Following the scandal-ridden tours of the flag-bearer of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Julius Maada Bio, to Europe and Canada, the Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Sheka Tarawalie, has described Bio as “a father of lies” for telling untruths wherever he went.
Speaking at the usual Thursday press briefing yesterday June 28th , the Deputy Minister, who doubles as Co-Government Spokesman, prefaced his statement by reminding all about President Ernest Bai Koroma’s stance that “elections are not a do-or-die affair,” adding that their government would like to preside over free, fair, and peaceful elections, “which is why we have been giving adequate support, logistical or otherwise, to the National Electoral Commission (NEC).”
He maintained that it would only have been this government to support NEC in introducing the biometric voter registration system “to ensure that every vote is important and to avoid over-voting. And as a responsible Government, we are not interfering into the work of NEC,” noting that the process for voter exhibition is underway.
Minister Tarawalie made an analogy of likening politics to the game of football whereby the rules are to be followed strictly and administered fairly. He thanked all the institutions that have been coming out against hate speech, and that it must be stated that lying should also be condemned. “Politics is not synonymous to lying. We should not see politics as a moment to tell lies. There should be credibility and integrity when presenting your case to the electorates. Politics should be a decent game, and propaganda does not mean you should lie. Propaganda is to embellish the truth and not about telling outright lies,” he emphasized.
The Co-Government Spokesman said the SLPP flag-bearer has made lying a past-time, especially during his recent overseas trips, making him an inter-continental liar and a father of lies. “Maada Bio claims to be a Christian, and I would only remind him of the commandment which says ‘thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour.’” He said Bio’s reputation as a coupist and a man who has accepted “collective responsibility” in the extra-judicial killing of 29 innocent and unsuspecting civilians in 1992 is a fact and not a lie.
Deputy Minister Tarawalie then reminded journalists about the lies Maada Bio churned out overseas: in England, Maada Bio lied that the APC government has only constructed only three to four kilometres of roads and that whilst they(SLPP) were in power they constructed over seven hundred kilometres, “which is a big lie as everybody on the ground can see;” in Canada, Bio said that the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation has become the mouthpiece of the ruling APC and that the SLPP is not given coverage “which is a blatant lie, as seen in the extensive coverage given to his party during the ‘19 days of the SLPP,’ during their delegates conference, with their Publicity Secretary Tamba Sam going to SLBC anytime he wants, and even Bio’s own welcome procession last Monday was given full coverage;” Bio also lied to his supporters that he would be visiting the United Sates where preparations were made in various cities in the US to welcome him, but all evaporated into thin air “because he lied that he had got a visa to the US when he had not got one;” and that Bio also lied that he went to Ethiopia when he did not go there.
Minster Tarawalie appealed to journalists to tell Mr. Maada Bio that Politics is not about lies, but about presenting credible facts to the people. He said “whenever President Koroma speaks, he says the truth about what he is doing, what he is going to do, and how he is going to do it.”