Monday, July 30, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
|Ola Isata Sesay Flying the Sierra Leone Flag|
Sierra Leone was only able to send two athletes to the 2012 summer Olympic games in East London, in spite of the fact that US Athletic sensations Jeneba Tarmoh and Ibrahim Kabia (Juice) and many other popular athletes in the USA are all descended from the diamond rich West African country.
Sierra Leone is being represented at the 2012 East London Summer Olympic games by 200 meter sprinter Ibrahim Turay and long jumper Ola Isata Sesay. Both athletes were accommodated by the British town of Hastings in respect of the twinning arrangement between the town and the Freetown suburb of Hastings in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone has never won a medal in the Olympic games and though a two man team is a long shot, we will keep on praying and keep our eyes on the pride of our nation.
|Ola Smiling at the crowd|
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Hindolo Sumanguru Trye
Breaking news reaching the Segbwema blog from Sierra Leone is that the former student activist, NPRC minister and current Sierra Leone Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr.Hindolo Sumanguru Trye died this morning in a hospital in the Sierra Leone capital Freetown.This is breaking news and the Segbwema blog correspondent will continue to follow the story. It can be recalled that Hindolo Trye was a major thorn in the flesh of the Siaka Stevens led APC government of the late seventies when he was a student leader at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
A new website is about to be launched by the businessmen to educate the world about the crimes of Sam Sumana. It can be accessed at http://justiceforsierraleone.us/
John Atta Mills died on Tuesday at a military hospital, according to Information Minister Fritz Baffour. He was 68.
A statement from President's office said: "It is with a heavy heart...that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the President of the Republic of Ghana."
Chief of Staff of the Presidency Henry Martey Newman said that the 68-year-old President died at 37 Military Hospital in Accra after being rushed there when his health deteriorated.
Newman gave no details about the cause of Atta Mills' death.
Mills, 68, was inaugurated in January 2009. He returned home on June 25 from the US where he had undergone gone a medical check-up.
Mills ran three times for president before being elected in the closest vote in the country's history on a platform vowing to reform the West African country.
Information Minister Baffour also declined to elaborate. "Yes, I can confirm (his death), but I can't say more," he said.
The President celebrated his 68th birthday on Saturday. Atta Mills was elected in a 2008 runoff vote and was to run for a second term in December. He campaigned on a platform of change, arguing that the western African country's growth had not been felt in people's wallets.
Atta Mills even put up posters of himself standing next to a photoshopped cutout of US President Barack Obama in an effort to emphasise that the Ghanaian stood for change.
The 2008 election was the third time that Atta Mills had run for president.
He spent much of his career teaching at the University of Ghana. He earned a doctorate from London's School of Oriental and African Studies before becoming a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Of all the other members of the SLPP wing of the APC, John Leigh has been the most vocal in condemning SLPP because he was particularly nasty in his condemnation of APC when he still maintained the fantasy of leading the main opposition SLPP. John Leigh then accused APC of being rapists, morons, charlatans, traitors and murderers and the SLPP opposition has the tapes and forum records to prove it. So the only way Pa Leigh is going to convince APC folks that he is genuine is to become twice as abusive to the SLPP as he was to the APC, hoping that the more he insults SLPP and Maada Bio on the Internet, the greater will be his chances of acceptance. He has encountered a classic traitors dilemma. How do you trust a betrayer? At your own peril!
Ernest Leigh's self appointed status as the premier Judas of Sierra Leone politics reveals a political naivety that is seldom found in a politician who claims to have so much experience. In the first place there have been many defectors before him who have gone over to other parties and still managed to maintain their sanity. J. B. Dauda and others defected with some element of political maturity. Even Judas Iscariot did not go about publicly hugging the Pharisees and dancing on the streets of Jerusalem when he betrayed Jesus, but John Leigh never learnt the art and principles of defection and he is trying so hard to convince APC folks of his loyalty, that it has become painful to watch. Now we learn that he has been looking for a job, some sort of appointment, but has been told to wait until the elections are over. John Leigh's current dilemma? If APC loses the next elections he is screwed, if they somehow manage to scrape a victory, his future is uncertain, as he has yet to hand over all the SLPP files in his position they are asking for, in order to complete his betrayal.
