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Archive for December, 2015

SierraCast-Cocorioko TV Special Feature : Nurses from New Jersey head for Sierra Leone to help

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015
Welcome to SierraCast/ Cocorioko TV , coming to you from Somerset, New Jersey.
In today’s talk show hosted by KABS KANU and directed by HAMJAT JOLLOMY-BAH, we are talking with some members of the Mercy International Nurses Association ( MINA ) of New Jersey, who are leaving for Freetown, Sierra Leone, to engage in some voluntary community service to help boost the health care delivery service in the country.
KABS KANU will be talking to the President of the organization, Mrs. Isata Grey and three other members of the organization about what they will be accomplishing in Sierra Leone.





Kono victory another major achievement for President Ernest Koroma

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Saturday’s bye-election in Constituency 025 left no doubts that Kono District remains an All People’s Congress ( APC )  stronghold , a feat that  portends well for the stability of the ruling party as well as the party’s hopes  for the next Presidential elections . Anti-government alarmists  and glib-talkers who had been predicting loss of this major APC  stronghold in Kono because of the Sam Sumana saga have been put to shame. All their projections, expectations and analyses came to nothing.



Any election now, whether parliamentary or local council, is a verdict on the stewardship of President Ernest Bai Koroma. Saturday’s election in Kono was therefore a verdict on the tenure of President Ernest Koroma and the All People’s Congress ( APC ).  Sierra Leoneans can safely say that the verdict is that President Koroma still enjoys the goodwill and support of the  people of Kono, Sam Sumana or no Sam Sumana.

In fact, what is also clear is that Sam Sumana was never an important element in the political equation .

We can say with certainty now  that  Sam Sumana never enjoyed  the kind of political clout with the Kono people  we once thought he had, though many indigenes of Kono  used to emphasize that point and were not believed.  If Sam Sumana had any relevance in Kono politics, there is no way that the APC  would have won an election in Kono at this time , especially after the many hypocritical demonstrations on his behalf by the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP )  in the UK and the U.S. and the frenzied propaganda that attended these rowdy events.

Saturday’s  elections clearly demonstrated that the majority of Konos remain some of  the most faithful supporters of the reigning All People’s Congress ( APC ), going by the voting trends and support they had provided the party  from the 1967 General Elections to the rule of President Siaka Stevens and to the 2007 and 2012 elections .

If you consider how the Fillie-Faboes, Gandi Cappios, Gbories, Matturis , Mbriwahs, etc fought for the APC and helped the party create a political stranglehold in Sierra Leone, you know that Kono has always been a very faithful ally and productive component of the APC. Come rain, come shine, they are always behind the APC.

Another factor that keeps emerging from elections results in Sierra Leone is that the APC is a broad-based  and grassroots national party, unlike the SLPP and will be difficult to defeat , whether in the West, North or South East, as long as the party remains united.

The SLPP , the main opposition and the traditional rivals of the APC , on the contrary, was not  founded as a mass political organization, not even  to advocate for Independence from colonial rule like the CPP of Ghana, though founded during the colonial era when there was frantic agitation for Independence  . Rather, the SLPP was established  to forestall the ascendancy of the Krios whom SLPP  operatives  accused of being supported by  the colonial masters . The SLPP was also formed to maintain the supremacy of the paramount chiefs , traditional rulers and the secret societies like the Bondo and the Porro . That is why it is an elitist party. You can also understand why the Western Area is also very faithful to the APC and why the SLPP also uses the Porro and Sande Societies  as a political instrument to terrorize opponents. It must be noted, though,   that the SLPP was wrong about the colonialists. History shows that our colonial masters distrusted the Krios and  tried to give more favor  and leverage to the protectorate .

The APC , on the other hand, was formed from the grassroots , to be a mass political party , embracing everybody, from the street traders to the market women, the shoe-shine boys to the tailors,  from the pepper mint sellers to the ordinary workers,  to the common housewives etc. etc. That is why it is not easy to beat the APC and the party enjoys mass, yes populist,  support across tribal and regional lines. It is the party of the people. You even have South- Easterners who would die for the APC, if only the APC does not marginalize them.

