President Koroma fires another warning short
In many cases when someone seems to be quiet and gentle, especially in terms of dealing with people and issues, others tend to misinterpret such attributes of individual as weakness. Sometimes it is not weakness. It could be an inborn nature of individual, or he or she might be studying situations or people’s attitude and behaviour before he will act. Like President Ernest Bai Koroma, he is so gentle and well composed that, some Sierra Leoneans tend to question his ability, especially in terms of taking action against certain events. Even within his APC camp. Such Sierra Leoneans fail to realise that good leadership goes with long patience, tolerance, accommodation and forgiveness. Also with proper studying of people’s attitude and behaviour or characters with keen listening to others.
Therefore, whether one agrees with me or not President Koroma is one of the gentlest Presidents Sierra Leone ever had as compared to any past presidents in the country, be him civilian president or military, particularly in terms of dealing with individual Sierra Leonean, group and the country’s issues, be it social or political. Therefore, i think it is because he is not a ruthless President and above all he is a God fearing man, that is why some Sierra Leoneans are always trying him to see if he could bite or hit.
For the fact that many times President Koroma was warning Sierra Leoneans including politicians, civil servants and journalists to desist from anything that will lead the country into another unrest situation. But some Sierra Leoneans always tend to take such warnings with a pinch of salt. Perhaps because of grudges, corrupt attitude, lawless behaviour, political affiliation or regional interest at the expense of the nation’s hard earned peace.
Just exact a year ago sometime in November 2013, when I wrote a piece with similar caption like the above. That was the time when President Koroma bolted out his minister of works, Alimamy P. Koroma for his alleged incompetent in executing his duties as minister. President Koroma knows that inefficiency in government work will easily lead the country into problem/s. The President also bites and hit some of his corrupt civil servants, especially the so-called senior civil servants who do not want to see the country move forward because of their corrupt attitude and behaviour. President koroma knows that corruption will also lead the country into serious confusion, especially treasonable corruption. So he normally acts decisively against those that don’t want to take his warning serious.
He also detained my brother Sierra Leoneans and colleague journalists, Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay few months ago. He did all that to tell Sierra Leoneans that no one is above the laws of the land, especially those who think they are untouchable because of their status in the country. At the same time he, President Ernest Bai Koroma was also telling them, Sierra Leoneans that he is not a joker of his words of warning, particularly those who might think that he is like a toothless bull dog that cannot bite. Now, he is telling Sierra Leoneans that regardless of individual or group status in the country, he can bite, kick, box and hit when necessary.
I do also believe that after Ebola virus crisis in the country, President Koroma will continue to bite and hit some of his corrupt ministers, senior civil servants and NGOs stakeholders who take corruption has a way of life in their systems, especially those who may currently busy in diverting the Ebola funds into their personal accounts to build satanic blood money mansions and buy luxury cars at the expense of the poor nation. I hope he will also continue to deal with the lawless and indiscipline sierra Leoneans, including politicians, civil servants, paramount chiefs, police, military, secretaries, drivers, massagers and cleaners in the country. So that Sierra Leone can be seen as a country of law, not of man.
Also journalists, who tend to forget their sacred duties or responsibilities as professional journalists and at the same time as Sierra Leoneans. I hope they will not also slip from the wheel of president Koroma’s disciplinary wrath, particular the promoters of hates, division, tribalism and inciters to gain cheap popularity at the expense of the state. Journalists have two major responsibilities: one, the responsibility of their nation’s safety, security, peace, unity and development and two, the responsibility of upholding the journalistic professional ethics, which is objectivity, because they are partners in development. Therefore, they should not allow themselves to be seen as enemies of the nation or development because of tribalism, regionalism, grudges or political connection. In view of that they should always put the country’s interest first than self-destructive attitude and behaviour.
For the fact that journalism is not a license to promote unpatriotic and un-nationalistic attitude and behaviour, especially personal vendetta that will lead the country into another unforgeable dark day of our history. Do not ask who I am, I am a journalist but my country’s interest comes first in my life than individual, group, political party or region, particularly in terms of its safety, security, peace, unity and development.
Therefore, no grudge against individual, group or political party will make me throw away my love and loyalty for my beloved country, Sierra Leone. Despite I am very far away from it. In view of that, i am completely against unpatriotic destructive journalism. We have to do our critique constructively as Sierra Leoneans for the benefit of our country and poor people that have nowhere to run to for the safety of their lives and children, especially in case of unrest situation in the country. They have no money to pay to go to Guinea, Liberia, London, America or Australia to seek refuge.
We all know the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword, because it can put a whole nation on fire in a day. We all also know that the tongue is more dangerous than any part of the human body, because it kills within a tingle of an eye either by making a comment or statements. In view of that writing divisive, hate, tribalism and regionalism stories or articles is destructive. Likewise making divisive, hate, tribalism and regionalism comments for personal benefit, interest or political gain is a complete destructive journalism.
