|I STILL VERY MUCH ENJOY THE CONFIDENCE OF THE PRESIDENT|
Speculations have been rife and now have been published by the Global Tines newspaper of today Wednesday 2nd June 2010 about my position as Presidential Press Secretary. In the newspaper's front-page lead story (which turned out to be an inside-page short comment), titled 'Shekito Sacked?', it is implied that I have either been relieved of my
responsibilities or sidelined. I would recall that a few days before the publication, journalists of Global Times were asking me questions in that direction, and I had categorically stated that I had no problems with the President and that there was no need to make it news. Notwithstanding, I respect the viewpoint that the public would like to know what is happening.
I wish therefore to state that I am still the Press Secretary to the President, His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma, and I have been enjoying working with him in his indefatigable efforts to transform Sierra Leone through the 'Agenda for Change.'
I therefore want the following to be noted:
1. TRAVELLING WITH THE PRESIDENT: It is the President's prerogative to decide on who is travelling with him on any trip, whether internal or external. Since my assumption of office, I have travelled with the President on many occasions, but certainly not at all times. Not travelling with him recently is therefore not a novelty. I must confess that at times it comes as a relief for me not travelling with the President due to family commitments that I need to meet. Also, at certain times, the President assigns some responsibilities to me that would not allow me to travel at a particular time.
2. PRESS REPORTS/RELEASES: I thank Global Times for the compliment that I have been writing press reports and releases and posting them to the press/public "in a timely, efficient manner. The Presidency was brought closer to the people..." However, the recent so-called lull in reportage should not be misinterpreted.
Within the period mentioned by the newspaper, the President has been travelling without me; so how could I have sent reports about events I have not witnessed? And if the President is performing public functions like commissioning the Bo/Masiaka highway, where virtually all the media houses are represented, it does not make sense to do a duplicative press report again. Also, I have within my office a crop of press officials that I would at times give an opportunity to either travel with the President or write reports about internal happenings.
Based on the foregoing therefore, the premise on which Global Times has written its 'short comment' is merely speculative and has no bearing with the circumstances about my position as Presidential Press Secretary. I am still the Press Secretary to the President and I still very much enjoy the confidence of the President in the execution of my duties. Until such a time when he would think otherwise, I remain a faithful subject to him and to the state.