Notice: register_sidebar was called incorrectly. No id was set in the arguments array for the "Sidebar 1" sidebar. Defaulting to "sidebar-1". Manually set the id to "sidebar-1" to silence this notice and keep existing sidebar content. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 4.2.0.) in /home/cocorioko/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4041
COCORIOKO » 2013 » March

Archive for March, 2013

SPECIAL PICTORIAL HIGHLIGHTS : THE FUNERAL OF MOHAMED AZIZ NABE

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
COCORIOKO  brings you Part 1 of the pictorial highlights of the funeral ceremonies held in New Jersey on Sunday March 17, 2013 for the late Mohamed Aziz Nabe, community leader and strongman of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC )  North American Branch. Mr. Nabe, who was Chairman of the APC Rapid Response Team in North America died on Monday March 11,2013 after a long illness.
MR. AZIZ NABE IN HIS LIFETIME : HE LOVED TO READ COCORIOKO . HERE IS HE READING THE PRINT EDITION OF THE PAPER : R.I.P , PA. NABE
Mohamed Aziz Nabe2
MOHAMED AZIZ NABE : MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE : YOU ARE GONE BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. YOUR MEMORIES WILL ALWAYS REMAIN FRESH IN OUR MINDS . 

NABEFUNERAL2 (600 x 401)

MUSLIMS OBSERVING THE FUNERAL RITES FOR AZIZ NABE AT THE DAWATUL ISLAMIA  MOSQUE . THE COFFIN BEARING THE REMAINS OF MR. NABE COULD BE SEEN BEHIND THE PULPIT 

NABEFUNERAL6 (600 x 401)

THE JAMPACKED MOSQUE

NABEFUNERAL7 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL8 (600 x 401)

ANOTHER ANGLE OF THE MOSQUE

THESE NEXT SET OF PHOTOS WERE TAKEN BY THE PUBLISHER OF COCORIOKO , REV. LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU

 

 

NABE'S FUNERAL 074 (600 x 450)

NABEFUNERAL5 (600 x 401)

FEMALE MOURNERS IN THEIR OWN CUBICLE AT THE MOSQUE

NABE'S FUNERAL 012

NABEFUNERAL9 (600 x 401)

MR.UNISA KANU OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA AND ANOTHER MOURNER STANDING  MOURNFULLY BY THE COFFIN AWAITING THE HEARSE

NABEFUNERAL10 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL11 (600 x 401)NABE'S FUNERAL 067 (600 x 450)

 

 

NABEFUNERAL11 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL12 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL13 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL14 (600 x 401)

 

NABE'S FUNERAL 063 (600 x 450)

  

IMAM ABDULLAH SAVAGE ( FIRST FROM LEFT ) AND SOME APC ALAGBAS AT THE CEMETERY AWAITING THE ARRIVAL OF THE FUNERAL PARTY. IN THE PHOTO FROM LEFT : HON. LEWALLY, ABDUL KING OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA; MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS KANU, JOHN SIMBO OF NEW YORK; MOHAMED KAMARAINBA OF THE PATRIOTIC SIERRA LEONEANS ORGANIZATION -THE NAME OF THE LAST MOURNER WILL BE PROVIDED LATER.

NABE'S FUNERAL 071 (600 x 450)

NABE'S FUNERAL 070 (600 x 450)

 

NABE'S FUNERAL 021 (600 x 450)

NABE'S FUNERAL 040 (600 x 450)

COMMUNITY LEADERS MR. ALEX MANSARAY AND MR. BEDOR BANGURA WAITING IN THE CAR THE CEMETERY WAS FREEZING COLD

NABE'S FUNERAL 072 (600 x 450)

 

 

STAR PHOTO JOURNALIST HAMJAT JOLLOMY BAH : HE IS NOW PART OF COCORIOKO BUT SENDS PHOTOS TO OTHER MEDIA

 

NABE'S FUNERAL 074 (600 x 450)

 

NABE'S FUNERAL 075 (600 x 450)

THE COFFIN BEARING THE MORTAL REMAINS OF MR.AZIZ NABE BEING TAKEN TO THE GRAVE

NABE'S FUNERAL 076 (600 x 450)

MR. NABE’S BODY IS COMMITTED TO THE EARTH. 

NABE'S FUNERAL 091 (600 x 450)

MR. NABE HAS BEEN BURIED

NABE'S FUNERAL 092 (600 x 450)

CROWD OF MOURNERS AT THE REPASS

NABE'S FUNERAL 094 (600 x 450)

NABE'S FUNERAL 101 (600 x 450)

NABE'S FUNERAL 108 (600 x 450)

DR. BANKOLE GIBSON MAKES A PRESENTATION ON BEHALF OF” FRIENDS OF AZIZ NABE”

 

NABE'S FUNERAL 113 (600 x 450)

NABE'S FUNERAL 119 (600 x 450)

NABE'S FUNERAL 123 (600 x 450)

NABEFUNERAL-APCPRSENTS (600 x 401)

THE APC PAYS TRIBUTE TO MR. NABE AT THE REPASS. NEW JERSEY APC PRESIDENT ALHAJI ALLIE BADARA KAMARA READING THE TRIBUTE. STANDING  BY ALLIE BADARA FROM LEFT ARE THE DIPLOMATS WHO REPRESENTED THE GOVERNMENT AT THE CEREMONY : DPR OSMAN KEH KAMARA, AMBASSADOR STEVENS AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU. NEXT ARE ABIE BANGALIE-MANSARAY, FODAY MANSARAY AND ALHAJI TOFRO NABE.

