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‘President Koroma’s mother left a rich legacy for all to emulate ‘ : Pastor Tigidankay Kabs-Kanu says at New Jersey Memorial Service for First Mother of The Nation

Monday, July 30th, 2012

A memorial service for the late  Mrs. Alice Rosaline Koroma,  First Mother of the Nation and  the mother of Head of State President Ernest Bai Koroma,  was held  at the Covenant Child Evangelistic Church, Franklin Township,  New Jersey on Sunday afternoon July 15, 2012. The memorial service , which  coincided  with the burial in  Makeni City , Sierra Leone  of the First Mother, was organized by a group of Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey known as the FRIENDS OF ERNEST KOROMA headed by Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, Mr. Foday Mansaray, Alhaji Alie Badara Kamara, Madam Madina Rahman , Dr. Bankole Gibson  and some community elders.

FIRST MOTHER OF THE NATION LATE MRS. ALICE KOROMA

Once again, as was demonstrated in Sierra Leone, political tolerance and national unity were the order of the day as the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) fully participated, represented at the highest state  level by the President of the New Jersey Chapter , Mr. Brima Amara . TheYoung Generations Leader, Mr. Hindolo Barnet was also present . Sierra Leone’s  tradition of multi-religious tolerance was also in place as members of the NJ Muslim community took part in the memorial.

REV. TIGIDANKAY KABS-KANU PRAYING FOR PRESIDENT KOROMA AND FAMILY : STANDING BESIDE HER ARE FODAY MANSARAY AND MADINA RAHMAN

REV. LEEROY KABS-KANU PRAYING FOR PRESIDENT KOROMA, THE OPPOSITION PARTIES AND THE NATION

SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION

In his introduction of the  memorial service,  the Co-Pastor of the church, Rev. Leeroy Kabs-Kanu,  expressed his heartfelt condolence to President Koroma, the First Lady Mrs. Sia Koroma and members of the Koroma family on behalf of the church and the community. He told the congregation and guests  that the memorial had been set to coincide with the burial  of the late mother of the President. He said that  from all the testimonies given about her since she died, “Madam Koroma was a good christian and when a good christian dies, we do not assemble in church to mourn  him/her but to  celebrate his/ her life because he/she has gone to be with the Lord.” The Pastor noted that “We are therefore assembled in this church this afternoon to celebrate the life of Madam Koroma, who was laid to rest in Sierra Leone today” . He said that Mrs. Koroma did not only deserve the honor  as the First Mother of the nation of Sierra Leone, but also for the fact that she was a very kind woman whose home was always open to famished and needy people and  she even  paid fees for many children and some people in top positions today. ” Because of her kindness , many pots used to boil in Sierra Leone and she therefore left us a life to celebrate” , Rev. Leeroy Kabs-Kanu went on. He also praised the President and the leaders of the opposition party for the exemplary maturity and tolerance they have demonstrated during the funeral.

SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION : SEEN  SECOND FROM RIGHT IS MRS. PATRICIA MANSARAY, THE WIFE OF MR. FODAY MANSARAY

ANOTHER COMPOSITE VIEW OF CONGREGATION AT THE MEMORIAL

PRAYER TIME FOR THE BEREAVED KOROMA FAMILY AND THE NATION

MADAM MADINA RAHMAN AND ALHAJI ALIRU BAKARR ( BEHIND HER ).

MR. FODAY MANSARAY GIVING HIS CONDOLENCE

APC-NJ LEADER  ALHAJI ALLIE BADARA KAMARA GIVING HIS CONDOLENCE

SLPP -NJ LEADER MR. BRIMA AMARA CONSOLING THE PRESIDENT AND FAMILY

MADAM MADINA RAHMAN EXPRESSING CONDOLENCE TO THE KOROMA FAMILY

MR. LAMIN ALHARAZIM, THE CHAIR OF THE SIERRA LEONE COMMUNITY OF NEW JERSEY EXPRESSING CONDOLENCE

ALHAJI ALIRU BAKARR GIVING CONDOLENCE TO THE KOROMA FAMILY

MR. MUCTARR ALGHALI  CONDOLES THE KOROMA FAMILY

MR. HARDY GABISI GIVING HIS CONDOLENCE TO THE FAMILY : STANDING NEAR HIM IS ALHAJI ALIRU BAKARR

SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION

THE YOUNG GENERATION LEADER MR. HINDOLO BARNET GIVES CONDOLENCE TO THE KOROMA FAMILY

The speakers who read out condolences  representated  heads of organizations in New jersey . They included  Alhaji  Aliru  Bakarr, who spoke on behalf of the entire membership  of the Islamic Community ;  Alhaji Allie  Badara Kamara, the President of the All Peoples Congress NJ ;  Mr Saidu Amara President of SLPP NJ Chapter ;  Mr Muctarr Alghali Sr, a community leader who  spoke of the only encounter he had with the late first mother during a wedding ceremony;  Mr. Hindolo   Bannet, Leader of the young generation of America and  Mr Abdul Hardy  Gabisi, who currently  doubles as Secretary General of  the Dawatul  Muslim  Jamaat of Franklin and  Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey(SLCNJ )  . Additionally,  Mr Gabisi currently serves as Secretary General of  the Fourah Bay Foundation and sits on so many other boards across the United States and back home . Also expressing condolences were  Mr. Lamin Alharazim,  the Chair of the SLCNJ , which comprises 19 Sierra Leonean organizations ; Mr Foday Mansaray and his wife Patricia (who  provided refreshment support along with the hostess  Rev. Kabs- Kanu, and wife  Tigi ) and Madam Madina Rahman  represpeting the Nursing Association of New Jersey.

In their condolence messages, they also extended sympathy to President Koroma and his siblings for the loss of their mother and there was a recurrent theme in all their messages —  the good deeds that Madam Koroma performed while she lived on earth which blessed the lives of lots of people. They comforted the President and siblings and prayed for her soul to rest in peace.

Alhaji Aliru Bakarr offered muslim prayers for President Ernest Koroma and family and led the congregation in the recitation of the Al-Fathia.