Dissident elements  and anti-government internet tabloids editors and writers were also big losers last Saturday after vainly trying to use a statement made by VP Victor Foh in Kono to turn the district against the APC. Sadly, Mr. Foh’s statement was deliberately taken out of context.  A skilled and experienced politician like Victor Foh will never tell important allies like the Konos that if they did not vote for the APC, the government will not take development projects to them. People should know Victor Foh better than that. What he meant to say was that since the Konos enjoy  development projects only when the APC is in power and since the SLPP did not believe in developing the country, not even their strongholds, if they did not vote for the APC, they will not get development projects in their district . Victor Foh is not a natural Krio speaker, so he had to beat around the bush to become precise. The people of Kono did not fall for the bait and went on to vote the APC to victory because they still trust President Koroma and have faith in his development agenda.

We hope that now that it is obvious that  Kono remains one of the faithful backbones of the APC, the party should go all out to solidify its  base  in Kono by mending  fences with the few Konos who were aggrieved by the sacking of Sam Sumana from the party, though Sumana has nobody, but himself,  for being let go by the APC , which made him to lose one of the requirements for remaining Vice-President of Sierra Leone.

The APC  must draw the people of Kono closer to their hearts because they love the APC.


Vice-President Victor Foh concludes four-day working visit to South Korea

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015


The Honourable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh has just concluded a four day working visit to the Republic of Korea. He arrived in South Korea’s Capital Seoul on Sunday 13th December 2015, leading a 6 person Delegation, including the Mayor of Freetown Mr. Samuel Bode Gibson and the Special Adviser to the Vice President Dr. Jengo Stevens.



The Honourable Vice President was met upon arrival at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Omrie Michael Golley, together with Korean Government officials, and staff of the Sierra Leone Mission to South Korea.



In a series of engagements on Monday 14th December 2015, the Honourable Vice President gave a Special Lecture at one of Seoul’s leading Universities, Hanyang University. In this well attended public event, Dr. Victor Foh spoke on Sierra Leone’s political milestones achieved since her Independence in 1961, and fielded a series of questions from students at the University on Sierra Leone.



The Honourable Vice President and his Delegation also paid a visit to Korea’s Foreign Minister, the Hon Yun Byung Se on the 14th December 2015, where the two leading statesmen discussed ways to enhance Sierra Leone – Korea relations. Dr Victor Foh took the opportunity at this meeting of expressing his gratitude on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Government and people of Korea for Korean assistance during the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone.

Officials from Korea’s Eximbank also paid a courtesy call on the Honourable Vice President at the Chancery of the Sierra Leone Mission in Seoul on Monday 14th December 2015, where a number of issues of bilateral interest were discussed, including developments relating to the pending construction of the Freetown City Hall Complex.

On the 15th December 2015, the Vice President and his Delegation proceeded to the city of Pyeongchang, some 180 kilometres east of the capital Seoul, and the venue for the Winter Olympics slated for 2018. He was met upon arrival in Pyeonchang by the Mayor and officials of the City and taken on a conducted tour of the site for the winter games currently being constructed. The Vice President also took the opportunity of engaging business officials interested in investment opportunities in the country.

The Honourable Vice President left Seoul on Thursday 17th of December 2015.

Lands Minister Musa Tarawally relieved of his post

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015


The Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment. , Musa Tarawally,  has been relieved of his position with immediate effect, according to SLBC TV  from Freetown.

A committee has been set up to look into all land transactions during Mr.  Tarawally ‘s tenure, the reports stated.



APC score major election victory in Sierra Leone, thrashing bitter rivals SLPP in Kono

Sunday, December 20th, 2015


When all was said and done, the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC )  prevailed, maintaining their supremacy in the country  and demolishing  all lingering doubts that they still held sway and masterdom in the very important and crucial swing district of Kono, by scoring a major  victory there, defeating their bitter rivals, the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) today’s nail-biting bye-elections.

Kono is very much like Florida or Ohio in the U.S.  electoral configuration . Any political party that must gain power in Sierra Leone must win in Kono District. Neither of the rivals APC and SLPP  will  find it easy to win a presidential elections if they lose Kono.

