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Archive for April, 2014

Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara takes leave of President Ernest Koroma

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014


Sierra Leone’s Ambassador designate to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the African Union and other accredited countries, Osman Keh Kamara has taken leave of President Ernest Bai Koroma to mark the start of his tour of duty.

Before his appointment, Ambassador Kamara was the Deputy Permanent Representative ( Legal ) at the  Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the United Nations.

WE BRING YOU A PICTORIAL HIGHLIGHT OF THE OCCASION : PHOTOS BY JOSEPH KAMANDA OF STATE HOUSE

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PRESIDENT KOROMA AND AMBASSADOR KEH KAMARA

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PRESIDENT KOROMA MEETS AMBASSADOR KAMARA ON ARRIVAL

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AMBASSADOR KAMARA AND FAMILY POSE WITH PRESIDENT KOROMA

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AMBASSADOR KAMARA IN CONSULTATIONS WITH PRESIDENT KOROMA

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FOREIGN MINISTER SAMURA KAMARA TALKING WITH AMBASSADOR KAMARA

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ABOUT COCORIOKO

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

THE HISTORY AND ORIGINS OF THE COCORIOKO NEWSPAPER

Cocorioko was  founded and set up at Fourah Bay College in 1973  by  Rev Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu –The Owner and Proprietor–who used it as  the mouthpiece of the  student government led by the late Boubaccar Njai-Bah, which Kabs Kanu served as Minister of Propaganda. The paper thrived at FBC  during a period referred to a turbulent era in student life.

 

The paper folded up after Kabs-Kanu graduated from FBC in 1975, but Kabs-Kanu revived in the U.S.   at LEONENET-UMBC in 2002. He started with the DAILY NEWS-INQUIRER ,  before he decided to change the name to COCORIOKO.

 

The present mission of the newspaper is the rebranding of Sierra Leone . Kabs-Kanu is presently  the CEO and Editor-In- Chief of the paper presently.

Cocorioko played a leading role in helping to effect regime change in Sierra Leone in 2007, through democratic Presidential and Legislative Elections that floored the inefficient and corrupt government of former President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and ushered in the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma , that  inherited monumental socio-economic and political problems but is working diligently to help change the face of the nation for the better.

The Cocorioko Publisher , KABS KANU, has an enviable record of winning big awards for excellent journalism . In 1973, at Fourah Bay College, where the paper was founded, the Kemoh Sulimani Students Union Government , during its handing-over ceremony to the Njai-Bah Government, gave Kabs Kanu an award for his journalistic service to the student community;  In 2005,  the New York Chapter of the oldest political party in Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) gave him an award for outstanding journalism and community service. In 2008, Kabs Kanu  won the prestigious NOSLINA Award for excellent community service  as a journalist with COCORIOKO . NOSLINA is the National Organization of Sierra Leoneans in North America . It is  composed of the country’s leading intellectuals  –an umbrella organization for Sierra Leonean oorganizations in the U.S .and the NOSLINA Award is the Sierra Leonean equivalence of the OSCAR.

KABS KANU was one of the Sierra Leoneans honoured on the occasion of the 50th Independence Anniversary of the country in 2011 when he was recommended for and received the Jubilee Award for Journalism , specifically for providing Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and back home with information about the country through the Cocorioko Newspaper .

In  2012,  KABS KANU  won another coveted honor–The HALL OF FAME AWARD -from the SAVE SIERRA LEONE FOUNDATION–Another very important organization in the United States–for outstanding Journalism and community service. He also won another award for the same purpose from the umbrella organization , the UNION OF SIERRA LEONEAN ORGANIZATIONS IN NORTH AMERICA.

In 2013, KABS KANU was again invited to mount the rostrum to receive another award–THE GEMS OF AFRICA Award –from the U.S-based organization, SPRINGS OF JOY.

The  Assistant  CEO is Mr.Foday Mansaray.  Other members of the Cocorioko board are the  Assistant CEO, Dr . Wilfred Bankole-Gibson , the Operations Manager, Mr. Pavi Jalloh ,  Mr. Jacob Sax-Conteh ;  the Freetown Bureau Chief Joseph Kamanda ; the Canadian Bureau Chief and Managing Director  for the print magazine edition  published in Canada, Wilfred Kanu jr;  Reporters are  Adikalie Kamara, Mr Dauda Mansaray, Chief Correspondent for special affairs USA  .  Our Features Editor is Mr. Kolleh Dumbuya , while Sanpha Sesay is  our Texas  Bureau Chief ;  Financial Correspondent Mohamed Sowe and Technical Directors Ahmed Kamara and Muckson Sesay.

KABBIE AU (600 x 450)

REV. LEEROY WILFRED KABS-KANU, ESQ

PUBLISHER  AND C.E. O OF COCORIOKO AND AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST

eft a colony of amputated and deformed citizens and destroyed the country’s infrastructure.

