From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

No Reason to Blame President Koroma
By Sylvia O. Blyden
Oct 6, 2009, 17:35

If the SLPP newspaper is to be believed, there will be a demonstration along the streets of Sierra Leone today October 6th 2009 in favour of the women who were allegedly Raped and/or Sexually Assaulted on March 16th 2009 at the SLPP Party headquarters. For this, I say Bravo to the SLPP Women’s Leader I.J. Kabbah who is said to be spearheading the demonstrations.

Before going further, let me make it categorically clear that I am firmly convinced in my mind that those six women (and I suspect even more who are too ashamed to come forward) were raped and/or sexually assaulted at the SLPP Party Headquarters on March 16th 2009. Nothing can convince me otherwise and I will soon be publishing the official reaction of me and my team to the Bankole Thompson Flawed Report on the Rape allegations.

President Ernest Bai Koroma: He must be commended because he Played by the Rules of Civilised Gentlemen so the entire Rape Commission went unhindered with no interference from State House and with the fullest cooperation from President

However, for a member of SLPP Hierarchy to attempt to blame President Koroma or the Koroma Government for the ‘inaction’ insofar as the Rapes and Sexual Assaults are concerned is an exercise in hypocrisy.

SLPP Attacking the Koroma Government on this issue is like an ostrich burying his/her head in the sand and exposing his/her buttocks to the world. It is like the cow walking the streets defecating on himself/herself thinking he/she is littering the streets when he/she is just exposing his/her anus. It is like the monkey climbing up trees going up and up and up thinking he/she is on a sky-bound mission when he/she is just exposing his/her rear end to the gathering down below.

President Ernest Koroma showed real statesmanship in not only agreeing to the Commission of Enquiry but in giving the Commission a free, unhindered leeway to investigate the allegations. Idrissa ‘Leatherboot’ Kamara, his Close Protection Officer, and prime accused suspect in coordinating the alleged Rapes, if the victims are to believed, was sent to the Commission to answer questions openly in public.

Leatherboot left his post at State House to respectfully face the Commission and to answer all their questions under oath because that is what his boss, the President, wanted. President Koroma ensured that no one wanted by the Commission was protected from the scrutiny of the Commissioners. There was no sacred cow as far as the Rapes were concerned.

The only persons who did not see it fit to take up the invitation to make themselves available at the Youyi Building Rape Commission was not Leatherboot or any of President Koroma’s aides. It was the SLPP hierarchy who disrespected the Rape Commission by ignoring the Commission’s invitation to them! So for any one of the same SLPP hierarchy to now come out and scream blue-murder against President Koroma is a little too much for some of us to stomach. Why attack President Koroma? LOOK UNDER YOUR FEET!!!

I have no problems with anyone attacking Justice Bankole-Thompson or his colleague Commissioners as they have submitted a shabby, inconsistent, erroneous Report but even as Bankole-Thompson and Co. are being attacked, no-one should spare some critical comments for the entire hierarchy of the SLPP’s National Executive; especially not for John Benjamin, Kadi Sesay, J.J. Saffa, I.J. Kabbah, Lawyer Eke Halloway, Lawyer Ansu Lansana and Lawyer Alex Musa.

I wish the demonstrators at today’s ‘Rape Demo’ all the very best of luck. They are on the right course to get justice for those poor women by raising massive publicity about the injustice served by Bankole-Thompson but surely President Koroma deserves no criticism this time?

Give the President a break please. As a politician and as a Sierra Leonean man, Ernest Bai Koroma has been above board as far as the Commission of Enquiry into the raping of Sierra Leonean women is concerned! The real political men and women to be criticized are not at State House but are seated in the top floors of that big green building along Wallace Johnson Street. They call them the members of the National Executive of the SLPP! These are the people who owe an apology to those rape victims and the sooner they issue such an apology, the better for their political credibility in this society!

Krioman say LONTA!

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.