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Archive for November, 2013

New Interim administration for APC-UK Branch

Saturday, November 30th, 2013
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A CONSULTATIVE MEETING OF STAKEHOLDERS OF THE ALL PEOPLES CONGRESS (APC) UK AND IRELAND BRANCH AND THE DELEGATION FROM THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT OF THE PARTY IN LONDON, 30TH NOVEMBER 2013
- Whereas the National Advisory Committee (NAC) of the APC applauds the important role the UK & Ireland Branch has always played in the development and progress of the party
- Whereas the current internecine conflict among various factions of the APC in the UK& Ireland is counterproductive
- Aware that the Branch has failed to produce a credible membership list (with each faction producing its own list) even though the National Secretary General had made a request some six months ago for a harmonised list to be collaboratively produced
- Aware that the membership lists presented by the various factions to the National Delegation are untenable as lists to constitute a credible voter register - Aware that several attempts to bring the various feuding parties together to resolve the impasse have failed to bring order and sanity to the Branch
- Expressing profound thanks and appreciation to the Sierra Leone High Commissioner to Britain for the assistance he provided the delegation in a variety of ways to make the consultation process the success it has turned out to be
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- Now therefore the various stakeholders here assembled in London have agreed as follows:
1. To abide by a 2012 pre-Convention decision of NAC, in accordance with the powers given to it by the 5th December 1995 Constitution, to select all executives of the party at all levels
  2. To assist the national delegation in selecting a branch executive to run the affairs of the UK & Ireland Branch on an interim basis until further notice
3. To empower such an interim executive to work and liaise with the National Secretariat to draw up a credible membership list compliant with the provisions of the 1995 APC Constitution
4. To ensure that the interim executive in collaboration with the National Secretariat design systems and structures within the framework of the Agenda for Prosperity to realise the aspirations of the party
5. To preclude all current protagonists and aspirants in the contest for the leadership from being members of the interim executive
6. To debar all those selected to serve in the interim executive from contesting for the positions of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary General in the substantive executive that will emerge at the end of the interim tenure
7. To work with the interim executive to speedily produce a plan of action leading to the development of ways and means of raising funds for the Branch
8. To support the interim executive to engage in a pro-active and robust membership drive in the UK & Ireland
9. To cooperate, collaborate and coordinate with the interim executive at all times, especially in maintaining discipline among members of the Branch After rigorous and all-encompassing consultations, the following have therefore been appointed to constitute the new interim executive:
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No. Name Position
1. Ansumana E. Kamara Chairman
2. Isatu Kamara (Dr.) Vice Chair (1)
3. Idrissa Bangura Vice Chair (2)
4. Alpha Bai Kamara Secretary General
5. Mackie Sheik Member
6. Zachariah Dainkeh Member
7. Hassan Kamara Member
8. Kadie Johnson Cole Member
9. Salma Bah Member
10. Malcolm Conteh Member
11. Victor French Member
12. Israel Paper Member
13. Veenod Foulah Member
14. Abdulai Sam Kamara Member
15. Abdul Kamara Member
16. Lamin Timbo Member
17. Neneh Sawaneh Member
18. Haja Matto Member
19. Kadie Kuyateh Member
20. Kadie Buya Kamara Member
21. Setton During Member
22. Ibrahim Sanda Barrie (Dr.) Member
23. Filma Fatu Doherty Member
24. Bristol Representative (i) Member
25. Bristol Representative (ii) Member
26. Reading Representative (i) Member
27. Reading Representative (ii) Member
Now therefore, the undersigned members of the UK & Ireland Branch of the party together with senior officials from the National Headquarters of the party from Freetown hereby on Saturday 30th November 2013 adopt this communiqué in the interest of peace and progress in the UK & Ireland Branch and the APC party as a whole.
………………. Kumba Alice Momoh (Mrs) (OUTGOING CHAIRMAN, UK & IRELAND BRANCH) ……………………………… Adu Aezick Seray-Wurie (Dr) (SENIOR ELDER, UK& IRELAND BRANCH)
…………………………………… Tamba Opel Pessima Sam-Sumana (ASPIRANT)
…………………… Sheku Abes Kamara (ASPIRANT)
…………………………. Mustapha Hamid Koroma (ASPIRANT) MORAL GUARANTORS / NAC MEMBERS
……………………. Minkhailu Mansaray (DEPUTY NATIONAL CHAIRMAN/ LEADER)
……………………… Osman F. Yansaneh (NATIONAL SECRETARY GENERAL)
………………… Momodu Allieu Pat-Sowe (WESTERN AREA REGIONAL CHAIRMAN)
…………………………. Leonard Balogun Koroma (NATIONAL ELECTIONS COORDINATOR)

 


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Busy day for President Ernest Koroma

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

By State House Communications Team :

Two new envoys have on November 28th presented their letters of credence to His Excellency President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at the Credentials Hall, State House, Freetown.

Receiving the Egyptian Ambassador designate  on the one hand, President Koroma noted that Egypt has been a friend of Sierra Leone since independence. “It is one of the very few countries that did not close its embassy even at the height of our civil war. We salute Egypt for standing with us”, President Koroma said.