KABBIE NOSLINA AWARD

KABS KANU  HOLDING THE NOSLINA AWARD IN 2008

 

KABBIE 50TH AWARD

KABS KANU WITH THE 50TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY AWARD HE WON FOR OUTSTANDING JOURNALISM 

 

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KABS KANU WITH THE HALL OF FAME AWARD HE WON FOR OUTSTANDING JOURNALISM FROM SAVE SIERRA LEONE FOUNDATION IN 2012

 

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MR. FODAY MANSARAY 

ASSISTANT -CEO 

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MR. PAVI JALLOH : ASSISTANT CEO

BANKY GIBSON

DR. BANKOLE GIBSON : ASSISTANT CEO

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JACOB SAX-CONTEH : THE ASSISTANT  EDITOR OF COCORIOKO

COCORIOKO  has a very rich history . It was first published at Fourah Bay College , the University of Sierra Leone ,  in 1973 during the era of the first revolutionary students union government led by Boubaccar Njai-Bah . It was set up by Leeroy Wilfred Kabs Kanu, who was the Minister of Propaganda in the students government ,  to serve as the  mouthpiece of the students union , then involved in a battle of wits and supremacy with the archaic college administration and the political powers downtown. With Kabs-Kanu ,  as Publisher , the Editor-In-Chief then was a Nigerian student , Ben Ikeakor.  Other members of the editorial board then were  student activists Florence Iscandri, Millicent Macauley, Mohamed Lamin, Anthony Brewah ,  Princetta Godwin, Joan Mundoma , Jaiah Kallon etc. The paper covered hard and entertainment news on campus as well as explaining the goals and aspirations of the revolutionary students council government .  The main aim of the government was to effect changes in the welfare  of students on campus. It was that government that set the stage for the student revolution in 1977  headed by Hindolo Trye . The massive students action against the lethargic political powers forced the government to make wholesale  reforms  in governance and a snap General Elections  that brought intellectuals  into the national government for the first time .  The newspaper folded up in 1976 when the main publishers graduated from college.

COCORIOKO was revived in 2002 by Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu to serve as a vanguard for credible , accurate , authoritative  and reliable news and analyses from Sierra Leone . Cocorioko , in just a few years after being revived , is today one of the Sierra Leone’s biggest and most widely read newspapers , with an emphasis on rebranding Sierra Leone, a nation suffering from an image hangover , occasioned by decades of misgovernment, misrule , rampant corruption and a devastating war that killled over 200,000 people , left a colony of amputated and deformed citizens and destroyed the country’s infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY JOURNALISM AWARD WON BY KABS KANU IN 2011

 

 

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KABS KANU IS HONORED AGAIN –THIS TIME WITH THE GEMS OF AFRICA AWARD -IN 2013 FROM U.S.-BASED ORGANIZATION, SPRINGS OF JOY. HE IS SEEN HERE WITH PROFESSOR MIKE DILO SESAY, HIS COUSIN

Our modus operandi is not only to supply readers interesting and reliable news and features but to help rebrand Sierra Leone, an exercise we consider very important  if the post-war nation should make any headway in attracting foreign investors , donor and development partners and tourists ,which would help rebuild the shattered country. Sierra Leone is mired in desperate socio-economic and political challenges at the moment and masive foreign investment and donor support are direly needed to bring relief to our people , restore social services and rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by the war. We want to appeal to all patriotic Sierra Leone and devoted friends of Sierra Leone to throw in their lot to help rebrand and rebuild the country. The negative perceptions about Sierra Leone being peddled by unpatriotic citizens and foreign commentators are inimical to the socio-economic and political recovery of the country. If Sierra Leone must rise again and take her rightful place in the comity of progressive nations, we all have to, as a matter of patriotic duty, help to project a more favourable perception of the Country. There is no doubt that Sierra Leone is a very beautiful country, a tourist’s delight , and  a veritable paradise laden with  abundantly  rich mineral, material and human resources. All the country needs are faithful development partners to help us harness these rich resources at our disposal and a government committed to the development of the country and alleviation of the suffering of the masses. Hopefully, as the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon , noticed when he visited Sierra Leone, the country is making tremendous progress and in the words of the UN Chief , Sierra leone provides optimism that there is  hope for Africa.

The Publisher and CEO of the newspaper, Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs -Kanu,  is a man with a wide professional experience in life. He  has studied  English , History and Sociology , journalism,  Law , Educational Psychology  and Special Education . He started his journalism career as a student at Christ The King’s College ( CKC), an elitist secondary school in Bo, Sierra Leone, where he rose to become Editor of the CKC TIMES in the late 1960s.  At FBC in the early to mid-1970s , apart from being Publisher of Cocorioko,  he was also Editor of  SPOTLIGHT  after the founder , Reginald Pobee,  graduated from college; He has taught in Sierra Leone , Liberia and the United States and was at one time Principal of the United Muslim Association Secondary School in Freetown, Sierra Leone and  an Educational Psychology Lecturer at the World Bank -sponsored Ministry of Education/University of Liberia  /Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute In-Service Teachers Training Program. He was also a features editor of Sierra Leone’s most radical newspaper , THE TABLET (now defunct ) , published by Pios Foray and Hindolo Trye in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  He also worked as the Monrovia-based sports correspondent of WE YONE newspaper in 1978-79. He has also served as the New Jersey Bureau Chief of the WEST AFRICAN JOURNAL , then published in the U.S. by Joe S. Kappia and the U.S. Bureau Chief of the also defunct EXPO TIMES newspaper. He is presently a diplomat, serving as Sierra Leone’s Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations in New York.  At the UN, He is also Coordinator of C-10 ( The Committee of 10 African nations tasked with negotiating the UN Security Council Reforms  on behalf Africa ) and also Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Government media in the U.S.

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Have Your Say
  1. Steve says:

    Dear Mr. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu,

    I read an article about investing in Sierra Leone: Chinese Billionaire impressed by President Koroma at OGI pledges $50 million to boost agriculture in Sierra Leone.

    I am a research analyst at Reorient, a small brokerage in Hong Kong, and I would like to reach out to Mr. David Yu cited in your article- the Executive Director of Capital International Development Limited ( CIDL) and is holder of two Congress seats in China , and also founding  family member of the China Exim Bank.

    Would you be able to link me to him or his organization as I would like to introduce a Sierra Leone mineral project to CIDL.

