In today’s edition we have two letters. One of them reflects the epitome of professionalism and was signed by no less a person than Major General Nelson Williams, the Chief of Defense Staff, on behalf of the Military. It addresses a matter of grave concern to the general public; the illegal deployment of soldiers by State House Press Secretary upon whose orders the soldiers had allegedly proceeded to physically assault and threaten to stab a sitting female Parliamentarian, Hon. Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie. The tone of the letter and the true remorse expressed in it gives hope to the reader that the Sierra Leone Army is currently headed by a true disciplined officer.
Unfortunately, whilst this newspaper has nothing but admiration and respect for the level of professionalism and humility that has been displayed by the Chief of Defence Staff, this presshouse has been struggling with the exact description that we should assign to the so-called LETTER TO THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE that was yesterday February 2nd 2009, sent to the mass media by the State House Press Secretary Sheka Tarawalie. The Release sent out from Addis Ababa (to be precise, for those who do not know that Sheka sleeps in posh hotels, the Release was sent out from Addis Ababa Hilton Hotel Room 618) is an exercise in extremity.
Our Publisher Sylvia Blyden thinks the situation is ‘too pathetic’; Our acting Head of Political Affairs, Theo Gbenda believes it is ‘too sorry’. Our Current Affairs Head and acting Editor, Abdul Karim Kabia believes it is ‘too funny’ whilst our political commentator, Arnold Akibo-Betts thinks it is ‘too serious’ and another member of our team, Desmond Kamara-Taylor thinks it is ‘too sad’ for the Ernest Koroma led All People’s Congress.
Whatever the description, one thing is clear; Sheka has taken his shenanigans to the extreme by penning down such an open letter full of insults at the Nation’s Police Chief and sending it around the world. This is why each and every member of the Editorial Suite used the word ‘too’ in our description. It is too much of one thing that is good for nothing!
Whether it is too sorry or too serious or too pathetic or too funny or too sad, one thing is clear, Sheka Tarawalie has stepped out of line and broken all possible decorum that surround matters of the State. It is one thing to be an angry husband but it is quite another to be an angry Press Secretary to His Excellency the President. Such an appointment like the latter comes with an expected accompanying comportment that Sheka does not seem to possess.
The list is endless and includes the fierce exchange between himself and his media colleagues over nonsense; to him being dragged from State House to face criminal charges; to the pornographic material he posted on the State House website and now to his rudeness he has exhibited towards the sitting Inspector General of Police. Sheka Tarawalie does not exemplify the attributes of a Presidential Press Secretary.
As Press Secretary to His Excellency, Shekito must know that he issues press items on behalf of the Leader and Head of State for all Sierra Leoneans. Sheka’s comportment and his open hostility towards anything that even looks like SLPP, is a recipe for disaster and if Ernest Koroma does not realise this quickly, he will find himself in dire straits.
The Letter from Sheka Tarawalie to Inspector General Brima Acha Kamara is a disgrace to the Office of President Ernest Bai Koroma. President Koroma likes to distance himself from the ‘personal’ rantings, ravings and misbehaviours of Sheka Tarawalie. This was evidenced in how he distanced himself from the libellous rubbish Sheka Tarawalie once wrote against a female publisher over the Internet. However, this time if President Koroma attempts to let the rudeness from Sheka Tarawalie to the Inspector General of Police remain standing, he would have definitely hit another nail into the coffin of resentment that has been unnecessarily building up against him.
There are some needless resentment in politics and in statesmanship. The resentment that will come about as a result of Sheka Tarawalie’s unchecked rudeness to the Police Chief is definitely not one that President Koroma needs right now. If our President allows Shekito’s brazen rudeness to the IG to stand unchallenged, we are afraid that Koroma’s prospects as a well respected, disciplined Head of State will not be too bright. It will be too pathetic, too sad, too sorry and oh well, too funny also! Over to Mr. President.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.