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PRESIDENT KOROMA SHAKES HANDS WITH EGYPTIAN ENVOY

According to a State House report President Koroma told the new Egyptian envoy that Egypt is still standing with Sierra Leone, supporting the country with technical assistance in various sectors and providing training in fields as diverse as Law, Order and Security, Medicine, Anti-Corruption, Information and Communication, Technology, Agriculture, Diplomacy, Marine Transportation and Islamic studies.

“We have been closely following political developments in Egypt and we do hope that an amicable, fair and democratic solution would be found soon”, said President Koroma, and disclosed that government has commenced a new national development program, The Agenda for Prosperity (AfP), hoping that our historic friend, the Arab Republic of Egypt will stand with Sierra Leone to achieve the goals set forth in the AfP. “My country is amongst the fastest growing economies in the world and we seek the participation of the Egyptian Government, people and private sector in sustaining the growth to the mutual benefit of both countries”, he stressed.

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PRESIDENT KOROMA MEETS EU ENVOY

Welcoming the new European Union Head of Delegation to the country, President Koroma paid glowing tribute for the immeasurable support by the EU for the social, political and economic aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone, saying that the EU has been an invaluable contributor to our achievements in sectors as diverse as infrastructure, health, food security, agriculture, democratic good governance and strengthening of civil society.

President Koroma described Sierra Leone as a country on the move; “Our goal is to become a middle-income country in 22 years. We have commenced our Agenda for Prosperity, our development program for the next five years, with our sights on achieving this aspiration. We greatly value our partnership with the European Union; we believe it is a partnership for asserting the values of peace, democracy, and development; and we trust that this partnership will be a most valuable one for achieving the goals set forth in the Agenda for Prosperity”.

The Head of State also called on the new EU Head of Delegation to convey through his good offices, the new narrative of Sierra Leone, adding that the new Sierra Leone is one at peace with itself and its neighbours, and one that is contributing peacekeeping troops to other countries, a Sierra Leone that has one of the fastest growing economies in the world as well as building its infrastructure, providing free health care for its mothers and children under five, and leading Africa’s reform efforts at the United Nations.

Although we face challenges on all fronts, the President said, the country is committed to success, and we believe that our relationship with the European Union is a partnership for overcoming challenges through fidelity to democratic and development values.

The Egyptian Ambassador, Amr Moussa on his part, assured President Koroma of his government’s commitment to strengthening ties with Sierra Leone, saying “We are ready to assist Sierra Leone in various fields as we have done in the past. Our aim is to ensure that the Agenda for Prosperity achieve its goal”.

Peter Veersteeg, Head of Delegation of the European Union assured President Koroma of the EU’s continued close cooperation with Sierra Leone, by building on the current joint country strategy that addresses key objectives, including good governance, road transportation infrastructure, agriculture, health and the environment. “For the 11th European Development Fund, the EU Delegation in consultation with the National Authorities is proposing to concentrate its support for the period 2014 to 2020 on (1) Governance and public sector reform including capacity building for service delivery and revenue generation, security and justice; (2) Improving access to and quality of education; and (3) Increasing agricultural productivity, food security, governance and sustainability”, said the newly accredited EU Head of Delegation in Sierra Leone.

He also assured that additional support will be given to road infrastructure to improve the link between Freetown and Monrovia as well as promote regional integration.

The ceremony was attended by the Hon. Vice President, Alhaji Chief Sidique Sam Sumana, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Samura Kamara and other cabinet ministers, senior government officials and members of the protocol division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

In another engagement today , President Koroma successfully concluded a conducted tour of the Dedicated National Information Systems Project deployed at State House, to maintain its security character.

The president inspected the Surveillance System, Conference System, Call Demonstrations facilities and the equipment and battery room.

Before embarking on the conducted tour of the facilities, the Director of Communications of the host ministry, Mr Bakarr Tarawallie, gave a brief update on the project. He said that as a result of the realization by government in 2008 that its information system is highly vulnerable to attacks as well as the fact that it is a critical infrastructure to national security, government decided that there should be a dedicated information system in place to circumvent any such attacks by hackers.

“Government, therefore, contracted ZTE, a Chinese corporation to build this dedicated security infrastructure, which is a turnkey infrastructure that provides 5,500 mobile phones and 1,000 USB modems for both voice and data communications across government institutions”, Tarawallie emphasized.

He further noted that the system also has potential for video conferencing, surveillance system as well as a broadband distribution network. “This phase has been completed; that is why the president is here to inspect the progress made so far before the commissioning event”, he added.

The second phase will include other products like e-government applications and security surveillance system of our land and sea borders.

According to the Project Coordinator, Mr. Christopher John, the work force comprises 23 staff, including the Project Coordinator, 4 engineers, 12 technicians who were properly profiled, screened and trained both locally and in China, and other administrative and support staff.

Mr. John also revealed that the implementation of the project was kickstarted in January and completed this month, saying that there are 34 sites all over the country, including Freetown. “We are yet to cover the whole country”, he said, and pointed out that the project is “co-located with already existing operators who are helping us with power for our sites”.