NABE'S FUNERAL 045

 MR. NABE WAS BURIED CLOSE TO ANOTHER COMMUNITY ACTIVIST AHMAD MUSTAPHA

 

PART 2 OF THE PHOTO DISPLAY IS COMING ! !

© 2013, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum

Edit ]

No comments yet… Be the first to leave a reply!

Aziz Nabe laid to rest in New Jersey

Monday, March 18th, 2013
 By KABS KANU:

Mr. Mohamed Aziz Nabe, another icon of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) North America and a prolific writer and defender of the President Ernest Koroma Government, was yesterday laid to rest in New Jersey after another touching funeral . Yesterday’s tearful  event further plunged  into tremendous grief  a community still mourning the recent passing of the other APC icon, Sekou Dauda Bangura ;  Mr. Ahmad Mustapha, the son of one-time political maverick, Dr. M.S. Mustapha ;  Fatu Dumbuya and Ahmed Tejan , not to mention the fact that   last Thursday, another resident in the person of Mr.Andrew Komeh , passed away in New Jersey.

Mr. Nabe died at the JFK Nursing Home on Monday March 11, 2013 following a long illness.

With grief and sorrow heavily permeating the society following  the recent deaths in the community , yesterday’s funeral started at the Andersen Funeral Home in New Brunswick , where tributes immortalizing the late Aziz Nabe were read . Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the United States , H.E. Bockarie Kortu Stevens ( who was accompanied by  his wife Mrs. Mamusu Stevens)   and a delegation sent by President Ernest Koroma , led by Mr.Foday Mansaray and consisting of the Director of Political  Affairs, Mr. Ajibu Jalloh , parliamentarian Mr. Tunde Lewally and Madam Wotay Dura,  among others,  also read tributes in honour of the late Aziz Nabe.

aziz nabe4

THE LATE AZIZ NABE

This was followed by the muslim rites at the Dawatul Islamia Mosque in Somerset. Attesting to the popularity of the late man, both the funeral home and the mosque were jammed packed with mourners . There was hardly a packing space in the whole neighbourhood while in the mosque there was hardly an elbow room. People poured into the mosque to mourn and pay their last respect to a community leader whom many people described as a mentor .

NABEFUNERAL8 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL7 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL9 (600 x 401)

NABEFUNERAL12 (600 x 401)

NABE'S FUNERAL 113 (600 x 450)

Delivering the funeral sermon, Imam Sheikh Mohamed Allie warned the congregation about the inevitability of death. He preached that death is an inevitable fact of life  but it is hated by man, though he cannot avoid it. He cautioned that death is however an admonition to man. The cleric  stated that if a man had been admonished for long to change his ways and he would not do it then he has to look to his death. The certainty of death will warn him that this world is not permanent and one day he will die.

He said that the late Aziz Nabe was a devout student of the Koran and he attended the cleric’s class regularly , even reading ahead of him. The preacher said he used to admire Nabe .especially his penchant for dressing to impress. He said that Nabe was a fabulous dresser , apart from being a devout muslim and good father but today he is no more.He warned the congregation to use Nabe’s death as an admonition that they too will die some day.  The muslim preacher said that nobody knows the state of the dead and what they are doing in the grave while awaiting their resurrection . Only God knows , he said  and instructed that this  should caution man to be careful about the manner he lives his life on this earth.

“Why are people proud and arrogant when worms will eat their bodies one day ? Why do people take advantage of others when they know that they will one day end up in the grave ? “, the animated preacher asked. He warned his listeners to repent and move closer to God. “Do not ask yourself when you will die and how.That is not important. Ask yourself what condition you will be in when you die. .That is the most important thing “, he admonished the congregation. “Death is a door we will all have to enter”  and he advised his listeners to try to live their  lives on earth in such a pleasing manner to God that there would not be regrets during death .  The other officiating cleric  included the Chief Imam, Alhaji Ibrahim Conteh and  Alpha Aliru Bakarr . Muslim cleric present were  the Chief Imam of the Jamatul Haq Mosque of Somerset, Alhaji Abdullah Savage and   Sheikh Balla Barrie. The muslim prayer for the dead ( Janaza ) was then offered in the mosque.