    Thank you so much! Have a great day. Steve +852-64336769

  2. Dear Rev Kanu,

    God place Cocorioko in my pathway and today I am finding out you are located in the USA and this really make my heart glad as I would like to come and update you on the information I have been e-mailing you. When is it a good time to come and speak with you.

    I do thank you in advance for your reply back in this matter.

    Best regards, Bishop William Leon Lockhart 321-948-0718 (Orlando Florida)

  3. M.S.Bangura. Germany says:

    Hon Kanu, Editorial members,

    I am so impressed for your even distribution of news in the net the Cocorioko news net is one of the most comendable news that we all have to respect for its inofrmation most of us believe have a balance of report with fact that one can have no doubt for.

    I thank you for having my yonger brother Sanpha Sesay as one of your reporter in the US for us in Germany there is no doubt that your news net is one of the most favourable news we all have interest to read in a daily bases. Now the only request we are making to you is for inclusion to your article publication even though enlish Langauge is now a second Language we are not afarmable with but yet still the ideas and interest is still in us so please help to publish our many articles for the information of the world and resident of the Federal Republic of Germany. An action that will show your representation in the countey.

    This morning i sent you one article we are all expecting to read soon so please do help Regards

    M.S.Bangura 2012 election coordinator central Europe.

  4. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR  KEEPING  ME INFORMED ABOUT   RECENT  OCCURANT  OF  EVENTS. WHEN MEN ARE  NOT  INFORMED   THEY  ARE  DEFORMED.  I EXTEND  PROFOUND   THANKS  AND  GRATITUDE TO  ALHAJIE UMURO FOFANA FOR THE  COURAGE  HE  PERSONALLY  GIVE  ME IN  BECOMING    ACCREDITED , PAID-UP   MEMBER OF THE  SIERRA LEONE  ASSOCIATION OF  JOURNALIST.THE FUTURE OF THIS  COUNTRY  LIES  IN THE  HAND OF PATRIOTIC PRESSMEN OF THIS  NOBLE  STATE. LET  HANDLE THE  NEWS  WITH LOVE  WE  HAVE FOR THIS  NATION- AND HER  SISTER  COUNTRY.IT IS A PLEASSURE FOR ME TO SEE AND READ ALL YOUR  EPISTLES, SCRIPTS — I  NEED YOUR   SUPPORT  AS I AM  INVOLVE  IN CUURENT PARTICIPATORY  INVESTIGATIVE  HUMAN RIGHTS  JOURNALISM IN THE  RURAL AREAS  BOTH  KOYA  AND  NONGOWA CHIEFDOM  RESPECTIVELY CALL ME   0023278937021 YOUR IN THE  FIELD MILSON

Sierra Leoneans in USA Award Ambassador Stevens & Two Others on April 27th

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

 

A cross section of Sierra Leoneans residing in the United States of America spearheaded by “Friends of Sierra Leone” have recognized the exceptional contributions made by three distinguished personalities and resolved to openly thank them to the full view of the Sierra Leonean Community on the West African Countries Independent day on April 27, 2014.

Sierra Leone’s Ambassador accredited to the United States of America His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens was recognized for not only opening the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington DC to Sierra Leoneans, but also tried in his own way to link the Sierra Leonean Organizations in the United States to themselves and made them collaborate with one another irrespective of religious and Political dissimilarities.

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 AMBASSADOR STEVENS AND HIS HEAD OF CHANCERY ISATU SILLAH DISPLAYING THE AWARD

According to a citation read out by Mr. Aiah Fanday of Friends of Sierra Leone, Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens has actually brought Sierra Leoneans closer to the Embassy of Sierra Leone and has made us realize that “we have someone who cares for us, and we are not alone”.

“Whenever there is an event or any occasion like this, the Ambassador will invite us and allow us to make our own input into the activity/ies.

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AIAH FANDAY GIVES THE AWARD TO SAM FORDE

Mr. Fanday recalled that Ambassador Bockari Stevens is on record to dispatch his senior embassy staff to a bereaved family in Pennsylvania, resulting from a collapsed building.

Therefore, we have thought s it fit to give him a surprise at an occasion like this and on a day like this”. Minister Counselor Mrs. Isatu Sillah handed the Award to Ambassador Bockari Stevens.

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MS. NADIA BANGURA BEING GIVEN HER AWARD

 

Also recognized was one of the most dedicated, hardworking and composed staff of the Embassy Ms. Nadia Bangura, Secretary to the Ambassador.

According to a citation read out, Ms. Bangura a Sierra Leonean by birth, has a very strong character and has worked for the embassy of Sierra Leone for twenty years.

 She was recognized for serving the Sierra Leone Community by not only making sure members of the Sierra Leone Community in the United States follow due process that will enable them have access to  Ambassador Stevens, but also without discrimination always making sure that individuals and groups receives timely reply to their correspondences.

Of importance to the Sierra Leonean Community is her courage and tact to transmit messages be it Positive or negative.

Also recognized was Mr. Sam Ford, a Liberian Broadcaster of “ABC7”.

According to a citation, Mr. Ford was of tremendous help to Sierra Leoneans during the turbulent times in Sierra Leone. He was so passionate about the war in Sierra Leone and the wellbeing of Sierra Leoneans that, he was always “watching our backs”. He was always there for us, which is why we decided to honor him today.

The recipients were prevented from responding by the continuous round of applause characterized by cheers from the audience.

