Former Secretary of State of the Southern Province and also one-time member of the Supreme Council of State of the National Provisional Ruling Council ( NPRC), Retired Lt. Col. Idrissa Kamara , yesterday protested to COCORIOKO that columnist Martin Kijangbe distorted the truth about his role in the Sierra Leone rebel war in his articles on Chief Hinga Norman .
Kamara, also former Secretary of State at the Ministry of Energy and Power during the NPRC rule, said that he was disturbed by Kijangbe’s “deliberate concoctions of the truth” but he maintained a calm, professional and respectful demeanor throughout his rebuttal , while declaring that certain individuals in our midst were trying to undermine the spirit of reconciliation and unity in Sierra Leone with their deliberate twisting of the truth about past events in the country.
Lt. Col. Kamara, who called the Editor-in-Chief of COCORIOKO to complain , emphasised that he never at any time undermined the authority and operations of former Civil Defence Force ( CDF) , Chief Hinga Norman , or take part in the rebel attack on Telu Bongor as claimed by Kijangbe. Kamara, who throughout the interview refused to say anything derogatory about Chief Norman, explained that everything Kijangbe said was the opposite of the truth .
The former army officer said infact he helped to save Chief Hinga Norman’s life during that attack and after he entered Telu Bongor with tough reinforcement of Guinean , Nigeria and SLA troops as well as a detachment of SSD troops led by their boss Dumbuya , backed by armoured cars to successfully repel the rebels , Chief Norman came out of the house where he was seeking refuge and hugged him and thanked and blessed him for saving his life. Kamara said he did not only carry reinforcements but food and supplies later for the survivors and the Kamajors.
Kamara explained that he had everything on video tape and promised faithfully to send a copy to the Editor . He explained dramatically that Chief Hinga Norman was so pleased with his heroic acts that Norman led him through the town to show him all the houses destroyed by the RUF rebels during the ambush and the bodies of his relatives and other people, including the NA Police who were slaughtered by the rebels. “If I had undermined him, do you think Chief Norman would have taken me through the town to show me all the places destroyed and all those killed, on video tape ?”, Kamara asked.
Lt. Col. Kamara disclosed that even the army also lost many of their men in the attack on Telu Bongor. “The rebels killed our men too”, he emphasised.
Kamara said , on realising the seriousness of the attack, he also called Koribondo to send more reinforcements to Telu Bongor .He said he then adddressed the survivors and the troops, including the Kamajors, on behalf of Chief Norman and the government of Sierra Leone , all of which were recorded on the video tape he promised to send the Editor. This video was then brought to Bo where it was shown to the people of Bo in the cinema hall. He stated that Hinga Norman even took a shower and had his dinner at his house.
The former Secretary of State accused journalists of not making any attempts to seek the truth and relying on making up stories. He condemned this attitudeand said it was responsible for some of Sierra Leone’s problems.
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