Shortly after the conclusion of the well-guided tour of the Network Operating Centre (NOC) President Koroma noted that the system is a step in the right direction to fight crime and secure the country, adding that it is good for monitoring and surveillance of crime of all types. He watched real time videos of the National Stadium, including the main bowl and practicing field as well as strategic locations in the city from the NOC.

The Dedicated project NOC is under the auspices of the Ministry of Information and Communication.

TEARS OF JOY, AS HAJA HAFSATU KABBA WINS APPEAL

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Haja Hafsatu Kabba,  is a very happy woman today as the Sierra Leone Appeals Court gave her a tremendous victory by overturning the verdict in the 2010 corruption charges preferred against her . The court upheld her appeal and ordered the fines she paid to be refunded to her.

Haja Hafsatu was so overwhelmed she wept bitterly . She had long  asserted that she was not guilty of the charges .

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HAFSATU KABBA WEEPS AFTER TODAY’S VICTORY IN COURT

It must be recalled that on Tuesday October 12 2010 , Haja Kabba was sentenced to three years imprisonment to run concurrently or alternatively pay a a fine of One Hundred and Fifty Million Leones (Le 150,000,000), Thirty Million Leones (Le 30,000,000) on each count.  According to a press release from the Anti-Corruption Commission ( ACC ) she was also ordered to refund the sum of Three Hundred and Ten Million Leones (Le310,000,000.00) to the Government of Sierra Leone.

However , public perception about the case had always been in her favour with many people asserting that it was a “set-up” by her political enemies.  In fact, whenever Haja appeared in court, thousands of supporters , some beating drums, accompanied her , creating a social and media spectacle.

The social media buzzed with the good news about Hafsatu Kabba today and many of her supporters took the opportunity to commend her for being a humble, kind and dedicated woman to the aspirations of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glennis Frazer

Communication Officer.

 

 

 

 

President Ernest Koroma makes new appointments

Friday, November 29th, 2013

ERNESTAGRIC

 

PRESS RELEASE – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

The general public is hereby informed that in reviewing the overall governance structure, it has pleased His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to announce the following Ambassadorial and other Statutory appointments, subject to the approval of Parliament as appropriate;

AMB. ANDREW G. BANGALI – DIRECTOR-GENERAL AND AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE, MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

AMB. OSMAN KEH KAMARA – AMBASSADOR TO ETHIOPIA, THE AFRICAN UNION AND THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA

AMB. RASIE KARGBO – STATE CHIEF OF PROTOCOL, OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

AMB. SOULAY DARAMY – HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE GAMBIA

ALHAJI MOHAMED SILLAH KARGBO – AMBASSADOR TO THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

INSPECTOR-GENERAL(RTD.) BRIMA ACHA KAMARA – AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA

MR.OMRIE GOLLEY – AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA

MR. ISMAEL KOROMA – DEPUTY AMBASSADOR TO ETHIOPIA, AFRICAN UNION AND THE ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA

MAJOR-GENERAL (RTD.) ALFRED CLAUDE NELSON-WILLIAMS – DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

MR. Y.T. SESAY – CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, ROAD MAINTENANCE FUND ADMINISTRATION

MR. ARTHUR S. HARVEY – CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, SIERRA LEONE ROADS AUTHORITY

MR. WINSTANLEY BANKOLE – JOHNSON – CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK

MR.SULAIMAN KABBA KOROMA – CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, NATIONAL REVENUE AUTHORITY

DR. MICHAEL KARGBO – CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR PRIVATISATION

DR. TOM OBALEH KARGBO – CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

OTHER CHANGES WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY.

END

STATE HOUSE
FREETOWN 29TH NOVEMBER, 2013

 

 

ABC TRAINS 120 PUPILS AS CHANGE AGENTS IN MAKENI

Friday, November 29th, 2013

 

 By Siraju Bah -29th November, 2013 :

The Attitudinal and Behavioural Change ABC Secretariat has officially launched the Agent of Change Pilot Project in Makeni and has organised a two day pilot project workshop for pupils in four secondary schools in the Northern District Head Quarter Town of Makeni at the Midwifery School in Makeni with the theme “your altitude depends on your attitude and aptitude” in line with the Secretariat’s nationwide educational theme for this year “encouraging high level performance and discouraging indiscipline in secondary schools.”

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The crux of the workshop is to provide training for pupils in the selected schools who will serve as agents of change to their peers in their various institutions. The pilot training Project targeted 120 pupils drawn from four secondary schools accompanied by a teacher from each school.

The selected schools included Benevolent Islamic Secondary School, Birch Memorial Secondary School, St. Joseph’s Secondary School and the St. Francis Secondary School in Makeni.

Her worship the Mayor of Makeni City Madam Sunkarie Kabba Kamara, who officially launched the programme, encouraged changed agents to be determined to pursue the right attitude to be able to attain their altitude in life and to also resist negative attitude and work assiduously to influence their peers.

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In his presentation, the Executive Director ABC Secretariat Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas underscored the need for pupils to cultivate in themselves attitudes that will make them become prospective contributors to the socio-economic development of the country.

