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Page added on August 7, 2012
In response to media meddlings aimed to defame the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Paul Kamara, as a disrespecter of women, the fearless and human rights campaigner on Friday July 3rd 2012 pointed out that apart from being an ardent fighter for gender equality in post-war Sierra Leone, he revers womanhood. (Photo: Mr Paul Kamara explaining to the ABC Secretariat executives)
Minister Paul Kamara whose name had been making banner headlines in local and international media for allegedly stating that “A chicken is more valuable than a Sierra Leonean Woman” made his side of these ill motivated allegations known when top Executives of Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat paid him a courtesy call at his Youth and Sports Ministry Office, National Stadium along Syke Street in Freetown.
Apart from classing the allegations as baseless and politically orchestrated, Minister Paul Kamara informed the Executives of ABC Secretariat that it must have emanated from quarters that want to distract him from addressing problems faced by youths and the sport sector of Sierra Leone.
Although Minister Paul Kamara agreed to have that “Women are cheaper than Chickens”, he maintained that he was making reference to how women of Sierra Leone were valued by foreign peacekeepers during the country’s brutal rebel war.
On his motive of making this statement the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Paul Kamara, informed the Executive Director and National Coordinator of ABC Secretariat, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas and Madam Nanette Thomas respectively, that he was motivating youths, especially females, to deviate from manifesting poor attitudes and behaviours which according to him have cost them losing respect over the years.
“How can I, the most persecuted journalist in Sierra Leone for democracy and women’s right now demean womanhood while serving as a Minister?” Minister Paul Kamara questioned.
“In my sojourn for democracy I have worked with notable women like Haja Zainab Bangura, Mrs. Amy Smythe among others,” he continued and added that he gained tremendous knowledge and skills from these gender activists which according to himare helping him to perform as a Minister today.
Throwing more light on the circumstance that caused him to make the statement which has prompted serious uproar, Minister Paul Kamara stated thus: “I was addressing youths at a recent concluded workshop in Freetown. And with an objective to assure them of how changing their negative attitudes and behaviours to positives ones could help them regain respect. I drew their attention to how they have been poorly refered to over the years, he pointed out.
“It is no secret that youths, more so the female class, have been referred to as ‘Under 16s’, ‘Sweet 16s’, and other worthless names, “he said and added that these awful classifications symbolized a futureless youthful population whose solace were found in jargons like ‘How for do’, ‘God dae for wi’, ‘You borbor dae ya’, ‘Bone suffer’ ‘Kabasa Lodge, ‘Worshi Worwor’ among plenty others.
“Had it been a statement made by me rather than a quotation the youths present would have taken umbrage,” Minister Paul Kamara justified. He concluded by commending the executives of ABC Secretariat for calling on him and assured that his Ministry is prepared to collaborate with them to address the issue of rampant occurrence of bad attitudes and behaviours within the Sierra Leonean societies.
In his submission the Executive Director of ABC Secretariat Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas underscored the role of women in national development and pointed out that they abhor the violation of their human rights.
Making a statement the National Coordinator and Second-In–Command of ABC Secretariat, Madam Nanette Thomas thanked the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Paul Kamara for giving them audience after a short notice. According to her the allegation of the Minister making a foul statement against women had caused their Secretariat receiving numerous complaints from the public. She bemoaned bad journalism that evades cross checking stories especially those that boarder around the integrity of government functionaries.
Against this backdrop she disclosed that the ABC Secretariat will soon engage the media practitioners on how this problem of yellow journalism could be solved.
By Momoja Lappia, ABC Secretariat
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