Were you not part of the Free Speech forum between 2014 and 2017? US-based Sierra Leonean, Bhaidawa Sesay, was the Admin then; as well as Foday Morris; and Chadia Talib, the proprietor of Awada School at Bo City; and “Chief” Biro.. were there, with Mohamed Dumbuya.
I was engaged in robust debate in the Free Speech forum then – warning the APC government about “Political Tribalism”.
Do you know who was my principal antagonist then? Mohamed Dumbuya! He held plum jobs in several government MDAs then. His favourite line of attack against me was this: Oswald Hanciles was “sitting in the bosoms of ‘other tribes’ and complaining about tribalism”. Put that in another local language saying: “You can’t be sitting on my shoulders and complaining that my head is stinking”. He was apparently calling on the President to fire me for incessantly writing about Political Tribalism.
Once in 2014, after I had posted something in the APCUSA WHATSAPP FORUM not connected to tribalism, Foday Morris had posted “Oswald Hanciles is a Mende man from Bonthe”.
I responded that indeed, I am maternally a Mende, part of the Margai Family; but, paternally, I am Krio. I expressly posted the name of my unalloyed Krio uncle, J.J. Hanciles, whose house in Freetown I was reared in during my infancy; and named by Krio cousins at Gloucester, in Freetown. For over two years, they were relentless in insisting that I am not Krio, but “Mende”. Do you know why?
In the unwritten Ethnic Apartheid policy of the APC, being stigmatized as a “Mende” would justify my marginalization at State House. Don’t tell me you don’t know about my marginalization at State House for five of my six years there. Do you want the details – to which my Krio brother, Emmanuel Osho-Coker, Secretary to the President, turned a blind eye to; if not silently aided and abetted?
Do you know of the Ethnic Bullying, Ethnic Suppression against South Easterners at the National Revenue Authority (NRA) where I worked before I moved to State House? Anytime I bring up these facts up over the past one year, pro-APC WhatsApp contributors would attack me with a blizzard of words. They aim to drown my words with the ferocity of their attacks. Their aim has been to posit the SLPP government of President Maada Bio as tribalistic – while the APC government of President Ernest Bai Koroma was saintly an “inclusive”: that is an Orwellian Big Lie!!
I don’t aim to justify the alleged Ethnic Policy of the Bio Administration. I hope to put the issue in perspective. In 1998, I was about the only columnist who fought the cause of petty traders who were being shooed off the main thoroughfares of Freetown by my Mende-speaking maternal uncle, Charles Margai, who was then Minister of Internal Affairs. About 98% of these petty traders were apparently Temne-speaking
Northerners. I fought for them. We won. I will provide details later. My point: I am not a tribalist.
Of course you know me. I was not silent when I was in my well-paid job at State House with the APC in power; why should anyone think I would be silent today with the APC out of power?
Yes, I will give you details on the Ethnic Apartheid of the APC Ethnic Supremacists in the NRA – details I presented to President Ernest Bai Koroma in writing in 2008, on his behest; myn details in a document of which the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Sambadeen Sesay, said the President had passed on to him (As a statutory board member of the NRA). Note that date. 2008. I joined State House in 2012.
One thing that Bintumani III should deliberate on at length must be Political Tribalism – dating back to the 1940s, when Krios spouted Ethnic Superiority against all non-Krio inside the legislative assembly; through the period of Sir. Albert Margai’s premiership; and the intensified ethnic politics of APC leaders, presidents Siaka Stevens and Joseph Momoh: which I published in the aforementioned serial in THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN. Only intellectual honesty would save Sierra Leone.
Oswald Hanciles, The Guru