Reports from Pujehun Town indicates that the Head of the Civil Society Movement in Sierra Leone, Mr. Festus Minah (photographed), has yesterday January 14th 2011, declared he was joining the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma.
|Mr. Festus Minah
Mr. Minah, who was reported to be dressed in a bright red African outfit, was presented to the people of Pujehun, during a trip by President Koroma to the District to formally present Moijue Kaikai and Vandi Minah as his new Ministers from Pujehun District.
According to Patrick Kaikai, the APC District Chairman who presented Mr. Festus Minah to the crowd, Mr. Minah has not yet resigned from the Civil Society Movement but will do so very soon following which he is said to intend to take the message of the APC to all the crooks and crannies of not only Pujehun District but the entire Southern Province and even “the world at large”.
Members of the main opposition SLPP, have meanwhile, expressed concern for the country’s multi-party democratic culture. According to them, Mr. Minah has all the right to belong to any party of his choice, but given the sensitivity of the position he currently holds as Head of Civil Society in Sierra Leone, he should have developed second thoughts about his decision or at the very least, handed over his position to someone else before he joined the APC entourage as a political activist.
This writer, is however not at all surprised at the declaration of Mr. Festus Minah. In the middle of last year, I was complained to the Independent Media Commission (IMC) by a certain Deputy Minister over a publication in my newspaper. Festus Minah is the member representing Civil Society on the IMC Complaints Board. The complaint had no merit really and was thrown out when the Minister confirmed the veracity of what I had written and failed to produce any evidence or witness otherwise. However, during the Hearing, the manner in which Festus Minah had shown aggression towards me for writing against what he repeatedly termed as “a whole Government Minister” was scary.
Let us pray for this country. The number of people willing to ‘stand in the gap’ so the country does not go back to the Siaka Stevens One-Party Days, is dwindling every single day. It is depressing. Integrity is becoming a very expensive commodity in Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, in an article that was first published in the APC Mouthpiece two years ago, on Wednesday January 7th 2009, in reaction to certain comments made by Festus Minah at the time, the APC mouthpiece, We Yone Newspaper, describes Mr. Festus Minah as "a spent force" who was a "self proclaimed civil society leader" and a "political mole in the guise of a civil society activist". The APC paper had also said that Minah is a man who makes statements that "best could be described as reckless and irresponsible which should not come from any sober minded and forward looking non partisan civil society activist"
The APC newspaper also said "Festus Minah who brands himself as the chairman of the civil society movement" has not "had democratic elections for almost a decade in the civil society movement".
The APC mouthpiece also said Festus Minah failed to criticise the SLPP when it was in power.
Continuing, the APC newspaper had described Festus Minah further as a "self imposter of a civil society movement that is not accountable to the people and have not had democratic elections for almost a decade" who "failed to realize that he does not have the moral credentials or legal authority" to make certain pronouncements.
The APC mouthpiece also ended by saying 'the truth is that Festus Minah is a political wolf in the clothing of a civil society activist'.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.