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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

TRIBUTE: Indeed, Hon. Mohamed Daudis Koroma is Dead
By Pasco Gerald Temple
May 11, 2011, 17:04
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Writing tribute for particularly close associates of mine who passed away, from time to eternity is one of the most difficult tasks for me.  Certainly not out of Incompetence, but out of the profundity of thoughts that characterizes the way I sometimes Reminisce.

The Month of April actually saw the death of some people including two of my Friends, comrades and Colleagues whose relationships with me were strong, though conditional.

Conditional in the sense that our relationship was based on principles. In the case of the late Mohamed Daudis Koroma, our relationship was based on friendship and on Professional lines, whilst that of the late Olu Richie Gordon was cantered on Pan Africanism and again on professional lines. At an appropriate time, I (Azoo) shall write about my relationship with Brother Olu Gordon (Azaah).

I got to know the late Minister of State Health Hon. Mohamed Daudis Koroma in the mid nineties- a reporter of The Champion .

I sought for him, because his by-line used to author stories in The Champion that were directly countering my reports in The Unity Now- bi weekly, which used to subject  me to questioning by Editor in Chief Hon. Frank Kposowa and Deputy Editor in Chief Mr. George Khoryama about the rationale behind such developments: So when we( Pasco Temple & Mohamed Koroma) met for the first time at the law Courts building on Siaka Stevens Street, we had a bitter encounter, successfully thrashed out our differences and became friends.

When he started publishing The African Champion this black, a little more than five feet tall man with  a rare husk tenor voice, introduced a colleague Hon Jacob Koroma  as his brother and Editor, and called for mutual respect and camaraderie : but I observed that the reasons behind my seeking him  was repeating itself with a different by-line:Orlangba Kanu.

The Late Hon. Mohamed Daudis Koroma was not a diplomat, he was very practical and his feelings were easily identified in his facial appearance and the way he talks.

Though it was not easy at the beginning of his proprietorship, he took it as a challenge. The African Champion had no specific day for the News stand: because the Newspaper could only be published when it was printed between 1:30 - 4.00 AM at John Love Printers.

The late man saw the other side of the profession in 1999 after the January 6 Invasion of the capital Freetown by rebel forces, when one of his trusted lieutenant Mohamed Jalloh was arrested with copies of printed  African Champion Newspapers one fateful  night around Paramount  Hotel vicinity  about two  Hundred yards from State House and persecuted as a rebel.

The late man said he pleaded in vain with the soldiers and some Sierra Leoneans who were very dogmatic in seeing the demise of the employee of the late man.

Compounding this problem was the fact that certain partisan practitioners who were purporting to be independent practicing journalists became a law unto themselves and began publishing the names of a good number of journalists including the late man as juntalists, thus giving bearing to some unscrupulous elements who went berserk and join the fray to ransack the No 1 Short Street offices of several newspapers including that of the late man.    

This was why among many other reasons, when I distributed Computers to many media outlets, as was assigned by Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), I included the name of his newspaper as one of the beneficiaries.

At the African Champion, the Late man was very liberal: his Newspaper comes first: he never hesitated to pay free lancers for articles: even if he did not publish an article he had paid for, that was his prerogative. His personal views expressed during hot debates in his Champion office were most times not published.

His kissy Road African Champion office was shared by several foreign journalists who were in the country to cover the elections that saw President Ernest Bai Koroma in Power, because, his office was a centre of political debates and his veranda was very strategic to view political action coupled with the provision of at least twelve hours electricity a day.

So, when he was appointed deputy Minister of Information, it was no wonder that the eighth floor of Youyi building began registering the highest number of journalists to a senior colleague and former President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists: the Hon. Minister of Information Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo and his deputy, the late Hon. Mohamed Daudis Koroma.

Soon after his transfer, I visited him four times at his former Health Ministry, he shared his experience of the two ministries to me and in December 2010, we met at the Information Ministry in the office of Deputy Information Minister Hon. Sheka Tarawally, and no sooner I entered the office, he grabbed my hand and walked down the stairs to his fourth floor office, where we spoke for thirty minutes. He was very categorical in telling me that he was not feeling healthy.

Soon after that pronouncement, my mind thought of Tatafway Tumoe who has in no uncertain terms expressed admiration for the late Mohamed Daudis Koromas love for medical checkups.

Pasco Tee, your man takes pleasure in checking his medical status; the beginning of every month will see him checking his health and will always call on people to go to the hospital to do same. Said Tataf.

Of late, one question the late man was unable to answer: was the reason for his ill health and consistent loss of weight.

For the period I know him the late man does not drink Alcohol: he was loved by his family and food was brought from his house for lunch on a daily basis to the African Champion: and he will not dine alone.

Only the Good Lord knows the origin of his ailment: an ailment that baffled a good number of us: an ailment that could not be diagnosed by Sierra Leonean, British and Indian Medicos, except during his dying moments.

But this is Sierra Leone: a country where we were born: where people can be so tricky and devilish to kill a goose that lays a golden egg.

The Minister of State is dead and gone to the great beyond- a beyond where nobody had gone and come back to life to share his/her experience.

Except for his works, and legacy, Mohamed Daudis Koroma is no more. Orlangba is dead.

I pray that the Almighty God console his wife, Children and loved ones: and the soul of the faithful rest in perfect peace.

Amen.


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