''All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'' - Edmund Burke


S I E R R A  H E R A L D

Vol XI No 6

The tendency sometimes to protect perpetrators for the sake of peace...doesn't help society. Impunity should not be allowed to stand. - Kofi Annan on Waki report

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Wednesday October 22, 2014 - Clueless and uncaring rat occupying State House appoints another dimwit, another moron to lead the fight against the Ebola scourge in the belief that the military contingents from the US and the UK calls for something with a military background is Sierra Leone's best contribution. Missed opportunities and a misplaced and uncalled for mantra of ..."this is the very first time Ebola got to my country Sierra Leone. We did not bring it upon ourselves."Dr Albert Benjamin speaking to the BBC recently. He lost his sister Dr Olivette Buck in a system that does not care about the health of citizens.

We could not help noticing the glee with which the rat and his uncaring accomplices in this crime against the people when word leaked that the WHO could have got it all wrong in dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa with Guinea as the initial epicentre. It is as if they are blaming the WHO for the disease spreading so uncontrollably in Sierra Leone - as if the international organisation has to take all the blame for the deaths, some preventable in the country.

We would like to remind the rat and his accomplices that the primary responsibility for the welfare of Sierra Leoneans and indeed all within the borders of Sierra Leone rests squarely on the government of the rat, his associates and his ruling party who in one ludicrous move held a ceremony at party headquarters to honour one of their numbers - turning the death of that party activist into a national event quite forgetting the scourge was still taking the lives of Sierra Leoneans whose only crime was that they had to suffer the consequences of an uncaring and thieving cabal whose main interest was to sink its bloody maws into whatever aid that was sent in by the international community.

This was what we stated regarding this and the lack of preparedness and purpose of the cabal whose only interest was in what financial gain that could be garnered as anticipated funds from donors poured in as the scourge got out of control - "The uncaring cabal, wanting to pay tribute to the memory of one of their own, a certain Councillor Emmanuel Sakilla thought they could pull the wool once more over a very alert and suspicious public who could not help asking why such an activity was being held even as the war against Ebola rages. One observer within the ranks of the ruling party told us - "Di party nor try"...the unspoken connotation and true meaning - such an event can only be held by right-minded individuals when the battle is won, done, dusted and confined to the pages of history. Not when the battle is raging with the Ebola enemy appearing to be gaining territory and more lives. Politicising the demise of the poor man is no way to honour him, we say."The agony of untold suffering as families and communities are wiped out. The government of the rat continues in denial only admitting a part of the enormity of the problem when donors get poised to pour in more resources.

As we had noted previously, the rat and his cabal remain clueless and uncaring preferring to massage figures of the dead and afflicted as it fitted their devious plans. Layers of committees have been formed, populated by the ruling party faithful in the hope that the money-making enterprise envisaged by the wicked and uncaring rat and his cabal would see bank accounts within and outside the country receiving a boost on the backs of the suffering, dying and dead Sierra Leoneans.

We would again like to remind the rat and his cabal that it was not the UN that allowed the scourge to spread so rapidly into Sierra Leone. It was an uncaring government that was as clueless as it was heartless in its determination to reap a profit from the deaths and suffering of Sierra Leoneans.

When the disease was first reported in neighbouring Guinea, concerns were raised by many living in the border areas with some warning that if the rat does not move fast, it could spread not only into Sierra Leone, but would make conditions difficult in terms of control.

Journalists who reported the deaths of people from what they called a strange and devastating disease then were roundly criticised by government officials with their hired hands denying that Ebola was in the country. These journalists were tagged "unpatriotic" and were seen as agents of the opposition political parties "who wanted to give the ruling "live forever" ruling APC party a bad name".

Kindly recall that before this Ebola scourge reared its head, Sierra Leone had to deal with a cholera outbreak that was getting out of control with the government of the rat denying the numbers affected and trying to make as much capital out of it when it suited it to garner in funds. Up to this time, the true number of people killed in that cholera outbreak remains unknown. Had the government of the rat heeded the signs that the country needed a proper health delivery and reporting system, we would not have found ourselves in a situation where health delivery workers including doctors and nurses lost their lives as they tried to contain a very malevolent invader that struck with such vicious and determined action in its bid to claw the lives out of its victims leaving those who succumbed to die in very horrible circumstances.

The BBC has this short observation from the brother of the late Dr Olivette Buck. Dr Albert Benjamin spoke about the atmosphere in the health delivery system in which the ruling class cared less about the lives of the people whom the government had pledged to serve.

Even before this terrible outbreak, the report of the Auditor-General report on government activities in 2012 clearly highlighted the unforgivable and criminal deficiencies in the country's health delivery system citing in many cases the lack of duty of care in an overstretched and under-resourced system that was being manipulated by the rat and his uncaring cabal. As usual with them, no moves were made to ameliorate the situation.

This was what we highlighted regarding a section of the health delivery system with a focus on a couple of hospitals. What we witnessed was business as usual as contracts were awarded to APC party activists and relations and associates of the rat sitting pretty at State House and wishing the scourge to spread even further so that the international community can step in with funds that can be skimmed off into private bank accounts. A health delivery system that is not fit for purpose as contracts are handed out to the rat and his associates.