In her sermon, Rev. Tigi Kabs-Kanu comforted the Koroma family with the Biblical message that Christians who have passed away are asleep and the Koroma  family should hold on to the fond  memories she has left  them and the hope that she will be  be resurrected by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Last Day, as taught in 1  Thessalonians 4 : 13-16. She preached that death has no  victory and the grave has no sting ( 1 Corinthians  15: 55-57 ) because Jesus Christ has won us victory over sin and death. Pastor Tigi said that  as a believer, Madam Koroma brought forth “fruits meet for repentance” as a Christian, because the Bible says that “By their fruits ye shall know them” ( Matthew 7: 16). Pastor Tigi Kanu preached that according to the testimonies given about her life, Madam Koroma  made an impact in society and she also gave birth to  and raised the President of Sierra Leone.  ”Madam Koroma therefore left a rich legacy for all to emulate “, she went on.

She preached about the salvation that comes through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and that when Christ comes into the life of any christian he opens his eyes and turns him from darkness to the light ( Acts 26:1). She told the rapt congregation that Christ has redeemed them from the power of Satan unto God and that they have received forgiveness of sin and the inheritance .

Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu prayed for the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma; his siblings and other members of the family . He also prayed for the leaders of the opposition SLPP, PMDC , UDM and NDA and asked God to foster the new era of political tolerance occasioned by the bereavement .He said that Sierra Leoneans were tired of consuming each other and now want peace to reign throughout the land. He prayed God’s blessings on the nation and for  the forthcoming elections  to be free from controversy and chaos.

 

 

 

 

 

Hindolo Sumanguru Trye: the towering giant that never said no to a good fight A tribute by a member of the Fourah Bay College 1970s Brigade )

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

By Kabs Kanu

I was enjoying my sleep at precisely 5:00am yesterday when, as she also did when the First Mother of the Nation, Madam Alice Rosaline Koroma, and APC Deputy Leader Chukuma Johnson passed away, the All People’s Congress (APC) Iron Lady and boss of the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Secretariat at State House, Mrs. Nannette Thomas, woke me from my sleep with a phone call to announce with solemnity that, ”We have another funeral! Hindolo Trye has just died.” There was a deafening silence and then she continued, “He died a few moments ago while being conveyed to the Choitram’s Hospital for treatment.“

The sad and shocking news hit me so hard that I screamed loudly and disturbed the sweet slumber of all members of my family, especially my wife, who was sealed in slumber by my side. My sons came scrambling to find out what had happened. Without being told, though, they suspected that it must have been another death. It has happened once too often. People living in the United States of America with extended families in Sierra Leone could tell you how they dread that call from Freetown that comes in at dawn. It is almost always to announce a death or some bad news. It is as if most people die during the night or just before dawn. I could not believe my ears that HINDOLO TRYE had passed away.

A friend, brother, compatriot, motivator and a giant in every sense of the word, whom I adored and respected so much, Mr. Hindolo Sumanguru Trye, had become the latest casualty of the stream of dawn-time death news that always destroys your day and launch another era of mourning. He has gone to reunite in eternity with other former Fourah Bay College (FBC) student activists like the Marxist Leninist doctrinaire, Boubaccar Njai-Bah, who actually sowed the seeds of the 1977 students action against the system , Saidu Sowa (who was the Vice-President of the Students Union Government); Mr. Abu Mansaray (the Attorney General), and other strong campus advocates for change, Sangster Sesay, Claude Wright, Nicholas Momoh , Valerie Bankole-Jones, Cleo Hanciles, Olu Gordon, Saaba Sam Tumoi and others, who have all gone to rest.

Hindolo Trye was an imposing influence on my life as a student political activist and Journalist at Fourah Bay College during the heady days of the mid 1970s. It was indeed during this most active and difficult period of student activism on campus (1972-1976) that I came to know and interface with Hindolo Sumanguru Trye. It was the time of profound student disenchantment with the archaic college administration and the government downtown and Hindolo Trye was to play a commanding role in the maelstrom of dramatic events.

The once stoic, sleepy and lethargic FBC campus was rife with student political activism. The late Hassan Kamara (1971-72), who first started using the word “Revolution” and other socialist terms like “Comrade,’ “The Reaction,” “The struggle,” “In the cause of the people,“ etc. on campus and his successor, the late Kemoh Sulimani, had in the eyes of the students failed to provide the robust leadership the students requested to rattle the college administration and the Shaki Government. Boubaccar Njai-Bah, who fed himself on a regular diet of Karl Marx, Lenin, Fidel Castro, Walter Rodney, Franz Fanon, etc. had thrown his hat in the ring and set the campus on fire with revolutionary rhetoric. The restive students who were tired of the succession of “fixity” governments that they considered weak and ineffectual, were rejuvenated and a new hero and a new cause were born.

Everywhere on campus, students’ diction suddenly became “revolutionary” and socialist. There was no want in propagators. Hindolo Trye , Sangster Sesay, Charles Caulker (now Paramount Chief), Claude Wright, Donald Browne-Marke, this writer who had started publishing the radical student newspaper , Cocorioko , Duramani Sawaneh, Kwame Fitzjohn, Larry Domingo ( a feared student Lawyer) Saaba Sam Tumoi, students from the Zimbabwe, some members of the Auradicals like the late Emmanuel Campbell , the Cyclades members like Alpha Wurie, the late Festus Hanciles, Lati Hyde (who played a commanding role in effecting the change that came) and the Gardeners became ready adherents. Talk became rife about a students’ “revolution.”

Everywhere, there was chaos on campus. The most notable was the student action against the once high and mighty Principal, the late Professor the Rev. Canon Dr. Harry Sawyerr, who had to be escorted out of the Mary Kingsley Theatre by security officers after he angered students by giving them off-handed answers to their grievances during a heated meeting (he was to be replaced later by Professor Eldred Jones) . There was another student action against the Catering Officer, a very beautiful but insensitive and verbally-abusive lady called Mrs. Leigh (who was then replaced by the hugely popular and efficient Mammy Greene who became the idol of students for her delicious meals in the dining halls. More student actions followed even against the then ruling ‘Fixity’ Government, led by another gentleman of profound self-respect, the late Mr. Kemoh Sulimani (who, though I criticized his government day and night on Chuks Press, recommended me for my first award in Journalism by the FBC Student Union during the handing over ceremony to the incoming “Revolutionary” government, led by Njai-Bah. Also, memorably , was the demonstration downtown to protest electricity blackout that was supposed to have been led by Njai-Bah after he came to power but he developed cold feet and “had to be dragged along,” in the words of Ernest Ndomahina (now Professor ). Al Hassan “Toujours” Kamara, another radical student, stepped in and as Njai-Bah literally shook like a leaf in front of the late Vice-President Sorie Ibrahim Koroma at his Tower Hill office, seized the microphone from him and told the VP in strong and uncompromising terms that if light was not restored immediately, the students will stay downtown and will not return to campus. Not ready for any student protest in an already volatile city, S.I. Koroma faithfully promised that light would be restored by the time we got back to campus .And he lived up to his promise.