He highlighted some of the causes of negative attitude in society and the ripple effect they will have on the socio-economic development of the state saying, that negative peer group influence, poor parentage and negative attitude demonstrated by some teachers will culminate in instilling negative attitude and behaviours in pupils which may lead to the demise of the values, standards, virtues and morals of society.

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The executive Director admonished the pupils to re-orientate their mindset and heart-set, encouraging them to make a paradigm shift from inculcating and exhibiting negative attitudes and behaviours to positive attitudes and behaviours so that they could contribute meaningfully to the country when they assumed positions of trust.

On a power point presentation, the National Coordinator and Second in Command ABC Secretariat Madam Nanette Thomas carefully elucidated on the concept of attitude, behaviour and change highlighting the virtues of positive attitude noting that positive attitude is the power that drives one to success.

Madam Thomas admonished the pupils to be wary of attitudes that might deter their progress and blemish their credibility postulating that negative attitude shortens one’s life as one becomes, so often, angry, rude, upset or frustrated at one’s teacher, the fewer days one will have left to live.

She warned the pupils to eschew anti-social behaviours such as arrogance, bullying, harassment, threat, physical assault, provoking one and other especially in class and encouraged them to embrace change saying that the ability to change is the only security one has.

The Chairman Conference of Principles of Secondary Schools Ibrahim N Kamara observed that the erosion of values in the school system is seriously affecting the ethical standards, self-awareness and personal responsibilities of school going children.

He said the rapid social, political, moral and technological changes sweeping across the 21st Century makes it challenging for youth to cultivate values that are attuned to standards of moral values, suggesting that the use of values such as respect, tolerance, appreciation, honesty and love in schools must be emphasized.

A teacher and lecturer at the St. Francis Secondary School Joseph Ezekiel Thulla Junior noted that industrialization with special reference to the internet, mobile phones, iPods, iPads, unscrupulous movies and the like played a cardinal role in effecting deviant behaviours in the youth particularly adolescents in schools.

He observed that society has changed in such dramatic ways that what obtained in the recent past is now considered obsolete and outdated, saying that “pupils were taught to respect their teachers and to dress with matching colours but rather what obtain now is pupils no longer respect their teachers and dress with sharply contrasting colours.”

He recommended that the government take the presence of guidance counselors seriously and establish offices for counseling in each school and insert peace education as a subject in the curriculum.

The head of Education Department Northern Polytechnic James O Conteh   reminded the pupils that they can reach their highest altitude or elevation in life if only they diligently exhibit good ethical behaviour and make good use of their God give aptitudes with some amount of endurance and effort.

The Women’s Leader SLTU madam Ramatu M Fonah highlighted some of the negative attitudes pupils exhibit in schools and encourage them to desist from negative attitudes and imbibe positive ones that will help them achieve their desired goals in life.

The Chairman Abubakarr Carew encouraged the pupils who have benefitted from the training to work in accordance with what they have learnt and ensure that they use the techniques they have acquired to influence their peers to inculcate positive attitudes.

 

 

 

 

APC veterans give hope to supporters in nationwide tour

Friday, November 29th, 2013

BY DANIEL N’BOMPA-TURAY : 

In a multi-party democratic state where political parties periodically seek the mandate of its citizens, the momentum of a governing party is crucial in prolonging its stay in power. Conscious of this self evident truth, the APC Veterans Welfare Association (VETWA) has given hope to party supporters nationwide in their recent countrywide tour to establish VETWA regional and district executives which will climax to a formal launching in December by President Koroma.

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In the regional towns of Makeni, Bo,  Kenema  supporters assembled in their party colour in  large  numbers   demonstrating  their  warm embrace for the VETWA  initiative. According to many, it presents a clear road map in catering for the welfare of the elderly as well as providing a platform where their views and concerns of the party grassroot base will be heard. Many, including Balla Musa Koroma, APC Bo District Deputy Chairman confessed that VETWA has re-ignited their love and passion for the party as they now felt recognized for their great work. APC Eastern Region Secretary General, Abdul WAhab Wann noted that VETWA is strategically positioned to galvanize the party grassroot base and revive its unshakeable momentum to win successive elections.

In the jam- packed meeting in the party office at Makeni, chairman of the meeting, Hon. Abdul Ignosi KOroma who is the APC Northern Region Deputy Chairman and also Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, lauded VETWA for reaching out to the party grassroot base. He opined that with VETWA, the energies of the elderly will be profoundly tapped. He continued that it will also certainly reduce some of the burden on regional and district party leaders particularly in addressing members’ welfare issues.

 

 

 

 

 

VETWA Interim Chairman, Thomas Conteh, alias Tongbeh Tongbeh, spoke of the need to strategically position the party grass root support base so as  grassroot supporters will fully realize the transformational package of the agenda for prosperity. Tongbeh Tongbeh noted that VETWA seeks to cater for the welfare of elderly party supporters as well as ensuring that their views and concerns becomes intergral in the party. This he explained will largely maintain party momentum in every region and district in the country.

 

VETWA Interim Adviser, Hon. Philipson Kamara, former Parliamentarian, Minister and Ambassador reckoned that the benefits of VETWA will only be realized when members remain discipline, respectful and united. He admonished supporters to always remain calm and be loyal to the party and Chairman and Leader of the party, who is the President, as the party is bigger than any individual.