It was for this reason that this weekend’s bye-election for Constituency 025 assumed tremendous proportions. For the APC,  it was a test of their ascendancy in a district they captured from the SLPP in the 2012 elections. For the SLPP,  it was a test to demonstrate that there has been a major swing in the elections demographics ahead of the forthcoming elections , after the tumultuous saga of the former Vice-President, Mr. Samuel Sam-Sumana , who lost the requirements for continuing to hold the post after he was expelled  from the ruling party, which almost divided the nation  . So bitter was the competition for the seat that supporters of the two parties clashed during the electioneering campaign on Thursday and Friday , prompting Government to bring out the army to help the Police maintain order, invoking Military Aid to Civil Power ( MA-CP ).

The SLPP  would have scored a tactical and psychological advantage if they had won. It would have given their loquacious  supporters some hope that the APC  had lost control over Kono and that they could return to power during the upcoming presidential elections. It would have given them bragging rights . But today’s defeat clearly showed that recent events, including the Vice-President’s issue, had not affected the supremacy of the ruling APC and with the SLPP embroiled in damaging feuds and demonstrating little maturity and commitment as an opposition party, the APC could still win the next elections.

Today’s election was very peaceful and orderly, with no incidents whatever and the polls were  free and fair. Elections observer praised the elections for being another indication that democracy has taken roots in Sierra Leone.

Christmas will be joyous and enjoyable for supporters of the APC . The celebration has already started this evening and the social media is abuzz with congratulatory messages for one another.













Information Minister Dr. Alpha Said Kanu’s PH.D conferred on him at FBC Convocation

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

 At a special convocation held at Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone  today, the honorary doctorate degree awarded Sierra Leone’s Information and Communications Minister, Hon. Alpha Said Kanu, by Euclid University , was conferred on him , in a colorful ceremony attended by university dons, officials of government, All People’s Congress ( APC )  stalwarts and family members.

The EUCLID Secretary General  approved the nomination presented by Datuk Agung Sidayu, Honorary Consul of Sierra Leone in Indonesia, calling for the recognition of Minister Alpha Kanu’s outstanding contribution to the governance of the Sierra Leone, especially during the recent time of crisis dealing with the Ebola Outbreak. As a result, Datuk Agung Sidayu traveled  to Freetown to represent the EUCLID Secretary General and to present the speech and award to Minister Kanu.

The convocation took place at the Mary Henrietta Kingsley Auditorium of the University of Sierra Leone.

Speech delivered by the Representative of EUCLID University Secretary General, Mr. Datuk Agung Sidayu :

Cabinet ministers, members of the diplomatic consular Corp, members of parliament and all protocol observed..



Allow me first of all to thanks and appreciate very much for the opportunity to be here with all of you, especially with HE President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, my favorite Leader in the world after the late President General Haji Muhammad Suharto whose I recognized personally. I proud HE Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma not only because he loves Batik very much which is a strong indication that he loves Indonesia, but the most important thing is because of his successfully removed Ebola from the Country which mean that He remove this very dangerous virus from all over the world. I am more than happy to meet Honorable Minister of Foreign and International Cooperation Dr. Samura Kamara my direct BOSS, a months ago once he joining HE President to attend the Asia Africa Conference commemoration in Jakarta and Bandung, one of the well known Islamic University invited him to speech before the University students, faculty members and several VIPs, Ambassadors, a member of Parliament and so on. Dr. Samura Kamara stated that he was born as Muslim because his Parents are Muslims, but he became Catholic/Christian by Education as well as his wife. He explained in details about Sierra Leone, and all of the audience applauses his statement. Since that time Sierra Leone became well known, very popular on our Muslim’s communities once learn.






I am glad to meet Hon Minister of Information and Communication Alhaji Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu the honorary Doctorate recipient today, he is becoming our close friend and a friend of Indonesia indeed. He is the only Minister who visited our Office in Jakarta. For more than 2 years’ friendship we communicated with each other regularly, even daily or at least weekly. Ladies and gentleman no single communication that he expressed his personal development, he expressed sincerely how to develop the Country, how to support HE President Dr. Alpha Kanu well known in Jakarta as the best Orator in Sierra Leone, but for me he is not only the best orator, but best in implementation as well.