In all fairness to President Siaka Stevens and S.I. Koroma, the APC Government did not deserve all the knocks it got from the FBC students in those days. When you consider how students welfare came to be criminally neglected by the Joseph Saidu Momoh , NPRC and SLPP governments after Shaki and when one honestly looks back at the enjoyment on campus at the time–regular electricity, water supply, full scholarship , living and book allowances, and dining halls that fed students free and stupendously three times a day, including regular breakfast that consisted of sardines, luncheon meat, corned beef, baked beans and toasted bread in addition to lunch of steaming eba, meat stew, cassava and potato leaves , bitter leaves and dinner that often comprised even cous-cous– you know that Pa Skaki got a raw deal, where truth is concerned . The APC Government addressed many of the students’ needs but probably what Pa Shaki lacked in those days was a very strong, vibrant and virulent media and government officials who spoke to the students on a regular basis and wooed them. If President Stevens had seen it fit to have a very pervasive media network to propagate his achievements, most of the misconceptions about his government would have been avoided.

This is one of the lessons I have learnt in life after also living in Liberia and suffering the effects of an unnecessary military coup against the William Tolbert Government. Tolbert scored many achievements and was an outstanding and exemplary leader. It is an insult to compare him to many African leaders of his time or the murderer Samuel Doe, who killed and replaced him or the human butcher Charles Taylor, but the good man was demonized by so-called reformers who used the media very powerfully against him and took advantage of public gullibility to paint an excellent President black. If life’s tape was to be rewound, and I had the opportunity once again, I would never have participated in any protest action against Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens, given the experience I have accrued in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the United States of America. Shaki had his faults but he also contributed to the development of Sierra Leone and was a victim of his own neglect of the media and the arrogance of some of his officials who treated students with disdain.

But back to my story, Hindolo Trye thrived in this “revolutionary atmosphere” that was set adrift on campus by Njai-Bah and his followers. I worked with Hindolo Trye and other “radical” students during this turbulent era of student activism. A master strategist and planner, Hindolo’s hand was in every student endeavour designed to get the administration to take students’ complaints seriously. He even worked with some of us in the press to plan and structure stinging articles on CHUKS PRESS against the student union government led by the extraordinary democrat, Mr. Sulimani; the college administration and the national government. Though we had to deal with thorny issues, Hindolo was always gentle and civil and he accommodated your views even if he disagreed with your line of thinking.

Hindolo was an undisputed champion of students’ rights even well before he became Student Council President. I first saw the no-nonsense “Hindolo” streak in the Guru one night when the Warden of Students , Dan Diddo, turned up at Block G and stood before the gate to deny students the opportunity the take their invited guests from the city into the dormitories before a Freshers’ Dance. It fed into the students’ perception then that the college administration was denying students their rights and that presumably adult students were being treated like schoolboys and schoolgirls. Hindolo, having been tipped off that the Warden was at Block G denying students their rights, materialized on the scene and engaged in verbal theatrics and a war of words and wits with the much-feared Dan Decker. In those days, one had to really choose his words well when speaking with Mr. Decker. However, that day, good, old Dan Diddo, unable to withstand the fiery lecture delivered by Hindolo Trye, gave up his quest and students poured into the dorms with their female guests. Dan Decker was fond of threatening dissenting students with rustication, but did not even reprimand the Guru because the college administration was awakening to the reality that trouble was looming underneath on the campus. Students hailed the GURU and you had a sense then that Hindolo Trye was an uncompromising and fearless student leader in the making. Whether in the dining halls, or the bookstore or in the administrative building or students union complex (when students went to collect their allowances) or in the library or lecture rooms, Hindolo was a stout fighter and advocate for students’ rights and dignity. He was not afraid to confront any member of the college administration whom he perceived to have treated students unfairly. He soon became famous on the campus as a student radical and fighter.

Our relationship became even tighter and more congenial when we both formed part of the FBC Students Union Government, led by Njai-Bah, that was invited by the late President Ahmad Sekou Toure to Guinea to take part in the anniversary of the ascension to power of his Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG) in 1974. In that delegation were the student leader, Njai-Bah, Attorney General, Abu Mansaray, Propaganda Minister (Kabs Kanu), Larry Domingo, Sangster Sesay (Sango, also known as Goostay), Charles Caulker (Charlo Mama), the sweet and charming Catherine Kamara, Hindolo Sumanguru Trye, Sam Mundoma (a radical Zimbabwean student ) and some Guinean students studying at FBC at the time, another sweet-spirited lady called Saran Diakite, Kebbey (surname forgotten ) and another young man whose name I have forgotten completely.

We spent two weeks and had a wonderful time in Sekou Toure’s Guinea and were treated as state guests. We were hosted at the then first-class Gbessia Hotel by the international airport and taken to many parts of Guinea like Dalaba, Fria, Pita and Labe (Where we met very light-skinned Arab-like Foulahs who never joined the exodus to Sierra Leone ). People lined the routes to welcome us wherever we went and town hall ceremonies and receptions were held in our honour. Hindolo was a very close buddy to me during the trip . His friendly jokes and conversation and his ability to affirm and empower his associates were just remarkable. We met President Sekou Toure at the People’s Palace in a historic and momentous meeting on the eve of our departure . Toure gave us a long lecture about why and how he came to power and the evils of colonialism and neo-colonialism. The “revolutionary” President supplied us translated versions of many of his books and the military uniforms that were the national dress then in Guinea. Sekou Toure also gave us a military helicopter to fly us back to Sierra Leone and we had the opportunity for the first time to fly over Freetown and savour the breathcatching beauty of the Freetown coastline , towering mountains and beautiful forests. We were expecting that when the helicopter landed at the Brookfields Recreation Grounds, we would have been arrested because we learnt later that Pa. Shaki was not aware of the trip. However, though a team of ISUs watched and presided over the landing of the helicopter and our disembarkment from the craft, they kept their distance and we grabbed our luggage, went to the main road and hailed taxis to take us home. We wore our military uniforms in the safety of the college campus , though some pro-APC students then warned us that we could be arrested because we were not army personnel.

