By Mary Kabay
Mohamed Barrie, a Sierra Leonean who has been away from Sierra Leone for a couple of years now does not intend to return home for various obvious reasons. It is due to the political activism he had engaged himself in while staying away in Germany.
This activism has taken the form of social and traditional media campaigns in which he has been very critical of the current government in power. Barrie hails from the southern town of Koribondo, BO district, a place dominated by die-hard supporters of SLPP.
Due to love for his country and displeased with the way the country is being run and his criticism has not spared any government ministry, department or agency. He has no reservations about the ” hard economic times, tribalism, heavy-handedness, and gross human rights abuses.
The government has been uneasy about Barrie’s campaign that has been gaining momentum and exposing them to the opposition. The high rate of unemployment, intimidation and arbitrary arrests and incarcerations, and he thinks the government is not right about so many things since coming to power in 2018. His Facebook page paints a grim picture of events back home. This has been viewed by the ruling government as an attempt to put spanners in the “good works of the government”.
Government operatives have made him a target and have set themselves to either ” arrest, intimidate, or silent him.” For these threats and imminent danger to his life he doesn’t plan to return to his home country. His campaign has been likened to that of “Adebayor” (social media political propagandist) of “love Salone en lef bad heart” fame. He has been viewed as being “disrespectful” to the president and the government generally. The arrests of Alfred Paolo Conteh, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, Sylvia Olayinka Blyden and very recently Kemoh Sesay (Opposition Party Members) have strengthened his resolve never to return home.
The clampdown on teachers who attempted to hold a rally and who also aired their views on television are typical instances that make his concerns right about not wanting to return. The United States government has recently released a damning report about the handling of human rights issues in the country. So Mohamed Barrie is on the wanted list of party die-hard supporters so he would rather seek asylum in Germany for now.