RE: ZainabBangura Admonishes former President Koroma to reduce the tension in Sierra Leone
I normally never respond to articles written about me on social media. But this time I believe I must do so. Why? Because, these are very challenging times in our country, when in my estimation, certain people out of their own selfish reasons seem bent on destabilizing our country, or it could be that out of share ignorance they have failed to appreciate that Sierra Leone is bigger than any of us or perhaps because they have not given any thought to the consequences of their actions. As a professional with over three decades of diplomatic, governance and conflict resolution experience, I cannot allow my name to be used frivolously. I owe it my self and my country to set the record straight.
I take great exception to your article with the title cited above which was a far cry from my interview with AYV at the launching of the “Ahmad TejanKabbah Foundation” on Sunday, 16th June 2017. I do not know what grudges you have against Former President Ernest BaiKoroma, but I am extremely disappointed at the length you went to mislead and distort my interview. This is very unguided, unethical, unprofessional and unpatriotic. My interview has no correlation to your article. If you want to attack the former President on anything, by all means do so, as it is your right, but I do not expect someone of your caliber and pedigree to use my name to grind your axes by putting words into my mouth. That is the height of irresponsibility. It is extremely unfortunate, and I am sad to say, it is people like you who are destroying our country, sabotaging our prospect for growth and undermining our hard-won peace and our struggling democracy.
To help you and other Sierra Leoneans understand and appreciate this letter, I have taken the liberty to attach the interview with AYV. My interview starts around the 40:15 mark. In the said interview, I was questioned on how the foundation created in the name of the late former President could bridge the gap presently existing between the APC and SLPP in order to reduce the tension existing at present in the country. My response to that particular question was the only time I mentioned both former President Koroma and President Maada Bio. My answer was that both men owe it to the late President to say the things he used to say, do the things he used to do, protect his legacy (which is the peace we enjoy now and have enjoyed for many many years) and uphold all the things he fought for and stood for. I went further to say that both men know him very well, one having handed over power to him and another he handed power to. He served as President between them. The foundation should therefore try to bring the former President and the current President together and solve the problem between them. I am therefore at a loss as to where you invented all that was written in your article. So, to be clear, and for the avoidance of doubt, I never blamed either of the two men for what is happening in our country.
Let me use this opportunity to make the following points very clear to you and your kind. Former President Koroma was my President. I served under him in two senior capacities during his term as President, and he supported me to serve in the United Nations at the rank of Under Secretary General. We disagreed many times on many things and on many issues, but I will ever remain grateful to him for the opportunities he gave me in my life’s journey. I respect him for accepting me as I was, critical but loyal to him. I have never and will never admonish him in public and on the media. I will always respect him for what he was – President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Likewise, President Maada Bio is my President and the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. I might disagree with him on certain things, but I owe him an obligation to respect him as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Just as I have and would never admonish former President Koroma on the media, so I would not do with President Bio. This has and will always be my position because first and foremost I am a Sierra Leonean who believes in my country, had the opportunity to serve it in various capacities both national and international and therefore has an obligation to protect its integrity. Secondly, I hold in high esteem the office of the President. Whoever occupies that office deserves my respect and I will give it to him unconditionally. Thirdly, my commitment to multi-party democracy is not just about words and politics. It is about values and principles I believe in and hold close to my heart, and it goes beyond Sierra Leone.
I sincerely do hope this response has put my interview into perspective for you and cleared whatever misunderstanding you may have had.
Even though this letter is a direct response to MrBoye – Thompson, the very first and last time I respond to him or a social media post, I am asking all Sierra Leoneans who will read this letter to accept my response to Titus for what it is, and not to use it to start a political debate, discussion or embark on propaganda on social media.