From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Afsatu Kabba
In Sierra Leone, President’s Sister threatens students against Afsatu Kabba
By Aruna Turay
May 3, 2010, 19:04

Impeccable sources have revealed to Awareness Times newspaper that Mrs. Admire Sesay, the elder sister of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Leader and Chairman of the ruling All People’s Congress party has threatened student members of the ruling APC with untold repercussions should they seek to repeat what they did on April 19th 2010 at the Law Courts in solidarity with the former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba currently facing charges of alleged corruption at the Law Courts.

On April 19th 2010, the APC students had not only shown up at the Courts, dressed in their well known APC students garments of bright red shirts, red neckties and black suits but as a show of solidarity with the indicted Minister, who is innocent until proven guilty, they had waited for the Minister at the entrance to the Courts and walked her from her vehicle up the Court stairs into the Court room where other waiting party faithfuls, had burst into a spontaneous applause before the trial had commenced.

The President & Executive of National Union of APC Students,on April 19th, walked Haja Afsatu Kabba into Court

Last Friday April 30th 2010, according to our sources, Mrs. Admire Sesay informed APC students on the Fourah Bay College Campus that President Koroma has allegedly given an order to the Inspector General of Police Brima Acha Kamara to have police officers arrest any APC student who showed up in court at the next adjourned date of the trial which is slated for this Wednesday May 5th 2010.

"Acha will arrest you and after you are arrested, we will find a reason to explain why you were arrested but we will not allow you to embarrass the party with your presence at the Law Courts next week," Admire Sesay is alleged to have threatened the students.

According to sources Mrs. Sesay who had been to the college campus to attend the turning of the sod for a Female Canteen to be named after the President’s mother, Mrs. Alice Koroma, was spotted few minutes after the session addressing a group of students in which she is alleged to have made the threats after calling on students to abandon Haja Afsatu Kabba and not show her solidarity.

APC Students on top of Haja Afsatu Kabba’s vehicle as it manuoevered mammoth crowd to leave Court compound

A student of the Peace and Conflict Department of Fourah Bay College who also overheard Mrs. Sesay as she threatened the APC students said this serves as confirmation of what many people had been saying all along that Haja Afsatu Kabba’s current plight involved more than the eye could see.

When contacted by this reporter through her personal mobile phone, Mrs. Admire Sesay emphatically refused to comment on the allegations, but hastened to state that even if she wanted to discuss the allegations, she will never grant interviews to Awareness Times Journalists. When pressed further as to why she held such a position against Awareness Times Journalists, Mrs. Admire Sesay remarked "Go and ask your boss Dr. Sylvia Blyden". When asked what should be asked of Blyden, Mrs. Admire Sesay retorted in Creole, "Na me you dey ask?" At this point, she abruptly disconnected the call.

When Awareness Times contacted the President of the National Union of APC Students who is alleged to have been present when the threats were being made, he refused to also comment. He said he could not confirm or decline our information and quickly cut the phone off. Subsequent calls to his phone number met the phone had been switched off.

Awareness Times contacted Hon. Chernor Maju ‘Chericoco’ Bah, the Chairman of the ruling party’s Constitutional Review Committee that is currently reviewing the APC Constitution and asked him if there was any section of the APC Constitution that empowered the Sister of the APC Leader to make such threats against APC students.

"Ha! Awareness Times, you really want me to comment on this issue? Please, I beg. I cannot comment," the Honourable Chernor Bah pleaded.

Although Hon. Chernor Bah pleaded not to comment, other APC supporters have opined that the President’s family members were "too visible" within both the ruling APC party and the Government operations itself.

Mrs. Admire Sesay has also been seen by this newspaper’s correspondents accompanying the former Acting of Director of Fisheries, Mr. Fouad Sheriff to hold a close door meeting with the current Minister of Fisheries, Hon. Joe Koroma at his Youyi Building offices. It will be recalled that Sheriff was placed under investigative suspension following a detailed complaint against him by the now sacked Minister, Afsatu Kabba back in September 2009. Both Afsatu Complaint Letter and the Response from Sheriff are in the possession of this newspaper house. Sheriff was the Director who acted during the period that not much was made in revenue from the Ministry but to his credit, he is reported to be very knowledgeable in the technical aspects of the Fishing sector. It is believed that Fouad Sheriff enjoys the support of the President’s sister for him to be reinstated back as Director.

Meanwhile, many APC Women and APC students have reiterated to this reporter that they intend to replicate what they did on April 19th 2010 come Wednesday May 5th 2010 although they indeed confirm they were facing serious pressure from certain APC big guns close to President Koroma for them not to show any more support for Haja Afsatu Kabba. One of the APC Chairladies in Freetown said she was told by a source close to President Koroma that Haja Afsatu Kabba was a "traitor" who was financially sponsoring the re-emergence of the PDP-Sorbeh party for 2012 but according to this APC Woman, no evidence was produced to substantiate the claim and so she and others have dismissed the claim as coming from a clique of people jealous of the rise of Haja Afsatu’s popularity within the APC all over the country. Sources close to Haja Afsatu have also dismissed the PDP-Sorbeh sponsorship claim as "totally false & rubbish".

Whether the increasing pressure being placed on APC partisans, to abandon Haja Afsatu Kabba even though she is innocent till proven guilty, will yield benefit and see the party strongwoman abandoned in Court by her party members, will be known this Wednesday May 5th 2010. Awareness Times reporters will be there to cover the trial and will bring the reports of what happened to readers.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.