 

Another VETWA Adviser, former Minister and Parliamentarian, the popular Harold Hanciles of Bo, chronicled the history of the party, pointing out the ‘party resilience’ which has always been fermented by its grassroots base since its first election in 1962 when the party established itself as the main opposition in parliament,  just one year of independence. Harold  Hanciles furthered that it was this party-resilience that distinguished the APC as the first opposition party after independence  in sub-Sahara Africa  to defeat an incumbent in the 1967  multi-party elections. It was this undying party-resilience that has been effectively rekindled in the elections of 1996, 2002, 2007 and 2012. He appealed to supporters never to loose their esteemed party-resilience so that the party will continue to provide the anticipated political leadership that will continue to profoundly improve the lives of the ordinary citizens.

 

VETWA Interim Chairlady and gender activist, Haja Kadie Sawyerr encouraged women to vigilantly embrace VETWA and ensure they play their full role its structures and operations. She boasted that women’s discrimination is completely discouraged within VETWA as it’s contradicts its grassroots focus.

 

Dilating on the rational for the establishment of VETWA, the Interim Secretary General,Ibrahim Sobonikeh Sesay, opined that supporters will continue to manifest their unflinching support  to the party when their contribution are recognized and appreciated. VETWA, Sobonikeh continued, is a product of the sensitive nature of the party to the concerns of its grassroots support base. He vouched that the party will always endeavour to cater for its grassroots base so that they will be integral in the national development agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister Logus charges APC-NA partisans to be role models and pace-setters, as Ambassador Stevens assures successful Convention

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

By KABS KANU :

The All People’s Congress ( APC ) National Elections Coordinator , who is also Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma, has assured every partisan of the party in North America and the United Kingdom that the 13-man Presidential Peace delegation sent out to restore sanity in the party’s diaspora branches has performed their “Presidential assignment creditably and successfully in Germany and Holland and we expect nothing less in the United Kingdom and United States of America .”

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HON. LEONARD BALOGUN KOROMA

Sierra Leone’s Ambasssador to the United States, His Excellency Bockarie Kortu Stevens, has also given the assurance that plans designed to ensure a smooth and successful Convention and election in North America are progressing well. Ambassador Stevens and Minister Koroma gave these  assurances in separate exclusive interviews with your favourite COCORIOKO  newspaper today.

For his part, Minister Logus Koroma is not only assuring fairness and neutrality but he has charged APC -NA  members to become models and pace-setters. Said the Minister :  ”My appeal to the North America branch of the A. P.C. is that they are the ones who should show leadership for the other diaspora branches to follow; they must be the role models and pace setters, and not the other way round . They have the largest branch and membership outside Sierra Leone and their actions and behaviour must reflect that reality.”

Mr. Koroma also told COCORIOKO that “They must be assured that the composition of the Presidential delegation ensures that the conduct of the election will be above board ; in my 42 years as A. P. C. member from a youth to an adult , I have never seen any A. P. C. Leader  dispatch such a high powered delegation to conduct party affairs in the diaspora .”

Subsequently, the APC National Elections Coordinator assured all APC- NA partisans : ” On behalf of the Deputy Chairman and Leader of delegation and the National Secretary General, I want to assure all my Comrades in North America that this landmark convention and election will be credible, transparent , free and fair , and will satisfy the democratic benchmarks and ideals espoused by our Chairman and Leader, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone . We have performed our Presidential assignment creditably and successfully in Germany and Holland and we expect nothing less in the United Kingdom and United States of America ; see you all next week.”

During his own interview, Ambassador Stevens disclosed to COCORIOKO  today that the chapter presidents, who were mandated to provide the practicalities of the forthcoming Convention have met and formed a 7-man Convention Team , which will work with the 13-man peace delegation and the Ambassador himself to ensure a successful convention and elections.  The original mandate given to the chapter presidents called for the formation of a 5-man team but the Secretary General of the APC, Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh, who is heading the peace delegation has approved the 7-man team. Ambassador Stevens said that the team has been given a limited mandate about what they are supposed to do. Whatever they plan must be approved by the presidential delegation. The peace delegation will be conducting the  convention and elections.

Ambassador Stevens said that he has mandated the Washington DC Chapter to look for a hall for the convention , since the event will be held in DC.

In a move designed to ensure fairness, the presidential peace committee will also decide how many delegates will be provided by each chapter. This will bring some relief to partisans who are disturbed by information that one chapter had massed 40 delegates for the December 6, 2013 event .

The presidential team is expected to arrive in the U.S.  this weekend.

Central African Republic: UN must tackle the looming human catastrophe

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

un_logoAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

25 November 2013

Central African Republic: UN must tackle the looming human catastrophe

The UN must take full account of the human catastrophe of epic proportions unfolding in the Central African Republic (CAR) when considering the options presented by the UN Secretary-General on peacekeeping in that country, Amnesty International said.

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The situation is worsening on a daily basis in CAR, with extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls widely committed with total impunity by members of the security forces and armed groups alike.