As one of the leading campus journalists at CHUKS PRESS and publisher of the then radical COCORIOKO newspaper and SPOTLIGHT , my relationship with Hindolo Trye was to become testy after the Auradicals resigned from the so-called revolutionary students government over the the Kabs Kanu/Emmanuel Grant Vs Mary Fowlis / Lati Hyders clash that was largely blown out of proportion by opponents of the Auradicals. The conflict was caused by a fiery clash that ensued between this writer and Mary Fowlis , a Gambian student, in front of CHUKS PRESS over some devastating articles she had written to blast the President of the Economics students organization, AIESEC , Mr. Tamba Borbor ( The present Deputy Health Minister ) who happened to be the Minister of Security in the Njai-Bah students Government. As the Minister responsible for defending other ministers, this definitely brought me in direct conflict with Miss Fowlis . The quarrel went on to be exaggerated by those who did not like the Auradicals .We came in direct contact with dirty politicking for the first time in our lives . The conflict led to defections from the government by Auradicals serving it : Minister of Housing , Soule Bashiru Daramy ( Today the Chief of Protocol at State House ), Minister of Sports Andrew Gbebay Bangali ( Today Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the AU and Ethiopia ), Permanent Secretary , Information Ministry, Abioseh Michael Porter, who was infact the Dictator of Auradicals, ( Today Head of Department and Professor of English at a U.S. University ) and this publisher who was then Minister of Propaganda. The other Auradical, Emmanuel Campbell, who was Information Minister, refused to resign and was expelled from the Auradicals Club.

Hindolo Trye proved to be an impressive peacemaker during the crisis . He fought desperately behind the scenes to save the relationship between the so-called “Revolutionary” students government and the Auradicals . He was one of the many students that did not swing on the side of the Lati Hyders and listened to the Auradicals’ side of the conflict. The born leader he was, GURU always listened to the other side. This was one of the things I admired most about him. GURU had the uncanny ability to get along with even those on the other camp. But the relationship could not be saved. The Auradicals fell out with the Njai-Bah’s Government .

After this, my articles in Cocorioko and on Chuks Press started to be viewed with suspicion by members of the Njai-Bah Government and supporters. Many of my editorials and op/ed articles did not go down well with the Njai-Bah regime, which at the same time had started to be isolated by a significant number of former devotees who accused Njai-Bah of being full of mere revolutionary rhetoric and no spunk. As the so-called revolution began to fall apart seriously , with more defections from one-time loyalists, the press became very unkind to the government and levied explosive allegations against it. Njai-Bah’s life became miserable on campus.

Many of my articles irked Hindolo Trye as Njai-Bah further hit vey low depths with one scandal after the other following his ministers , but unlike other adherents who verbally abused me or challenged me to fist fights, GURU was always gentle to me. He never raised his voice or threatened me. He just expressed his displeasure with my views but he always ended up by commending my writing skills and predicting that one day I will go places through Journalism.

Despite our frequent disagreements over my views , Hindolo Trye remained a friend and brother and we found common grounds in other aspects of campus life , especially in the exposure of social evils on campus, which the Dean of Students , the late Dan Decker ( Dan Diddo ) himself also sanctioned. Hindolo Trye was a remarkable gentleman and I will never forget his words of motivation to me.

Hindolo later reconciled me with Boubaccar Njai-Bah and ironically though he had appointed a new Propaganda Minister, Njai-Bah and his ministers always invited me to cover events for the government, leaving the ineffective minister in the lurch. Our reconciliation was negotiated by Hindolo Trye and Raymond Moshe Roberts ( Now head of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank ). Whenever there was a students union event, Hindolo Trye would come to my room to collect me to go and cover it for the Njai-Bah Government , though I was no longer their propagandist. I asked him if my replacement would not feel that he was being undermined and supplanted , but GURU always assured me that the students’body loved my writing and coverage far better and since Njai-Bah sanctioned it, he saw nothing wrong in what I was doing. I frankly did not want to do it, but lots of students came to me also and said that since I left, CHUKS PRESS had suffered extremely and so in the public interest, I had to comply.

Hindolo Trye ‘s efforts did not go in vain and in 1976 after I had graduated he went on to contest the students union elections, after the uneventful reign of the late Foday Kallon, who was not an offshot of the Njai-Bah revolution but was in fact a reincarnation of ”fixity” on campus . Hindolo won the elections by a landslide and became the next “revolutionary” leader after Njai-Bah. The remainder of the story is the stuff of legend.

Following the 1977 students action against the government, Hindolo, the leader and many students were arrested and incarcerated at Pademba Road Prisons. The government established a nexus between Trye and some of us his former associates , though we had graduated from college . One morning, I was picked up by the ISU in my classroom , accused of seditious statements, and taken first to the Commissioner of Police, Bambay Kamara ( who despite all that had been said about him was a very nice and sympathetic man who frankly told me he did not like sending young men like me to jail for politics but since the order had come from the top, he had no alternative but to have me detained ).I was driven to Pademba Road and locked up . I shared cell with the late SLPP political war horse Mannah Kpaka and the sons of the late Paramount Chief, Bai Makari N’Silk , who was executed at the same prisons two years before that after being found guilty of participating in the Mohamed Sorie Forna coup. We spent a month and a week in jail. By then , Hindolo and FBC students had been released .

On my release, Hindolo Trye showed his concern for his colleagues and was very thoughtful to have visited me at my school to sympathize with me and boost my spirit. He told me that it was not a big deal to be jailed for politics because most of the people who later became leaders of Sierra Leone had also been jailed at Pademba Road before. “Name me anybody who became a leader in this country without first going to Pademba Road Prisons,” he asked me as we shared drinks at the school canteen. “Even Pa. Shaki has been there before “. A prison officer, who served political captives then, had the habit of telling detainees that CLARKSON HOUSE ,where political detainees were incarcerated then at Pademba Road Prisons, was a training ground for leadership in Sierra Leone. ”You don’t become one of the leaders in Sierra Leone without first coming here to Clarkson House. I have been a jailer for over 20 years and most of the people ruling this country now first came here. ” It became one of Hindolo’s flagship sermons to colleagues he wanted to motivate.

