From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sierra Leone President Thanks Alieu Sesay
By Our Correspondent
May 25, 2009, 15:22

His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone has last Friday May 22nd 2009, thanked one of his close aides and long-time political allies, Alieu Sesay of APC Radio (aka Assumpta) for his mediation efforts in the matter of the problems between this newspaper and the President. The President was speaking during a meeting held at State Lodge which was facilitated by Alieu Sesay between the Publisher of Awareness Times, Dr. Sylvia Blyden and the President. The meeting, which lasted for well over an hour, saw Dr. Blyden once again sincerely apologizing to the President for any emotional pains that her article might have caused him or his family. Although the merits or demerits of the said article, which is the subject of an ongoing court matter, were not discussed during the meeting, the Publisher used the opportunity to clarify an important point to the President.

This was the interpretation of the article to mean that the President had no moral backbone and thus was involved in sexual affairs with young teenagers and women from all social classes. Blyden vehemently denied that such grotesque imputation was meant to be derived from the published article. She insisted that the referenced use of the phrase ‘moral backbone’ had nothing to do with the President himself whilst she insisted that those who might have interpreted the article to mean such, had their own hidden agenda.

Meanwhile, Alieu Sesay who had been granted the leeway by President Koroma for several days preceding to engage the Awareness Times, found himself as the subject of an overt attack on his personality, credibility and integrity on the front pages of the newspaper belonging to the Press Secretary to the President, Sheka Tarawalie.

Awareness Times has learnt that after Alieu Sesay was sent by President Koroma to carry out some specific errands for him relating to the Awareness Times issue, Sheka Tarawalie (aka Shekito) on Thursday May 21st 2009, went wild up at State House, walked into the office of the State Chief of Protocol Alusine Sesay where he met Alieu Sesay seated and proceeded to verbally attacked Alieu Sesay. Shekito insulted Alieu whom he claimed was "interfering" with his efforts to "deal with Sylvia Blyden".

Alieu Sesay, we have learnt, was very dismissive of Shekito which sent Shekito even wilder. In the very next edition of Shekito’s newspaper (Friday May 22nd), he carried a banner headline with a photograph of Alieu Sesay & Tony Blair (he deleted Blair from the photo) and in the article entitled as STATE HOUSE IMPOSTOR EXPOSED, the paper proceeded to warn the public that Alieu Sesay was a mere pretender who should not be countenanced as working with or for the President.

The front page of Shekito's last Friday May 22nd 2009 Edition of what the News Vendors refer to as the 'STATE HOUSE NEWSPAPER'

The vicious nature of the attack on Alieu Sesay by Sheka Tarawalie has left many APC party observers very worried that such a man like Shekito continues to be close to President Koroma as his Press Secretary. Meanwhile, Alieu Sesay, the man described as a State House Impostor, last Friday flew out of Sierra Leone with President Koroma whilst Sheka Tarawalie was not included with the delegation and remains in Freetown.

During President Koroma’s meeting with Sylvia Blyden, she also ensured that she showed him the full May 8th 2009 article published by Sheka Tarawalie against her as a woman starting from the description of her as a fake doctor to the use of the words concubine, etc. etc. to describe her. There was a visible look of shock on the President’s face whilst he was reading the words penned down by Sheka Tarawalie. It was clear from the expression of shocked disgust on his face that the President had up to that time never set eyes on that particular article or the words therein. Sylvia Blyden also informed the President of something that Sheka Tarawalie had not informed the President of. She informed of how the IMC had just in the last one week, seriously queried Sheka Tarawalie for publishing several editions of his newspaper without the name of an editor which was a criminally-motivated act. She also informed of how the particular edition that had falsely published she was a concubine etc. etc. had not borne the name of any Editor. Sylvia Blyden thus revealed to the Head of State that in the absence of an imprinted name of Editor, the sole person being legally responsible for the insulting publication was none other than the President’s own Press Secretary who was the one listed down at the IMC and the Registrar-General’s Office as the Licensed Publisher/Proprietor of that offending newspaper.

Notwithstanding all the above facts that were brought to his notice last Friday, the President however expressed deep dismay that he was seemingly punished vicariously by Sylvia Blyden for the penmanship of Sheka Tarawalie which he did not endorse.

Blyden explained how her previous attempts to get justice done to her, were frustrated by Nolle Prosequi applications by the President’s own Government through the Attorney General. She however again expressed deep apologies for any pains or emotional turmoil that the article caused the President.

The Court Case concerning this matter of an alleged ‘publication of false news to incite disaffection in the Presidents marital home’ is scheduled to resume tomorrow in front of Magistrate Stephen Conteh. Blyden herself is currently out on a Le100 million leones bail bond.

Both Alieu Sesay and President Koroma are expected back in Sierra Leone within a week whilst Sheka Tarawalie is in Freetown currently.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.