Sierra Leoneans React to former VP’s Reported Death
By Abubakarr Kamara | The AfricaPaper
Freetown, Sierra Leone – When Samuel Bangura died over the weekend in Israel, The Times of Israel, erroneously reported that ousted Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana had died in Israel while responding to a hip transplant in a private hospital. Most Sierra Leoneans, regardless of their political affiliation were appalled by the news.
While some were praying for his soul to rest in perfect peace, others were blaming the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party for what they described as being the “source of the VP’s untimely death.”
Philip Sesay, a human right activist described the news as unfortunate, noting that the former VP was a victim of circumstance, in reference to his first and second term appointment as running mate for the APC party. He called for an investigation into the former VP’s reported death to allay public fear of a foul play.
Several people who had contact with the former Vice President and his family inundated them with phone calls to confirm the news that had went viral on social media in a couple of minutes. Later it was confirmed that the expelled Vice President was alive, and in good health.
BBC’s Umaru Fofana posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages that the report by an Israeli newspaper that Sierra Leone’s former Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana has died in the Jewish nation is totally false.
“Report in a so-called Israeli newspaper that Sierra Leone’s former Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana has died in the Jewish nation is totally false. I just spoke to Mr. Sam-Sumana in Freetown who laughed it off,” Umaru Fofana posted on his Facebook page.
Dr. David Tam Baryoh, presenter of Sierra Leone’s most popular program, ‘MONOLOGUE’ posted in a WhatsApp group that the news is a black lie.
“… Now we are peddling with a news of Sam Sumana’s death. This is a lie. A black lie and a wishful thinking. The next news should be: Who wants Sam Sumana dead?,” wrote Baryoh.
An Israeli newspaper, “The Times of Israel” reported on Saturday afternoon that former vice president of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana has died of a heart attack in Israel while recovering from a hip surgery. The 53 year old was reported to have traveled to Israel two weeks ago for a hip replacement surgery at a private hospital.
The newspaper reported that paramedics were called to the Netanya Hotel where the former VP was recovering from the surgery, and was later pronounced dead at the scene after unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate him.
After receiving a correction correspondence from the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Sheka Tarawallie, a former journalist, the newspaper reported on its website that it got the news from Channel 2- an Israeli television, that had erroneously reported the story.
In March this year, Sam Sumana was expelled by the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party after an investigation accused him of creating a rival political movement, and fomenting violence in his home district of Kono. He was formally sacked by President Ernest Bai Koroma after he was accused of seeking asylum at the US embassy in Freetown.
Meanwhile, the Office of the First Lady has announced that its Policy Adviser, Mr. Samuel Bangura has died in Israel on Saturday, Oct. 3, after he undergoing a hip surgery and later had a sudden heart attack. |TAP| Africa’s Newspaper of Record.
The AfricaPaper: Abubakarr Kamara, based in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown, is The AfricaPaper’s West Africa Correspondent.