Then came the long journey to the burial ground–The NJ Memorial Cemetery at Conover Road, Millstone,  where the late Aziz Nabe was, IN A SENSE,  going to be reunited with other residents of Somerset who died recently : Alpha Ahmad Tejan, Ms. Fatu Dumbuya , Mr. Ahmad Mustapha and Mr. Sekou Dauda Bangura ( whose sudden death was concealed from Mr. Nabe because of his worsening health condition at the Nursing home then ) . Some mourners speculated pathetically that Nabe would be surprised to meet Dauda in eternity because he did not know that Dauda had died , though  Dauda  used to give Nabe rides to social functions and to see his doctor . Even when Nabe’s condition worsened recently, Dauda used to visit him everyday at the hospital. Nobody ever dreamt that the healthy and fit Dauda would have fallen ill suddenly and predeceased the terminally ill Nabe. Dauda’s death remains the most stunning and  Nabe , who had started fighting for his life in hospital , was never told  that his great friend and brother had passed. He just stopped seeing Dauda. It was said that a week before he died, Nabe was always wondering to his wife , Mrs.Halima Nabe , why he had not seen Dauda for a while, which to him was very strange, because Dauda had been visiting him daily at the hospital. Nabe thought that It was quite unlike Dauda  for him to just stop coming to the hospital to see him  . Unknown to him, Dauda had died suddenly. His wife however strictly obeyed the admonition by family and community leaders that Nabe,  in his seriously sick condition ,  be  told nothing about Dauda’s death because of the effect the shock would have on his already frail self. This was one sorrowful subplot to the recent deaths in the community that highlighted the mortality of man. Two great friends who only yesterday were being seen together going here and there have now become deceased, without one of them knowing about it until his own death  and now both of them were being spoken about in terms of a surprising meeting between them  in eternity. Mr. Nabe’s burial a few graves away from Dauda’s  and Ahmad Mustapha’s  also brought lots of tears to mourners yesterday  .

The burial ceremony was followed by a repass at the Eternal Life Christian Centre in Somerset where more tributes were read .  The All People’s Congress Branch of New Jersey , led by Alhaji Allie Badara Kamara and the Presidential delegation led by Foday Mansaray not only  read tributes but  each presented to the bereaved family a purse –in the case of the APC, provided by members and in the case of the delegation from Freetown, sent by His Excellency President Ernest Koroma.

Hon.Tunde Lewally  read President Koroma’s tribute, which was moving and full of concern for the late party faithful and family . In his eulogy , Mr. Jalloh recalled Aziz Nabe’s devotion to the APC and President Koroma and his skills with the pen. He read out some of Nabe’s recent comments in online discussions on the political situation in Sierra Leone and the diaspora and lamented that Nabe will  be DIRELY MISSED  for the passion with which he defended the cause of the APC.

Also present at the funeral were the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara and the Head of Chancery, Mr. Alusine Sesay.

WE WILL BRING YOU A PICTORIAL DISPLAY TOMORROW, PROVIDED BY HAMJAT JOLOMI BAH –WHO IS NOW A MEMBER OF COCORIOKO — AND YOUR HUMBLE SERVANT. PLEASE NOTE THAT THOUGH HE IS NOW A MEMBER OF COCORIOKO, MR. BAH ALSO SENDS  HIS PHOTOS TO OTHER MEDIA. 

Aan Mant -Annant : Water and electricity must be pursued if prosperity is considered a succcess story

Monday, March 18th, 2013

 

 By Dr. Augustine Kamara :

President Koroma has done a lot to improve Sierra Leone and her entire lot. Unfortunately it would appear to some that the president must be a magician or should possess Aladdin’s wonderful lamp to conjure it and satisfy the wishes of everyone in Sierra Leone. Well it is just too bad if some of us as Sierra Leoneans have forgotten too soon the state of affairs we took off with Dr. Earnest Koroma and his government.

The first hundred days saw the flow of electricity into Freetown. Road networks were sprouting throughout the country. Water and environmental sanitation are being tackled as we speak. The mining industries are on the rise. The president is vigorously pursuing agriculture for self-reliance in food agronomy. Social and religious rites are improving. Over and above the country is enjoying peace and tranquility.

Augustine-kamara1-389x539

Does this mean it is the end of the road to progress? Definitely no!! . Dr. Earnest needs to be reminded that all that glitters is not gold and needs to do more. Yes he might have good intentions but these intentions must follow through. He needs to watch his back. If it causes him to sack and employ public servants who do not measure up to expectations he should do that. He might not have all the answers though and we pray god continues to guide him in his leadership to succeed with his good intentions.

Four months after elections leaves the agenda of prosperity with four and half years to deliver the promise to mama Salone and her children. The president definitely is in in a hurry to meet with his agenda of prosperity. In the midst of that detractors and want to be megalomaniacs or presidents are waging a wicked campaign of hatred to sabotage the peace and progress of the nation. Are we children or morons that cannot think simple reasoning that the entire world including developed nations are devising new ways of how to meet with the challenges facing our political, social and economic strides? The sad thing is that the so called educated Sierra Leonean is proving to be difficult to rule. With so much criticism and less to offer we have become bastions of disgruntled elements. The infighting between political party stalwarts in Sierra Leone demonstrates our immaturity and intolerance for one another in promoting progress of our country.  Definitely president Koroma is not a baby sitter for all this nonsense. We have to be our own diplomats, ministers, parents’ watchdogs for peace and prosperity of our land irrespective of political party, religion, tribe or region.

Dear beloved president the ball is in your court. We humbly ask you to press on the sufficiency of good water supply and electricity. Do not allow your good works to be destroyed. These are basic needs that can attract tourism and all Sierra Leoneans return back home. Please continue in your benevolent ways in supporting good health programs for Sierra Leone. We know it is not easy but with your good intentions Sierra Leone would make it to the top. Please continue to curb down on corruption which I believe your detractors are bent on and will always capitalize on to falter you. Whilst the clock is ticking I am appealing to all Sierra Leoneans to move on with positivity and avoid negativism. LONTA.

