Salone News

Gaddafi Visit: Kabbah in Serious Trouble

28 June 2007 at 01:12 | 10168 views

By Sorie Sudan Sesay, Freetown.

There have been bitter reactions in the country over revelations made
by the Libyan leader, Muhammar al-Qadaffi when he
addressed thousands of Sierra Leoneans last Tuesday at
the National Stadium.

The Libyan leader was on a state visit to Sierra
Leone to garner support for the African Union by
calling on Sierra Leoneans to support the push
for a United States of Africa of which he is a major proponent.

Qadaffi also used the opportunity to reveal to the mammoth crowd which was
predominantly Muslim, the numerous donations he
had made to this country through the government of
President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, among which were two
ship loads of rice, money to the tune of two million
dollars, a fleet of vehicles, forty tractors, skip
trucks, bowzers of fuel, nineteen buses and other
items.

These revelation from the Libyan leader has sent
shock waves among Sierra Leoneans and although
President Kabbah tried to explain that the
money was used to set up the National Social Security
Scheme (NASSIT), his explanation fell on deaf ears
considering the fact that the people of this country
are only knowing about that for the first time.

As news of the Gadaffi revelation spread accross the country,
the question on many Sierra Leoneans lips’ is why is it
that the government of President Kabbah never informed
the people about these gifts from Col. Gaddafi and
his government.

During a telephone programme on Radio UNAMSIL FM 103,
caller after caller expressed their dismay and
disappointment over the President and his government.

One caller who attempted to caution other callers from
discrediting the President and his government saying
people must learn to respect their leader was
lambasted and according to another caller, “there’s no
respect and dignity for dishonest people.”

A prominent member of the United Council of Imams, in a
brief interview with the Patriotic Vanguard, revealed
many donations had been made by Col. Gaddaffi
which the SLPP under President Kabbah had failed to
present to the people, thus creating negative
perceptions about Libya and its leader by Sierra
Leoneans.

“Government, at no time has explained about the rice,
money, vehicles, fuel and other items donated by the
Libyan Government, we are only knowing about this now,” he
said.

The revelation by the Libyan leader has caused doubts
and uncertainty over the sincerity of the President and
his government to move the country forward especially
coming at this crucial time when Sierra Leoneans are
gearing up for Presidential and General elections in
August this year.

Meanwhile, the slogan around town is, “Yu don eat?”
meaning “have you eaten?” apparently referring to the
two ship loads of rice donated by the Libyan leader.

Photo:Qaddafi, left, and Kabbah at State Lodge in Freetown.

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