Pasco Gerald Temple
Information attaché
Embassy of Sierra Leone
Washington DC
20009 USA
Tel- 2024466958

 

Commonwealth Secretariat/Public Health England to Strengthen Public Health Capacity in Sierra Leone

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

 

Freetown, April 29, 014 (SLENA) – The Commonwealth Secretariat and Public Health England in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation has commenced a two-day workshop to discuss the future of Public Health in Sierra Leone at the Country Lodge, Hill Station in Freetown.

The purpose of the workshop is to develop public health capacity in Sierra Leone which focuses on developing a strategic frame work for public health for the next five to ten years, including the foundation of a National Public Health Institute.

Addressing participants, Health and Sanitation Minister, Madam Miatta Kargbo called for concerted efforts of NGOs and other partners to articulate a sound public health structures in Sierra Leone that would help enhance the future of public health in the country.

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MS. MIATTA KARGBO

Madam Kargbo noted that the programme focuses on developing a strategic frame work for a National Public Health Institute and to support the ongoing review of the Sierra Leone Public Health Act of 1964, revised in 2004.

She underscored the importance of the Commonwealth Laboratory Twining Pilot between Sierra Leone and Public Health England Laboratories and the Oral Public Health programme in Sierra Leone, hoping to see a credible and resourceful partnership with a sound foundation.

The issue of Public Health, the Minister reiterated, is within the key pillars of the Ministry’s programme and looks forward to a well coordinated approach noting the challenges ahead.

She described the working conditions of her doctors as very challenging and expressed gratitude and appreciation to Public Health England and the Commonwealth for their support towards achieving the Ministry’s goal.

Making her remarks, Head of Health, Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Magna Aidoo, said the response by the country for the development of a National Institute will go a long way in addressing the needs of public health in Sierra Leone and lauded the Government of Sierra Leone and the Health Ministry for hosting the workshop which the Commonwealth Secretariat and Public Health England deeply appreciate.

She highlighted the various programmes supported to member states by the Commonwealth which included developing a National Health Policy and Strategies, providing the platform for countries to come together to learn from each other as they develop and review their National Policies with a view to addressing health challenges like HIV/AIDS, Non-Communicable chronic diseases and Maternal and Child Health among others.

Aidoo told participants that the Commonwealth Secretariat recognizes the importance of public health infrastructure and capabilities that are key to understanding disease patterns, devising strategies for prevention and surveillance noting that the spread of disease has no boundaries.

The Commonwealth Health Head maintained that to deal with the challenges on prevention and control, and treatment of diseases, requires commitment and called for the concerted efforts of all resources to achieve the desired goal.

The Consultant in Public Health Strategy (Global Health) Public Health England, Dr. Mark Salter described the event as the begining of one journey that would make the different in the future of public health in Sierra Leone.

He maintained his optimism, noting the caliber of participants drawn from the various programmes of the Ministry.

The Chief Medical Officer and Chairman for the occasion, Dr. Brima Kargbo spoke of the poor human development indicators affecting Sierra Leone’s growth and development, adding that the development of public health with increased awareness and education would make the difference.

He said discussions over the years with the Ministry’s Disease Prevention and Control Directorate, and the Dental Department on Oral Health sets the road map on how the establishment of a Public Health Institute in Sierra Leone could help.

Presentations on the Revised Public Health Act of 1964, priorities for Sierra Leone’s Public Health Law, Introduction to the current public health system in Sierra Leone, and the vision for Sierra Leone formed part of the event.

JAK/KK/MOHS/SLENA

People who want to attack others for their opinions must try to understand the English Language first

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

People  who understand what they read will realize that  apart from the Hon. Robin Farley who vowed that he will campaign for a third term for President Ernest Koroma, neither this Publisher nor  the Special Executive Assistant to President Ernest Koroma ( SEA), Dr. Sylvia Blyden  made similar calls.  It is therefore foolish for anybody to say that officials of government have made calls for a third term at Facebook. Also, Minister of Transport and Aviation , Leonard Balogun Koroma made his call outside Facebook, like Farley . The only two people in the government who discussed the third term issue  at Facebook were your humble servant and Dr. Blyden , and neither advocated for a third term.

Senility appears to have overcome some of those casting insinuations at us   in their poorly-writing diatribes in  online newspapers. For the sake of innocent readers,  I will  repeat here what was said by me at Facebook .

idiot-picture

 

Nowhere in my article at FACEBOOK  did I say that President Koroma will be  seeking  or should seek a third term. What I said was that IF IT BECOMES AN OVERWHELMING NATIONAL CALL AND THE PEOPLE DEMAND IT  , President Koroma deserves it by dint of the marvelous work he has done for Sierra Leone. I was responding to an article by Mr. Foday Morris. Talking about  the context of my statement ,  those whose heads are not buried in the sands of ignorance   but are fully active and reading with understanding all the  posts being made by agents of the opposition on Facebook know that  the propaganda of the opposition is that President Koroma had done nothing for Sierra Leone and the sooner he left, the better .

I was trying to emphasize the enormity of the fact that President Koroma has in fact accomplished a lot  for Sierra Leone and  unlike what the opposition felt  about him, he has done so well that if the whole nation should rise up and overwhelmingly demand a third term, the President merits it. Unless the English Language has suddenly changed its rules for determining the meanings of statements, this is not the same as saying that the President must seek a third term. It is only focussed on the fact that the President merits it. I did say also that if Robin Farlay succeeds in his quest, this third term issue would definitely come up and there is nothing wrong in beginning to discuss it now. My statements have been completely taken out of context.