 

Aziz Nabe is dead

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Mr. Mohamed Aziz Nabe passed away at 7:40 pm this evening at the at the JFK Nursing Home in Edison New Jersey. Mr. Nabe was Ex-President of APC New Jersey, and former Chairman, APC NA Rapid Response Team . His passing has plunged the New Jersey community into another shock and inconsolable grief as it still struggles with the recent death of journalist Sekou Dauda Bangura, who died two weeks ago .

aziz nabe4

Because of Mr. Nabe’s state of health, it was decided not to tell him that Dauda had died and he passed away today without knowing that one of his greatest friends who had been standing by him steadfastly in his sickness had predeceased him .

 

Both men were last seen in public in New Jersey on January 18, this year when they attended the APC-New Jersey program in honour of the elected parliamentarian, Ms. Isata Kabia , who had come to the United States on a short visit. Dauda Bangura was the MC at the program and he even sent a news report on the event to the Patriotic Vanguard the next day, while Nabe stood up and made a statement during the program. Liittle dd everybody know that it was going to be their last appearance in public. Dauda Bangura died on Thursday February 28 after a brief illness and today March 11, Aziz Nabe passed away.

 

I last saw Mr.Nabe last week when I visited him at the Nursing home along with the newly-posted Head of Chancery of the Sierra Leone Permanent Mission to the UN, Mr. Alhusine Sesay . Though he was critically ill, we who visited him and his wife, Halima Nabe, still held out hope that there will be a turnaround because Mr. Nabe was a man of remarkable faith. I told him that he had been a model to all of us his colleagues in the area of exercising faith and after we prayed for him I urged him to continue holding on firmly to his faith as God is a miracle-working God. Nabe was a great fighter , even in sickness . He was never a man to give up easily. His faith was amazing and he has left us an indelible example in living by faith . For him to succumb to death is a clear demonstration that there is no armor against fate. Once again, we have all been reminded about our mortality. First, it was Ahmad Mustapha. Then Dauda Bangura and now Aziz Nabe. It will take this community ages to recover from the grief and trauma of the past 5 months.

 

Another bulwark of the APC and icon of New Jersey has passed away. Nabe was a ferocious fighter for the APC, a fierce defender of President Ernest Bai Koroma, whom he regarded as his hero. Nabe was also a staunch Muslim and not even sickness kept him out of the masjid. He was the wise man of APC-NA whom everybody consulted for advice.

 

Our condolences to his wife, family and numerous colleagues in the APC.

 

The burial is on Friday .We will bring you more details tomorrow.

 

By Kabs Kanu

SIERRA LEONE GOODWILL AMBASSADOR TO LAUNCH THE WAY TO HAPPINESS INITIATIVE IN SIERRA LEONE

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The 11-year civil war took a profound toll on Sierra Leone’s youth which this nation still works to mend.  However, Mr. Koroma and visionaries in Sierra Leone and abroad are now taking efforts to turn things around and improve the future for their youth, focusing primarily on education and leadership.
One major component of this movement was ignited last year, when Sierra Leone Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Isatu Timbo attended The Way to Happiness Foundation International Convention in Glendale, California. There she met with program administrators, government officials and Hollywood celebrities such as Nancy Cartwright (Emmy Award winning film, television and voice over actress) who are successfully using The Way to Happiness program as a means of positive change in their respective countries and communities.

MRS. ISHA TIMBO-NWOKEDI

The Way to Happiness is a non-religious, common sense guide to a moral, happy and successful life. Written in 1981 by L. Ron Hubbard, it has since been translated into over 100 languages, with over 100 million copies distributed around the world. Used as a resource to instill values and integrity by schools, businesses and government agencies, as well as youth and community organizations, the Way to Happiness program has been markedly successful.
Since her visit, Ms. Timbo has been working with The Way to Happiness Foundation International in Los Angeles and laying the groundwork to establish the first Way to Happiness Chapter in Sierra Leone.  She has been commended and praised by the First Lady of Sierra Leone for her continuous and dedicated efforts to bring assistance to Sierra Leone in the form of workable programs and aide, particularly in the area of education.
Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Timbo has expressed her deep appreciation for The Way to Happiness program and is extremely excited to see the positive change and impact it will bring to Sierra Leone in the near future.
Ms. Timbo will be an honored guest at the upcoming The Way to Happiness International Conference will be held April 26 – 28th at The Way to Happiness Foundation International in Glendale, California.  At the upcoming conference she will use this opportunity to involve leaders and activists from the world over in the upcoming Way to Happiness project to launch later this year from Freetown. Please contact www.thewaytohappiness.org for further information.




Shannon Wilson
Dir Public Affairs
ABLE International

DUNIA FUU

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Dunia Fuu ! ! !

Posted by  on March 1, 20130 Comment

By KABS KANU :

The spate of deaths in New Jersey within just one year have confirmed to me once again that life is futile –absolutely futile. My late mother used to say DUNIA FUU  ! ! (Life is futile ) whenever news came of the death of somebody. While grieving the death of that person, she would say it the whole day–DUNIA FUU. As a young child who did not understand Temne then, I asked her one day what she meant by’ Dunia Fuu’ . She explained that the human life is futile. We come on this earth and we leave it just as if we are of no consequence. I was to get further instruction on the futility of life later from the Bible.  DUNIA FUU. Nothing has reinforced this belief first planted in my mind by my mum than yesterday’s shocking and unbelievable death of a friend , brother and journalism colleague, Mr. Dauda Sekou Bangura.

