African News

A response to our brother John Baimba Sesay

By  | 13 October 2015 at 02:53 | 1324 views

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 titles 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 do 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.

A lot of people in Sierra Leone 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. Also, we should however remember that in Sierra Leone when things happen in an organization, government department, etc people will not ask who the signatories are but who is the head (Na oodat na di boss na ya?) It’s always the head they look for. It’s not fair, but that’s the way things are in our country.

3.Finally, Baimba and others should never hesitate to contact me if they see a factual error on PV. My email address is 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.