The two-fold problem is that ,  FIRSTLY,  there are too many people out there who are  angry with those  within and  are very good at picking fights with them , distorting what some of  them say to deliberately get at them  , as if they are responsible for these people  being out in the cold. Some of the statements being made are very disappointing  and unnecessary , especially coming from senior citizens from whom much is expected.  Speech from people we would want to respect for their age  must be seasoned with the salt of  CONSIDERATION , TACT , WISDOM and RESPECT for the rights and feelings of others . That you know the President does not give you licence to ascribe motives to others from the figment of your imagination. There is also no need  to be rude and to inject wrong motives in other people’s opinions. Launching unnecessary and unprovoked  attacks at people for expressing their opinions is very unbecoming of those we would want to hold up as respectable models in the community because of their age. When we return fire for fire and pay back their rudeness in kind , people in our community , who do not handle matters fairly , will begin to blame us for responding . I will hold back my peace and not respond in kind because I am tired of these appeals and blames and what is more, much more is expected of me.

The second problem is that too many people are ignorant of the nuances of the English Language . They read without understanding the undertones of articles. They respond both out of   ignorance and  miscreancy.  Without taking their time to understand what others say, they  pour out  venom that is uncalled-for in the circumstances. Please let us try to understand what we read before we write  and make  rude comments  and wrong allegations about others .Let us avoid  levying  accusations at people  out of ignorance and lack of understanding .  This is primarily why many senior citizens have lost their respect in our community. Society no longer holds them up as examples of wise reasoning and seasoned speech  from which  their younger ones can learn .

And by the way, are people no longer entitled to their opinions ? Should people become victims of verbal insults for simply expressing their opinions ?

Even Sylvia Blyden did not advocate for a third term . The article below, culled from AWARENESS TIMES,  has been reproduced by us to give our readers the perspective of another newspaper on the issue of people reading without understanding . Too many people are becoming cyber-bullies in our community , trampling on the rights of others to express their opinions. It is a shame, especially coming from those we think should respect themselves in our community.

READ THE AWARENESS TIMES ARTICLE  AND HEAR ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE ON THIS MATTER :

Sierra Leone News: No Need to Scare us with Gbagbo Scenarios – SEA ‘After U na U’ Shows Citizens Exercising Freedom of Speech
By Bryan Randall
Apr 29, 2014, 17:10
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Special Executive Assistant (SEA) to President Koroma at State House, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, has called for an end to “intimidation and browbeating” of citizens who are calling for the constitution to be amended to allow a third term for Sierra Leone Presidents. According to Dr. Blyden, she was personally not in support of such a third term or extended tenure of office “for any Sierra Leone President” but she went on to urge for respect to be given to those other citizens holding various schools of thoughts on this debate.

Dr. Blyden reminded that a true democratic culture includes the basic tenets of freedom to hold opinions, freedom to impart ideas to the public and freedom of speech. She frowned on citizens insulting compatriots who do not share their opinions. Afterall, she pointed out, those saying “AFTER U, NA U” are merely exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

Dr. Blyden also opined it is distasteful for certain persons to make sinister comments that forebode evil intents. One such is open threat from some quarters that a scenario similar to one which saw brutal destruction of lives and properties in Ivory Coast, might also befall Sierra Leone. Please See Below for full Facebook Op-Ed.

Let Freedom of Speech Reign!

‘After Gbagbo na U’ or ‘After Merkel na U?’

By Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden

Culled from SIERRA LEONE ISSUES

 

Ladies & Gentlemen of this noble SIERRA LEONE ISSUES Facebook group, I wish you all, blessed and peaceful 53rd Independence Anniversary celebrations. Now, I want you to give me your honest thoughts on this raging ‘Third Term’ debate. Personally, I do not support a Third Term bid for any Sierra Leone President. I also find this talk of “Extra Time” to be self-defeating because extra time is only given when goals could not be scored in 1st and 2nd halfs or the team injured itself. However, I am humble enough to know my singular opinion cannot be forced on others opposed to it.

 

This is why I do not like the on-going intimidation and brow-beating of those in support of Third Terms and Extra Times. They are being treated as if they are not entitled to hold such opinions or worse still, they are labelled as sycophants and unpatriotic. Wow!

 

German leader Angela Merkel is currently serving her third term in Office. She is here shown in a warm handshake with President Ernest Bai Koroma during one of the President’s visits to Germany. No-one threatened Germany with ‘Gbagbo’ when Merkel contested for a third term.

 

Some of the intimidation tactics being deployed are sinister and forebode pre-planned evil. For example, when excited youths chant “AFTER U, NA U” in support of a Third Term for the president, I hear few folks retorting with a sinister “AFTER GBAGBO, NA U”. This gives a bizarre impression as if any attempt to seek a third term for President Koroma, will result in crimes being committed against humanity for which President Koroma will follow Ivorian President Gbagbo to The Hague.

 

Well, maybe they should be informed that the current Head of Government in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel was first elected in 2005, got re-elected in 2009 and AGAIN was re-elected for a Third Term in 2013. She is peacefully leading Germany right now in her THIRD TERM and in 2017, she could go for a fourth term in Germany.

 

Tony Blair gives two thumbs up on the day he was elected into a Third Term in Great Britain. Another recent British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also elected into a Third Term.

Winning a third term has not landed Angela Merkel into jail. Rather, it has strengthened her position as ‘the most powerful woman’ in world on FORBES and TIME magazine lists. So if Germany elected a Head of Government into a Third Term, then maybe the real back-talk should be AFTER MERKEL, NA U and not AFTER GBAGBO, NA U.

 

In other words, after Merkel’s win of a third term, it should not be surprising if Koroma also wins a third term – should Sierra Leoneans decide they want their constitution changed to allow this.

