Letter to editor

Reaction to Alpha Lebbie’s article

22 July 2010 at 03:48 | 914 views

Posted by Gassim Conteh, on 22 July 2010 at 01h07

I have read your article on this hot potato, and I feel obliged to make some comments in reaction to some obverstions therein.

In the first instance, I think your caption is misleading and a amounts to a misrepresentation of the issue. As I understand it the government has announced its intention to carry out an inquiry and not a ’trial’. It should be noted that an inquiry is not a criminal proceeding. So to caption your article ’to try or not to try’ is simply an inaccurate reference. In support of your choice of caption, you have mentioned Victor Foh’s interview where he allegedly used the words ’to try’. Mr Foh is an individual member of the APC. So his views do not represent that of the government except otherwise stated.

Your opinion strongly suggests that the government is using the inquiry as a smokescreen for criminal proceedings against the individuals you have named in your article. And you seem to suggest that the government particularly wants to nab Maada Bio, a prospective SLPP presidential candidate. I wish to make three obvious points here. Firstly, this is mere speculation. You may call me nave if you wish. secondly, this sounds cynical and shows little or no regard for the virtue of learing from past mistakes or wrongdoing; call it learning from history as you put it in your opening paragraph. Thirdly, I don’t think the government considers Maada Bio as a threat to them succeeding themselves come 2012. I believe there are more credible pool of candidates, with clout, intellectual prowess, experience and charisma, the SLPP can draw on.

On the issue of pension for Strasser, you may recall that the idea of pension for past leaders was the brainchild of Tejan Kabba. One wonders why you did not consider it right to campaign for Strasser to benefit from this pension during the realm of the SLPP.

Your comparison between executions you mentioned in your article and that of Bambay and others demonstrates failure to appreciate the main point raised by proponents of the inquiry (which you have decided to call trials) which is, unlike the other executions which followed due process of law some of which were screened on state television, Bambay and others never faced any form of trial. This is a fundamental difference.

Some of us have our reservations about the executions you mentioned. But obviously they differ from yours. Some of us condemned the said killings on a matter of principle which is opposition to the death penalty simpliciter.