I would also like us to know that sometimes things that we considered to be small, many times where big things always come from. Therefore, we should not overlook certain issue/s. For the fact that little things are big things, for instance, the bit in a horse’s mouth and the rudder of a ship are very small compared to what they control. But the slightest mistake the hands that control them make, the movement of the horse or the ship’s direction will be completely changed.
Therefore, even the tongue which formed a small part of the body can do great things as I said. In order words a word or even a look or a gesture might seem small, but each can change a friend into an enemy or transform good situation into bad status.
In the same token, destructive journalism can easily throw a whole nation into serious conflict as a case may be Rwanda 1994 genocide. Just one small radio program presentation comments made by one person, according to information, those comments brought the entire nation into serious conflict that led to the destruction of thousands of poor innocent lives and properties in that country.
Therefore, the current arrest and detention of my brother Sierra Leonean and colleague journalist, David Tam Baryoh by the Sierra Leone government, for an alleged inciting comment/s during his monologue radio program presentation is a clear indication that Present Koroma didn’t want the country to slip back into another doom day like the 11 years of our senseless brutal civil war or Rwanda 1994 genocide, Liberia in the 1990s tribal war or Ivory Coast. Please do not get me wrong, I am not justifying or trying to justify the arrest and detention of my colleague journalist by government because I am not a legal minded person. I am looking or talking about the complexity of the allegation made by government against him and even at that i could be right or wrong.
However, If and only if he, Tam Baryoh did that, he might do it unconsciously through what we called slippery of tongue. For the fact that i see no good reason why Tam Baryoh should become an enemy of President Koroma’s APC government at the expense of the nation, for the fact that he Tom Baryoh was one of the strong pillars of brining such government into power.
Despite the geographical distance I live, but personally I know the role he Tam Baryoh played in bring the APC into power, like any other patriotic and nationalist Sierra Leonean. He played a very great role in 2007 onto 2012 general elections, especially in terms of educating the general public why SLPP should be kicked out of power through the ballot box. Although he should not use that as a weapon to destroy what he had suffered to make. He should not allow emotion to carry him away or perhaps grudge against individual or group. He should not also allow bad friends that always seeking for political, tribal or regional solace to mislead him, especially friends that always pretend to be seeking his interest or be in sympathy with him at his own expense and family.
I don’t just want to go back to the great role he also played during the brutal rule of NPRC and AFRC in removing them from State House. He knows very well the ruthless and irresponsible military rule in the country. They have no respect for their follow Sierra Leoneans, especially for their rights in the country. As long as they are in their kaki, kaki they will disgrace, molest and humiliate their follow Sierra Leoneans in front of their family and public, particularly the junior soldiers or lower ranks who are always with the defenceless general public. They will take the civilian’s wives and loot their properties because they have guns. Poor and defenceless civilians will have nowhere to complain and if they have, nobody will listen to them, as it was during NPRC and AFRC junta governments.
Therefore, in my opinion, I am not sure if government allegation against Tam Baryoh is really in place. If and only if yes indeed he really made inciting comments, I think he might not made such comments consciously as i said before. For the fact that Tam Baryoh is a very intelligent man and he is a veteran journalist therefore, he knows what it means to make an inciting comment or statements against a government or nation, especially tribal or regional comments. He also knew what NPRC and AFRC did to us as journalists in the country during their time of agony rule. So I am not sure if his mind would run to invoke another unrest situation in the country because of the bitter experience we had during the 11 years of brutal civil war and the jungle military governments we had. He is a very peaceful gentle man that loves his country.
However, as human being like any one of us, we are liable to do mistake. Therefore, he might have made mistake/s on one way or the other. Therefore, he should be forgiven for any wrong that he might have done, whether consciously or not. In view of that, i would like to personally call the attention of our loving and caring gentle president, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his government, the father of our nation who is also a devoted religious man, Christian to put a soft spot in his heart and mind to forgive Dr. Tam Baryoh, by releasing him from prison unconditional.
In fact i made to understand that he is a personal friend of President Koroma. As a result, please Mr President, release him and talk to him like your smaller brother. Do Mr President; use this issue as a means of coming together or reconciliation with your brother and son Sierra Leonean. As a father of the nation, you have no bad bush to throw a bad child or children. I thank God that according to information, he Tam Baryoh has called for a peaceful dialogue with government which is very good. In my view, no amount of propaganda will help him in solving his current problem, especially false propaganda than the path he took, which is peaceful negotiation with his brother, President Koroma’ government. Okoro nor da tall pas e-mama.
Pa President, you know say teet e-tonge kin make palaba inside the mot, but that nor da separate them in the mot, unless die. Doya Pa release me brother Sierra Leonean and mepade journalist for the sak of Pa Pa God. Forgive him please.
However, I will like to continue my apply to individuals, philanthropists, local organisations, government, international organisations, especially WFP, WHO, UN, EU, AU and individual countries to continue assisting our poor and dying people in the country by providing enough FOOD, clean drinking water and medical care, particular those in the quarantine homes, centres and Ebola survivals, they need enough food because of the two deadly killer diseases that ravaging their lives, which are Ebola virus and Hunger.
By Tony Bee, Sydney, Australia
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