50th-Independence-celebrations-562-600-x-450

THE LATE DAUDA BANGURA ( SECOND FROM RIGHT ) WITH MADINA RAHMAN AND JOE NGAOJIA DURING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF SIERRA LEONE’S INDEPENDENCE

Though we in New Jersey know that death is a certainty, Dauda was the last man everybody would have expected to die at this time. He seemed one of the fittest–very healthy, slim and always bouyant and on the go. While there are many of us battling all kinds of debilitating illnesses, Dauda was one man who never complained of ill-health.  He was the most visible face in social occasions in New Jersey.He belonged to all kinds of organizations.  He would travel in and out of state to cover funerals, weddings, dances and other social functions . He was a true community journalist . But all of a sudden yesterday, death laid its hands on the young and promising gentleman.  Cruel Death descended on New Jersey yesterday afternoon and laid hands on one of its most unexpected victims and and left a whole society devastated.

The lessons of life are now sobering to us each time we have this shocking deaths. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. We spend all our lives on this earth chasing utopia and unrealistic dreams, hating and fighting each other, backstabbing and betraying one another. During the past two days, my blood pressure problem had been worsened by two members of my own  party .  In today’s world, the people more capable of hurting you most are those you erroneously thought were your own.  When I heard about the death of Dauda yesterday afternoon and started grieving , the sobering feeling I had was whether it was worth all the efforts I put in to reclaim what these lunatics had taken from me  . Death in the family makes us question ourselves whether the time we put in to pursue certain endeavours on this earth are really worth the while. May be, I should have let them have their way  and moved on , because life is too short to spend it  striving with people. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity ( Ecclesiastes 12:8 ).

Through these shocking deaths, let us all learn that everything we do in this world is futile and one day, some of us would die too. God had drawn a line that we will never cross alive  and when you reach the end of that line, nothing will make you cross it alive . Neither our riches, nor our education can stave death the day it is our turn to die. Let us therefore take our time to treat each other right and make our sojourn on this earth peaceful for ourselves and other people  because sooner or later, we will have to depart and return to God who made us. Naked we came and naked we shall depart (Job 1: 21).

Our brothers and sisters dying now did nothing to deserve death. Some of them were the finest ladies and gentlemen we had ever interfaced with in this life.  FELIX RISK, HINDOLO TRYE, AHMAD MUSTAPHA, FATU DUMBUYA, SIGISMOND MASSAQUOI , DAUDA BANGURA–All these people had one thing in common. They were some of the nicest persons on earth.If death took note of the good character of people, these members of our society would have still been alive.  But today, they are no more. They did nothing to cause their deaths. Their time to die simply arrived . Our own time will arrive, sooner or later. Only God knows the time and when that time comes, nobody, nothing can abort it . Therefore, every waking moment of our lives let us not forget that as these people have died so  will we  likewise die sooner or later. Let this thought guide us to  treat others  better than we do now and make us be more  concerned about the legacies we will leave on this earth. Let us avoid living our lives like we are going to remain on this earth forever. We are only strangers on this earth. We are just passing through. Dauda was with us only yesterday.He was such a remarkable gentleman. He was an excellent orator and a well-educated man with impressive academic credentials.  Today, he is sadly gone.  Such is life. May God forgive his sins and give him eternal rest. May God comfort his wife, children and family and well-wishers.

It may also be time for us in New Jersey to start thinking about  forming a super benevolent organization that will be geared towards helping the struggling spouses of our brothers and sisters who have to bear the weight of the illnesses and deaths of their partners. Does anybody pause to find out what the better-halves  of the people  we have buried recently  had to go through from the day their spouses took ill and could no longer take part in gainful employment until they died ?  What about the fate of the children orphaned ?  In America, life is very hard for a single parent. Let us form an organization solely devoted to helping widows, especially and widowers and children left by  members of our society who die . The organization could even be responsible for counseling the wives and family of the deceased to prepare them for the daunting task of facing the world after the funeral. The frequent deaths in our community call for the setting up of structures that should help us become more supportive of one another in times of troubles and grief. As we age, more people will die. More people will get sick. We hail from an extended family system. We hail from a culture where we care for one another.  Let us give more thought to this as we mourn the passing of another member of the family. It is coming to a time when merely expressing sympathy is not enough.

Mr.Dauda Bangura,  rest in perfect peace, our brother  . We will always remember your good deeds and your support and service to this community. May God give you eternal bliss in the land beyond. We are not far behind you. We are coming.  May God keep you until we meet again.

