Sabotage in Sierra Leone as new Chief Minister Jacob Saffa may have leaked information to the press to have professor David Francis sacked

JJ Saffa (Right) and Professor David Francis (left)

There are certain revelations made by the media and you know definitely they must not only have a reliable and well-informed source but one that has access to the information and is the primary authority in managing that information. When the Africanist Press started publishing incriminating evidence showing the then Chief Minister David Francis’ office was engaged in illegal procurements and abusing and misusing state funds, it should have raised eyebrows as to what the source of the information gathered was. Not only was the information accurate, but it was thorough and concise. But because of the huge amount of revelation that had come from the Africanist press in the past, you knew they had few friends in government, so you would not think for a minute that a senior cabinet Minister would be the source of the leak.

But considering the political aspirations of a few SLPP politicians who are now in government, this will have to raise suspicion, as the accurate publication of information by the Africanist press could only point to the fact that the source is well-positioned and have access to the figures that were published. And because the information was about figures relating to money, one may be tempted to start looking at the custodian of the country’s finances. And the Finance Ministry comes to mind.

But why would the Finance Minister want to brief against a senior colleague in government to the media? Well, one can easily conclude that he wanted him sacked for various reasons. But again why didn’t the Fiance minister go directly to the President and brief him about what he has discovered? The simple answer is, how the President would have viewed it, and it would also bring to mind that if the Finance Minister has discovered the anomaly then it means the discrepancy reported widely in the media about the excesses of the President and his extravagant wife would also be in the hands of the Finance minister. And that puts the presidency in a precarious position.

So the Finance Minister instead chose a formidable media machinery with high credibility to dispense his dangerous plan to unseat the Chief Minister and position himself to take over his job. But what he failed to realize is that it would come to expose one thing, the same person who briefed the media about the Chief Minister is the same one who briefed them about the excesses of the First Lady and by extension, the president. It paints a nasty image of a man who would go to length to prosecute his agenda to oust his immediate boss and in the process destroy the reputation of the government he purports to serve just because of personal gain. J.J. Saffa or JJ blood as he is commonly known is not your typical politician. He is said to be cunning and single-handedly planned the political ascendancy of Julius Maada Bio to the presidency as Secretary-General of the SLPP party. He is a ruthless politician with high political aspirations which he is quietly prosecuting.

After the huge barrage of media assault on the Chief Minister including on Social Media, the Head of State relented from pressure possibly also from his then Finance Minister who must have advised him to replace Professor Francis and may have suggested he could do a better job by protecting the presidency from any scandal.

It seems after this revelation, the Head of State may have to revisit his recent cabinet reshuffle especially the appointment of JJ Saffa as the new Chief Minister. Failure to do so may result in strengthening JJ Saffa’s position. In his quest to have the Chief Minister sacked and position himself for the job, J J Saffa may have left an uncomfortable trail of his own sinister plans. He has inadvertently revealed he is the source of the media leak against the First lady, which also involves illegal spending of state funds and diverting state funds for private use. This entire episode may have now left the Head of State vulnerable in the face of political change come the next general election due in 2023, and enhances the chance for the now opposition APC to regain power again.

In all that has happened, one may beg to ask the question, are J.J. Saffa’s hands clean as well? It is left with the head of state to discover for himself. But it is important to note that because of the pertinent role Saffa played in having him elected, getting rid of him at this pivotal point when re-election is just on the horizon, may prove extremely difficult not even when how he got his Ph.D. at Bradford University is at risk of being revealed by his mentor and Tutor, Professor David Francis, has been left to lick his wounds trotting the globe as the country’s new Chief Diplomat.

One thing to also note is that the recent cabinet reshuffle that saw Saffa being elevated to the Chief Minister position did not see a replacement at the Finance Ministry. This could only mean that the head of state may have decided to take full control himself to prevent any further embarrassment to his wife and his office.

Editor’s Note: If the chief Minister JJ Saffa denies the allegations here let him prove the source of the leak by launching an investigation in his own department and this medium will retract its story.

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