“The crisis is spinning out of control, despite the fact that it has been ignored by the international community for far too long,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“People are dying in the Central African Republic as we speak, and action is needed as a matter of utmost urgency. There is no time to delay.”

In a 30 October report, Amnesty International denounced large-scale human rights violations and abuses in CAR. Satellite images the organization published a week later showed the shocking aftermath of abuses, including hundreds of homes that had been burnt to the ground and evidence of mass internal displacement.

The security situation has quickly deteriorated since December 2012, when a coalition of armed groups called Seleka launched an offensive against former President Francois Bozizé. Since Seleka seized power in March, violence by their fighters and armed opposition groups has spiraled out of control in what has now become a largely lawless country.

Tensions and clashes between different ethnic and religious communities are on the rise. The majority of the population is Christian – as was former president Bozizé. The current President Michel Djotodia and most members of the security forces are Muslim, as are former Seleka fighters, who are mostly from the north-east and from neighbouring Chad and Sudan.

CAR is awash with small arms and light weapons, with up to 20,000 former Seleka fighters, as well as other armed groups, having easy access to weaponry. Even in the capital Bangui, daytime attacks by armed groups, including killings by former Seleka fighters and current members of the security forces, are more and more common.

In July 2013, the African Union declared that it would deploy some 3,500 soldiers to protect civilians in CAR. By the end of October approximately 2,600 of these troops have been deployed. France also has troops in CAR and has just announced the deployment of additional forces.

“It is of vital importance that the UN work with other members of the international community, in particular, the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, and France to ensure that immediate concrete measures are put in place to establish law and order in the country”, said Salil Shetty.

“The international community must take action before it is too late to ensure that the abuses come to an end and that CAR isn’t catapulted into the international spotlight because it became a human catastrophe.”

Public document
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For more information or to arrange an interview please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566/ +44 (0) 777 847 2126or email: press@amnesty.org

President Ernest Koroma fires a warning shot

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

By Tony Bee, Sydney, Australia : 

If only history is something that one can rely on, one will say President Ernest Bai Korma of Sierra Leone is the first President of Sierra Leone that spent complete five years in office without jailing any journalist in the country. I used the word ‘’if” because some histories are being distorted by bad historian politicians. Due to the fact that some of the researchers and writers of such histories are tribalists, regionalists and politician bias writers. Therefore, they are easy to twist the country’s historical facts in order to suit their hidden political ambition and the political parties; they are affiliated with at the expenses of the country and other political parties. However, there are very good Sierra Leonean historians, including one of the heroes of APC, Ambassador Eddie Turay’s recent history book. It is very informative, especially about his personal family life, his Old APC political party and part of the country’s history.

President Ernest Bai Koroma - An example of good leadership

President Ernest Bai Koroma – An example of good leadership

 

Let me share with you briefly the privilege conversation I had with one of my brother Sierra Leoneans that I was together at the University of Ghana. This brother is a highly blooded tribalist in nature than the others. One day he told me that he was going to write a history book about the 11 years post brutal civil war in Sierra Leone.  I said to him “oh ! man that is a very good intention. But how reliable, trusts worthy and enjoyable to read will your book going to be, jokingly, we laughed together”. And he said to me, “Tony Bee, what do you mean; you think I will not write a true story about our war in Sierra Leone?  I said “poodeo” in our local language Krio (sure) a tribalism man lik u da rite a history book, nar -woda go read-am. Nobody nor go read-am because e-go full with fetie, fata lie, lie stories. (A tribaist man like you who is going to read your book, nobody will read it because it will full with lots of untrue stories). Tone Bee, you like to oppose me, he responded and we laughed over that.

Anyway “nar watin” you mean Tony Bee, (What do you mean Tony Bee), he asked me again?  “I mean when a tribalist writes a history book it will be a tribalist book and we laughed. I further said to him “your book will full with distorted historical facts about the country’s history, including social and political, especially in connection with the post war. It will contain lots of bias writing with untrue stories about the past war, for instance, how it started in the country. You will not really going to tell your readers with honesty how the war started and who actually started it, he laughed”. By then we were very close friends so we understood our selves.  Food for thought

Now coming back to President Koroma’s warning shot issue in the country, I will say he is one of the most tolerance, patience, courageous and accommodating president as far as the history of Sierra Leone is concerned and even in Africa, especially in West Africa in terms of not over using his Executive powers at the expense of his fellow Sierra Leoneans as compare to past presidents in the country and also with other Presidents of other countries, particularly in the subregion. Regardless of what the dishonest unpatriotic, tribalist and regionalist politicians may say about that, but I do believe that it is a hard fact that is very hard to distort by any tribalist and regionalist or politician historian writers in the country. Therefore, it is always good to praise others when it is necessary and to condemn whenever necessary as honest human beings.

But for his being good “komarah” (good parent) it seems as people what to take advantage over that, especially because of  his  human God fearing nature that makes him to become a bit slow to get angry or in taking action. Failing to realise that human beings who are always slow to get angry and always putting on smiling faces those are people that we should not take for granted because you do not know when you have hurts him or her or when you will hurt him or her. Therefore, those are people that we should always be very careful with in dealing with them; especially when working with them or living with them in any place because sometimes their actions or re-action to issues can be dramatic or dangerous.