Women to enjoy pride of place in President Koroma’s Agenda For Prosperity

Monday, March 11th, 2013

 

In his relentless determination to continue giving women a big lift in national affairs in Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma has hinted that women will enjoy a pride of place in his Agenda For Prosperity. President Koroma gave the assurance in a powerful statement last Saturday during the program marking International Women’s Day in Sierra Leone . READ THE FULL STATEMENT :

Madam Chairperson, My Lady the Chief Justice, Ministers of Government, Honourable Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Our Development Partners, Our Special Guests, Traditional Leaders, Women of Sierra Leone, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen I am honoured to speak at this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations. Let me commence my address by extending my sincere gratitude to the women of Sierra Leone for the confidence bestowed upon me by re-electing me as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. In the recently concluded elections, more women registered and voted and that resulted to my re-election.

presidentwomen'sday (600 x 400)

PRESIDENT KOROMA AND FIRST LADY MRS. SIA NYAMA  KOROMA DURING THE PROGRAM 

Owing to the importance of the role of women in our society, I approved the request for a Public Holiday from the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs on behalf of the Women and Girls of Sierra Leone. International Women’s Day, March 8th is henceforth declared Public Holiday. Women are on the march, the whole country is on the march to gender equity, there shall be no retreat. As stated in this year’s motto for the International Women’s Day, The Gender Agenda is Gaining Momentum.

There are still remaining challenges, but nothing can stop a determined nation from asserting the better values of progress, justice and gender equity. My government is committed to these better values, and we have visibly demonstrated this commitment. From our appointments into the most senior positions in many institutions to the free health care for pregnant and lactating mothers, we have shown that this government wants men and women to work side by side to transform this nation. From our enactment of legislation to protect women’s inheritance rights to statutes that specifically criminalize violence against women, we have sent out a clear message that discrimination against women has no place in Sierra Leone; violence against women is violence against the state. So let all be aware, discrimination and violence against women are an affront to the founding values of our nation: unity, freedom and justice. Sierra Leonean women are on the move, there is no stopping this.

Today, a Sierra Leonean woman, Madam Zainab Bangura is the world’s point person for dealing with matters relating to violence against women in conflict situations. Sierra Leonean women stood up against violence during the war in Sierra Leone, Sierra Leonean women stood up for democracy, Sierra Leonean women, from traders to the professors, from the market women to the doctors, nurses, civil servants, teachers are the mainstay of our survival as a nation.

We salute the women of Sierra Leone for their resilience, their strength of character, and their progressive actions for the transformation of this land that we love. With women, we will do more; we are committed to doing more. The Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs has developed and launched the National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence; National Referral Protocol on Gender-Based Violence in a bid to curb the menace of gender-based violence in the country. In 2010 I launched two documents – National Gender Strategic Plan and the Sierra Leone National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820. Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, definitely, the Gender Agenda is Gaining Momentum”. As a testament to my government’s commitment to the advancement of women and girls, gender equality and women’s empowerment is a priority pillar in the Agenda for Prosperity. We will do more.

My Agenda for Prosperity will be gender responsive ensuring that gender is mainstreamed across all the other pillars. I will do more in the Agenda for Prosperity for women and girls. But, I need men and women to support me in doing more to achieve the goals in this agenda. In the area of education, Sierra Leone has made progress in achieving gender parity in primary education, but I know we have serious challenges in enrollment and completion rates for girls in Senior Secondary Schools. We have encouraged girls to pursue higher education by awarding scholarships to female students studying science at tertiary level, but we still have to do more. We should not forget to encourage women in tertiary institutions to go into technical and vocational fields that are of great demand in the emerging fields including mining and energy sectors.

The issue of teenage pregnancy is impeding the success of our girls’ education as we continue to experience massive dropout rates for girls between Junior and Senior Secondary School. Vigilance against perpetrators of this assault against this progress of women is a price worth paying for the just advancement of our nation; and family planning is crucial to our national development agenda. I made a commitment to women during the State Opening of the First Session of the Fourth Parliament that as a government we will deliver more initiatives to narrow the gender inequality gap and hence facilitate growth. We will also scale up our interventions to facilitate the participation of women in the economy and politics.

In the Agenda for Prosperity, we will establish strong funding mechanisms to promote women’s political participation, scholarships for deserving women and girls in education, and promoting female entrepreneurship for sustainable economic growth. We will establish the National Women’s Commission as an Independent Body to primarily advocate for the advancement of women and girls and we will enact the legislation on the 30% quota for women in politics, and I am sure it will be pretty soon. This is a continuation of our commitments and I will deliver before the end of my tenure in 2017. I will do more, but collectively we can do more and achieve more for the women and girls of Sierra Leone.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, globally, no country will attain sustainable economic growth without the full participation of women in governance and decision-making. To ensure that I am kept abreast with current issues affecting women and girls, I have appointed a Gender and Women’s Adviser in my Office to Advise the Presidency and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs on gender related issues. I have also recently appointed in addition to the capable female Ministers, appointed a Special Executive Assistant and a female Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President who is no less a person, but the distinguished Chairperson of this occasion. All of these positions have never been made by any other democratically elected Government in Sierra Leone.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I know that Gender equality is not a welfare issue, it is a developmental issue so I have listened attentively to the presentations made by women on the four thematic areas: Governance; Health and HIV/AIDS; Energy; and Enterprise Development. I am sure those of you who are privy to the manifesto of my Government and the current draft of the Agenda for Prosperity will attest to the fact that a good number of these issues raised are captured in the Agenda for Prosperity document. I want to assure you that the resolutions and proposals will be addressed. In the area of Energy, I recently approved the hosting of the Manor River Union Women’s Access to Energy Conference in Sierra Leone. This will be the first conference of its kind in the Region specifically focusing on women’s perspectives to inform gender sensitive regional and national energy policies and implementation strategies. We also have the Solar Training College which is managed by the Barefoot Women Solar Engineers with no formal education, but empowered today to deliver training in solar technology to communities and academics from higher education institutions.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome in our country, the high level delegation led by Mrs. Cherie Blair and Dr. Kandeh Yumkella. Our continued partnership is crucial for the promotion and sustainability of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Sierra Leone. Yesterday, Mrs. Cherie Blair officially launched the Organization of Women’s Network for Entrepreneurs (OWNERS) supported by her Foundation in close collaboration with African Foundation for Development (AFFORD) a national Non-Governmental Organization. As a Government, we welcome these partnerships in promoting women’s participation in economic development. I would like to personally extend my appreciation to the high level delegation for leaving your busy schedules to spend this day with us and our women and girls in particular. Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I will conclude by reaffirming my Government’s commitment to Gender Equality by entreating the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs to ensure the full implementation of both national and international obligations including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), AU Heads of State Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa and the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa among others.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I have accorded the women and girls of Sierra Leone a public holiday to reflect on our collective progress and roadmap to prosperity. I am confident that these strides will continue to be emulated by other countries in promoting women and girls’ rights. I will do more, my Government will do more, the private sector will do more, men and boys will do more, but I know that the women and girls will do even more to keep the momentum for the gender agenda in Sierra Leone.

On behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone I wish you a happy International Women’s Day celebrations. God Bless Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone Government plans affordable housing for people’s prosperity

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Pa John Baimba Sesay-China :

On the 5th of Marc h, 2013, I was among dozens of diplomats that attended the First Session of the 12th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of china in the Great Hall of the People, where the Premier of the State Council, Wen Jiabao delivered a report on the work of the government. In his report, he gave a review of work in the past five years. He highlighted how, in the past five years they were able to build millions of government-subsidized housing units of various types and millions of housing units areas upgraded. In the Report On The Implementation Of Central And Local Government Budgets In 2012 And On Draft Central And Local Government Budget 2013, it was indicated, that , the country appropriation for guaranteeing adequate housing was 260.16 billion yuan, up by 44.6% and 122.9% of the budgeted figure…” This reason for this was as a result of an increase in subsidies for building government-subsidized housing “and supporting infrastructure in urban areas as well as renovating dilapidated rural houses…” This indicates development is something that goes with huge finance resources, no wonder, the efforts we keep making in Sierra Leone.

Pa-John-Baimba-Sesay

PA BAIMBA SESAY :

Sierra Leone is at the crossroad of her socio-economic development. From the framework of infrastructural development, we have been making great progress especially in the last five years of state governance by President Koroma. This is not to imply we have reached the apex of national development. However, explicitly from what we have been seeing, we are moving to that direction more so when we all decide to give our collective support the process of change and development. From roads, seaport, airport to social infrastructure, we have been making gains. The prosperity agenda is very specific in terms of government’s commitment to meeting the social needs of her people, especially that which deals with the need for delivering affordable housing for the citizenry. With specific reference to chapter five of the said document, it states, amongst other things, that one of the most basic needs of human existence is housing. In developed nations as in the West; the practical provision of house mortgages is assured. But for a developing nation like Sierra Leone, it may not sound as easy as it is in developed nations. This still remains a major challenge; given other set priorities of government, especially in her dream to not only meet the social needs of her people, but in also tackling other societal problems and governance challenges. The prosperity agenda takes into cognizant the fact that houses in the country are still provided through an intricate and protracted long-established processes of first buying land and erecting a building over many years that could last for years. That is not all. Government has therefore been thinking of the urgent need to rejuvenate the mortgage market to address this situation. We surely will reach there one day. Nassit has been doing some great job in providing housing.

Shelter Afrique, in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals, is working “with development partners, member states (and their agencies) and microfinance institutions on social housing initiatives that promote access to affordable housing and infrastructure services to low income groups. We particularly favour large-scale projects, which have government support (Public-Private Partnerships) and are environmentally sustainable (http://www.shelterafrique.org/index.php/social-housing-). They recently had a Road Show in at the Bank Complex, West of Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, according to media reports, where Sierra Leone’s Minister of Works and Infrastructure, Alimamy P. Koroma was requested to deliver a key note address. (Awareness Tomes of March 5th 2013). In his speech, Minister Koroma disclosed plans toward the construction of one thousand (1000) houses countrywide, in line with government’s drive to the prosperity agenda. Online media reports quoted the Minister as saying, that most of the materials to be used in the construction of the said houses will be local ones and that that government is providing incentives in the form of land and duty waivers on related materials for this venture through sensitization and promotion. (http://news.sl/drwebsite/publish/article_200522198.shtml). To say this is a positive trend in our development plan could be an understatement, given that a determined and success-oriented government is one that always thinks of how the needs of people are met. Providing affordable housing for people is a way of taking them to prosperity. President Koroma, no doubt, will leave a legacy that could always be used to discuss his governance successes.

