To Gibril Gbanabome Koroma : Patriotic Vanguard
I have read your concerns about the rejoinder to Anthony Kamara’s article. Our brother, John Baimba Sesay, did not know that Cocorioko had published the said article about VP Victor Foh . I am sure he would have directed the rejoinder to both newspapers.
Here is a conversation we had on Facebook to demonstrate that he had been expressing concerns about his articles not appearing on Cocorioko.
According to him, his mails to my aol and Yahoo mail boxes had been bouncing. I was also concerned that he had not been sending his articles to me lately. Unknown to me, his mails had been bouncing and many people had been expressing the same complaints. Incidentally, I saw his two latest articles, including the rejoinder to Tony Bee, at Facebook, and I decided to take advantage of their availability there and then
copied them and published them. I did not get them from him.
READ OUR EXCHANGES :
Secondly, John is not in China presently. He is in Sierra Leone, where he is not getting the same volume of time with the internet . It is possibly another reason that he did not know that Cocorioko had published the article. He did not therefore pick on the Patriotic Vanguard.
I read the rejoinder and if it had been damaging to both you and Tony, whom I consider brothers as well, I would not have published it. In fact, in that article, he paid glowing tribute to Tony Bee’s journalistic prowess. I agree with you that he may not have understood it in the same context under which Tony stated that our brother, Hon. Victor Foh, has enemies who did not like his appointment. Thankfully, you have done a great job to explain THE CONTEXT , the fact being that Tony Bee deserved such exoneration because he is indeed one of us and has been writing instructive articles supporting the cause of the government and would not have meant any harm with his analysis. Baimba, at the same time, had to do his job as the media man directly covering the VP presently. He must have been constrained to make the correction speedily, knowing how swift our detractors are in taking advantage of everything to defame our leaders. Our detractors are too many and too rampant ! ! ! They even put words in our pens to implicate us .
John Baimba was one of the journalists who wrote a very complimentary article about you and the Patriotic Vanguard during the 10th Independence Anniversary of the paper. I believe you both have mutual respect for each other’s journalistic abilities. John has already also indicated that he has great respect for Tony Bee’s perspectives.
As a elder brother to you three, I have intervened to set the records straight so that we would stave off the kind of misunderstanding that arose two years ago when you construed as an attack on you an article I once wrote about barking dogs in the U.S. who unfairly condemn me because they believe they better deserve the job I have to promote the Sierra Leone Government. Let us just see this as another misunderstanding and move on.
You three are doing a marvelous job.
Let us keep the fire burning and the relationships intact.
A response to our brother John Baimba Sesay
Monday October 12 is a public holiday here in Canada, it’s called Thanksgiving Day. I had planned not to do any work on the Patriotic Vanguard on this day but somebody called me to say one John Baimba Sesay has written something on the Cocorioko newspaper about PV.
I consider Cocorioko a sister publication, so I did not give it much thought until I checked it on my cell phone and saw that John, who is our Press Attache in China, had written what he called a “rejoinder” on an article by one of our correspondents in Australia, Tony Bee. Tony had decided to offer some advice to Vice President Victor Foh in his new role as Chairman of the Flood Appeal Fund to help people affected by the massive flooding that recently hit Freetown and other parts of the country.
First of all, our younger brother Baimba did not really need to write a rejoinder, all needed to do was to contact me by email or phone to offer corrections on what he thinks are factual errors on the article under discussion. If he does not have or did not see my coordinates on the PV website, he could have just asked Cocorioko publisher Leeroy Kabs-Kanu to give him my email address or phone number.
What I also found strange is that our brother Kabs-Kanu first published the article on October 4 (click here), and we published it a day later on October 5 (click here). Both publications contain the exact information except for the titles (editors have the right to shorten long title as long as they carry the same message) he was complaining about, but the rejoinder is only addressed to the Patriotic Vanguard. Very strange, isn’t it?
Anyway, like I said there was no need for a rejoinder, PV is not anti-APC or anti-government as Baimba should know; we have published his articles in the past and are accessible to him always. Maybe he is shy about contacting us directly. He shouldn’t be. I am one of the most approachable persons in the world. Not arrogant, not proud, not haughty, not egoistic. Believe.
Also, Tony Bee is not anti-APC or anti-government or against Vice President Foh. I know this because he was my reporter in Freetown since way back in 1995. That article was friendly advice to the Vice President. Moreover Tony is a regular contributor to Cocorioko too. I don’t know whether Tony Bee is going to write something about Baimba’s rejoinder, it’s up to him. I am only stepping in because the Patriotic Vanguard was mentioned.
Now let’s get to the substance of this whole issue:
1. Baimba’s first complaint on Tony Bee’s article is where he (Tony) wrote that there are people in the country that did not like Vce President Foh or are not happy about his appointment. Tony is here talking about some people in the opposition parties and the former Vice President (Sam Sumana) who took not only Foh to court but also President Koroma, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Franklyn Kargbo and his Deputy Arrow Bockarie. In Sierra Leone we say anybody that takes you to court is an enemy although you can forgive later.
Almost most people know there is no love lost between Vice President Foh and some people in the SLPP. Tony was not talking about ordinary Sierra Leoneans going about their business during the Vice President saga but people in the opposition parties mainly the SLPP and of course the former Vice President and his friends, relatives and general supporters.
Tony was actively working as a journalist in the country during the civil war and when the SLPP was in power. Myself, Seaga Shaw, Lans Gberie, Abayomi Charles Roberts and others were his editors. Press Attaches like Sorie Sudan Sesay, Chernor Ojuku Sesay and Pasco Temple were his contemporaries. He knew what he was talking about or writing about.
2. I think the most significant point raised by Baimba is when he says the Vice President is not a SIGNATORY to the Appeal Fund Account. That’s correct. He should have just sent an email to Kabs and myself and the error would have been quickly resolved. That’s the beauty of online publishing; you can correct an error with the click of a mouse whereas correcting an error in a print edition can be quite complicated (space, prominence, etc) and takes time.
3.Finally, Baimba and others should never hesitate to contact me if they see a factual error on PV. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 1-604-428-8557. I promise a correction will be made as soon as I receive an email message or a phone call and I am sure Kabs will do the same. A correction on the Vice President story will be made tomorrow; the delay is only due to the fact that we want this message to get across or to be received first. Kabs is likely to do his own correction tonight. All good.
Peace. Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.