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Cocorioko contradicts presidential press statement on last week’s sack of Sierra Leone Energy Minister

  • Written by  New People National Correspondent
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Cocorioko, the main online propaganda mouthpiece of President Ernest Koroma’s corruption and violence tainted regime, has contradicted last week’s press release from the president which gave “non performance” as the sole reason for his decision to sack former Energy Minister Prof. Ogunlade Davidson.

In its story How Professor Davidson made his exit Cocorioko says “apart from stating that the President has deemed it necessary to relieve Prof. Ogunlade Davidson of his duties no other reason was given for the dismissal”.

A foreign embassy diplomat in Freetown who read the story instantly reacted in total disbelief, saying: “Where on earth can a president worth his salt dismiss his main minister who leads his regime’s number one priority (Energy in his “Agenda for Change”) without any reason”.

However, the Cocorioko cover up came in too little and too late as local and international press houses such as Sierra Express Media, Reuters and Africa Young Voices have been swift in either reporting the president’s “non-performance” excuse as stated in his press release, or investigating with solid evidence the plausibility, truth and accuracy of this excuse as standard practices in professional journalism require.

Questions are now asked as to why the Cocorioko news organ would not only stop at distorting facts as it usually does, but also NOT have the confidence to defend the president’s own “non-performance” excuse as his sole reason stated in his own press release for the dismissal of his former energy minister? If, in Cocorioko’s editorial wisdom, this excuse is not good enough because it is not defendable, what could then have been the real reason being hidden by the government for the dismissal?

The reason as reported in an earlier story by New People is clear from the evidences found in the January 2012 edition of Africa Confidential. Davidson has been resisting pressure from the presidency to: (1) endorse an MOU relating the engagement of Joule Africa, a company that is said to have no past track record in dam assessment and construction work to undertake a technical feasibility study for Bumbuna Phase II; and (2) the acceptance of a bid from Africa Minerals Limited, a company not having any dam construction work history and profile, to undertake the construction of a 750 million dollar dam expansion work while also seeking to be the sole beneficiary of the electricity to be generated by the expanded dam.

To make matters worse, a Sierra Express story is that the last stroke that may have broken Davidson’s back was his recent marriage to the wrong wife, a perceived opposition SLPP woman, an event which according to Sierra Express, had led to “revelations that senior APC members have accused the sacked Minister for betraying the trust of the APC party; and said he is a suspect of an information sell out”.

In spite of all above pointers, President Ernest Bai Koroma’s regime on January 26 2012 publicized another press release which raised more questions than answers in accusing the Africa Confidential (AC) account as erroneous without citing a single line in the AC report that is erroneous. The release also fell short of mentioning the acceptance by the regime of a technical bid from Africa Minerals Limited and about the basis for the engagement of Joule Africa to do the feasibility study for Bumbuna II.

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