In his latest move in which he brought in another moron whose alleged money-making escapades at the Defence ministry should be the subject of an inquiry in any sober-minded administration, we hear nothing about the fate of one Stephen Ngauja who had been designated the Coordinator of the Emergency Operations Centre, the EOC. Why he was dismissed from that post has not been made public but from this account from one of the outlets used by one of his personal advisers Ibrahim Ben Kargbo we can safely infer where it was all going.

The New Citizen states - "The Coordinator of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), Stephen Ngauja has said that it is the right of every worker to first and foremost negotiate for his/her salary before accepting an appointment. He made this statement on Thursday 16th October 2014 at the usual Government press briefing at the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications, Youyi Building in Freetown. According to Stephen Ngauja , he held meetings with officials of the World Bank soliciting more funding towards the fight against Ebola where the issue of salary was discussed disclosing that the World Bank has agreed to give more support to end the outbreak in the country.

Recently, media reports alleged that the EOC Coordinator demanded a salary increase that did not go down well with some members of the public who accused him of putting money ahead of saving lives. According to Stephen Ngauja, he has never negotiated with Government for a salary increase since his appointment as he initially volunteered for the position but has the right to request for salary.

On the issue of KPMG, the renowned auditing firm, he clarified that the firm was never contracted by Government but volunteered as its own contribution to contain the pandemic but that it were overwhelmed by the work. He said due to its credibility and efficiency, KPMG was responsible for all financial transactions at the EOC but was quick to state that under normal circumstances, KPMG does not work in emergency situations adding that Government is unhappy for its withdrawal and that since the firm withdrew, there has been no financial transaction at the EOC."

Poor Stephen Ngauja it will be recalled was one of those berating journalists for "wild reportage" insisting that all reports relating to Ebola deaths and occurrences must be cleared with him and we suspect that in this he failed but was commended for daring to admit that there were failures within the government structure that needed to be put right. This and his salary negotiations with the international community and government did not go down well with the rat who promptly orchestrated another "restructuring" move bringing in another moron and failure - Palo Conteh, former top gun at the Military Intelligence Branch, MIB from where he and his types like SIM Turay fingered any who was not liked by them and the ruling party then - the APC of course.This is how the government battles the spread of diseases with pigs in the company of human beings.

When the rat was given an opportunity to make a case for help, his speech at the special UN conference via video link was as lacklustre as it was bereft of any meaningful statement expected from a leader asking for help. His request for help was generalised, without focus and what made it even more jarring on the ears of those listening in was the rat's continued insistence that "We did not bring it upon ourselves".

No one asked him about that as the international community and Sierra Leoneans knew only too well how the disease took hold in Sierra Leone. The rat and his government and associates clearly failed to grasp the enormity of the situation and woefully failed to put in control measures. Opportunities for the rat to paint a picture of the suffering of the people and the areas of help were frittered away because of the lack of a strategy to deal with the scourge.

Here is an excerpt from a speech by President Obama in which he painted a picture of what it means -

"The scenes that we’re witnessing in West Africa today are absolutely gut-wrenching. In one account over the weekend, we read about a family in Liberia. The disease had already killed the father. The mother was cradling a sick and listless five-year-old son. Her other son, 10-years-old, was dying, too. They finally reached a treatment center but they couldn’t get in. And, said a relative, “We are just sitting.” These men and women and children are just sitting, waiting to die, right now. And it doesn’t have to be this way. The reality is that this epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better. But right now, the world still has an opportunity to save countless lives."

The rat failed to tell the international community of his government's failure, of his government's dysfunctional health delivery system and failed to tell countries willing to help that drinking water is a luxury, that electricity was a big problem throughout the country and that communication by road or sea was poor and unsustainable.

When helpers arrived in the country for the first time they were appalled to see the scenes of deprivation and listlessness in which the ordinary Sierra Leoneans lived as distinct from their overlords who enjoyed the trappings of corruption and neglect. They were surprised to see human beings living side by side with pigs - yes indeed pigs and even more concerned that the government was boasting of a free health delivery system for mothers and children as the scourge decimated the child and woman population in a country where officials have made it a policy to live in denial.The agony of the people etched on the face of this boy - a Sierra Leonean too and not a virus in his own God-given country.

It is this denial that has seen at least twenty bodies, some say more being discovered every day in the capital Freetown. What is being witnessed now is the result of under-reporting with politicians warning people not to give true figures lest they be criticised for all those unnecessary deaths. And now it has imploded.

Koinadugu which had been hailed as Ebola-free is now imploding because of under-reporting and secret burials and things are not helped either with suggestions that bodies in that part of the country be cremated!!! It's all a part of the desire to hide the true picture for political gains. How far the rat and his cabal can go is beyond normal human comprehension. And this from a rat who had been squeaking that the Ebola ravages should not be politicised!!!.

We thank all those countries and organisations who have chipped in - the UK government, the US administration, China, Cuba, South Africa, Nigeria and the rest of the international community which includes the World Health Organisation, MSF and others. We cannot thank you enough for your selfless endeavour.

Please, please do not give/donate any money to the rat passing off a President of Sierra Leone, nor his associates, nor his committees indeed anything in which he has his relations, friends and associates.

Funds so far purported to have been received have not been properly accounted for nor has there been any transparency as to how contracts continue to be awarded.


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©Sierra Herald 2002