Charles Margai, the presidential candidate of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), blasted President Kabbah on Saturday for the arrest of Standard Times’ editor, Phillip Neville.
The editor was arrested for writing an article about the two ship-load of rice which was donated to the people of Sierra Leone by the Libyan head of state Gadaffi.
The PMDC leader described the arrest as “totally unwarranted…Philip [Neville] was merely discharging his responsibility placed on him as a journalist to disseminate information to the general public.”
Mr Margai said his party would do everything within its power to ensure that Mr Neville’s liberties weren’t abused.
“As leader of [the PMDC] I in the strongest possible terms condemn the conduct of the police and the Attorney General for the arrest of Philip Neville,” he noted.
“We have to accept responsibility for our deeds and let us don’t try to find scapegoats to justify our deeds.
All Philip said was that Gadaffi has exposed Kabbah’s government and in indeed that was what Gadaffi did, and I am sure Kabbah must have regretted inviting Gadaffi to Sierra Leone,” the PMDC leader stated.
On Gadaffi’s visit, Mr Margai reechoed his earlier comments that the Libyan head of state was not welcomed to the country as he still owed the people of Sierra Leone an apology for sponsoring the late Foday Sankoh to unleash mayhem on Sierra Leoneans.
He also commented on the positive side of Gadaffi’s visit which he said made the nation to be aware of the alleged two shipments of rice from Libya.
“The two shipments of rice from Gadaffi came in 2005 long after NASSIT [National Social Security Insurance Trust] had already been established”.
It’s being alleged that the proceeds from the donated rice funded NASSIT, which Margai dismissed as “downright dishonest”.
Mr Margai said during his time as a cabinet minister, there was no time a discussion on any shipment of rice was disclosed or made.