 

If United Kingdom elected Margaret Thatcher into a Third Term and also elected Tony Blair into a Third Term, it is not abhorrent for Sierra Leoneans to be given the choice of electing their President into a Third Term.
I am against a third term but what about you? What do you say? Let me hear your views. I will respect all views expressed.

 

 

 

Another good news, as Sierra Leone becomes EITI compliant

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
 By KABS KANU :

 

 

The Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative ( EITI ) declared Sierra Leone EITI compliant on 26 April 2014 having addressed the remedial actions identified through their second validation in their 2011 EITI Report, which was published on 27 December 2013.

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According to the EITI International Secretariat, the Validation Committee recommends to the Board  that Sierra Leone is designated EITI compliant and that suspension is lifted.

The Board congratulates the Government of Sierra Leone for its sustained commitment and leadership of the EITI process . The Board also congratulates the Sierra Leone Multi-Stakeholder Group for its efforts and effective leadership in EITI implementation.

Because many Sierra Leoneans may not be familiar with the EITI ,  we have decided to do a brief lecture on the organization and its processes to enable readers to fully understand the significance of being EITI Compliant .

According to Wikipidea ,  the EITI is “an international standard that ensures transparency around countries’ oil, gas and mineral resources. It is developed and overseen by a coalition of governments, companies, civil society, investors and international organisations. All of these groups are represented on the EITI Board which is supported by the EITI International Secretariat. The EITI Standard has a robust yet flexible methodology, which countries adopt to address the specific issues they are facing. When implemented, the EITI ensures more transparency in how the country’s natural resources are governed, and full disclosure of government revenues from its extractive sector. The idea of an “Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative” (EITI) was launched on the global stage in September 2002 by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. In December 2003, the EITI received official endorsement from the World Bank Group. A few years prior to this launch, civil society and company representatives alike had been lobbying for a global remedy to counter the lack of transparency around the vast government revenues from natural resources.” 

What is EITI Compliance ?

According  to EITI : ” To achieve Compliant status a country must, through EITI Validation, demonstrate compliance with the EITI Requirements. Validation is an essential element of the EITI as an international standard. It provides an independent assessment of EITI implementation, and makes recommendations for strengthening the process. An independent validator carries out the assessment. The EITI Board, through the EITI Secretariat, oversees the Validation process and reviews all Validation Reports. If the Board considers that the country meets all of the EITI Requirements, the country will be designated asEITI Compliant.”

The achievement of EITI  Compliance status is another graphic example that Sierra Leone, under the outstanding leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma , is ever moving forward in complying with international standards of transparency and accountability in governance and the management of the country’s natural resources.

 

53rd Independence Anniversary Message by President Koroma

Monday, April 28th, 2014

 

Fellow Citizens:

53 years ago today, the first steps of the journey of independent Sierra Leone were taken. They were steps taken with great hopes of finally achieving Thomas Peters’ quest for freedom, Bai Bureh’s dreams of independence, Alimamy Suluku’s aspirations for peace, Madam Yoko’s promise of cultural pride and woman’s empowerment, and Wallace Johnson’s stance for the rights of workers and the livelihood of the ordinary man and woman. They were steps taken with great pride in the ability of Sierra Leoneans to build upon the achievements of our forbearers in the fields of education, religion, administration, and trade.

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Since those first steps were taken on April 27 1961, we have witnessed the noble efforts of many Sierra Leoneans to fulfill those aspirations. We hail the efforts of Sir Milton Margai for asserting our freedom; we remember Sir Albert Margai for the energy he brought to his actions; we applaud Dr. Stevens for his patriotic commitment to unity and infrastructural development; we honor Dr. Joseph Saidu Momoh for his peaceful demeanor; we applaud John Akar, Sarif Easmon, and Yulisa Pat Maddy for pioneering the culture of independent Sierra Leone; we acclaim Dr. Davidson Nicol and Dr. Sahr Matturi for promoting educational excellence; we salute AJ Momoh and GLV Williams for their commitments to forthright public administration; we commend Lati-Hyde Forster, Nancy Steele, Constance Cummings John, Haja Dankay Kabia and Madam Ella Koblo Gulama for demonstrating that the Sierra Leonean woman has the talents, energy and patriotic zeal to excel at the highest levels. And we salute the many other Sierra Leoneans, from all walks of life, from every region of the country, from every political party, from every generation, from every part of the Diaspora, whose actions kept alive our country’s promise of unity, justice and freedom.

We are aware of the fact that this great promise has often been challenged and betrayed in many a low moment of our country’s history. The 1990s were the bleakest moments in the nation’s history. Never in the history of this land were as many people brutalized as at that moment; never in the history of this land did so many witness human rights violations, extra-judicial killings, military dictatorship and destruction of property and livelihood. But even in those trying moments, the majority of Sierra Leoneans soldiered on to assert our better values of tolerance, unity, peace and commitment to democratic governance. With support from our international friends we took back our country from the violators; with faith in ballot boxes we stopped the bullets of war; and inspired by the best actions of our forbearers we are rekindling the promise of positive transformation of our infrastructure, our livelihood, our education, health and many more.

We still face challenges, but we are putting the worst behind us. Early this year, the United Nations Security Council hailed us as a symbol of laudable transition from dictatorship, war and destruction to peace, democracy and recovery; our economy is now amongst the fastest growing in the world, our citizens now stand taller than ever before in international circles; thousands of jobs are being created; agriculture is being transformed; governance systems are improving than ever before, and we are acting to create a constitution that better reflects our democratic aspirations and international best practices.