The students at the school identified Hindolo Trye and abandoned class to come and idolize him. That was how popular he had become. He quickly called a cab and left to avoid creating a scene that would have led to us being arrested again.

Hindolo and I remained friends and he , along with Pios Foray and Frank Kposowa , invited me to become a member of the TABLET newspaper when it was set up late in 1977. The one thing that fascinated me about Hindolo Trye was that despite all he suffered at the hands of the government, he was not bitter at all . He remained the same happy-go-lucky Hindolo Trye of college days and did not write bitter articles against the government. He even continued to have good friends within the government. In later life, Hindolo would even become a member of the very party he had fought.

The irony of Hindolo’s life was that he ended up being a fanatic of the APC, like many other former FBC students who took part in the 1977 students revolt. Dramatically and unbelievably , the visionary President Siaka Stevens had predicted this that very 1977. After our release from prison, we were taken to him at State House to receive further chastisement and in a monologue at times replete with the vintage Pa Shakiisms , including insults, the President made one of the most prophetic statements some of us have ever heard in our lives and this played a part in my decision (and Hindolo’s,I am sure ) to cap our political lives by joining the APC. I am sure Shaki told the Hindolo Group the same thing when they met him at State House on their release . President Siaka Stevens told us that we had a lot to learn .He said that we would learn one day that we were misguided and misled to protest against his government. He said that some people , who wanted him to leave, orchestrated the students unrest but he would not leave as they want because they will not rule the country well as he had done and also he had the formula for keeping the nation together. He said if he leaves the country would be fragmented and nobody would be able to contain the chaos that will befall Sierra Leone. “Hence you people want the APC to leave. We will leave one day, but when we do, some of you will one day wish for us to return.”

How prophetic indeed! ! !

Pa Shaki’s prophetic words came true in the 2000s . After the NPRC and SLPP ruled the country for 15 years only to leave the nation in tatters, everybody, including this writer and Hindolo Trye craved for the APC to return to power. Pa Shaki made a lot of mistakes and he had no media to help promote his achievements but many Sierra Leoneans realized that it was better the APC at the helm of power in Sierra Leone than the SLPP. We in our respective ways fought to bring the APC back to power. Hindolo died a staunch believer in Dr. Stevens’ prophesy. While declaring for the APC in 2005, he said that he had come to realize that only the APC had the ability to develop Sierra Leone. He stated that though he once tried to bring the APC Government down, he had learnt that the APC was the only hope for Sierra Leone. He had been a government minister since the APC returned to power in 2007 and was one of the most honest and scrupulous government functionaries.

When he visited Mr. Lamini Waritay in Liberia in 1979, Hindolo Trye, true to his love and concern for his friends, made sure that he visited me too at my home in Caldwell, outside Monrovia. He was delighted to know that I had settled down and was doing well. That was how much Hindolo cared for his friends and associates.

Hindolo Trye will be missed by all the people whose lives he touched, including me. We have lost a born leader, a visionary, a reformer and a freedom fighter.

Sierra Leone Is Marching Towards Prosperity Under President Koroma

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

 

 By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop) :

Those who once darkened the walls of schools, colleges, and universities know that there is something called “syllabus”. And when examinations are taken, there is something called “marking scheme” which guides examiners on how they should mark the papers of those who took the exams. So in actual fact teachers and lecturers are normally assessed by their Head of Departments on how they followed the “syllabus” and Chief Examiners assess the work of examiners on how they go by the “marking scheme”.

Also in politics there are, or should be, rules on how political parties in power are assessed or should be assessed. Like schools, colleges, and universities which have “syllabus”; political parties have manifestoes. It is these manifestoes which clearly state the intensions of political parties if given the chance to govern or re-elected. And when a political party is seeking re-election, it should be assessed by the “syllabus”-manifesto-which it said it would go by when it was seeking the people’s mandate the first time. And the examiners, in this case, are the electorates who are expected to go by the “marking scheme” which, incidentally, is in line with the “syllabus”—manifesto.

 

Now, if any impartial political pundit or any opposition party or politician wants to truly assess the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) of President Ernest Bai Koroma, that person should do so on the basis of the APC 2007 manifesto. What is in that 2007 manifesto that the APC fails to address while in power? Has the APC government been able to implement 80% of what it stated in its 2007 manifesto?  As I see it, it has done most of what it said it would do.

 

In summation, the APC 2007 manifesto had three main objectives:         reviving the economy and improving the standard of living of every Sierra Leonean in line with an APC ‘Agenda for Change’ and the Millennium Development Goals. Secondly, to create a conducive atmosphere for doing business and embarking on policies that will enable the resumption of growth in the trading, manufacturing, mining, marine and agricultural sectors. And thirdly, to pursue policies that will promote private sector development and encouraging direct foreign investment.

 

So, if the present government is to be assessed it must be on those three main objectives. But supremacists and tribalists in the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) have been turning simple logic and commonsense on their heads when it comes to the issue of truly assessing the achievements or successes of the Koroma-led administration. It is a fact that the current Sierra Leonean government has succeeded in reviving the economy. If not, then why would the yearly IMF [International Monetary Fund] World Economic Outlook Report published in its April 2012 edition that “Sierra Leone has [one of] the fastest growing [economies in the world], projected to grow by 35.9% in 2012?” The IMF did not just conjure that figure from the blue, but did so after critically assessing the economic activities provoked by the Koroma-administration and how those activities would further provoked significant economic growth.

 

And if the economy of Sierra Leone has not been seen as promising, under the astute leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma, why would Sierra Leone be ranked among the top ten global reformers in the “2012 Doing Business” report? The answer is simply because the Koroma-led “government has been implementing reforms to improve the business environment to enhance private sector activities, including small and medium-scale enterprises”, according to the last budgetary speech by the Minister of Finance Dr Samura Kamara.

 

And besides, those who have been making those rankings are not exponential Koromaists like yours truly One Drop, but must have used international recognised yardsticks to arrive at such rankings. I am not disputing the fact that there are still some challenges on the bread and rice issue amongst ordinary Sierra Leoneans, but that should not make us forget about the wider picture of future prosperity which means some sacrifices should be made today for a better tomorrow.

