Salone News

Reverend Kabs-Kanu is a champion of democracy

22 April 2008 at 20:55 | 990 views

Commentary

By Foday Mansaray , Chairman of the Board of Cocorioko online newspaper, New Jersey, USA.

If I were a negative citizen like some of our pseudo-journalists I would have called on the Editor of COCORIOKO , Rev.Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, to take legal actions against certain individuals , who without conscience, perpetuated the greatest evil ever carried out against a man----deliberately, wilfully and maliciously fabricating and spreading false stories against him in their envious backlash at him for being given an award for Community Leadership by NOSLINA.

I would have advocated for the Cocorioko Editor to seek heavy damages against certain individuals and two internet newspapers for publishing an article , purportedly written by an individual , who calls himself THE CALIFORNIAN POET and KEEN OBSERVER respectively.

The article, titled : "REWARDING TRIBAL BIGOTS AND CHARLATANS" carried deliberately false and misleading accusations against the Editor , allegations specifically and purposely designed to present the Editor in an unfavourable light to the world and at the same time ruin and sully his reputation and good name .
There are malicious lies contained in the following statements :

"Rev Kabs-Kanu, like Yaya Fanusie, is a social misfit who is the worst tribal bigot the Sierra Leone community of journalists has known in recent history. Added to that, Kabs-Kanu has admitted to supporting the notorious AFRC butchers during their disastrous overthrow of a democratically elected government in Sierra Leone. Kabs-Kanu was a member of a group of journalists who advocated against the reinstatement of the elected government. How can any organization in their right minds award such a damaged good as Kabs-Kanu an award? "

Every statement above is false . However, as a positive man who always looks at the brighter side of things, I am the one advising the Reverend not to be bothered about what his enemies are writing against him. As a successful businessman, I have been there before. I know what it means to succeed in the envious Sierra Leone community. I have gone through the same crucible when I started to be a successful business man, first as a mortgage banker , then a restaurant owner and now a Vice-President of a bank.

All kinds of lies were told against me by my jealous enemies but I purposed in my mind that they will never bring me down. The more they talked against me and fabricated stories against me, the more I worked very hard. Today, my detractors cannot look me in my face because I am a successful business man. The Rev.Kabs-Kanu will undergo the same troubles but he will come out of them with victory. Nobody is able to bring down a good man like him. Kabs has worked so hard that he will triumph over his enemies.

As the man closest to the Rev, I have however decided to straighten the false impressions that have been given about the Rev. by his enemies. I think justice will not be done to this great man if somebody does not straighten the lies that have been told about him. The statements above are full of lies.

First of all, the Editor of COCORIOKO, the Rev. Kabs-Kanu, is not a social misfit but is a responsible and respected member of this New Jersey community ,who apart from being Associate Pastor of the AMERICAN FELLOWSHIP CHURCH of Lambertville, New Jersey, is also a respected school teacher and a journalist contributing so much to the socio-economic and political development of Sierra Leone.

He has never been involved in a misdeed unbecoming of the roles he is playing in the community.Nobody has ever accused him of financial, sexual or any other form of unethical behaviour by the Editor.He is one of the few church leaders who have never been named in any financial or sexual indiscretion. He is a model husband in New Jersey , with a family whose members have never been named in any public misdeed. To therefore label the Editor as a social misfit is malicious, wrong and libelious and it was designed to undermine the high respect he enjoys in the society. We must not allow our political differences to drive us to the point where we fabricate stories against our enemies to make political gain.

Secondly, the Editor could not have admitted to supporting the "notorious AFRC butchers". During the period under review, the Editor was not a member of a group of journalists who advocated against the reinstatement of the elected government of Sierra Leone as emphatically declared by the article .

On the contrary, when the said coup occured on Sunday May 25, 1997, Kabs-Kanu was a member of a group of patriotic Sierra Leoneans, of whom I was a part and parcel, who fought a gallant battle to have the military junta return power to the legitimate and constitutionally-elected government of the then President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. The Editor not only aligned himself with the CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR THE RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY IN SIERRA LEONE but he wrote very strong articles condemning the coup and calling on the military to unconditionally return power to the government.

The CONCERNED CITIZENS used to meet at my office in my mortgage company in Somerset, New Jersey.In my next article, I will give you the full history of the CONCERNED CITIZENS.

After the coup occured, the Editor-in-Chief of COCORIOKO, Kabs-Kanu, wrote an article that was published in the September 1997 edition of the WEST AFRICAN JOURNAL , Volume 6, No.24 with the heading :" Fiendish military coup sets off Sierra Leone time bomb."

In the article in this magazine edited by Joe S. Kappia of San Jose, California, the editor described the coup thus:

"Hot-headed soldiers and anarchists operating in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, delivered the mother-of-all-shocks at dawn on Sunday May 25, when they broke all bounds of constitutional propriety and overthrew the democratically-elected SLPP government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah."

"The military coup, which destroyed the future of multi-party democracy in Africa, was immediately condemned and challenged by a stunned world that has decided that enough was enough with military adventurism in Africa ...It was a sad day for Sierra Leone and Africa.Shakespeare writes that ’Infected minds will to their deaf pillows discharge their secrets’. If this coup culminates in a full-scale tragedy, the perpetuators will one day tell their deaf pillows why they took their fiendish course of action ".

"Besides the lawlessness of the Sierra Leone coup leaders , their inability to restore peace and order in the capital , right under their own noses, and the threat this coup will pose to multiparty democracy in Africa and the peace accord in Liberia outweigh any bad precedent by Nigeria (i.e. having ECOMOG intervene ). An opinion poll conducted showed that majority of Sierra Leoneans supported military action by Nigeria to bring back Kabbah to power .."

