From the Editor’s Keyboard

Good night, Puawui!

4 December 2007 at 04:54 | 1071 views


By Sahr Musa Yamba ,PV correspondent, Winnipeg, Canada.

As I sit behind my keyboard writing this piece, I am laughing, giggling, choking and almost throwing up. Reminiscing, we told them.... we told them!!!
You may want to ask why the laughing and all that.

Well, I read, though not in disbelief, the ‘belated’ piece of Dr. Sama ‘Puawui’ Banya on the Awareness Times online publication of December 3rd, 07 captioned, ‘Madam, You Have Lost All Credibility in Sierra Leone! wherein he attempted to discredit Madam Christiana Thorpe’s just released national election results which ushered the All Peoples Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma to power.

Wrote Puawui: “Christiana Thorpe announced her doctored but bungled run-off results on the morning of September 17, 2007. Her undoing and exposure has now arisen from the facts I have always asserted that she and her computer expert Carlos worked backwards from figures they had manipulated. Thus on that fateful morning, at 8 o’clock, she produced figures of 950,407 and 789,651 votes for Ernest Bai Koroma and Solomon Berewa respectively. But at 8am, those figures did not tally with the total votes cast and so they pushed their news conference back and hurried to the computer room ensuring that Eddie Nyallay and Winston Minah were left behind...’

I am neither an admirer nor a defender of Christiana Thorpe and will NOT attempt to be one. But what however the enigma is, why now? ‘Two months and eleven days later, or 71 days later’ for Dr. Sama ‘Puawi’ Banya to purport that ‘at 8 o’clock, she produced figures of 950,407 and 789,651 votes for Ernest Bai Koroma and Solomon Berewa respectively. But at 8am, those figures did not tally with the total votes cast.’

What is and remains unfortunate is the fact that ‘Puawui’ and some of his SLPP cohorts are still oblivious of the fact that the general Sierra Leonean populace was fed up with the Tejan Kabbah led SLPP. As a result, the ballot box was the only place where they could vent that out. But when the unpopularity of the Kabbah administration was pointed out, Banya and his likes, trying to curry favour from Supremo Kabbah, wrote pages of articles discrediting those salient issues. This trend led to an unsuspecting President Kabbah once erroneously mentioning that Puawui is “feared” by journalists because he (Puawui) replies them appropriately.

Well, sorry Pa Kabbah, unfortunately, the advice one of your very top aides, Puawui, gave you, was very misleading, hence your dream of a Berewa/Momodu pairing to lead Salone did not work out.

You were told by the press then that Berewa is not popular, but you forced him down the throat of the SLPP. The SLPP and Kabbah were further warned, Momodu Koroma was not a popular choice, but there again, Pa Kabbah thought he should get his blue-eyed boy as Vice President; unfortunately for him, the results proved otherwise.

The SLPP were further told Hinga Norman’s treatment in the hands of the Special Court and his eventual demise were going to militate against them in the election, but in an interview with this writer, Berewa at his Spur Road residence said the matter was above them (SLPP/government) “We cannot be seen to be helping Norman...”.

The SLPP were again warned Charles Margai’s 2007 defection, not the earlier ones, was going to cost them the election. But again, the vociferous SLPP Secretary General, JJ Blood maintained, “Charles is not an issue.”

The SLPP were told the incessant blackout in the city had caused widespread disgruntlement. But again, they refused to listen but rather made unrealistic promises of restoring power supply. Remember the Bumbuna and streetlight hoaxes? The list of warnings was unending, so, why does Puawui not get that up his very educated (medical)doctorate head?

The SLPP vision was blurred by the 2002 landslide election victory. They failed to deliver to the masses of Sierra Leone. The end result was booting them out. And now, Sama Puawui Banya is trying to discredit the election results and heap the blame on a single individual. No way, Puawui!

This begs the question why Dr. Sama Puawui Banya did not raise a similar issue during the 1996 elections when thousands of votes were deducted from President Kabbah’s votes because of similar irregularities. No! Puawui did not, may be because he was then Chairman of the SLPP.

What is sickening is the fact that Dr. Banya still thinks he is a popular figure. That is a chimera, Puawui, a very big one too. If anything, you are looked upon in Sierra Leone today with scorn, a political chameleon and very old enough to take the back seat now. But, oh, I forgot.

Remember! Puawui said during the last SLPP convention, “if you think I am old, ask my wife...” Wow!
Anyways, it is my conviction that the SLPP, with Dr. Banya as one of those at the helm of affairs, have still not learnt their lesson and will take them a long time to recover from the shocker given them during the last elections. Just another reminder, Puawui propelled his unpopular wife to contest under the SLPP ticket in the Western Area during the Local Council elections. She lost with distinction. Puawui contested to be Chairman of the SLPP, he lost woefully. Why not go to sleep Puawui? Good night!

*The author of this piece, Sahr Musa Yamba(photo) is a former Editor of Concord Times Communications in Freetown, Sierra Leone.