What is also encouraging in this initiative by the government, though the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure is the decision to get the local councils fully involved. The Third Schedule of the Local Government Act 2004 outlines the functions devolved to the local councils as a result of the creation of the of Act itself. Under the Ministry of Works the function of maintenance of council buildings/premises falls under the local councils. Bu the Minister of Works is going beyond that by promising that government will empower the councils to undertake the development of low cost housing schemes for their communities as his ministry has requested for the provision of some resources to both the Freetown City Council and the Western Rural District Council to initiate the construction of these units in partnership with the private sector. This is an impressive initiative and one that will definitely be in line with the common good of Sierra Leoneans, for which I would want to commend the Minister of Works, Alimamy Koroma

Also, the involvement of private local and foreign investments groups in our development drive is crucial and important as the very determination on the part of government to always provide the basic needs of the people. Their involvement has often been ensured by government through the provision of the enabling environment that will attracts not just local business entrepreneurs but also attracting resources and joint ventures from foreign business partners. In tandem with the desire on the part of the President to addressing the issue affordable housing in the country , it is well featured in the prosperity agenda, that government will also focus on attracting investment into this sector, will “continue to provide the necessary infrastructure, and mortgage insurance to first time home buyers and low-to middle income families.” Plans also are there, as stated in the prosperity agenda to “continue to encourage the use of local materials such as clay and other local building materials as a way of cutting down the cost of constructing homes.” Delivering affordable housing to our people will surely take them to prosperity. The time is now and thanks to Alimamy Petito Koroma for thinking big.

Sierra Leone Participates In The 57th Session Of The Commission On The Status Of Women ( CSW) At The UN

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

By KABS KANU :
MARCH 6, 2013
Sierra Leone is participating at the fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which  will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 4 to 15 March 2013.  Sierra Leone will join representatives from Member States, UN entities, and NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) from all regions of the world who will participate in the two-week session . Participants will take part in  a high-level round table, interactive dialogues and panels and parallel events.
The theme of this year’s session is : “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls,” and the review theme from last year’s session is “the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS.”
According to the UN WOMEN’S website, the CSW  ” is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment worldwide. The Commission was established by ECOSOC resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946 with the aim to prepare recommendations and reports to the Council on promoting women’s rights in political, economic, civil, social and educational fields. The Commission also makes recommendations to the Council on urgent problems requiring immediate attention in the field of women’s rights. ”
Sierra Leone’s delegation to this year’s CSW Session will be led by the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and Gender Affairs, Mr. Mohamed Bai Attilla and will be composed of representatives of the political parties, civil society and the media. The minister is expected to arrive via Washington DC  tomorrow.
TODAY, there was a side-event at Conference Room B , which was a panel discussion on the topic : “SAFETY OF WOMEN JOURNALISTS.” the roles played by female journalists in the coverage of violence and trauma.  The emphasis of the discussion was on the protection of women journalists against targeted attacks , which panelists agreed is an emerging issue that deserves attention. They discussed ways in which adequate protection of women journalists can be achieved.The panel also discussed .The second part of the session featured an interactive dialogue in which permanent Missions, UN observers and other observers exchanged ideas and proposed solutions to the violence to violence against women journalists.
The program was moderated by Gulser Corat , Director of the Division for Gender Equality of UNESCO. Participants on the panel included Ms. Irina Bokova , the Director General of UNESCO; H.E. Ambassador Martin Sajdik , Permanent Representative of Austria; H.E. Mr. Eduardo Ulibarri , the Permanent Representative of Costa Rica; Pamela S. Falk, CBS correspondent and President of the UN Correspondents Association; Elana Newman, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University; Amy Selwyn Executive Board of the International News Safety Institute; and Lauren Wolfe, Director , Women under Seige at the Women’s Media Center.

War breaks out in the SLPP: Maada Bio, John Benjamin supporters clash at party HQ

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

 

MAADABIOCAPSierra Leone Police had to use tear gas to disperse riotous members of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) as supporters of the former Presidential candidate, Maada Bio and party chairman John Benjamin, went into grips inside the party headquarters at Wallace Johnson Street , Freetown. Supporters pelted each other with stones and as the security situation quickly deteriorated around the area, Police were summoned who broke up the fighting , engaging in running battles with belligerent supporters on both sides.

Supporters of Mr.Bio allegedly started the chaos when they attacked Mr.Benjamin , accusing him of being a thief , and raining stones on him and supporters. This led to a retaliation from supporters of Benjamin, turning the SLPP Headquarters into a war zone. Both leaders of the SLPP  had been engaged in bitter rivalry and feuds beginning from the run-up to the November 2012 elections but everything was suppressed until the elections had passed when the bitterness between them came into the open , with both men squabbling over who should lead the party after their defeat at the elections.  According to the SLPP, the Chairman remains at the helm until the next national delegates convention, but Maada Bio has refused to respect the constitution, as he tries to take over the leadership of the party.

During the past weeks, both men and their supporters have been hurling abuses and accusations at each other, with party functionaries who worked together during the elections now taking sides between Benjamin and Bio.

Last weekend, the feuds in the party went further in the open when the Publicity Secretary of the SLPP, Mr.Musa Tamba Sam, went on radio and accused John Benjamin of stealing $60,000 from the party coffers. This caused a worsening of relations between Bio and Benjamin, and today Bio supporters took the law into their hands by launching an attack on Benjamin and supporters. Police have quelled the chaos but supporters of both men are sure to continue feuding .

© 2013, COCORIOKO. All rights reserved. – Discuss this and other related articles on the Salone Forum