s case.
Inquiries so far conducted revealed glaring that the sacking of private Sidikie contravenes person’s rights to fairness and justice for all.
Allegation against the soldier was neither investigated nor carefully looked into at all.
It could be recalled that private Sidikie was accused of meddling his way with SLPP supporters at the Sierra Leone high court, jubilating court’s conclusion of a case against the SLPP.
That a day after the alleged incident, he was however whisked to the 5th battalion headquarters at Wilberforce where eventually he was detained for about 24 hours, ushered in matching order into the office of the commanding officer to answer to charges against him.
While answering to what was seen be a speedy military trial, his charges were read, an alleged video clip showed him and then ushered out of the office.
Minutes later, private Sidikie was afterwards approached at the outside of Colonel O.J Sesay’s office and told he was dismissed forthwith from Army.
It is fact that the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) aired a televised news programme in which private Sidikie was spotted controlling a crowd of jubilant SLPP loyalists at the premises of the Sierra Leone law court building.
The video footage, at no point, ever proved that the dismissed soldier joined the jubilant crowd of SLPP supporters in celebrating their party’s court victory at all.
A watchful observation of the alleged SLBC clip indicates clear that private Sidikie never jubilated with the SLPP, but was rather giving security helping hand to police officers on duty at the law building.
Sources from within the police have confirmed to this press that the soldier never joined the jubilant SLPP crowd at all.
“We asked him to assist us control the separate set of SLPP supporters who practically almost attack each other,” the officers revealed.
“Private Sidikie has been a colleague and on that fateful day, it was us that asked him to assist us control the unruly SLPP crowd as we very few in number then.”
Disclosures reaching this press indicate that some Army officials vehemently resolved at having the soldier sacked because they want to protect their job and at the same time satisfy the ruling APC party.
Unconfirmed information states that the Army Chief, Major General Yirrah Koroma, has had sequential telephone calls from political bigwigs, ordering him sacked at will, a soldier who has served the military for 17 good years.
It is a fact that the Army Chief has long reached his retirement age, but kept enjoying the stool of leadership on account of his political nosiness with the ruling APC party.
Reflection must also be drawn to the fact that interferences of politicians into issues of military concerns have had negative repercussions, civil mix-ups and unrest to society generally.
Some school of thought attributes the sacking of Private Sidikie as having a meaning of false impression by especially the hierarchy of the military, albeit pretending being ‘apolitical’ yet are politicians.
The media department of the Army was contacted by this press who referred our reporter to the commanding officer of the 5th battalion, Lieutenant Colonel O. J Sesay, in whose command the soldier was sacked.
Even though efforts to get Lt. Col Sesay proved unsuccessful, this press will today engage him in full time interview.
In his statement, private Sidikie told this press that on the 19th July, he was at his deployment at the Army monument site adjacent the law court building.
That he felt hungry and therefore moved over to the law court to find food (cookery) as usually the case.
“After getting food, on my way returning to my deployment post, I caught at a friend and coworker (OSD Waka Waka) at the main gate of the court,” he said.
“OSD alias Waka Waka engaged me into a discussion and as we converse, a crowd of SLPP supporters suddenly emerged and were singing and chanting victory songs for their party.”
“It was then that Waka Waka asked me to help him control the approaching crowd, which I did.”
“I was shocked to be told on the following day that I was spotted jubilating with SLPP supporters at the law court building.”
“l have served 17 years in the military,” he emphasized, “I have been innocently sacked and left to think about how to take care of myself and four children.”
Soldiers have called the sacking of Private Sidikie as completely uncalled for and a gross violation of the soldier’s rights.
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This issue is very pathetic and we should not allow it to happen. Suppose there was chaos and this soldier didn’t help in putting things right as protectors of lives and properties, we should have blamed him squarely.19th August 2011
In that view, I am joining all peace loving Sierra Leoneans who believe and stand for equal right and justice for all to plead on behalf of this innocent soldier to the authorities concerned to review their decision.
Also, I would like to call on the commander in chief, his excellency the president to critically look into this allegation and try to correct the situation. If found guilty of the allegation meted on him, I suggest that he be sent on UN mission in Sudan than been sacked after serving the army for 17 years. Your excellency, May God give you more wisdom and knowledge as a father of our nation. Please note that, the unlawful sacking of this young military officer is a damage to him and his family. I had expected a punishment to be meted on him if so for allegedly taking part in a mission he was not posted to. I believe that is the offense this soldier might have committed and therefore it doesn’t warrant his sacking.
God help MAMA SALONE.