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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Sierra Leone Peoples Party needs to Beg Our Paramount Chiefs!
By Augustine Samba
Oct 9, 2012, 17:20
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The Author: Journalist Augustine Samba
Let me first introduce myself. I am a professional, trained journalist who recently reported from Kailahuns Segbwema, Njaluahun Chiefdom and Daru, Jawei Chiefdom on political developments in those two places. The latter chiefdom is my home where I was born and raised. I am the grandson of the late Honourable Paramount Chief Alfred Bockarie Samba, one of the Founding Fathers of the great Sierra Leone Peoples Party, the SLPP. My family is deeply rooted in SLPP. I have nothing to benefit from lying against SLPP.

 

It was my grandfather Hon. P.C. Samba, who built the Daru Court Barray in the year 1932. This my grandfathers Court Barray is where I stood in amazement on October 3rd 2012 as Julius Maada Bio made his recent negative utterances concerning Paramount Chiefs of the South-East as against those of the Northern Province.

 

The current Paramount Chief of Jawei, P.C. Ngoumbuklah Kallon is my uncle. He was absent from Maada Bios meeting on that fateful day. My uncle makes little secret of the fact that he appreciates the leadership style of President Ernest Koroma but he has never spoken against Maada Bios person; at least not in public. He did not deserve to be humiliated and molested to his people.

 

Having said this, I now want to say I stand by the report which I filed from Daru to my immediate boss, the Editor of Awareness Times, Mr. Aruna Turay. My only problem with the report is that Mr. Turay omitted from the report another aspect I filed in about how Maada Bio incited our people that the ruling APC Government hates them so much that no matter how much education my people learn, the APC will always suppress the people from our areas and will never give them employment. This was not true and my humble opinion is that a presidential candidate should not be saying such inciteful words based on regional division.

 

I am a son of a ruling house of Jawei Chiefdom and I do not understand why a journalist should not report on the words of a presidential candidate as spoken against our honourable traditional rulers of the South-East. I reported the truth in my article about what Maada Bio told our people. I have no reason to lie against Maada Bio.

 

I am a trained and professional journalist with a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Sierra Leone (Fourah Bay Colleges Mass Communications Department) and five years experience as a journalist.No one should think I will allow anyone to put words in my mouth. Dr. Sylvia Blyden is my employer and I am proud of her and what she has achieved in the media in Sierra Leone. I think it is totally wrong for anybody to drag her name into discussions of an article she did not write or edit.

 

I will want to advise Maada Bio that what he should do is to make a public apology to the traditional rulers of the South-East. He has offended them. Let him do the right thing and beg them rather than bluff. It is further insulting for a pro-SLPP tabloid to say Maada Bio was telling the Chiefs the truth. What is the truth? Tell fren true nor pwell fren does not apply in this case.The Paramount Chiefs of the South-East did not deserve what was said about them on that day. Especially as the Paramount Chief of neighbouring Njaluahun had been present in the chiefdom and received Maada Bio when he visited the chiefs house with John Benjamin just the day before his unfortunate words. As my uncle Paramount Chief Kallon also said, he was not even aware that Maada Bio was going to Jawei that day.

 

Not only did Maada Bio compare South-East Chiefs in a negative manner as compared to the North but he actually told our people not to believe what their chiefs were telling them about the Government of the day. He said the chiefs were self-seeking. What is truthful about that? What is respectful about that? Why molest our Chiefs?

 

As a son of a ruling house in the South-East, I urge Maada Bio to apologise for his utterances against the Paramount Chiefs of the South-East. They did not deserve his molestation. He should not have so roundly humiliated them to their people.

 

As a presidential candidate, he should also avoid promoting a dichotomy between our people in the North and our people in the South-East. He should know better.

 

Personally, I have nothing against Maada Bio. I do not dislike him. I wish him well. I am just a journalist reporting on what I heard being said in Daru; for which I have an almost two hours recording in my possession. Anyone who understands Mende language can ask me to play the taped words spoken to our people and then judge as to whether Maada Bio needs to apologise to our revered traditional chiefs of the South-East. I insist he should apologise and beg them.


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

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