|Don't Do This To Pa Leigh|
There are rumors circulating around Freetown that some APC folks intend to tell Ernest Koroma that because of all the nasty things John Leigh has said about him in the past, he should have him crawl on the floor of his office at State House, begging for forgiveness before he can even be made Ambassador of Uzbekistan, a country where the staple meat is a daily ration of camel. I plead with President Ernest Koroma not to humiliate this man further. When a man has sold his loyalty and come begging to you, please do not kick him in the rear.
|Heart Attack is no Joke|
John Leigh may also be suffering from some heart ailment. For a man who has spent so much money on a quixotic mission to become SLPP flagbearer, John Leigh has endured many heartbreaks and heartache. His heart may not be healthy as it once was. What about if he suddenly gets a heart attack right on his stomach on a carpet in State House? Sierra Leone has already lost a deputy Parliamentary speaker to heart attack, God bless his soul. Do we want another heart attack in such a short a time? So please APC do not make ambassador Leigh crawl on his stomach for a job. Show some mercy
As we all age, our bowels age. When you are young, your bowel is regular like clockwork. You eat, the food digests, you go to the toilet, easy, no drama. For those of us who are growing old, we love some of that regularity...the hazards of aging. Old men like me go through an irregular bowel cycle of constipation and diarrhea. So to adk an old man to crawl on his stomach while decked out in a suit and a red tie is not a biologically sound thing to do. What about if he is on his diarrhea phase of his bowel cycle, won't it just create more work for the already underpaid cleaning staff at State House? Please APC, have mercy on this poor man.
President Koroma, if you want to help this man do so. Do not listen to all the people around you who want to see him sweat. He is frustrated, confused, disappointed and needs help. Don't kick him in the rear.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The All People's Congress led government of President Ernest Bai Koroma has decided to encourage diaspora participation in the election by imposing a new $24.00 security fee at the airport. No individual, regardless of what passport you hold, will be able to get on any plane out of Sierra Leone without the payment of the twenty four dollars. It has to be in dollars, the Leone equivalency is a no no. It is a fee for security in Sierra Leone, but sorry, no Leones accepted. Don't you just love APC?
|Do not forget to keep 24|
|Walk from Conakry to Freetown|
|APC's Gravy Train|
A positive news from Sierra Leone is that the proposed lump sum contribution demanded by the secretary to the president's cabinet and head of the civil service S. G. Pessima as a forced financial contribution to the president for the death of his mother, has been rejected by the family, after some grumbling by civil servants that bereavement contributions should be an act of goodwill, not a directive from government. Though the country is being run like a business, there was no business sense in making money from this kind of sad event, when people were genuinely grieving with the president over the loss of his dear mother. Government moved swiftly to put the breaks on this unholy affair.
|Thorpe Laughing all the way to the Bank|
Another positive news is that the All Peoples Congress has just decided to motivate Electoral Commissioner Christiana Thorpe to do her job well by giving her a salary of 30 million Leones, with benefits. This makes the happy hardworking woman one of the highest paid electoral commissioners in the world, in a country where a lecturer with two PhDs is paid chicken change and the average employee goes for months on end without a single month's salary. Given the acute shortage of money in the banks that is forcing APC councillors to engage in highway robbery, one can only wonder what the true motive for this astronomical increase is in an election year. But as I do not begrudge anybody making an honest living, I congratulate Sister Thorpe on her salary increase and hope that it motivates her to conduct free and fair elections, especially in my home district Kailahun, as I say this is the Segbwema Blog and Segbwema is in Kailahun
Is Sierra Leone develping another Robert Mugabe?
|APC's role model?|
|Mrs Alice Rosaline Koroma|
Many of my Makeni friends who happened to have met her while they were growing up describe her as a very loving, generous and kind human being who extended affinity to all. They described her as a teacher who was tolerant of everyone, regardless of their background or identity.
