With George S. Khoryama ………..
Your Excellency Sir,
I write on behalf of my colleague and friend, David Tam Baryoh who is being detained at the Pademba Road Maximum Prisons by the powers vested in you as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. At the time of writing this letter no clear-cut reason had been given that gave vent to Tam Baryoh’s arrest and detention except the police blanket justification that he was arrested and detained by an Executive Order; which means an order from the highest office in the land occupied by Your Excellency.
That explanation by the police inevitably left the public to draw their own conclusion about his arrest and which has been blamed on his Monologue radio program on the night of Saturday October 30, 2014. The police have now to prove this public perception right or wrong. By the nature of the Monologue radio program from its inception, it is and has remained very critical to the socio-economic and political issues; as well as to personalities and institutions sometimes cutting to the raw nerves of those concerned.
That Saturday night program according to those who listened to it was no less downright critical and provoking. It reportedly touched on the recent political upheaval in Burkina Faso that saw the once powerful President Blaise Campaori fleeing State House for dear life, some of which comments may not have gone down well with the power-that-be. The program also was reportedly not kind enough to government’s effort to combat the dreaded Ebola pestilence in the country. But these are all public own account of what may have happened that led to the arrest of Tam Baryoh. Until the police came straight with the facts and charges, the speculations continue to endure.
My emotional occupation with Tam Baryoh’s arrest and detention notwithstanding whatever reasons or justification that may have brought about his trouble is to prevail on Your Excellency to forgive him. Tam Baryoh among others like Christian Thorpe, Sylvia Blyden and Phillip Neville to a great extent championed your victory in the 2007/2012 Presidential elections.
The Monologue program of that Saturday night was the same Monologue program that Tam Baryoh took to sacrifice the chances of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in the 2012 elections on your behalf. Tam Baryoh and others descended into boosterism – a style of advocacy journalism – with positive and uplifting articles and programs in their radio stations and newspapers for you to become President of Sierra Leone today.
It is timely to recall Mr. President, during the elections campaign in 2012 when on that ungodly hour that night you appeared on the same Monologue program with Tam Baryoh without the national anthem being played, and during which the two of you rubbed the SLPP into the very gutters of this country for you to become President, and you are today.
David Tam Baryoh in his Monologue program showered endless diet of praises on you; he and others extolled what they referred to as your intellectual and political brilliance, elegance, foresight and integrity if only to win the people’s hearts and minds over for you at the chagrin of the SLPP’s darling flag bearer Julius Maada Bio. They made you stand like a millionaire general and world’s best leader among all others.
Tam Baryoh for your sake Mr. President, was and remained unnecessarily critical of the SLPP. It could be recalled sometimes during the SLPP administration under the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, and you were in opposition. The Sierra Leone athletes left the country for the Olympic Games in Australia and once they were there some of them asked for asylum on the pretext that, their lives were in danger back home. Tam Baryoh went on his Monologue program to support the athletes on the basis that the athletes had nothing to return to in Sierra Leone because of human rights violations under the SLPP government.
The loyalty of the Monologue Czar to you, Mr. President, could be compared to that of the former National Electoral Commissioner whose loyalty someone lamented: “From hindsight I have stopped blaming the All People’s Party (APC) for all the troubles the SLPP supporters are suffering today in Sierra Leone. Yes, the APC may have 99.9 tactics to have won the 2007/2012 elections but believe you me those tactics could not have worked on their own merits had there been an National Electoral Commissioner (NEC) of integrity, self-pride and honour; a NEC that believes in the oath of office she swore on; a woman that is married with a family to raise and a husband to care and respect.”
Tam Baryoh’s loyalty to you, Your Excellency, can also be compared to that of Phillip Neville. We recall the issue of the Libyan rice donated to this country by the late Col. Kaddafi for the people of Sierra Leone through then government of the SLPP under President Kabbah. With you as Chairman of the Committee to sell the rice and have the National Social and Security Insurance Trust (NASSIT) set up, the rice was given to Members of Parliament among others to sell to their constituents on discount which was done; thus the establishment of NASSIT.
But Phillip Neville writing about the rice issue during the 2007 elections claimed that the proceeds from the rice went into the pockets of SLPP government officials including President Kabbah, only to give the SLPP government a bad name at such critical time. As for Sylvia Blyden, the less said about her loyalty to you the better.
Mr. President, Tam Baryoh and others did all those things to disadvantage the SLPP in a maze of wicked political machinations for you to become President that you surely are today.
Until recently you, Mr. President, had remained to a large extent the meal tickets to their financial and other advantages in the society. While the façade of that friendship has begun to collapse with the resignation of Sylvia Blyden from her position as Special Executive Assistant to the President (SEA), and now the arrest of Tam Baryoh upon your orders, it only remains for me your other good friend to appeal to you to forgive Tam Baryoh.
Mr. President, don’t allow toxic people around you to dump their poisons on you by clamping down on your old good friends. Tam Baryoh had stood by you at the right times you needed him most. He had caused many people in the society heartbreak, heart attacks, bad times, hatred and disillusionment. Don’t leave him high and dry because of one mistake.
“In a way the most selfish thing you can do is to forgive other people,” wrote Dr. Dean Ornish, America’s All Purpose Guru.
May God bless you.
George S. Khoryama