Opinion

John Benjamin is desperate and hungry (Part 1)

9 June 2009 at 01:37 | 669 views

By Abdul Bero Kamara (Chief), USA.

In my last article title “False rumor to tarnish the image of President Koroma.” I made the following assertions: The report by the SLPP mouth piece the New People that His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has instructed Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Bockarie K. Stevens to embarrass and humiliate the chairman of the SLPP Mr. John O Benjamin during his visit to the United States was bogus and unsubstantiated.

Also mentioned that the report is a politically motivated scheme which was stage managed by top ranking SLPP stalwarts and was geared towards tarnishing the image of president Koroma, Ambassador Stevens and the APC party, and second I asserted that it was a publicity stunt by the SLPP operatives to give Mr. Benjamin underserved attention.

Furthermore, I brought to the attention of my readers and fellow compatriots to bear in mind that Mr. Benjamin is a clever, crafty, shrew and sometimes very vicious politician who could use any means necessary in his power to clear any obstacle, or stumbling block on his way up the political ladder.

In reaffirming my assertions in the aforesaid article an official statement was released on Tuesday May 3, 2009 by the US embassy in Freetown and below is an extract of the Press release: “The United States Embassy wishes to comment on inaccurate statements involving the travel of John O. Benjamin to the United States.” “Prior to Mr. Benjamin’s departure, the Embassy received information from Washington that Mr. Benjamin would face difficulty if he tried to enter the United States at this time.” “Given Mr. Benjamin’s role as Opposition Leader, and aware of inconvenience to other Sierra Leoneans who faced similar situations, the Chargé d’Affaires informed Mr. Benjamin of the reasons for the expected difficulty, and suggested that it might be beneficial to postpone his travel until his entry status was further evaluated”

Despite the advice from the US embassy in Freetown to postpone the trip, the egotistical chairman of the SLPP Mr. Benjamin left the shore of Sierra Leone to the United States through London. And when he arrived in the United States at the Dulles International Airport, and this is what followed: “He faced a difficult entry” and he was quizzed for two hours for human rights abuses during the reign of the NPRC junta. As most of are aware that Mr. Benjamin was one of the architects that illegally overthrown the democratically elected APC government of the late J.S Momoh in 1992, and also spear headed the execution of many senior APC stalwarts during his capacity as senior adviser and minister.

After the two hours interrogation at the Dulles Airport on May 31, 2009 by the department of homeland security, Mr. Benjamin turned around and deliberately misinformed the world about the reason for his grilling, and also blamed the United States embassy in Freetown for his ordeal.

However, in order to get the record straight the US embassy in Freetown responded swiftly to Mr. Benjamin’s shenanigan: “It is regrettable that Mr. Benjamin used this attempt by the Embassy to extend him a courtesy as a means to accuse the United States Government of unscrupulous acts, and the assertions that the Embassy provided this information to Mr. Benjamin for motivations other than concern for his convenience are patently false.”

Interestingly, from the times Mr. Benjamin ascended to the SLPP chairmanship it has become customary for the SLPP through it mouth pieces like awareness times, and the New people to blame President Koroma, the APC government, senior officials and ordinary supporters for every SLPP misdeeds, mishaps, wrong doings or bad omens that befall their party or its members.

A case in point was Mr. Benjamin immigration saga on May 31 at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The SLPP mouth pieces both the Awareness Times and new people exploited the situation, blew it out of proportion, made exaggeration out of it, and above all over spin the issue to the point of blaming it on Ambassador Stevens. However, I’m certainly curious to know what power, or authority has any Ambassador of a nation to tell the immigration of it host country not to interrogate its citizen who might be a person of interest at their point of entry?

The truth of the matter is -it is very disturbing when some members of the SLPP who blinded by party loyalty are trying to denigrate the good name of our able and righteous Ambassador Stevens just because he is not one of them. Fortunately for the Child of God, who has a good heart for his fellow citizens, the U S embassy press release was a divine intervention to save his hard earned reputation which the SLPP mouth piece the new people is over zealous and determine to tarnish.

Again read the extract below from the US embassy in Freetown Press Release:” Admissibility or inadmissibility to the United States is determined exclusively in accordance with United States law. Membership in or leadership of a Sierra Leonean political party is not a ground for inadmissibility.

The Embassy reaffirms its commitment to supporting Sierra Leone in its efforts to maintain political stability, unity, and progress.” Stay tuned and watch out for part two of this series.

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