The blog joins the millions of Sierra Leoneans who have sent sincere condolences to the family at the event of such a monumental loss. May God grant her peace and quiet in the life hereafter and may some of her tolerance find a way to rub off on her offspring so that together we can all move as a nation of equals and one people, rather than a nation crippled by parochial divisions. At times like this we are reminded of our humanity and of the fact that we are but mere players in this turbulent world who will one day exit the stage, each of us; high or low, young or old, strong or weak. May the angels of God Almighty keep watch over her gentle soul. Amen
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
|Julius Maada Bio|
While Maada Bio was busy talking about job creation and good governance in Canada, the police in his country under the leadership of the interior minister Musa Tarawallie were busy making making the country's youths target practice for the massive arms and ammunition they had bought early this year, while the majority of the people were starving.
|Monday Morning Welcome|
Julius Maada Bio was among a group of young military officers from the All Peoples Congress-Revolutionary United Front (APC-RUF) war front who in 1992 freed the country from 23 years of one party rule under the APC government, a government that had presided over the systematic decline of the country and had deliberately disassembled all forms of democratic institutions and criminalized political opposition of any form.
APC under the crafty Siaka Stevens and the buffoonish Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh took a country with a currency more valuable than the US dollar, a country with a network of rail infrastructure, solid educational institutions, and a country with a solid mining and agricultural base and converted it in 23 years to the poorest nation on the face of the earth, according to UN human development indices of 1992, when Momoh was chased out of power in his underpants to the neighboring republic of Guinea.
|Ended One Party Dictatorship|
By the time Momoh fled the country, Sierra Leone was a basket case. There was no money in the banks, the rate of inflation was over 500%, the educational institutions were in shambles, tribalism was on the increase, justice was virtually nonexistent for the poor, the police was an institution plagued by bribery, taxis had stopped carrying single passengers and were now squeezing passengers so tight that when they got down they had to stand a full minute for the blood to flow back into their legs, the Lungi ferries were no longer running on time, the military was demoralized, the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board had been closed, the Wellington Industrial estates were in shambles, the military training schools were almost ghettos, there were long fuel lines all over the country, and even the clock at the Eastern police station had stopped working. Such was the sheer incompetence of Joseph Momoh that on the day he left Freetown, even the sewer rats were happy as under his government, people were not throwing food into the gutters anymore, but licking their plates dry.
In 1996 Julius Maada Bio peacefully handed the country that he had taken from a civilian one party dictatorship back to civilian multiparty democracy under the leadership of veteran UN diplomat Ahmed Tejan Kabba. He then left for America where he undertook undergraduate and graduate studies.
|Bio Reintroduces Multiparty|
to Sierra Leone in1996
Maada Bio in 2011 was given the leadership of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party which is now in opposition. In 2007 the SLPP lost elections to the opposition APC, primarily due to the defection of veteran politician Charles Margai, whose own father Albert Margai had also helped bring the APC to power in the late sixties and put Sierra Leone on the path to economic catastrophe and social strife. Maada Bio was elected as party flagbearer after a hard and bruising contest involving 19 other aspirants. After winning the contest he reached out to all the other contestants. Some accepted his gesture while others hang around for the chance to become running mates. After the running mate was announced to be the highly educated, eloquent and experienced former public official and college professor Dr. Kadi Sesay, the floodgate of defections opened with disappointed and disgruntled candidates and their backers running to the open arms of the ruling APC party.
|President Ernest Koroma|
|SLPP Chairman Benjamin|
After calling for discipline amongst the highly euphoric crowd he proceeded to address the sea of supporters to the beat of Steady Bongo's "Makondor". He told the people that it was their unity and support that was his inspiration. He said SLPP was a party of peace and it was in demonstration of the peaceful nature of the party that they had handed over power back to APC even though the election results had been contentious.
He said that he went to UK on the invitation of SLPP in the diaspora and had been given the opportunity to give a land mark speech at Chatham House, a beacon of world democracy. The latest pro-democracy leader to address Chatham house was the Burmese pro democracy leader and Nobel laureate Ann San Suu Kyi on June 22, 2012.
|Chatham House Speech|
Those who wonder why Maada Bio was invited to Chatham House in spite of the venomous propaganda of the APC who have thrown everything but the Kitchen sink at him, fail to realize that though they may not appreciate him, the international community knows the role he played in getting RUF out of the bush to dialogue and start the process of ending the war, his prevention of Valentine Strasser from hanging on to power and his peaceful reintroduction of multiparty democracy party back into the country, a privilege the citizens had lost since 1977.
|Crowd of 150?|
He told the audience at Chatham House that after 50 years of basically going in the wrong direction, the SLPP under his leadership had decided to embark on a new direction which involved a change of everybody's attitude and he will lead the call by first changing his own attitude and not just saying the phrase because it was easy to do so. He said all the problems of Sierra leone since the 60s was because of the emergence of the APC. He lamented the decline of the country's institutions and the increasing poverty of the past five years and stated that removing APC was not just for the SLPP to take power, but it was a national service to save the nation. When SLPP had given power to the APC in the late 60s there had been a network of rail and roads in the country, but these had declined totally under APC.