 

Just like the pyramids of Egypt which were not built in a week, so is national prosperity. There has to be some foundations on which it could be achieved. That’s exactly what the government of President Koroma is at present doing.  As I have been noting in several of my One Dropian articles, the tribalists and supremacists in the SLPP have been playing bad losers or the fabled fox which will always regard the grapes as sour as long as it is unable to reach them. Even the so-called SLPP intellectuals know that the government of President Koroma has embarked on an all-inclusive series of methods to fortify public financial management in both Central Government and Local Councils, including the launching of the Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Programme (IPFMRP) in a bid to ensure sustainable improvement in the country’s fiscal governance.

 

But ask the SLPP operatives whether the current government has put in place any poverty reduction strategy, they will deny the existence of any. But they know that another key poverty reduction scheme the Koroma-led government is at present pursuing is the Smallholder Commercialisation Scheme within the framework of the National Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme. Unlike under the inept SLPP government, the current government saw it as crucial to initiate this scheme within the agricultural sector because the last SLPP government left most of the country’s farmers poorer, as they mainly engaged in subsistence farming.

 

The above are just tips of the “yeabeh”, as there are more ‘achievables’ by the government of President Koroma which I will be bringing to the fore in subsequent articles. Meanwhile, I am challenging all those who say the Koroma administration has not done anything, since it took the ruddership of state in 2007, to have a look at the 2007 manifesto of the APC. They will definitely have a rethink as they will find out that the APC government has delivered most of what it promised.

 

And that promise is encapsulated in the “Agenda for Change”, which is now progressing to an “Agenda for Prosperity”. With President Koroma at the rudder, Sierra Leone is sure to march towards prosperity. So, why not vote for him on November 17th this year?

 medsankoh@yahoo.com; 232-76-611986

Imam Ibrahim Conteh commends Nabe’s devotion , despite his illness

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

One of the Imams of the New Jersey Muslim community , the Chief Imam of  Dawatul Islamia Jamaat, Alhaji Ibrahim Conteh, has praised Community Leader Mr. Aziz Nabe for his devotion to the faith. The Imam was speaking during the special prayer service held in honour of Mr. Nabe , a long-term resident of Somerset, at the Corona Club in New Brunswick, New Jersey .

 

 

Alhaji Conteh said that he had known Mr. Nabe for over 20 years. He recalled that Mr. Nabe was the Secretary General and was very instrumental in raising substantial funds for the mosque and also helping them to purchase the building where they now worship. He described Mr. Nabe as a very faithful muslim, who, inspite of his present sickness, never misses a Friday prayer at the mosque.

Alhaji Tani Savage, who broke down and wept bitterly during his presentation, commended Mr. Nabe for his thoughtfulness and generosity. He recalled  the events of over 30 years ago when he learnt that Mr. Nabe was the suitor of his sister , Alima, who is now his wife. He said that Nabe had been a good husband to his sister and that recently when their mother died, he was surprised when Nabe sent the Savage family a contribution . He stated that the whole family was moved because they did not expect somebody who was sick to think about contributing to a funeral.

In his contribution, community activist and Chairman of  the Jamatul-Haq Jamaat , Mr. Ibrahim Deinkeh, recounted interesting experiences he had with Mr. Nabe while both of them were primary school students in Makeni.  He said that Nabe was always defensive of his schoolmates and friends and stood his neck out for them even against their teachers.

Mrs. Admire Gbapi shed tears while recalling how Mr. Nabe had stood out for her as a mentor and father. She said that Nabe provided a lot of moral support and comfort to her when her father was sick.

The participants from Boston –Mr. Abdul Sesay and Alhaji Ibrahim Sie – also offered prayers for Mr. Nabe . Mr. Sesay said he used to be highly impressed by Nabe’s style of dressing when both of them   lived at the East End of Freetown in the early 1980s and he grew up to emulate him .

Dr. Wilfred Bankole Gibson , who also gave a moving statement, said he believed in miracles and he was sure that God will heal Mr. Nabe miraculously. He spoke about how God miraculously healed his son who was born premature (2 lbs) and was hooked up to respiratory and other life-preserving gadgets but today all these gadgets have been removed with the child now physically whole.  A celebrated toast-master at his Masonic Lodge, Dr. Gibson also sent the hall rocking with laughter with some side-bursting jokes.

In his vote of thanks, the moderator of the program, Mr. Sekou Dauda Bangura said that he gained from Mr. Nabe the knowledge he expatiated in his political articles about former Vice-President S.I. Koroma, for which he received commendation from readers.

APC Southern California extends sympathy to President Ernest Koroma

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Dear Sir,  We the members of All people’s Congress (A.P.C) Chapter of Southern California wish to express our saddest condolences on the death of your dearest mother, Madam Alice Rosaline Koroma. We are joining you and the Koroma Family at Sylvanus Street, Makeni to express our grief on her sudden death.  We the A.P.C Southern California Chapter understand that going through this difficult phase in your and the rest of the Koroma family’s life at Makeni, Freetown and around the world could be very hard at a moment like this. Therefore, we thought it is time to join you all in your mourning through this difficult phase.

 

Our thought and prays goes to you and the rest of the Koroma family, as you are not alone in this difficult times.

 

Once again, we express our condolences on the sudden death of your mother and pray that you and your family come out of this tragic event soon.

 

Sincerely,

The All People’s Congress (A.P.C) Chapter of Southern California.

 

‘Sickness and death are not punishments from God’ : Pastor Kabs Kanu

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The Co-Pastor of the Covenant Child World Evangelistic Ministry of  New Jersey , Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, last Saturday preached the keynote  Christian  sermon at a Prayer Service held in Somerset for Community Leader , Mr. Mohamed Aziz Nabe. The program  was staged  by an organization called THE FRIENDS OF AZIZ NABE with the expressed purpose  to pray for God’s intervention on behalf of Aziz Nabe  who has been ailing for sometime now. The service was held at the Corona Club on Somerset Street, Franklin Township, New Jersey .

