ARTICLE BY Gibril Gbanabome Koroma (PUBLISHER OF THE PATRIOTIC VANGUARD NEWSPAPER )
During his recent visit to the United States of America to attend the just ended post-Ebola recovery conference, President Koroma was accompanied by a high-powered delegation of Ministers and others.
According to reliable sources, President Koroma’s car drove by a crowd of APC supporters and other Sierra Leoneans assembled to honour him and he waved to them from inside the car since he could not step down to mingle with them because of security constraints.
GIBRIL GBANABOME KOROMA
There is a reason for him waving like that; he wanted to show his appreciation and like the seasoned and experienced politician he is, he knew that just a wave of the hand is enough to pass on the message. The crowd of supporters and patriotic compatriots was said to have roared with appreciation.
Cocorioko publisher, Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, was in the thick of it as expected since he is also part of the government. He could not hide his excitement and pleasure and wrote a long article praising the demonstrators or rally of supporters.
We at the Patriotic Vanguard, also known for our support for President Koroma and the APC government (many of our former staff members and contributors/writers are now part of the government) also gave the visit and conference proceedings the widest coverage possible from our base in Canada.
We would therefore also like to join Cocorioko and Kabs-Kanu to thank all those gallant APC men and women and other Sierra Leoneans that turned out to welcome the President and his delegation for a job well done including their gallant efforts to counter the negative propaganda of anti-APC and anti-progress Sierra Leoneans. Negative people bent on derailing the good work of the present administration faced with one of the most deadly diseases in the world (Ebola) which has not only killed thousands of our people but has depleted most of the financial and other resources at the disposal of the government before the epidemic struck; resources that could have been used to build schools,construct roads, clinics and many others tools to create prosperity for our people.
Many people back home who have not lived and worked in the West do not know what it means to take a few days from work to show support for one’s country and leader as happened recently in New York. Most of those people you see in that crowd had to sacrifice thousands of dollars which they could have earned if they had not gone to salute and honour their president not to talk of hotel bills and food expenses for those that came from other states and even Canada and the UK as I am told. They are true Sierra Leoneans and true APC supporters. We also know there are thousands of others who could not make it but who were there in spirit. These are people who always contribute funds and pay their dues to their APC chapters and do everything possible to promote the party in North America. We commend them all.
Finally, like I always say, you do not sometimes need to be physically present at an event in your country of origin or elsewhere to make a difference. You can contribute from a distance in various ways. That has always been the credo of the Patriotic Vanguard since it was created and established on July 30, 2005 as part of Afri-can Publications, a registered media company here in Canada long before Dr. Ernest Koroma became President of Sierra Leone.
I remember interviewing him a couple of times by phone from my base in Vancouver, Canada. He will pick up the phone at the second ring and the interview will get underway quickly. He was then leader of the opposition. Quite a simple man, very humble. His answers were always very polite and concise without any pomposity. It was a time of great excitement as the country prepared itself for the historic 2007 elections. I remember publishing fiery political articles by the current Deputy Minister of Political Affairs, Karamoh Kabba, Deputy Minister of Interior Sheka Tarawalie and many others including full ministers and diplomats today that shook the SLPP establishment as they stumbled towards electoral defeat.
People often ask me how I find the time to run a publishing company while also working as a translator and interpreter in addition to writing for other publications worldwide. Many Sierra Leonean-Canadians in particular wonder what I am getting from publishing the Patriotic Vanguard and I often tell them it’s not about the money, it’s loving what you do and loving your country, it’s about being patriotic.Others say: “You must be making millions of dollars from the government, you are too sly, you don’t want to share the largesse with us.” That always makes me scream with laughter. And then I will raise my forefinger and say to them: Man should not live by bread alone, remember who said that? You should not live by bread or ress (rice) alone.
Coming back to those APC supporters in New York, I say on behalf of the Patriotic Vanguard, that you have done a wonderful job and we are proud of you. We know the sacrifices you made to be there, to show up and make your voices heard, to make “oll dem bella shame”, as we say in Salone.