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Separating the grain from the chaff

Separating the grain from the chaff

So often I get amused at people who believe that they have scored a great point over this old man by what they write. Some do it out of ignorance, but others unfortunately do it because they really are quite incorrigible and nothing gets through to them. A Mustapha Kpaka writing from Washington DC alleges that I am misleading the SLPP. To begin with, this Kpaka who for all I know may be drawing attention to himself because he has been away too long and now needs a job; or he is so ignorant of the caliber of the leadership of the SLPP that he thinks they could be led like sheep. If he were the intellectual that people like him think of themselves he would have understood the message of my article comparing the repeated presentation of SLPP converts to the APC to a Road show comparable to the BBC’s Goon show. Kpaka argues that the SLPP jubilated when Foday Suma came over to us. The next example was Abass Bundu. Now quite frankly Mustapha Kpaka how many times did the SLPP gloat over its new VIP members compared to the number of times within a year that the APC has presented the same faces to its people. That sir, was the point of the Puawui column.

I have given up on correcting the fabrications of the African Champion newspaper. Its latest story makes me a founding member of the RUF’s Foday Sankoh the murderer taking me to task because I had held on to money which I had allegedly collected or solicited for the movement. Here let me summarize an article that may have appeared in this column some time ago. After the shooting incident in Mobai during the 1977 Parliamentary elections I was admitted in the Nixon Memorial hospital in Segbwema for a couple of days before being evacuated to Freetown and then to the United Kingdom. On the morning of my departure from Segbwema a photographer entered my hospital room and took photographs of my bandaged head and the injuries on my body. He was at the helipad taking more photographs as I was been put on the helicopter. On my return from the UK I called at the hospital to express my thanks to the staff. The young photographer appeared with a pile of photographs including of the vehicles in which we were traveling before the ambush. He charged one thousand leones of which I gave him five hundred Leones and asked that he could collect the balance in my hospital in Kenema. that was the last I saw of him.

The government of the Ivory Coast had started arrangements for a peace meeting between the NPRC and the RUF leadership culminating in the first contact between the two groups in Yamoussoukro. Mr. Tejan-Kabbah had won the runoff Presidential election but had not taken over. He instructed me to represent him in an observer status at the proposed peace talks. I was not even a minister designate.

During the war I had written scathing articles on the RUF leader Foday Saybana Sankoh in the Vision newspaper and had taken Robin Whyte to task on the BBC Focus on Africa programme because he had treated the RUF leader as if he was a head of state. I had previously sent a letter through Guinea to Foday Sankoh behind the rebel lines in Kailahun asking why he chose my district for his misadventure instead of his native Tonkolili .

On the morning of the plenary meeting in Yamoussoukro there was an informal gathering at the Presidential Palace. Foday Sankoh shook everybody’s hands in greeting but when he got to me he stretched out his hand and in a huff demanded “Where is my five hundred Leones?” I was stunned for a moment and then he added, “Do you remember the photographer in the Nixon hospital?” I simply gasped in disbelief, “YOU?” when we got to the plenary I became the object of Sankoh’s wrath; he was having his own back and accused me of being APC and now SLPP. That he was not the demon that I had tried to make him etc. At the conclusion of his tirade, he asked for a one-on-one meeting with the representative of President Kabbah. The SLBS now SLBC may have a copy of the video cassette which had been played on SLBS television. There was no other mention of me let alone of any association with the RUF or of receiving money on their behalf as the lying liars at the African champion have tried to make out. All I can tell the over zealous editor is that I am proud of both my character and my reputation and no half-baked editor will succeed in denting them.  

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