Our turnaround from a failed state to a hailed state is an achievement of all Sierra Leoneans, and it is the obligation of every Sierra Leonean to enlarge these achievements. It is our warrant to expand upon the freedom that our forbearers sought; it is imperative that we underpin our political freedom with economic empowerment, with better work ethic, with visible achievements, with increased access of our people to health, education, good roads, and job opportunities. Our Agenda for Prosperity is based on these imperatives. We have no option but to continue this journey for a better Sierra Leone; a Sierra Leone that respects its historic aspirations; a Sierra Leone that avoids human rights violations and dictatorship, a Sierra Leone whose youths are as disciplined as they are talented; a Sierra Leone where it is the business of everybody to fight the scourge of corruption; a Sierra Leone that moves on with faith that wisdom inspires, and a zeal that never tires; a Sierra Leone that is expanding the promise of prosperity inherent in the gifts of its people and the endowment of its land.

God bless Sierra Leone

I wish you all a happy 53rd Anniversary of Independence.

 

S/Leoneans in USA Celebrate 53rd Independence Anniversary

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Sierra Leoneans in the United States of America joined the Embassy of Sierra Leone Sunday April 27th, 2014 to celebrate their Country’s fifty Third (53rd) independent Anniversary in a different style.

The ceremony which was slightly different from the usual wining and dining, took a different turn this year, by it becoming more Sierra Leonean and academic.

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It was a symposium characterized by brain storming, to chart a way whereby Sierra Leoneans living in the diaspora can meaningfully contribute towards the ongoing transformation and continuous positive development of the Country.

It saw three Presenters Dr. Ibrahim Diallo, Jesmed Suma and Michael Akpan made three different presentations on “setting the Policies and regulatory framework for Diaspora inclusivity: Diaspora as the 5th Region of Sierra Leone”: Knowledge management as a means to strengthening capacity, knowledge transfer and information sharing to restore brain gain: and “Establish Sound and effective regulatory framework to promote Diaspora investment vehicles in Public, private-private institutional settings.

The more than Two Hundred and fifty attendees were later divided into three groups according to topics, followed by a plenary session and reporting from groups.

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The occasion was attended by Several dignitaries including Madam Mabinty Daramy Deputy Minister of Finance who gave the key note address: Ambassador Amadu Koroma Deputy Permanent Representative United Nations, and other officials from Sierra Leone’s Permanent Mission in New York, Sierra Leone Consuls in Boston Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Former Deputy Mayor of Texas, some Executive and members of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) Party, some Executive and members of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Chief Executives of Business Organizations, Heads of Organization and Community leaders.

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During his 53rd anniversary address, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador accredited to the United States of America His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens gave a summary of the achievement of President Ernest Bai Koroma since his assumption of office in 2007, and said each year of President Ernest Bai Koroma’s reign brings with it, its own development.

“As I speak, President Ernest Bai Koroma has just officially commissioned the first municipal stadium in the Bo/Kenema highway, Southern Bo district.

“This is a fulfilment of a promise he earlier made as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. “President Koroma has also commissioned a newly constructed modern tar-marc road (Regent – Grafton Road) a stretch of road that takes a driver from the west end through Wilberforce – Hill station to Regent and lands him/her in Grafton in the east of the city.

Ambassador Stevens said President Ernest Bai Koroma is held in high esteem by his colleague Heads of State and the President of the United States of America. To justify this, Ambassador Bockari Stevens read out some paragraphs of Mr. John Kerry, Secretary of State’s congratulatory message to Sierra Leone on the Country’s 53rd National Day.

“We are all profoundly aware that Sierra Leone is becoming one of Africa’s greatest success stories.

“When I was Senator from Massachusetts, the suffering of Sierra Leone was not just an issue on the Foreign Relations Committee; it became personal because my state became a haven to so many Sierra Leoneans fleeing violence and grievous wounds.

“I came to know children who had lost parents and parents who had carried on after losing their children. They dreamed of a day when their home would be peaceful again.

“Today, that is much more than a dream. “Sierra Leone is a model post-conflict country. “Although so many lost so much during the civil war, we have proudly witnessed how Sierra Leoneans summoned the will to pick themselves up and rebuild their country.

“We are pleased to continue helping train and equip Sierra Leone’s own troops. Sierra Leoneans are not just beneficiaries of peace.

“They are performing admirably as contributors to peace and security not just across the region, but around the world.

“There are still miles to go to build durable, democratic institutions, provide services, and improve governance. But Sierra Leoneans will not face these challenges alone.

“The United States remains deeply invested in peace and stability in Sierra Leone and will continue to lend its support.

“On this historic occasion, we celebrate Sierra Leone’s progress and its promise for the future.  I offer best wishes for a safe and joyous holiday.” Ambassador Stevens.

Several other Speakers including the Hon. Mabinty Daramy Deputy Minister of Finance spoke on the current development of the Country and said, the Government is not One Hundred Percent (100%) there yet. Similarly, other distinguish personalities spoke on the history, development and challenges of the government.

The program was moderated by Mr. Daniel Koroma and Mr. Sam Ford and Fatmata Barrie Esq, while Minister Counsellor Mrs. Isatu Sillah called the program to order.

Distribution of Awards to Ambassador Bockari Stevens by the Sierra Leonean Community for his outstanding quality  as a unifying force, and  Ms.. Nadia Bangura the longest serving Confidential Secretary for her competence and high skilled in performing her duties – formed the high point of the occasion.

