John Leigh has a right to have an opinion

JOHNLEIGHOLD

Monday March 13 , 2006

First_Name:  Yusuf
Last_Name:  Silla
Email_Address:  javascript:parent.ComposeTo(“yusufuasilla2@yahoo.co.uk”,%20″”);
Address:  Sutton
City:  London
State:  UK
Comments:  John Leigh is right to have an Opinion.

My fellow Sierra Loeneans, I wish to add my humble contribution to the current
opprobrium that has been created by Ambassador Johh Leigh’s letter. I must first
of all express my appreciation to the proprietors of Cocorioko for providing
Sierra Leoneans with such a vehicle for participating in the great debate of the
politics of their country. I suggest that some of these comments are edited and
reprinted in newspapers back home, so that our unfortunate compatriots(i.e. 90%
of the total population) who happen to live in Sierra Leone, a definite
candidate,( not by choice but by design of its leaders, both past and indeed
present) for the list of top five countries in the world that are least
developed, darkest, poverty stricken, mismanaged, corrupt, callous and all the
adjectives that can be used to describe an example of ?Bad Governance’, with no
hope in current political horizon of a shift in direction. My premise is based
purely on the report cards of the previous and current Governments (APC, NPRC
and SLPP).

Comrades I don’t have a problem with Ambassador Leigh making known ?his
opinion’; to a fellow concerned colleague in the struggle ?General Zuba’
(respect to you bro), he is free to do so. My concern here is how unfailing are
the Ambassador’s judgments, for him to have used a widely read medium to convey
his ?personal’ assessment of such a sensitive state of affairs in a rather
convincing tone and with a touch of disdain and authority.

I am not surprised at the tone of the Ambassador’s letter. I happened to have
been in the presence of Mr Leigh at the Camayen Hotel in Conakry during the AFRC
interregnum in 1998,(He may not recall) while he was going on one of his
diatribes about the way forward. I came to the conclusion that we were in for a
lengthy and painful road to solving that problem. Indeed I was proven right when
it  took the partial raising of the city and the unnecessary loss of a thousand
plus lives (for which no one has been held responsible so far) only for the
rebels to be given a red carpet welcome into Government in 2000. This same
result could have been arrived at without such an unnecessary loss, if the
judgement of the likes of Mr Ambassador were not the prevailing opinion at the
time.

A second and more glaring reason why I will be a bit concerned with Mr Leigh’s
judgement is as a result of his performance in the last SLPP convention. Why was
he not even nominated when in his feud with the then Chairman Sama Banya, he had
professed in his several print media responses that he was not only very
qualified to lead the SLPP but extremely popular ( of course by his ?personal’
assessment). I would advice PMDC members not to be to worried by Mr Leigh’s
?personal’ assessment of things on the ground, even though he went through the
trouble of pointing out that he sheared  ?poyo’ and ate ?jaki tomboi’ with the
common people for show case.

Finally my recommendation to you PMDC stalwarts both in the Diaspora and at home
is not allow yourselves to be drawn into the erroneous perception that is
dominating Sierra Leonean politics, the politics of Personality. If you continue
to think along those lines then VP Berewa is miles ahead. This is a fact of
African politics; the incumbent is always the biggest personality.  The idea of
a clean break from the old status quo of APC and SLPP is very laudable and
inspiring, but you should be realistic enough to understand that Mr Leigh’s
opinion should not be totally ignored.

I think what Mr Leigh should have been saying, given his experience and stature
is that it is unlikely for the Orange revolution in Sierra Leone to be as
successful in its first attempt as anticipated by die hard PMDC supporters as it
was in Georgia. I would rather like to believe that it would take the Zimbabwe
model where it is still struggling to take roots after being man-handled in two
general elections. Therefore PMDC members should be getting ready for the long
haul if you really believe in the idea of a clean break rather than in the
personality of Charles Margai. You should be working towards strengthening the
structure of the party so that it lasts well beyond 2007. Concern yourselves
with things like the registration of the party, financial and property
contributions etc and worry less about the possible stage-managed attempted
assassination of Charles Margai.

Let us continue the debate by sticking to the issues and valuing different
shades of opinions. Lets us focus on the common problem of ridding our beloved
country of poverty, bad governance, corruption so that our kids can be given
much better options than our generation have had.

LONTA.

READER FROM GEORGIA PRAISES COCORIOKO

Wednesday February 22, 2006

First_Name:  Umaru
Last_Name:  Jalloh
Email_Address:  umaru@bellsouth.net
Address:  77 Breckenridge Drive
City:  Powdersprings
State:  Ga
Zip_Code:  30127
Comments:  I have never heard of Ccorioko. It is really a very formidable and
credible news worthy website.
I  was inroduced to the website by Mr. Mansaray ,  Vice President for the All
People’s congress.

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