David Tam-Baryoh replies Sama Banya on “Who Does David Tam-Baryoh Think His Listeners Are?”

By David Tam-Baryoh

It’s been awhile since I had any article published in local (Sierra Leonean) newspapers. This has been so for a long time because I have come to believe that I must continue to see and receive value for my many serious writings.

When I did research for the BBC World Service Trust, (see www.bbcworldservicetrust/ and the International League for Human rights in New York (, or when even I was editor of the Sub regional rights magazine in Ghana, (Zongo-Giwa) or rather, even when I published my first two books, I received some thousands of US Dollars as financial, professional and moral dividend; meaning that there is much profit in serious writing and research. Against this back ground, I came to be tempted not “to write any more for free”.

But here I am, replying to my good old friend; Dr. Sama Banya, because I sense that he has misunderstood exactly what happened when Madam Zainab Mansaray, one of the APC  leaders in Bo was interviewed by me last Saturday. Very often (that is, when I can have the time), I would like to engage Dr. Sama Banya simply because I think his language of persuasion (the game of persuasion is actually what politics is all about, contrary to what some of his peers think), is usually devoid of misquotations and many a time very decent; but only if he hears or gets one well. So when he quotes me wrongly, I deserve a chance to say it on paper, since the microphone couldn’t sound well to him. To start with, Dr. Banya wrote on Tuesday last that: the wounded (sic) woman (Zainab) was speaking to me from Calaba town in Freetown and that during the same interview, she appeared to be in/at Connaught hospital, though the woman actually said that she was speaking to me from Bo.

Secondly, Dr. Banya wanted to know why I did not ask Moijue Kai Kai (the Resident Minister, South) as to why “he (the minister) did not advise his people in the interest of peace and security to stay from their office that day”.

Lastly, at least for now, Dr. Banya seems to have problem with my choice of Dr. Kargbo and Philip Neville, as my studio and analyst-guests respectively.

Issue number one: that I knew Zainab was probably talking to me from Calaba town. Actually, I am to blame. Because it was I who impute the idea of Calaba town because knowing the unbelieving  Sierra Leonean, I said that, should anyone impute that illogicality of omnipresence, I took the unusual route as far as even being unprofessional as to even supply the public the telephone numbers on which I interviewed the lady. It is my assumption that another journalist may have used that same contact to ask the woman a few questions before publishing that story. If Dr. Banya would be journalistic enough to want to check whether such a woman exists at all within the APC (Bo) hierarchy, it would not be good for me to be averse to reading such revelations. Bo is the last place in Sierra Leone for anyone ascribing other party agents and persons that do not live there. So easy to find out.

Second issue…about Moijue Kai Kai not advising his APC members not to go to their office in Bo on the day of the Maada rally: In dual, and more especially pluralistic media practice, no one can say or write it all at the same time. It is not for me to know why the APC were in their office while Maada Bio and his supporters were rallying in Bo. Just as it would be interesting for me to know why any political party would rally in Freetown or anywhere in the country, fourteen months before the elections. Dr. Banya, did you not hear the answer Moijue gave when I asked what he makes of the fact that only APC related offices/houses were burnt? Apart from you thinking and believing that Zainab was talking to me from Calaba Town in Freetown (sic), don’t you still believe that this woman was macheted and her back sliced with an African-farm cutlass why she stood helplessly naked in front of irate political youths?

But since even on the great “Hard Talk” programme on BBC, many questions may be inadvertently left out, without, to say the least, the journalist or host knowing, I am sorry that I did not do what you really thought was correct. What I did is exactly what I believe in and well prepared for; except if you think I deserve some more work to do, that I will appreciate!

Lastly, on my choice of candidates for the discussions bearing on the events in Kono and Bo:

I am happy that you found no issue with the Kono problem even when it may have been very adverse to the APC party. In all of the two hour discussions, only the Maada rally-incidents in Bo attracted your ears. Good. But Dr. Banya, may I also report to you that when I interviewed Victor Foh of the APC three weeks ago, I received many many calls from SLPP supporters crying that I gave more time to him than I did to Musa Tamba Sam of the SLPP. Sir, I may also like you to note that last week when I interviewed the same Tamba Sam, I also received adverse messages and calls from many APC supporters, complaining that I gave too much time to Tamba Sam for him to explain exactly what he believed happened in Bo. Their anger against me was very incensed especially, much so, when the Honourable Tamba Sam, in response to a question as to who burnt the APC houses, asked me to go ask the owners of the affected property. As for you questioning my choice of Philip Neville and Dr. Kargbo for the programme, I do not owe you much explanation but suppose I want to continue to be nice, this is my answer: I do not have the holy prophetic mind to identify names with political parties in Sierra Leone and so the same method I used to choose practical politicians and non politicians such as Tamba Sam, Victor Foh, head of the ACC or Human rights activists, was the same method I used to choose other members of the public especially so if I am convinced that these persons do not carry any special party cards when discussing political issues. It was the same method I used to invite human and women rights activist like Dr. Sylvia Blyden, active political ‘icon’ like Dr. Sama Banya, Mohamed Bangura, and/or several other Sierra Leoneans who contested the recent SLPP conventions. Finally Dr. Banya, that I interviewed a reporter who gave  the situation on ground (as you cherished the idea that, that was the biggest crowd pulled in the history of Sierra Leone’s political rallies –sic, did you see Bai Koroma and Solomon Barewa crowds in 2007 rallies?), should tell you that I managed to pull the news from nay sources, some though you would not appreciate. Anyway, you have managed to pull me out of my not wanting to write any more for nothing. Because for this article, I am receiving no dividend, but being my friend, you deserved an answer to the questions you raised under the topic: What Does David Tam-Baryoh think His Listeners Are?” For that I thank you. For my listeners, and in answer to Dr. Banya’s good question: I think you are very intelligent, patriotic and honestly hoping to see Sierra Leone as a peaceful and prosperous country. Thus, anyone trying to derail the peace wagon and development train of the country for mere personal political gains will be my enemy and yours too.

Posted by on 10:26 am. Filed under NEWS, OPINION, OTHER NEWS, POLITICS, Uncategorized, VIEWPOINT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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