Posted by Cocorioko Newspaper on February 24, 2012
Many supporters of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) Government called COCORIOKO this evening to express delight and relief at the exclusive interview granted this paper by the Minister of Information and Communications , Alhaji I.B. Kargbo, which exonerated the government from opposition-inspired suspicions in the matter involving the attendance of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly by the Leader of the United Democratic Movement ( UDM ), Mr. Mohamed Bangura.
SLPP PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL ISHMAEL SENGU KOROMA WAS ALSO ACCREDITED TO ENTER THE UN
Whatever insinuations the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) had intended to establish over the incident evaporated after Hon. Kargbo revealed that it was the Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations that requests accreditation for Sierra Leoneans who want to enter the UN to hear their President address the UN General Assembly and that the courtesy is extended to all Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of their political affiliations. The Minister further revealed that as a matter of fact it was not only the UDM Leader who was accredited to attend the General Assembly but the SLPP Presidential flagbearer hopeful , Major Ishmael Songu Koroma and two ambassadors who served under the SLPP Government in the persons of Drs. James Jonah and Sylvester Rowe.
DR. JONAH : HE TOO WAS ACCREDITED
These salient facts rubbished the false impressions the opposition tried to create that the Government engaged in wrongdoing when the Mission applied for accreditation for the UDM Leader to attend the UNGA . The SLPP hitherto did not know that the same courtesy had been extended to their top man, Major Koroma and two ambassadors who served their government. The SLPP were also made to know that during their reign, their then government used to do the same thing and as a matter of fact again, the very Information Minister , while he was President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists ( SLAJ ), was included as part of the SLPP Government delegation just to enable him to enter the UN and listen to the then President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah address the UN General Assembly.
The Minister also said that the designation of the title of Foreign Affairs Adviser to Mr. Bangura must have been an administrative error by the person who requested the accreditation for him, the Head of Chancery and that the Government had no hand in it as it does not determine or dictate to the Mission the titles given to Sierra Leonean officials on whose behalf accreditation is sought.
It is hoped that the Minister’s clarification will bring the matter to rest . There was no need for all the suspicions really and the valuable waste of time over non-issues that do not contribute to the socio-economic and political development of the country. Our focus as a people should be on matters of national development which we direly need in Sierra Leone to catch pace with other African nations who are surging ahead. Unnecessarily dwelling on non-issues to score political points only help to stifle national endeavour and put the brakes on nation-building and national development.
The Government has made it very clear that it had nothing to do with the recall of the UN Representative, Mr. Michael Von Schulenburg and that it has no power to control the utterance or actions of leaders of opposition political parties .Whatever Mr. Bangura did when he was in New York , like presenting a letter of complaint against Mr. Schulenburg to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, was at his own behest and the Government had nothing to do with it.
It is hoped that we will all heed the Minister’s appeal to move on to better things like the socio-economic and political development of our country. Our priority is national development and future generations and posterity will hold our generation guilty if we fail to deliver socio-economic and political development that would help to provide better lives for them.