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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Concerns Over American Ambassadorís Mental Health
By Sylvia O. Blyden & Aruna Turay in Freetown
Nov 2, 2012, 17:14
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There is growing quiet concern over the state of mental well-being of the United States Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Mike S. Owen, who has quickly travelled out of the country; reportedly for health checks. Diplomatic sources connected with the Ambassador who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity, explained that he has not been feeling healthy. The concern over his mental health came about after certain developments when he was to deliver a speech at an event organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Sierra Leone. At the occasion, held at a Lebanese businessmanís posh Spur Road residence in Western Freetown last month, Ambassador Owen fainted, lost consciousness and hit the ground with a loud thud. It took frantic efforts by the other guests present to resuscitate the sick ambassador.

 

It was on the day after Americaís Ambassador fell and reportedly bumped his head on the ground that he gave the now infamous interview to the Radio FM98.1 which sparked off the diplomatic furore he is now caught in. It can be recalled the Ambassador had publicly tried to impose the idea of a presidential debate between President Koroma and main challenger Bio after Koroma had made it clear that he would not share a platform with Bio.

His Excellency Ambassador Mike S. Owen: Fell down with a loud thud after he fainted and lost consciousness at a rich Lebanese manís house along Spur Road last month. The question now is: Just how badly did he bump his head?

Many in and out of diplomatic circles had been shocked at the public countering of a stated position of the Head of State by a sitting diplomat from a respected great nation like America. It was a most unusual and undiplomatic conduct according to many Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone.

 

It is however now being mooted in circles that when the Ambassador fell down, he might have hit his head too hard on the ground thus causing himself some mental health issues.

 

Many members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Sierra Leone and others present have quietly opined to this paper that the fall might be responsible for the undiplomatic behaviour of the American Ambassador the very next day. His radio interview was described by an African diplomat as ďsimply bizarreĒ.

 

During our investigations into this serious and sad matter, we contacted the Executive Director of the America Chamber of Commerce in Sierra Leone, Dr. Modupeh Taylor-Pearce (Jnr.). Speaking in a phone interview with us on Tuesday October 30th 2012, Dr. Taylor-Pearce confirmed the Ambassador had fallen down after he blacked out and totally lost consciousness at their event on Spur Road.

Dr. Taylor-Pearce stated that the Ambassador was out of his consciousness and not himself for a period of several minutes but that the timely intervention of the host and organisers ensured the U.S. Ambassador eventually regained consciousness and put into his vehicle safely. Dr. Taylor-Pearce however refused to be drawn into commenting on the mental health of the Ambassador.

 

ďThat is something you will have to discuss with the embassy,Ē Dr. Modupeh Taylor-Pearce said.

 

The American Embassy has been elusive to discuss this issue of the United States Ambassador suffering from probable mental problems as a result of the fall he sustained. This newspaper will however stand ready to air the Embassyís position should they wish to make a public comment on Ambassador Mike Owenís state of health; generally and specifically with reference to his mental status.

 

The good Ambassador has meanwhile left the country for a while. It is not known exactly when he will be returning here.


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

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