He said all the problems of 1991 under Momoh are back in the country. Lawlessness, lack of money in banks, nonpayement of salaries, and long lines for fuel. He said that politicization of civil institutions and rampant tribalism was now the order of the day and he personally had expected so much more from his elder brother President Ernest Koroma. He had thought that in a post conflict situation when you attained power your primary task would have been to fight for national unity, but Koroma had done exactly the opposite. Koroma had proved to be father of his party rather than father of the nation.
Bio stated that he was confident that as long as he had a level playing field, he would easily defeat the APC as the people were behind him. He however said there were some ominous signs that APC wanted to go back to their undemocratic tricks once again. That is why he took the opportunity to tell the international community of the worrying trends in the country. He had expressed the concern that Sierra Leone was being converted into a narcotic center as manifested by the appointed of an ex-minister who was directly implicated in cocaine smuggling as a presidential adviser. He was particularly against narcotics as it was a prime force for the destruction of the human capital of any country. Narcotics destroys both the health and educational potential of youths.
He stated that the loudly touted free health care lacked sustainability as it was 100% funded by NGOs whose withdrawal will lead to a collapse of the scheme, as the government had no direct investment in its provision. He promised to make the strengthening and availability of healthcare one of his major priorities.
Education in addition to health care will be major focus areas of the new direction and funding will mostly be from internal sources, to be achieved by reducing current government waste and inefficiency and redirecting freed resources to these sectors. The international community had pledged support for his plans.
He told the crowd that there had been some APC agents at Chatham house who had gone there to cause some disruption, but they had been unable to do so, as the sheer number, discipline and decency of the SLPP team had made these protesters seem out of place. One of the fellows who had intended to embarrass him at Chatham house converted to the SLPP after he had clarified his questions and even gave the vote of thanks when he went to pray with Sierra Leoneans in UK. The same thing happened in Canada, but the protesters there again left convinced that all the lies spread about him were just falsehoods. He was able to tell AU delegates in Canada about the developments in the country.
On the issue of the defections, especially the issue of Usu Boie Kamara, Bio stated that the decision the chairman made to kick him out of the party was a great one. This he believed would introduce some internal discipline among the party rank and file. He stated that a lot of these defectors had been false SLPP members who had joined the party for their own parochial ambitions but had no loyalty to the party. He attributed the low respect of Sierra Leone politicians to these actions, as these were the same people who during the program 19 days of SLPP had only evil things to say about Ernest Koroma and the APC, but were now singing his praises as sore losers.
|Leigh, SLPP Defection Committee|
He said that while away he been kept informed of the harassment of some party members by the ruling party, bringing trumped up charges against them. He warned party members against engaging in unlawful acts, but pledged to stand by those that were unjustly targeted and harassed to the last man. He stated that he was also aware of the dangerous increase in tribal sentiments around the country and referred to the occasion where an APC stalwart had denigrated the Mendes as stupid people to loud clapping by APC top brass. Maada stated that the only difference Sierra Leoneans may have arose from access to education, but that basically every Sierra Leonean was equally as smart as any other.
He stated that he had been justified in raising fears about the arms brought into the country, as APC hired guns were now going around the country shooting at protesters. There were rumors that even the fellow that had stoned him in Bo was now a police recruit as compensation for his evil deed. He stated that he had personally written the president for them to come out with a statement decrying violence in the election period, but the president had declined to reply and had called him a junior. He would keep on tormenting the president for peace.
Maada Bio stated that SLPP will not challenge violence with violence, but the party will resist violence in anyway they can as they have no where to go and are no longer willing to leave the country for reasons of intimidation. They will no longer be refugees in Guinea or other countries. He pledged to help MPs get reelected and thanked the people for their support of the party.