|Busy Bee – Standard Times Newspaper 11 Aug 2010 pg.19|
It is quite rare that the newspapers of Sylvia Blyden and Phillip Neville share a similar perspective on an issue and the recent appointment of former NPRC spokesman Karefa Kargbo by President Koroma as financial director of the national petroleum unit is no different. While Awareness Times sees Karefa Kargbo’s nomination as a move towards national reconciliation, Standard Times’ BusyBee satire states that the appointment must be “for recognition for overthrowing the APC government of ex late president Momoh”. BusyBee believes that Karefa Kargbo will use his new position to “steal more money that he would not account for” as with the monies recovered and stolen from the homes of Bambay Kamara and others during the NPRC’s regime.
Both articles are definitely worth reading but whats the big deal with Karefa’s appointment? Well, I find it disappointing that while Strasser is languishing in poverty the APC government can give one of his ex cronies a job. Are all of the NPRC former big wigs not collectively responsible for the abuses that transpired during their tenure?? Now the APC has joined the SLPP party by making room for former NPRC leaders.
Lets say we side with Awareness Times on this one and agree that APC government is serious about reconciliation. Shouldn’t they then adopt one policy with regards to former members of the NPRC? It is either they are pariahs or they are part of sierra leone’s post war political landscape. If you the APC government accepts Karefa then Strasser should be given the help he needs.
Some have argued that Valentine Strasser’s government was not constitutional, and therefore he was not a proper head of state, so the government does not have to treat him as a former head of state. But i recently read in the paper that IMATT (the British millitary support unit to the Salone army) had paid monies for the pension of 16 individuals of which Strasser was included. That money has never been paid to him and he is still living like a pauper. Whether NPRC was constitutional or not is besides the point. What is true is that Strasser was leader of the entity that ran the country from 1992-1996, and he deserves to live in a decent manner if indeed the we going to have inclusive and consolidated peace in Sierra Leone. Ernest Bai’s government MUST do something to improve Strasser’s current state of living. Especially if others in the NPRC government are going to be given presidential appointments as a move towards reconciliation. Why does national reconciliation exclude Strasser? Until something is done, Strasser will continue to remain a stain on our national concience.
A friend suggested that Strasser is being singled out and punished because he is a creole? Do you think this is so?