SIERRA LEONE SPEAKER DISOWNS LIBYAN LEADER AS PRESIDENT ERNEST BAI KOROMA REFUSES TO CONDEMN THE MASS MURDER OF CIVILIANS IN LIBYA
Sierra Leone's Speaker of Parliament, the country's law-making body Justice Nathaniel Abel Stronge has denied that the beleaguered Libyan leader, the one and only Colonel Khaddafi was an MP even though he has admitted that Parliament was called from recess on January 1, 2009 in honour of the visiting Libyan leader Colonel Khaddafi. So why that special session was convened could best be explained by a somewhat befuddled Speaker still trying, no doubt, to appreciate the enormity of bestowing the country's national honours without a careful thought to the ramifications of such ill-advised moves.
It is indeed no secret about the involvement of the Libyan leader in the bloody trail that has criss-crossed every part of Sierra Leone with a yet to be accurately determined number of victims of murder, rape, amputation, enslavement, abduction and dispossession. Stories abound of the many atrocities committed against chiefly, unarmed and defenceless civilians whose only crime was that they want to live within the borders of their own God-given country and be allowed to live in peace never mind the state of poverty to which they had been condemned by greedy and heartless politicians as well as those placed in positions of trust.
And when former President Tejan Kabbah tried to mend fences with the Libyan leader acting on the advice of at least one of the guarantors of the peace in Sierra Leone, it was Ernest Bai Koroma, then as leader of the opposition APC party who lambasted President Kabbah for what he saw as selling the soul and pride of the country to a man who is believed to have provided the engine, logistics and fuel for the war machine that laid waste a large part of the country.
And the Libyan factor was used to good effect by journalists thought to be in the pay of the opposition APC to persuade voters to put their trust in the opposition APC rather than Tejan Kabbah's SLPP that was being portrayed as so corrupt that rice donated by Libya and meant for the people of Sierra Leone had been converted to the use and benefit of SLPP big guns, thus leaving ordinary Sierra Leoneans to starve!!!!!
That was the story peddled by such APC "gallants" like Philip Neville of the Standard Times newspaper and others of a similar disposition as the 2007 General Elections loomed.
Neither Ernest Bai Koroma nor his paid journalists of deceit told the nation that the rice offered to the people by Libya was managed by a committee made up of all parties including the APC and that it was the same national committee of all parties represented in Parliament at the time that advised the government on what was to be done to this gift of rice in aid.
Upon assumption of office as the winner of the 2007 polls President Ernest Bai Koroma embarked on the greatest fence-mending and lay-belleh-ism ever seen in the annals of a slave and master relationship - all aimed at siphoning as much goodies as they can from a Libyan government keen on making a mark on Africa.
Delegation after delegation both from the government as well as the APC party visited Libya where they were feted and received gifts from Colonel Khaddafi. Those gifts that could not be squirreled away easily were made public - like those tractors and farm machinery that were distributed to APC party faithfuls quite forgetting that it was a gift to the people of Sierra Leone.
Information and Communication minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo was in the vanguard of the praise machine and using his internet outlet New Citizen noted this fountain of goodness from Khaddafi.
Other gifts that could be hidden from the eyes of the public were duly diverted into the benefit channels of the party and some of its chief operatives including President Ernest Bai Koroma.
No proper account of what had transpired in Libya those times were made public.
The Sierra Herald would want to remind the APC/AFRC/RUF operative Victor Foh of his utterances on TV when his masters in the AFRC/RUF were in power. It was he who said that Tejan Kabbah deserved to be overthrown because among other sins, he Tejan Kabbah had failed to comply with provisions of the constitution which demanded that all gifts received by a government official as well as the President must be made public.
No true Sierra Leonean will forget the disgust and shame which greeted the convening of a special session of Parliament to honour the Libyan leader on 1st January 2009.
No true Sierra Leonean will forget the revulsion felt both at home and abroad as the Parliament of Sierra Leone stooped so low as to demean and dirty our nationality - making Colonel Khaddafi a citizen and MP of the Sierra Leone Parliament.
Even as the United Nations and other decent nations express disgust and condemnation at the mass murder of civilians by pro-Khaddafi forces, not a word of condemnation has come from the Ernest Bai Koroma government.
As for the Speaker Justice Nathaniel Abel Stronge, it is now left with him to do the most honourable thing.