FODAY MANSARAY TELLS THE CROWD HOW NABE HAS STOOD FOR HIM IN LIFE

 

A sizeable and impressive crowd including an array of  muslim and christian leaders,  All People’s Congress (APC)  officials from other states, activists across a broad spectrum of Sierra Leone’s political parties, distinguished personalities and family members attended the  emotional service. Many of them took the floor to narrate the good deeds of Mr. Mohamed Aziz Nabe and ways he had affected their lives in a positive fashion.They also prayed for God’s healing touch on Mr. Nabe in a moving program that saw some of the speakers,  including two religious leaders , broke down on the pulpit and weep bitterly  during their presentation.

MR. AZIZ NABE ( SECOND FROM RIGHT ) LISTENS CAREFULLY AS SPEAKER AFTER SPEAKER SYMPATHIZE WITH HIM AND PRAISE HIS GOOD WORKS

Among the Organizers in attendance of the prayer service for Nabe included Messrs Foday Mansaray ,Dr Wilfred Bankole Gibson, Mr. Abdul Sesay and Alhaji Ibrahim Sei from Boston and Mr Dauda Sheku Bangura who was the Moderator of the multi denomination prayer service. Other organizers who could not make it, but played a great role in molding the idea and successfully bringing it to fruition  today was  Mr Mohamed  Sowe (NC) and Lawyer Sorie Tarawally along with the man who made the first phone call  to Alhaji Ibrahim Sei . Others key supporters of the idea who could not make because of prior engagements were Mr. Unisa Kanu, Madam Yabom Sesay, Mr. Mohamed Lamin Fofanah and so many other friends around the world whom we can name right now

 

 

Delivery his sermon, taken from Genesis 2 : 16-17 , Ecclesiastes  9 and Isaiah 53 : 3- 12, Rev. Kabs-Kanu said that he had observed two tendencies  in some Sierra Leoneans which  are quite wrong . They  blame God for their own misfortunes like sickness and death : secondly, they provoke their enemies that their sicknesses or death are punishments from God.   He described such attitudes as very unfair to God  and inhuman to the victims  because God does not punish anybody  with death or sickness.  The Pastor preached further that in this new dispensation of Grace which followed  the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, God does not put sicknesses and death on people.  God is very good God who wants his people to prosper and live in good health ” .( 3  John 2 ). God was not  even the actual originator of death and sickness, the minister taught . Rev. Kabs Kanu preached that death and sickness came to the world through the disobedience of man at the Garden of Eden.

Delivery his sermon, taken from Genesis 2 : 16-17 , Ecclesiastes  9 and Isaiah 53 : 3- 12, Rev. Kabs-Kanu said that he had observed two tendencies  in some Sierra Leoneans which  are quite wrong . They  blame God for their own misfortunes like sickness and death : secondly, they provoke their enemies that their sicknesses or death are punishments from God.   He described such attitudes as very unfair to God  and inhuman to the victims  because God does not punish anybody  with death or sickness.  The Pastor preached further that in this new dispensation of Grace which followed  the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, God does not put sicknesses and death on people.  God is a  very good God who wants his people to prosper and live in good health ” .( 3  John 2 ). God was not  even the actual originator of death and sickness, the minister taught . Rev. Kabs Kanu preached that death and sickness came to the world through the disobedience of man at the Garden of Eden.

MR. NABE AND HIS WIFE ALIMA LISTENING TO THE STATEMENTS OF LOVE AND SUPPORT

When God made  the world, he created a very healthy man who was supposed to have lived forever .He was not supposed to have been sick or troubled by  difficulties.  God gave Man power and dominion over all the creatures and his circumstances. God told man to go out and subdue the earth and multiply. But God gave a specific and important instruction to man that he could eat of every tree in the Garden of Eden, but  he warned man strongly “….of the tree of  the knowledge of good and evil thou shall not eat of it ; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die “( Genesis 2 : 16 -17 ).Rev. Kabs Kanu said man disobeyed God  and ate the fruit and as a result  sin, death, sickness and tribulations came on the earth.  ”Sickness and death would never had come on this earth if man had not disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden.  ” He also said that God is so good and loves man so much that  decided to find a remedy . God, he preached,  came down to earth in the likeness of man and died a horrible death on the Cross of Calvary to take away man’s sin . He taught that healing was also in the same atonement on the Cross of Calvary. He noted that because of the atonement by Jesus Christ on the Cross, God looks at Man through the precious blood that Jesus shed on the Cross  and through  Christ’s sacrifice, God has  healed us from  our sicknesses . Using Isaiah Chapter 53, Rev. Kanu said that Jesus Christ …” was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

A COMPOSITE VIEW OF THE CROWD

Rev. Kabs Kanu pointed out that our sickness at the moment  also  come from environmental forces,  genetic factors, our life choices and at times being at the wrong place  at the wrong time. But all these extraneous circumstances were set in motion by the fall of man at the Garden. If the nature of God had not left man to be  replaced by the nature of the Devil , these circumstances would not have affected man. He would have remained master over environmental, genetic and all other factors that presently cause sickness or death if he had retained the nature of God with which he was created.

ANOTHER COMPOSITE VIEW OF THE CROWD

Pastor Kabs-Kanu  advised strongly against laughing at people for their sicknesses or death. He said that it was ungodly and un-Sierra Leonean and that  , according to the Bible (Ecclesiastes 9: 2  ) , misfortunes  befall people at random . It does not pick and choose between victims.  The passage says that : “All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth , and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner ” . The same Book states :  ”11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift,nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance   happeneth to them all. 12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.”

The Pastor said that if people had deserved their sicknesses , Mohamed Aziz Nabe would not have been sick, because he   is a good and caring man . “Though we  once had a misunderstanding through politics, Nabe is a mentor and a relative of my wife’s and my impression of him has not changed . He is a good man,  ”  Rev. Kanu added. He called on the community to mobilize themselves behind Mr. Nabe at his time of need and to support him in his sickness. He said this is the time for those who claim to love Nabe to demonstrate it by standing by him and providing moral and financial support. He also described Aziz Nabe as a man of faith and admonished  people to  pray for God to honour Mr. Nabe’s faith by healing him. Pastor Kabs-Kanu said that God is a miracle-working God and he was sure that God would perform a miracle and heal Mr. Nabe.

Pastor Alusine Lovell from Philadelphia gave the final christian prayers. He prayed for the speedy recovery of Mr. Aziz Nabe and he asked all present to also pray for President Ernest Koroma and family who are engulfed in mourning after the death last week of the President’s mother, Madam Alice Florence Kamara. Pastor Lovell was accompanied to New Jersey by Mr. Samuel Dillito Turay and Mrs. Mamusu Conteh-Luke.