KABS KANU lamented : "It is the poor, innocent civilians who are about to enter another realm of suffering; whose throats will be slit ; whose wives and daughters will be raped and whose houses , towns and villages will be burnt down .."

This completely refutes the wicked lies of the ’California Poet’ and ’Keen Observer’in saying that :

"Kabs-Kanu has admitted to supporting the notorious AFRC butchers during their disastrous overthrow of a democratically elected government in Sierra Leone. Kabs-Kanu was a member of a group of journalists who advocated against the reinstatement of the elected government". IS THIS THE VOICE OF SOMEBODY SUPPORTING THE JUNTA ? You can hate a man. You are not bound to love everybody, but it is wicked to bear false witness against your enemy.
But lets go to more evidence. The slanderous and libelious individual also wrote :

"Rev Kabs-Kanu, like Yaya Fanusie, is a social misfit who is the worst tribal bigot the Sierra Leone community of journalists has known in recent history."

This is another blatant and wicked lie.The COCORIOKO Editor has always advocated tribal unity and cohesion and during this dark moment in Sierra Leone’s history, he took the opportunity to make the same appeal. We refer readers to the SIERRA LEONEAN NEWSLETTER of September 1997 , Issue No. 20 , edited by Mr. Dauda Sekou Bangura of Somerset, New Jersey.

In this article, Kabs-Kanu bluntly and unconditionally called on the military junta to hand over power to the Kabbah Government. The article was titled : "Save Sierra Leone from exploding into another Vietnam or Rwanda "
Here are exerpts from this article :

"Years and decades of shameless , conscienceless and diabolical corruption ,unpatriotic decisions and heartlessness by politicians, soldiers and rebels in Sierra Leone had continued unchallenged for so long that the nation-spoilers concluded that Sierra Leoneans were mere pushovers whom anybody can take for a ride at his whims and caprices.

"But the reaction of the nation this time to the ill-disposed military coup of May 25, 1997 has delivered a tough message to the enemies of Sierra Leone that the days of political and military adventurism and gangsterism in the country were over. Passive resistance and civil disobedience by the people have completely stymied the coup leaders and left them with no wind to their sails. Thanks be to God who is teaching Sierra Leoneans to wage war with their brains without the necessity of bloodshed."

"Joyfully, Sierra Leoneans are now trying to put behind them those tribal passions and the loyalties of the past, realizing that if the nation is destroyed beyond repairs, it is Sierra Leoneans at large who will be left holding the baby. This is not a Mende/Temne issue or a South/East Vs. North affair .It is the future of Sierra Leone that is at stake .Praise should be given to Sierra Leoneans who have driven the tribalists underground . The problem in Sierra Leone is ANARCHY, NOT TRIBALISM."

Are these the statements of a tribal bigot ? Can somebody be a tribal bigot and be making such public declarations of tribal unity in a newspaper read all over America and Sierra Leone ? I know Kabs Kanu’s detractors are angry for him getting an award but the way to go about expressing it is not to bear false witness against him.

During this era under review, the Reverend even proved that he is a true man of God. In the same article, he said:

As our nation festers at a standstill , with starvation and unimaginable suffering looming precipitiously in the horizon, Sierra Leoneans must take the battle to a spiritual level by beseeching the mercies of God to prevail on the hearts of the military leaders and rebels to make the supreme sacrifice in the interest of the nation to step down and restore the overthrown SLPP government. We must pray for a miraculous intervention by God, while trying to convince the soldiers to cede power in the national interest. ..The soldiers and the rebels need to come to terms with the stark reality that this is not their day. Theirs is a military dictatorship built on the ashes of a much-prized multi-party democracy.The voice of the people is the voice of God. The best they can do now is to abdicate power for President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah , who is the constitutionally-elected leader of Sierra Leone "

My dear readers, if you are a God-fearing person, after reading this, don’t you see that Kabs-Kanu is a champion of democracy in Sierra Leone and that the California Poet and the Keen Observer was only trying to destroy his name ?

I can go on and on but if you want to read more about how Kabs-Kanu fought for democracy in Sierra Leone, I refer you to the December 1997 edition of the WEST AFRICAN JOURNAL Volume 6 , No. 25 ; NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1996 edition of the same newspaper , Volume 5. no 22; and the Sixth Anniversary Issue NO.22 of THE SIERRA LEONEAN .

Kabs Kanu has never supported a military junta.He believes in democracy. I wish to also refer you to the PROGRESS edition of October 1995 .Read the article by Kabs Kanu , titled : " In haven for helions, world gets no better, as...REVOLUTION TAKES A DETOUR " . In this article , Rev .Kabs-Kanu criticises the NPRC Junta then led by the young military leader, Captain Valentine Strasser.

As readers can see from Kabs Kanu’s article during the most critical part of our country’s history, the California Poet and Keen Observer misrepresented the Reverend to the world. Everything they wrote about him is completely false .Everything they wrote have no bearing to the truth. Everything is a direct opposite of what the Reverend stands for.

I think the only thing that can stop this kind of malicious journalism is legal action against the editors and writers . Journalists are taking too much advantage of their positions to besmear the names of innocent persons.They are contributing to the lawlessness that they themselves are complaining about. They will not stop the deliberate concoction of stories against innocent people unless somebody hits them in their wallets with a massive lawsuit.

My conclusion is that Reverend Kabs-Kanu is being strengthened for better community service by his enemies. Hopefully, he will be the victor and the experience will teach him to develop thick crocodile skin against his enemies . If you are not a success in this world, nobody will spread stories about you.

As you can see from the examples you have been given about the Reverend’s efforts to promote democracy in Sierra Leone and his clean, impeccable life, he deserves the NOSLINA Award in all its entirety.

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