Friends of detained journalist, David Tam Baryoh are pushing the allegation that he was arrested on the orders of President Koroma because he was critical of the government’s handling of the Ebola crisis. This writer does not subscribe to this. Infact, I think that my published criticisms of government’s handling of the Ebola crisis, have been more acidic and critical of the President and his Government than Tam Baryoh’s broadcasts on Ebola crisis. So someone is trying to spin the real reason why Tam Baryoh is behind bars. It is certainly not because he compared Abacha traders to University students in handling of Ebola crisis. That is such a ridiculous submission deliberately put to trivialize seriousness of the situation Tam Baryoh finds himself in.
I believe that the reason why the President is using his extra-ordinary powers to lock up Tam Baryoh, is not over criticisms of Government’s handling of the Ebola crisis but because of a more sinister plot by Tam Baryoh and few others. These persons have craftily worked to consistently present Honourable Vice-President and Konos, as victims of alleged evil intent of President Koroma towards Konos.
This incitement of Kono people is a very dangerous trend especially as tensions are rising in a country beset by an Ebola crisis turning into a major security issue. Maliciously inciting a whole district against the President is most unfortunate at a time the country needs unity of purpose. The fact that recent uprising in the district led to sad loss of Kono souls means all efforts must be put in place to stop this incitement.
Even prior to Ebola outbreak, almost every single weekend on his MONOLOGUE programme, Tam Baryoh will have something hateful and tribalistic to say against President Koroma viz-a-viz Konos. Despite the President having so many Kono people close to him including the First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma and Vice-President, Chief Sam-Sumana, they have all been unable to convince Tam Baryoh to stop broadcasting that President Koroma is the anti-Kono monster that Tam Baryoh is deliberately making him out to be in his radio broadcasts.
So, if the First Lady and Vice-President cannot stop Tam Baryoh from inciting Konos against President Koroma, I am sure Tam Baryoh’s ongoing time of reflection inside Pademba Road Prisons will stop his menacing nonsense aimed at inciting discontent against the President and currying undue sympathy for the Honourable Vice-President.
As I recently said on Tuesday November 4th 2014 in my acclaimed interview with FM98.1, “President Koroma is a victim of filthy Kono politics”. The persistent reports of feuding between the President and his VP are done by unscrupulous allies of the VP who see that as a way of garnering sympathy for the VP in his political pursuits.
I think enough is enough now. It is time to stop vilifying the President as someone who hates Kono people. It is time to stop inciting Kono especially under this State of Emergency.
Finally, unlike the SLPP government who used our constitution’s Section 29(5) and 29(6a) between 1998 and 2001 to round up hundreds of citizens, many for merely being APC party stalwarts; only to dump them into Pademba Road Prison without charge or court orders, the detention of David Tam Baryoh by current President, cannot be said to be done under flimsy excuses. Hateful incitement of Kono people has to stop. It should stop NOW!
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.