When president koroma was re-elected for his second term of office, he said it abundantly clear that the five years hone moon was over. Therefore, every Sierra Leoneans should tighten their belts to get ready to work hard to improve the miserable status of the country and to also ready to change their bad attitude, including hatred and jealousy against others at the expense of the country’s progress and development.  But many Sierra Leoneans took such good advises with pitch of salts. It’s like the usual Saleone-man saying “bo nar opeecall , e-don tay wae we dayerre  den-talk yaee” (Ah, he is just joking  or threatening us or  talking he will not do anything against  us. We have used to hear such talks), especially his corrupt politicians and corrupt senior civil servants who do not want to work for the benefit of the country rather than for their selfish interest in order to full their pockets every day and also for their political ambition only

However, the immediate current suspension of the Deputy Minister of Education, Hon Mamoudu Tarawllie for an alleged immoral behaviour, the sudden dismissal of the Minister of Works, Alimamy P Koroma for his not been working to expectation and also the recent arrest of our colleague journalists, Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay is a warning shot to every Sierra Leoneans. That, business will not going to be as usual, therefore Sierra Leoneans should be alert and ready to work for the country’s progress and development, especially those who have been given the responsibility of the nation.  Not for their individual political ambition interest or political party, tribe or regional interest but for the interest of everybody in the country.

It is also an indication that those who think they are untouchable because they are very close to president Koroma or because they formed the core membership of the APC political party should immediately put that negative thinking or feeling apart. The interest of the country should come first in their minds before political party issue. We need a very good legacy of development during President Koroma’s final term in office in the country.  But not an in-fighting legacy of political party members for power or positions at the expense of the hard earned peace, progress and development of the country

It is also an indication that those who are fighting each other undercover, by using different approaches, including  the use of pro-APC journalists and pro-SLPP journalists  against each other in order to succeed President Koroma without doing  nothing  with the  good  jobs that been assigned to them they are doing  themselves more harm than good. For the fact that some of these ambitious APC politicians cannot even put their own house in order neither they are capable of cleaning their backyards.

That is to say they cannot even boast of have done any major development in their homes or constituencies which their people can be proud of them or even he or she can be proud of or boast of. Instead, some of them are dividing their people by using the philosophy of divide and rule at their own detriment. Yet they are fighting to lead the country, thinking that Sierra Leoneans, especially the poor electorates are still sleeping in their wings or thinking that President Koroma is blind or deaf therefore, he couldn’t see or hear the grumbling or crying of the poor people that elected him to office.

When President Koroma told all the politicians in the country, especially the APC politicians that if they did not sort themselves out he would sorts them out they think he was joking or telling them a story as they usually think. Now he started sorting them out for the interest of the country and I believe he will surely continue to sorts them out, especially some of the non productive politicians and saboteur civil servants, particularly those that leaking secret state documents to the opposition media and those that are going around boasting of succeeding President Koroma without working hard to achieve the millennium set goals for the country. In fact those who leak state secret documents, especially to the opposition media are great enemies of the nation’s peace, progress and development because they will have the unpatriotic devilish satanic hatred mind to leak such documents to any terrorist group at the expense of the country’s hard earned peace that our people are currently enjoying and the snail pace development that is also going on in the country.

Therefore, my advice to all Sierra Leoneans, especially the Ministers, who are heads of their Ministries not to allow their subordinates to undermine their jobs in their respective ministries at their own expense, they should not allow their Directors, Permanent Secretaries, Securities, clerks and cleaners to down play their jobs in their Ministries,  if you do allow them to do that, you are going to face the wrath of President Koroma without any mercy because Sierra Leone must move forward regardless of your being a core APC  party member.  Therefore, do not forget that some of your subordinates are enemies of peace, progress, development and secret documents leakers in the country because of their political parties’ affiliation and their unpatriotic selfish interest. They are devils incarnation politicians and civil servants in the country.

The sacked Minister Petito Alimamy Koroma might have been working very hard to please his master, President Koroma, but he might have been allowing his subordinates to undermine his progress for lack of monitoring skills. Please the time of being arm chairs Ministers or Directors or Permanent Secretaries is over. Get up from your seats to go and monitor your staff to see what they are doing or ask them for results of assignments being given to them.  This should start right at State House, Mr. President please frequently check or monitor your Secretaries and Protocol Officers, especially for some of the documents that may need your immediate action, especially those for the  general good of the country if you really want the agenda for prosperity to succeed. Do not forget that you have some “moles” within your office that are secret state documents leakers as your SEA-Dr Sylvia Blyden used to say.

It is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans in the country are fun of keeping clients or business people’s documents, especially foreign investors’ files, indirectly asking for bribe before attending to them. Therefore, they are too quick to sit on such documents or drag feet on them because of their corrupt and bribery nature at the expense of the agenda for prosperity.

