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Where the APC has made a difference … hmm!

Where the APC has made a difference … hmm!

His name is Idris Conteh (Atomic Pen); he was until his departure for greener pastures a newspaper editor or columnist or both. He has an international job and now lives very comfortably in the Sudan. It is from that local utopia that he has written an article with the above heading.

Now as to whether life in Sierra Leone is better under the APC or not, we know that in spite of all the slogans and the many flamboyant adjectives, life is very difficult for most Sierra Leoneans. Naturally it is not easy for the Atomic Pen to imagine this but I am sure if he were to contact his immediate family and friends, they would confide in him “under conditions of anonymity” that things are not what he supposes them to be, not even with them. But, that is his opinion to which he has an inalienable right, thanks to the liberal political dispensation of former President Tejan-Kabbah and his SLPP government; he has every right to it.

What is not his to toy with is the TRUTH, the naked truth especially that which is known to all. He made a number of atrocious allegations in the said article, which cannot and must not go unchallenged. He alleges that the APC takes criticisms very seriously but that under the SLPP, they fell on deaf ears. Yes, the APC takes criticisms so seriously that there were two vicious attacks on the SLPP head office culminating in the total destruction of its radio and final closure.

Idris Conteh also alleges that in the last term of the SLPP the country did not appear to have a government. And yet the country conducted peaceful elections and armed robbery was an expression that was hardly heard of.

The next unserious allegation takes the cake, that is, that if the SLPP had been returned to power, the economic situation would have been far worse.

As I have already mentioned, having lived comfortably outside the country he has no idea of what people paid for essential commodities under the SLPP compared with today. Perhaps somebody should send him a comparative price list under the SLPP and today under the red sun.

His next statement tantamount to nothing short of professional dishonesty, a deliberate attempt to distort facts. He refers to former SLPP ministers who committed offences and were not touched and names Dr. Prince Harding, Momoh Pujeh,  Dr. Salia-Bao, Kanji Daramy and Dr. Harry Will. For the sake of the poor chaps Mr. Atomic should be reminded that Prince Harding was immediately suspended from office following the fatal Paramount Airlines helicopter crash at Lungi airport with the loss of life of all (all of them Togolese) on board. An ACC investigation later exonerated him from all blame.

Were both Harry Will and Momoh Pujeh not charged to court? While Harry Will was convicted, a conviction which was eventually quashed, Momoh Pujeh was acquitted and discharged.

Did the Camaray Commission find any criminal act against Kanji Daramy? Was not an Appeal court Judge charged to court and sentenced?

So what is Mr. Atomic fuming about? 

If an Ambassador takes liberties which embarrass his government and he is immediately recalled, what further did Idris Conteh expect? I have always maintained that journalism is an honourable profession and those who practice it must respect its virtues.

In May this year I took a complaint to the Independent Media Commission (IMC) against the managing editor of the Standard Times newspaper, Philip Neville, for libel and defamation of character. Among other false stories Neville had alleged that I seduced my late sister from her husband and then fathered her son Sama. After much delay followed by many hearings there has been total silence. I was astonished to read in today’s New Citizen newspaper that the IMC could not ascertain the fact of the allegation in the absence of the main characters who were no longer alive for a DNA test. It had therefore warned journalists to cross-check their stories.

My comments or next step will follow when I shall have heard formally from the Commission.

For now all I can say is, “I can’t believe what I have read”

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