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We Are Vindicated Everyday
By Dr. Sama Banya
Dec 16, 2008, 17:06
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In the old days, there was the common saying that, "It must be true; its in the papers." One looks back with some nostalgia on those days of yester years, when the newspapers were relied upon to be the purveyors of not just news, but news that was reliable. Sadly, the situation is very different today with a lot of our publications.

Many are notorious for creating non-existents events, while others distorts their stories in such a way as to leave the sad victims no choice but to ask for a retraction or else!


I was listening to reports of the recently concluded Mano River Union Summit which President Ernest Bai Koroma hosted. Our President in referring to the importance of security in our sub region reminded his colleagues, that the breakdown of security in our member countries, (although HE was referring specifically to Sierra Leone) had put our country back THIRTY YEARS. I repeat, HE said THIRTY YEARS and how right he was. Next, in answer to questions from journalists, the Chair for the occasion, Liberias President Johnson Sirleaf said emphatically that the question of Yenga, the piece of Sierra Leone territory which Guinea had occupied during the war for strategic reasons and to which it had now laid claim, was not on the agenda for discussion. She added however that progress in the ongoing discussion on the subject was satisfactorily.

Taking Sierra Leone back thirty years as President Koroma said, is not mere diplomatic talk. If we must be honest with ourselves, the damage inflicted on this countrys progress as a result of the rebel war can never be overemphasized. It affected every facet of our existence as a sovereign state. It is against that backdrop that I have always accused critics of the past SLPP government and I must say, they include the leadership of the APC as well as the SLPP baiting journalists, as not being honest with themselves or sincere in their criticism. They fail to recognize the rapid strides that we made in the areas of rehabilitation and resettlement let alone appreciate and mention them. And yet they are there for all to see.


On the contrary all one hears is that we did not build a bridge across to Lungi or reintroduce the railway that would run between Freetown and Koindu with a branch line going beyond Makeni and Kabala on to Mongo in North Eastern Koinadugu. Perhaps now that theyve heard it from their leader, such critics would think twice before exposing themselves. A lot had been said about the SLPPs handling of the Yenga affair. The one that nearly made me throw-up was an idiot of a journalist, playing up to the new President at the time, wrote "of course it is well known that the SLPP had sold Yenga to the Guineans." Worse was still to be read; the journalists own role model David Tam Bayoh wrote that a diplomat had told him that former President Kabbah was dilly dallying over Yenga in exchange for a safe heaven for him in Guinea when he shall have left office. Did one ever read such a dangerous, ridiculous and arrant nonsense, especially the cowardly manner in which it was attributed to a foreign diplomat?


Again, from President Johnson Sirleaf, even the most anti SLPP critic would conclude that the matter of Yenga is such that only a diplomatic solution would lay it to rest. Yes as I have always stated, we may have been mad in the way we operated as a government, but there is certainly both method and logic in our madness.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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