So, if you know you will no longer ready to work with President Koroma’s “4-4-4” one touch or soft touch express electronic development train please drop from the train or resign now, so that you will not face a disgraceful sack that will destroy your future, especially your political ambition or civil servant career. Sierra Leone must move forward through the agenda for prosperity. The President‘s development oriented express electronic train will not wait for any unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans, particularly enemies of peace, progress and development like the secret state documents leakers.

However, Mr President Koroma, I have been really following up events in the country, in spite of the far distance and geographical boundaries, especially interns of the behaviour of some media men and women in the country. It was really a great big disgrace to the noble profession in the country because of some of the media publications or stories. Many of them are too inciting stories and too divisive, including tribal and regional incitements stories in the name of fighting for political parties and politicians at the expense of the poor suffering innocent masses.

Such behaviour is not really good for a country that had undergone 11 years of terrible senseless war that destroyed valuable and precious lives, especially those of the poor and defenceless innocent fellow Sierra Leoneans in the country. It’s like we did not gain or learn any good lesson from such brutal civil war because of hatred and jealousy that put the country’s progress and development backward. Some Sierra Leoneans, including those in the social media are still writing, broadcasting and saying things that tend to be too risky towards the hard earned peace and stability of the recently  post war torn country.

But as the saying goes, there is no bad bush or dust bin to throw away a bad child. Therefore, Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay are your children in the country please give them a soft sport in your Godly hart and forgive them, for the first and last time. In view of that please, let there be no further action against them, especially in terms of court issue. “When a frog in front falls in a pit, those behind will take caution”.  Therefore, I am sure that others will learn good lesson from Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay’s better life experience.

In any community, society or profession, be it journalism, doctors, lawyers, teachers, police, civil organisations etc. you most have the rotten elements amongst them. But for the sake of the good ones and for your tolerance continuity by been good friend of the media for the past five years, I am pleading for my colleagues, Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay, journalists to forgive them once and for all.

Before I will conclude, I will like to appeal to all peace, unity, progress and development loving patriotic Sierra Leoneans to pray for President Koroma.  So that God will continue to give him the wisdom and understanding to enable him to continue doing the right things for the country’s peace, unity progress and development, especially whenever he is  ready to weed out the unproductive enemies of peace, progress and development in the country from his government.

So that he will not dismiss or weed out the good and hard working Sierra Leoneans because of pressure from those who want to see his downfall. Please Mr. President, do not allow emotion to take of your God given wisdom because of enemies of your governments that are always pretending to be good advisers. Personally I do believe that there are very hard working, honest; discipline Ministers, Special Assistants and senior civil servants that currently facing lots of unnecessary hatred and jealousy criticisms from all angles because the enemies of peace, unity, progress and development in the country saw them as a stumbling block to their nefarious clandestine satanic motives or activities against the government and the country.

However, Mr. President Koroma, what is really happening with the Matotoka-Kono road and Matotoka Bo road project programs? We are losing lots of precious lives in those two roads in the country. I think those two roads are parts of the agenda for prosperity, therefore, something should be done towards that before it will be too late.

WHEN GOD SAYS YES, NO BODY CAN SAY NO?

Imam calls for collective efforts on road safety

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

By:  Alhaji Mohamed Wusha Conteh : 

An Imam of the Jamieu Salam foulah town mosque has called on worshippers to join hands with the Government and the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority for a collective effort on road safety. Alhaji Yazid Raschid emphasized that the Messenger of Allah Mohammed (SAW) had put a lot of premium on the right on the road, the reward and blessings for someone that will make the road safe.

alhajirashid (600 x 539)

 

Alhaji Yazid Rashid said that the holy Prophet Mohammad (SAW) once told his companions not to sit by the road side if at all they were unable to avoid that they should lower their gaze, avoid harming others, return greetings of peace, enjoining good and forbidding evil.  Sunan Abu Dawud 4815. He reiterated that the Holy Prophet once said that the blood of a Muslim believer is more precious than the Ka’aba.

Alhaji Yazid Raschid urged Muslims to support the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 which was launched with the aim of preventing over five million road traffic deaths globally by 2020. He emphasized that the country needs to implement measures towards improving road safety as some of these accidents are preventable.

Alhaji Yazid reiterated the sermon delivered by the Holy Prophet in the ‘Uranah valley of Mount Arafat’ (in Mecca). In which he said “O People regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. He said that the Qur’an insists on the harmony of man’s spiritual and material interests, guidance on how to achieve success in this life and the next”. He further said that the Qur’an maintains its do’s and don’ts and does not aim at putting man through a period of earthly misery before he reaps heavenly salvation, but that they are rather the stimulant for earthly trials, with some earthly rewards and unlimited heavenly ones as well.

He admonished all that the Qur’an in Suratu rad verse 9 says “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no one repelling it”. He encouraged all to spread the message of rampant fatal accidents caused by over speeding, over loading, the use of mobile phones whilst driving, drinking and driving and encouraged all to wear crash helmets and seat belts.

Alhaji Yazid Raschid ended his sermon by appealing to all Islamic preachers to take up their responsibility in other to save lives. He informed all of the road safety policy, strategies and methodology that will be launched by His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma which needs the total support of all Muslims as they are the majority road users and also majority on the victim list.