Pasco Gerald Temple

Information attaché

Embassy of Sierra Leone

Washington DC

20009 USA

Tel- 2024466958

pasco_temple@outlook.com

President Ernest Bai Koroma is indeed the Architect of modern and transformed Sierra Leone

Monday, April 28th, 2014

y KABS KANU :

 

NEVER  before in the history of Sierra Leone has any President constructed so many state-of-the art  edifices and highways as President Ernest Bai Koroma has done in only 7 years of leadership.

The late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah spent 11 years in power but you cannot pinpoint any noticeable infrastructural projects undertaken by his government. If there are any other fascinating infrastructure in Sierra Leone, they were constructed by the late President Siaka Stevens ( The Congo Cross Bridge, National stadium, Youyi Building, the Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Dam, the OAU Village, the Kambia Bridge, the Beethoven female’s hostel at FBC, the Makeni – Lunsar and Bo-Kenema highways etc.etc ).

Media events reporting the construction and commissioning of modern and impressive infrastructure in Sierra Leone are becoming a regular occurrence during the stewardship of President Ernest Bai Koroma. Even our foreign residents and international partners-in-progress are watching with excitement the steady pace at which President Koroma is changing the face of the once stone-aged Sierra Leone. Only the most dishonest person will fail to see the magnificent infrastructural developments being carried out in Sierra Leone by President Ernest Koroma .

The pace of infrastructural development in Sierra Leone at the moment is unprecedented in West Africa. We are indeed the most fastly developing nation in West Africa. No wonder the U.S Secretary of State , Mr.John Kerry, in wishing Sierra Leone happy 53rd Independence Anniversary pointedly emphasized that  “Sierra Leone is becoming one of Africa’s greatest success stories. ” This statement by the U.S.Secretary of State is a glorious reinforcement of   the entrenched impressive international stature of President Koroma.

During the past months, we have been highlighting these marvelous infrastructural developments going on in all parts of the country, from ongoing  moden highway projects in the opposition Sierra Leone Party ( SLPP )  strongholds of Kailahun, Kono , Kenema, Bo ,Pujehun and Moyamba to the commissioning of the modern stadium in Bo and the 5-star intercontinental superstructure in Freetown.  We also highlighted the reconstructed Lungi International Airport , the Makeni and Kenema malls , the 4-lane boulevard at Wilkinson Road , etc. President Koroma has written in gold an enduring legacy of national development that will be hard to beat.

Last Saturday, on the eve of Sierra Leone’s 53rd Independence Anniversary, President Koroma was at it again : He was commissioning yet another grandiose infrastructural project–The Regent /Grafton Superhighway , which will not only ease the traffic jams in the city but will go a long way to enhance the beauty of Freetown. While his opponents are busy misbehaving themselves and showing the whole world their rudeness and “unbrought-up” character on FACEBOOK and online forums  , President Koroma is busy turning Sierra Leone into a modern nation that everybody is proud of.

WE BRING YOU A PICTORIAL DISPLAY OF THE GRAFTON-REGENT HIGHWAY COMMISSIONING PROGRAM ( PHOTOS BY JOSEPH KAMANDA ) :

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PRESIDENT KOROMA WITH THE CHINESE WHO CONSTRUCTED THE HIGHWAY

GRAFTONCOMMISSIONING (600 x 447)MOTOR DRIVERS IN SIERRA LEONE ARE DELIGHTED WITH THE ARCHITECT AND FATHER OF MODERN SIERRA LEONE, PRESIDENT ERNEST BAI KOROMA

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SIERRA LEONEANS ARE EXCITED WITH THE PROGRESS GOING ON IN THEIR COUNTRY

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GRAFTONCOMMISSIONING12 (600 x 337)THIS PHOTO IS CREDITED TO ISMAEL KINDAMA DUMBUYA

 

Sierra Leoneans must rally behind APC for a better Sierra Leone

Monday, April 28th, 2014

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By Sulay Conteh :

Sierra Leone was colonized by Britain, a form of imperialism that is deeply despised in today’s free world.  It was the SLPP Party that valorously led Sierra Leone from colonial imperialism to the noble club of independent nations in April 1961.  Bathing in that valorous victory, it was not until 1967 that SLPP lost elections to the then opposition APC Party.  Although many still today contend the 1967 election as controversial, the reality is that APC went on to effectively take control of government and rule for over three consecutive decades.

In fact what was another period of repressive rebel imperialism; the NPRC Junta came in in 1991 and broke the APC rule for a period of about half decade.  Following that break, SLPP again came in handily to take Sierra Leone from the second repressive imperialism to unfettered freedom and political pluralism.  This time around, SLPP maintained control of government for a period of about decade.  During this time, SLPP solidly laid the foundations for multiparty democracy and national prosperity on a type of impartial bonus-malus system of governance.

Then under another SLPP-conducted election, APC again took over government in 2007.  It was also a highly controversial election in the eyes of so many in Sierra Leone.  Irrespectively, it was indeed the start of the Prophesy of “History Repeats Itself” in the politics of Sierra Leone. Given then our past history and our current reality, it is very clear that APC will continue to rule for several more decades to come.  This is a non-partisan prophesy, a prophesy that is born out of realism in reality. This prophesy is something like “come what anymore for APC diehards”.

He who refutes reality could likewise look foolish in illusion. As bitter-sweet as it could be, reality is not always what we want but it is always what we have to live with. It is therefore required of all of us to be human enough and take pride in realism to successfully change our circumstances for the better.

As such, it suffices to say that he who chooses otherwise is bound to ply the life-long road to untold suffering. This could not be helpful for a peaceful Sierra Leone in any way anyway.  As such, it is high time we dropped all this-and-that and rallied behind APC to build a better place we all can call our motherland.

God Bless Sierra Leone!

By Sulay B. Conteh