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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Sierra Leone Peoples Party reaction to PPRC's Public Notice on the incident involving the motorcades of President Ernest Koroma and Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio
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Oct 25, 2012, 17:19
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Press Statement

 

Reaction to PPRC Public Notice on the incident involving the motorcades of President Ernest Koroma and Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio on October, 2012 in Freetown.

 

Freetown, October 23, 2012: The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) is seized of a public notice issued by the PPRC dated 18th October, 2012 on a meeting allegedly attended by political party leaders in Freetown, in which many issues including the unfortunate incident involving the motorcades of President Ernest Koroma and Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio were discussed.

 

As a responsible political party, we take great exception to the intemperate and immodest language used by the PPRC in their reference to Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio. We believe that this is a deliberate attempt by the PPRC to denigrate the image of our Presidential nominee and distract him from his very successful campaign trail. On the specific allegations made by the PPRC, we wish to clarify the following:


1. That Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio never disobeyed any instructions as he was never forewarned by any law enforcement officer not to use the Goderich Street route. As a former head of state and a very law abiding citizen with great respect for democracy and the rule of law, he would have waited until the presidential motorcade had passed by if he was ever advised.

2. We are very concerned that no PPRC official ever spoke to any member of the SLPP on what was clearly a police blunder to get our own side of the story. This is against the rules of natural justice and in our view undermines the neutrality of the PPRC which is supposed to be independent, fair and evenhanded.

3. The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) wishes it be known that the party has always acted within the law even in very difficult circumstances when the Political Parties regulatory organs has had failed to protect our members from undue harassment by the ruling party.

 

We reassure the general public of our continued commitment to the peace and security of this country.

We call on the PPRC to be more vigilant in its monitoring of the conduct of members of political parties and to be fairer and prompt in its naming and shaming for breaches of the PPRC Codes, without fear or favour.

 

In another development, the SLPP categorically dismiss as biased and unprofessional, the attempt by SLBC and its reporter, Mrs. Yvette Jas-Cor, who press reports claim, was threatened by Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio and his head of Media.

 

It is correct that Mr. Totangi denied SLBC an interview with the SLPP Presidential nominee on the grounds that SLBC has not been fairly allotting coverage time to the activities of the party.

 

The fact that SLBC would give so much coverage to an allegation made in bad faith by one of their reporters without granting the party the traditional right-of-reply is testimony of their partiality and unprofessionalism.


Maada Bio & Kalilu Totangi allegedly molest Female Journalist


A female member of staff of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) is reporting that she was verbally attacked on Saturday October 20th 2012 in a malicious manner by opposition presidential candidate Maada Bio and also by Kalilu Totangi, opposition head of media, right inside the opposition SLPP headquarters. According to Mrs. Yvette Jas-Corr, ever since she was assigned to SLPP headquarters this month as the SLBC reporter covering SLPP activities, it has been a psychological trauma for her.

 

On her first day, she says she was accosted by SLPP Scribe Sulaiman Banja Tejansie on presenting her letter of credentials from SLBC.

 

Na which party you dey? Make ee nor be say you na spy den done send pan we oh? were amongst the questions asked of her by Sulaiman Banja Tejansie. [TRANSLATION: What political party do you belong to? Hope you have not been sent to spy on us?] Another question, Banja Tejansie is alleged to have asked her was You na marrade woman? [TRANSLATION: Are you married] to which, in a state of shock at the impertinent question, she merely showed him her wedding ring. Upon seeing her gold wedding ring, he reportedly said Well some woman dem kin werr marrade ring but den nor marrade so talk nor. You na marrade woman? [TRANSLATION: Well some women wear wedding rings without being married so answer my question. Are you a married woman?]

 

According to her, this latest alleged psychological haranguing by Maada Bio and Kalilu Totangi came about when she attempted to interview Bio on aspects of his launched Manifesto. She says a furious Bio and Totangi launched a bitter verbal tirade at her and Maada Bio also posed a fierce sojaman military pose when talking down to her camera man who was trying to explain to Bio that SLBC was not biased against SLPP.

 

Apparently standing like a military man over SLBC camera man who was stooping, Maada Bio is reported to have shouted, Na true Kalilu dey talk. SLBC una biased against SLPP. Ar nor get natin for say to una and then he strode out.  [TRANSLATION: Kalilu is saying the truth. SLBC is biased against SLPP. I have nothing to say to you people].

 

Mrs. Jas-Corr says the actions of Maada Bio stunned her as it showed a man who was not in control of his emotions and lacked leadership skills.

 

I expected much more from a leader. I feel disappointed at how he treated me especially as I am a woman. I felt ashamed and humiliated by Mr. Bio, Mrs. Jas-Corr told Awareness Times.

 

Yvette Jas-Corr has also described Kalilu Totangi as being rude and obviously in a state of frustration.

 

She said Totangi swung his hands right in front of her face whilst vowing that Maada Bio will not speak to SLBC.

 

Although he did not hit me, he violently swung his hands right in front of my face so much so that I felt the wind pass my face. I felt humiliated and molested.I felt robbed of my pride as a woman by the way I was treated inside the SLPP headquarters, Mrs. Jas-Corr said adding even during the trip we made to Pujehun to launch the SLPPs campaign on October 17th, it was the same awful treatment. I have asked my bosses to withdraw me from covering SLPP programmes.

 

Her immediate boss at SLBC, Mr. Samuel Valcarcel confirmed to Awareness Times that he had received the disturbing report of the maltreatment of one of our female staff inside the SLPP headquarters.According to Valcarcel, the report has been corroborated by the cameraman who was with Mrs. Jas-Corr at the time she was molested by Maada Bio and Kalilu Totangi. Valcarcel said SLBC was now going to be vigorously engaging the SLPP authorities on the matter.

 

Mr. Elvis Gbanabome, Director-General of the SLBC tells Awareness Times that this is not a matter we will treat lightly. Our staff should not be intimidated or molested by anyone especially not a female staff.

 

All attempts to reach the relevant persons for their own side of the incident proved futile. However, we reached the editor of the SLPP mouthpiece newspaper, Mr. B.W. Bockarie who denied that such a thing could have happened.

 

Not Brigadier Maada Bio. He is too much of a gentleman for that. And besides, why will he refuse to speak to an SLBC staff when we have agreed for SLBC to give us coverage? Bockarie said.

 

Our editor finally reached the opposition SLPPs National Chairman & Leader John Oponjo Benjamin. He told this paper that he was just returning from several days of campaigning in the provinces. He has promised to investigate the matter with both Bio and Totangi for their own side.


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

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