By Torchlight Communications :
Both the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and its flag-bearer, Julius Maada Bio, are very uncomfortable with their public ratings, both nationally and internationally – a fact they would always want to hide after patching up things following his 39% ‘Pa O Pa’ victory at their national delegates’ conference in Freetown.
What is troubling Maada Bio now is not the fact that he has been separated from his America-based estranged wife and family, but that he could possibly never enter America again in his life. It could be recalled that after his election as flag-bearer of the SLPP, Maada Bio’s first port of call was the US embassy in Freetown – a trip that did not impress the Americans, to say the least.
When news started making the rounds that Maada would not be allowed in America because of allegations of human rights abuses hanging around his neck like an albatross, his media handlers tried to paint a different picture. “He was asked to leave the USA for alleged domestic violence; and that in itself is a human right abuse that cannot be countenanced by the American authorities,” a US source intimated The Torchlight.
During the recent UN summit where President Barack Obama courted President Ernest Bai Koroma at a UN luncheon, the American President made it quite clear that he does not only admire the leadership style of the Sierra Leonean leader, but that all human rights abusers will not be allowed to enter in America.
Now the US State Department has devised a new electronic visa application form that has many questions dwelling on security and personal background, which clearly rule out qualification for Maada Bio.
“The SLPP supporters in America are very much frustrated by the fact that their leader‘s ‘thank you’ tour will never be extended to America because he cannot be allowed entry,” the source continued.
The US visa application which could be accessed on https://ceac.state.gov/GENNIV
has varied questions that only ask for a ‘yes or no’ answer, which makes Maada Bio’s case worse. For example, in Part 3 of the form, titled ‘Security and Background’, the following questions would bring a ‘Yes’ (meaning, automatically disqualified) for Maada:
- Have you ever committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in torture?
- Have you committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in extra judicial killings, political killings, or other acts of violence?
- Have you ever engaged in the recruitment or the use of child soldiers?
US consular officials will certainly not grant a visa to anyone who answers ‘yes’ to the above. And Maada Bio cannot give a ‘no’ answer to them, because he would be committing another crime – perjury. Bottom-line – Maada Bio will not be allowed to enter in America, at least not when President Obama is President, not when the visa questions are against people who have participated or otherwise in torture, extra judicial killings and the use of child soldiers. (First published by The Torchlight in April)