CHIEF MINISTER : HIS ALLEGED SCANDAL IS ATTRACTING STRANGE ATTENTION
Chiefdom authorities in NONGORWA CHIEFDOM, Eastern Sierra Leone and home of the country Chief Minister dished out a public Memo to defend the indefensible Professor David Francis who was alledged for $ 1.5million financial scam and international money laundering supported by Ecobank.
FIRM CONDEMNATION OF THE PRESS STATEMENT OF THE PARAMOUNT CHIEF.
*PARAMOUNT CHIEFS SHOULD*
*STAY OUT OF PARTISAN*
*By Bashiru Vandi *
The letter above, being circulated on social media, appears to be officially from Nongowa Chieftaincy in Kenema District. One acknowledges & respects the right of ALL Sierra Leoneans , including Paramount Chiefs, to freedom of expression but it’s nonetheless worth stating that , over the years & up to this day, one of the major reasons for the hopeless outcomes of self-rule has been the systematic politicisation of virtually ALL STATE INSTITUTIONS like the traditional Chieftaincy. *The incremental, direct and open involvement of paramount Chiefs in party politics is & has been a despicable indication of this.*
Traditional Chiefs ought to be bastions of reasonable neutrality & custodians of societal cohesion but such noble & prestigious aura has been compromised for expedient or unbecoming political reasons. Paramount Chiefs, up & down the nation, have been & are being increasingly found to be at the centre or dragged into most political scandals‼
It’s therefore right to respectfully remind the Nongowa Chieftaincy that , quite contrary to the content of the above letter regarding ongoing allegations against CM, the following are true :
1. Journalist, *Salieu Jalloh,* has never directly accused CM of anything; he said his text to the CM simply posed investigative questions. Until his statement is convincingly disproven we, the public, are therefore minded to give credence to his version
2. The investigation of this case case should be left with the ACC & other law-enforcement units that are constitutionally empowered to investigate such matters. Covert threats from other entities whose remit falls outside such responsibility is bound to muddy the waters
3. The journalist, as a valid member of the Fourth Estate, CAN legitimately ask any politician questions pertaining to procedural conduct because POLITICIANS ARE SUBJECTS OF THE ELECTORATE; NOT MASTERS‼‼‼‼‼‼
It is unprecedented for a traditional paramount chief to use his office in such a manner that could bring his office in to disrepute.
Actually one should not blame the people of Nongowa. I am sure this unprincipled press statement, from the chief. purportedly on behalf of the chiefdom committee,was not initiated by them.
This letter was ill-advised and inappropriate for a paramount chief to use his traditional office to break the bounds of neutrality, in a highly charged political atmosphere, surrounding a matter of intense national curiosity and subject to state investigation.
The mater between the journalist and the chief minister is a matter for the state – the ACC and the police, and it should not be a jurisdiction for Nongowa chiefdom.
The chief seemingly galvanising support for the chief minister, in a matter between the chief minister and the state, by issuing a public press statement in such circumstances is inappropriate and unprincipled.
Let us trust the state institutions to do their job, without dragging in the Nongowa chieftaincy. It is uncalled for.
But I know why this has been done, which I seized on for now.
There are other ways for the chief to give his support to his relative, the chief minister David Francis, ,but not to use the office of Nongowa chieftaincy to do so ,because such act, though it may have been done in good faith, could appear to others to have brought the office of the paramount chief in to disrepute.