MANY OTHER SPEAKERS TOOK THE FLOOR BUT THIS STORY CANNOT BE COVERED IN ONE ARTICLE. WE WILL BRING YOU THE COMMENTS OF THE OTHER MEN OF GOD AND COMMUNITY LEADERS IN DIFFERENT ARTICLES.

© 2012, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

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‘APC is the common man’s party and everybody is welcome to join it ‘, declares President Ernest Koroma

Monday, July 9th, 2012

‘APC is the common man’s party and everybody is welcome to join it ‘, declares President Ernest Koroma

Filed under: Breaking News,Diaspora,Headlines,Lead Story |

STORY BY KABS KANU :

THE PRESIDENT SPEAKING AT THE PROGRAM

President Ernest Bai Koroma today declared that the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) is the common man’s party  and the doors of the party are open to all and sundry who want to come in to help him move Sierra Leone forward . The President  was addressing a mammoth crowd that congregated to the party headquarters at Brookfields , Freetown, this afternoon  to grace the occasion where the former opposition Presidential aspirant , Alhaji Wusu Boie Kamara and many other SLPP  defectees officially joined the APC family.

PRESIDENT KOROMA ADDRESSING THE CROWD

In another momentuous speech interrupted many times by rapturous cheers from the massive throng, President Koroma even had time to ridicule the pettiness of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) and its presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio.

The President described the day as a very big one not only for the party but for the government and the nation. Telling the crowd that he was addressing them this time as the leader of the APC , he officially welcomed  “my brother ” Alhaji Wusu Boie Kamara and all the people he has brought to the party,  including the Imam and President of the Muslim Jamaat, Alhaji Y.D. Kamara, muslims , the women and the  young people .He also welcomed the other former SLPP Presidential hopefuls U.S. Major Ishmael Sengu Koroma  and Khadi Johnson-Cole who have also declared for the APC. President Koroma said that “They  have joined us because they all know that the APC is on the right path to develop the country. ”

PRESIDENT KOROMA WAVING WUSU BOIE’S MEMBERSHIP CARD TO THE CROWD

Excited about the event, President Koroma described the APC as the party of the people. “It is the ordinary man’s party  that practices no tribalism or discrimination. Everybody is welcome and  given the opportunity to contribute to the development of the country.  The APC  does not discriminate against anyone and is open to all”, he pointed out .  He concluded  that it is for the  reasons he has given  that the APC is called  the ALL ( His emphasis ) People’s Congress , not the Congress of Bookmen, for instance.

He stated that Alhaji Boie and others have joined the party because they know it is the right party to develop the country. He also acknowledged all the members of the SLPP and the party’s executive members who have sent copies of their resignation letters  from the SLPP and  their requests for memberships to the APC party . He promised that “we will do what it takes to give everybody the opportunity to participate.”

President Koroma , in  a sarcastic but serioius mood, lashed the SLPP for announcing that Wusu Boie had been sacked by the party , though  in fact everybody knew that he had  quit the SLPP  and declared his intentions  to join the APC long ago  . He also said that the SLPP   villified Mr. Boie Kamara that he is an ordinary and irrelevant man . But the APC ,  he went on, wants Usman Boie  because the party’s doors are open to ordinary people. He however  quickly asserted that Wusu Boie is not an ordinary man .” We know he is not  an ordinary man and  we also know that he was not driven from the SLPP. He decided to leave and we welcome him  with open hands to our party ” .

President Koroma stressed the fact that the APC party belongs to everybody. He made it very clear that  ”Nobody owns it more than the  others. ” He said that as we go into elections, he wants  everybody to work together to bring success to the party.

President Koroma said that “all these people would not have joined the APC “  if his government had reduced the scanty amount of megawatts of electricity he met instead of increasing it ;  had not developed the bad roads  he met ;  if our women and children  had been left to continue dying and if investors had been running away from the country.  On the contrary, people are joining the party in droves because the government has  achieved a lot  and  has provided more electricity,  constructed first class roads and halved the maternal and infant mortality rates, among many other achievements . President Koroma said only this month Sierra Leone received the Harvard 2012 Health Leader Award as one of the countries where  its people’s health   is improving  faster than other countries  . President Koroma also spoke glowingly about the hard work his government has put in to revive and complete contracts and development projects that the SLPP  had abandoned.

President Koroma emphasized that in only five years his government has achieved far more than the SLPP  achieved in their 15 years of governance. The President was being sarcastic with the number of years as the SLPP actually ruled for 11 years . The President  drew chuckles and laughter from the crowd when he reminded them  that , as they knew ,   the NPRC military  junta and the SLPP  were one and the same . He joked that the NPRC+the SLPP = SLPP ( Thus the  SLPP  ruled for 15 years because the NPRC was in power for 4 years ). President Koroma said his government has achieved far more in 5 years than those two SLPP  governments who ruled for 15 years .

President Koroma also told the crowd that his government had  created opportunities for more investments to come into the country  . He disclosed that U.S $ 5 Billion have been invested in the country by the mining companies and other entrepeneurs. He  told the youths that there must be economic growth before jobs. This year, he went on, Sierra Leone has been adjudged as  having achieved the highest economic growth in the world. He assured the youths that the government cared for them and has put structures in place to address their problems.

The President said he was very glad that those who have left the SLPP  and joined the APC  are people who are concerned about the welfare of the people. He noted that when you have a party that is concerned about the people and it has been joined by people with similar concerns, it is a great thing. The President gave a strong warning  against  divisions and factions. He said everybody has the right to contest for parliamentary and Council seats and that there should be no divisions  in the party over it. He said that the APC wants to win the elections at the first ballot and thus everybody must remain united.

President Koroma said that Sierra Leone is presently  enjoying tremendous  blessings and even the national team, Leone Stars , performed well in their World Cup Qualifying match today against Equatorial Guinea in Malabo ( The match ended in a 2-2 draw after Leone Stars led 2-1 briefly ).

President Koroma thanked everybody for coming to the program and urged them to continue working hard to make success certain.

He then proudly gave the new members their APC  membership cards , amidst cheers from the gigantic crowd.

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY JARRAH KAWUSU-KONTE :

© 2012, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum