Mr. Taimeh Mohamed Taimeh, the elected President of the Kenema District Students Union, this week travelled all the way from his Njala University campus in Southern Sierra Leone down to Freetown to stand shoulder to shoulder with Awareness Times newspaper in our ongoing effort to nip the fire of negative tribalism in the bud before the elections are held this year.
Taimeh visited Awareness Times alongside other youths from South East to firstly, commend this paper for “unwavering stance” against the vice of tribalism which politicians wish to introduce into the elections campaigning. Secondly he is calling on politicians to please think about the future of youths when they incite tribal hatred that could lead to war.
Taimeh who says he is an APC supporter, said “Inside APC, there is no negative tribalism. APC is not tribal. Can SLPP please follow suit and stop tribal baiting?”
|APC-supporting youthful Friends of Ernest Koroma pose for Awareness Times after travelling down to Freetown from the South-East yesterday
Accompanying Taimeh to Freetown were other youthful supporters of President Koroma and the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC). The APC has been described by the opposition SLPP as a party which is treating South Easterners and members of the Mende tribe as “second class citizens”. However, this allegation has been vehemently denied by many Mendes who contacted this newspaper. One such person is Sidie Brima Kajue, the National Coordinator of the APC support group known as ‘Friends of Ernest Koroma’. His popular interview, in which he warns the SLPP, has been re-published today.
“Since my interview I am bombarded with phone calls. Some commend me but a few SLPP are threatening my life,” Sidie Kajue revealed. However, a smiling Kajue said he will never be intimidated.
“I believe in the President. I believe APC. I will not keep quiet as SLPP misinforms my people with lies. That is why I came down to Freetown to say thanks to your newspaper,” Sidie Kajue asserted.
The youths, many of whom are from ruling houses in the South East, say the last two to three weeks have seen the SLPP intensify tribal propaganda against the APC all over their towns and villages.
“SLPP people know how to tell terrible lies against APC to our people. Now they are spreading the lies like viruses all over the villages and towns. Sometimes if you listen to SLPP propaganda as told to our people, if you are not of conviction, you will hate President Koroma,” said Foday Ansumana of Pujehun.
Mohamed Vangahun, Abdulwahab Sahid from Kenema and Amara Sillah from Kono recounted of an incident where they went to take a drink at a popular Attaya Base in heart of Kenema city.
“SLPP members spoke to the Attaya base youths of hundreds of millions of dollars that they were lying the President has stolen. They spoke with confidence and were even showing fake Sierra Leone Government documents plus copies of SLPP newspapers as the evidence. Then they spoke lies of how the President is saying terrible things against the Mende tribe. I knew it was rubbish and I stood up to correct the misinformation but SLPP guys shouted at me to shut up saying I was betraying my tribe by defending the President. I was all alone against dozens of SLPP supporters. I felt so sick that I just asked Amara for us to leave.” Mohamed Vangahun said.
For Taimeh Mohamed Taimeh, his concern is a re-echo of some of the concerns which have been lately raised about how SLPP’s attempts to incite the Mendes against the Government party were not good for the peace and unity of the country.
Taimeh called on Sierra Leoneans to be honest. Whilst he insisted that he was speaking in his personal capacity, he confirmed that many members of the Kenema District Students Union also share his sentiments for the peace and unity of the country to be placed ahead of SLPP’s tribal propaganda.
“I honestly do not see anything wrong with what Awareness Times has been saying to make sure no one misleads our people as happened in the past. My colleagues and I have decided to come down to Freetown to speak clearly and loudly to the rest of the country that the youths want an immediate halt to preaching of negative tribal messages. For this purpose, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Awareness Times newspaper,” Taimeh firmly ended.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.