Salone News

Hinga Norman Confirms PMDC Membership, Blasts Berewa

17 February 2007 at 21:53 | 436 views

PRESS RELEASE FROM CHIEF HINGA NORMAN

To: All Directors, Administrators, Commanders, Initiators & Members of the Sierra Leone Civil Defence Forces (CDF);
Chairman and Secretary General, Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP);
Chairman and Secretary General, People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC)
National & International Media; Family, Friends and Well Wishers.

Medical Report
We are pleased to report that Chief Sam Hinga Norman successfully underwent hip surgery at a military hospital in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday 8 February 2007 and is recovering well.

Mr. Norman arrived in Senegal on Wednesday 17 January in the custody of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SC-SL) amidst controversy over the method of his removal from Sierra Leone and the status of his detention in Senegal. He was later transferred to military hospital following international outcry from his family, supporters and human rights groups in Senegal.

In this regard, we wish to express sincere appreciations to all those who registered their voices in support of Chief Norman. In particular, we wish to thank His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, former British High Commissioner, Chief Peter Penfold, the office of the Prime Minister of Senegal and our colleagues in the Senegalese human rights movement. We also thank national and international media including Omaru Fofana of the BBC, Dr. Sylvia Blyden of Awareness Times, Gibril Koroma of the Patriotic Vanguard and Rev. Kabs Kanu of Cocorioko for their extra vigilance in this matter. The Norman family also extends their kindest appreciation to Professor Abdul Karim Bangura and Mwalim Sami Gandi-Gorgla of the Sierra Leone Working Group for coordinating our activities in Senegal. Lastly but not least, we express our thanks to the offices of the Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Detention, SC-SL, for their assistance and cooperation.

Statement on Political Status
The Committee to Elect Hinga Norman wishes to inform the public at home and abroad that following a series of face-to-face meetings between Chief Hinga Norman, Mr. Moinina Fofana and Dr. Alieu Kondewa representing the CDF and Mr. Charles Francis Margai and Mr. Ansu Lansana representing the PMDC, both sides have come to an agreement to work together as a team to redeem Sierra Leone from bad governance through the 2007 presidential and general elections. This agreement was reached without any reservations or pre-conditions. Prior to the recent Trans-Atlantic Tour led by Mr. Margai, a joint committee representing both the PMDC and the CDF met several times to discuss matters of mutual interest to both groups with respect to the 2007 elections.

The recommendations of the joint committee under the heading of the Indianapolis Accord were presented to both Mr. Norman and Mr. Margai for further consultations with their respective constituencies at home and abroad. Following Mr. Margai’s return from the Trans-Atlantic sensitization tour, a series of meetings were held between the PMDC and the CDF in Sierra Leone. From these meetings, a formal invitation was extended to the CDF to join the PMDC in an effort to create a broad-based national coalition in the mutual interest of ushering in good governance in our beloved Sierra Leone.

On this note, we congratulate all the participants in the PMDC coalition for their vision and courage to set aside personal interest towards a common national agenda. We believe this to be a space-time continuum of the wind of change that is once again blowing across our motherland. And as British Prime Minister, Harold McMillan, correctly observed in his famous Wind of Change addresses in Accra and Cape Town some forty-seven years ago, “The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact.” Thus, the change the PMDC coalition is bringing is a political reality and a fact of life for us to experience come July 2007. It is also a fact of positive nation building as well as a fact of individual self-actualization for all Sierra Leoneans.

We also believe that without a doubt, what is happening in Sierra Leone is not merely a wind of change but a political tsunami that will sweep across our beloved nation for a better future. Those who are willing to become a part of this change will be greatly rewarded by a grateful posterity for leading the way to national reconciliation and redemption. So we are hopeful that many will follow the lead of the CDF and be a part of the movement for a positive change in our nation.

Therefore, we urge all members of the CDF and the Kamajor Movement, their families and supporters both at home and abroad to lay aside all malice and the political, ethnic and regional barriers which have until now held us back from fulfilling the dreams of the founders of our Republic. We urge all to work together as “One for All and All for One” under the national PMDC coalition. We also urge all members of the CDF to continue to conduct themselves with the dignity they have displayed since the arrest and detention of our leaders four years ago.

We refuse to believe that:
·Sierra Leoneans in their collective wisdom can only associate themselves with one or two political parties along ethnic and regional lines;

·There is no other choice for our people especially of the South and the East with which to exercise their political freedom of association.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, we believe that in July 2007 there is a clear and convincing choice and a chance for all Sierra Leoneans for a positive political change in the country. The PMDC presents such a choice for our people and our nation.

In this regard we, first and foremost, appeal to members of the CDF and the Kamajor Movement to register in the tens of thousands when registration opens on the 26th of this month and to give their unequivocal support to the PMDC in July. This is our chance to rebuild our nation and to reclaim her place in the international community once again as the Athens of West Africa. By so doing, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood and sisterhood.” With this hope, we as one people and one nation and with God’s help will be able to transform Sierra Leone from the 176th poorest nation in the world into a shining ray of hope for posterity and ourselves. This is our reasonable call of service for the land that we love: Our Sierra Leone.

With regards to the recent Concord Times interview with Vice President Solomon Berewa who blamed members of the Kamajor Movement for the betrayal of Chief Hinga Norman and his colleagues, Kamajors are hereby advised without exception that no contention exists between members of the movement and leaders of the CDF. Indeed, Chief Norman, Mr. Fofana and Dr. Kondewa retain their strictest confidence and admiration for the Kamajors including those who may have testified for the prosecution in the trial of the CDF leaders.

It is also to be recalled that it was Mr. Berewa who negotiated for the defective and deceptive Lome Accord which falsely granted “free and absolute pardon” to the CDF only for their leaders to be arrested and tried for war crimes. It was also Mr. Berewa who, as Attorney General, negotiated for the special court without provision for the people who twice took up arms to defend the SLPP government, in particular, and the nation as a whole. It is, therefore, inconceivable and highly reprehensible that the people who are the victims of the recklessness and ingratitude of Mr. Berewa’s government are now being blamed for the incarceration of their leaders for doing exactly what the government hired them to do. History and posterity owe much gratitude to each and every Kamajor for their selflessness. God, in turn, will pay a just recompense to those who betrayed their sacrifice for the cause of our beloved country.

Conclusion
This release confirms the previous Press Release signed by Chief Sam Hinga Norman of Valunia Chiefdom, Speaker Moinina Fofana of Nongowa-Bullom Chiefdom and Dr. Alieu Musa Kondewa of Bumpe-Ngao Chiefdom on 11 January 2007 of their intent to join the PMDC. This release also serves as a formal notice of their resignation from the SLPP and their wholehearted and unconditional acceptance of the invitation to join the PMDC. The Chairmen and Secretary Generals of the SLPP and PMDC are hereby advised accordingly. Finally, we trust that this release ends all speculation and supersedes all previous statements made by or on behalf of Chief Norman, Mr. Fofana and Dr. Kondewa with regards to their political status and affiliation for the 2007 general and presidential elections.God bless all. God bless Sierra Leone.

*** End of Release ***

Rev. Alfred Munda SamForay
Committee to Elect Hinga Norman
& Chairman, Indiana Chapter,
PMDC-North America.

Photo: Chief Hnga Norman, before his arrest and detention.

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