Secondly, please allow me to present the speech prepared by the Secretary General of Euclid University, Mr. Syed Zahid Ali, which he wrote for this Special Honorary Doctorate degree convocation which we are all honored to participate in, here, at this beautiful ground Fourah Bay College(FBC) University of Sierra Leone. Before that I have to thanks and appreciate the Deputy Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Thomas Gbamanja, for his kind attention and accommodation.

Dear Dr. Alhaji Alpha Kanu, Dear Sisters and brothers, In its 7-year long history, counting the years since 2008 and the entry into force of the EUCLID intergovernmental charter, our institution has seldom conferred honorary doctorates. This is a rare and special event for our institution. Yet, the nomination for this honorary doctorate was compelling indeed. It came at a time when Sierra Leone announced victory over the terrible Ebola virus. During this difficult time, the Government of Sierra Leone has been praised globally for its response and international engagement. As Minister of Information and Communications, your role Dear Minister Kanu, has been critical and the summit of a long career of dedication to the government and people of Sierra Leone whose trust you have rightly earned. On this special day, I recall the importance of Sierra Leone in EUCLID’s life. By becoming the second signatory and Participating State through the signature of the Minister of Foreign and International Cooperation, the Honorable Dr. Zainab Hawa Bangura, who is now Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, Sierra Leone effectively brought EUCLID into multilateral existence.

Now, EUCLID has grown to serve 12 Participating States across 4 continents and it has become a mature institution, but it continues to serve Sierra Leone with a special gratitude and dedication. In honoring you today with this Honorary Doctorate in Political and Public Affairs, which the whole nation concurs is well-deserved, we also express that EUCLID is honored to have been entrusted by Sierra Leone with a special mandate in higher education and sustainable development. As I briefly mentioned, EUCLID is a specialized intergovernmental organization established in 2008, holding a university mandate and charter published in the United Nations Treaty Series. It is among the world’s few multilateral universities, and a full member in good standing of the world’s key academic bodies, including the Academic Council on the United Nations Systems (ACUNS), UN Academic Impact, and the Association of African Universities, (EUCLID’s main headquarters being in Banjul, The Gambia). Among other services, EUCLID offers specialized distance-learning and online distance learning programs to government-sponsored as well as general public students. Its goal is to prepare “expert leaders for international civil service and global careers.” Our institution’s academic motto is very timely in these difficult times of conflict: The Latin “Audi et alteram partem” means “Let us also hear the other side .”

REUCLID’s flagship program is its standard-setting online master in diplomacy and international affairs, or MDIA, which has qualified many diplomats globally. EUCLID also offers doctoral-level programs in diplomacy, sustainable development and international public health, as well as a new joint degree program in international public administration. Dear Honorable Minister and Doctor Alpha Kanu and Dear Sisters & Brothers: Congratulations on all that this honorary doctorate represents; and please accepts our sincere and brotherly wishes of long life and continued service to the people and government of the great nation of Sierra Leone. God bless you and yours

Syed Zaheed Ali
Euclid University Secretary General

President Honours Ebola Warriors

Friday, December 18th, 2015

The Ebola Awards Ceremony which has just been concluded at the forecourt of State House is aimed at recognising deserving persons and organisations for their invaluable contributions to the fight against the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.

There are 199 awards in total, including 16 posthumous awards. The awards fall under three categories – Gold, Silver and Bronze.
President Koroma, the First Lady Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma, the Speaker of Parliament Sheku BB Dumbuya, the Deputy Speaker Chernoh Bah, the Majority Leader of the House of Parliament Ibrahim Bundu, cabinet ministers and senior government officials were in attendance.



ebola awards 1




A host of other personalities who were in attendance include the Chief of Defence Staff Major General S.O. Williams, the Inspector General of Police Francis A. Munu, Representative of President Professor Yayah A JJ Jammeh of the Republic of The Gambia, the Chairman and Leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party Chief Sumano Kapen and the Minority Whip of the House of Parliament Hon. Sidie Tunis.

Of the 16 posthumous awards conferred, 11 were given to the doctors who succumbed to the Ebola virus, including the late Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan, Dr. Olivette Miranda Buck, Dr. Modupeh John Horatio Cole, Dr. Martin Salia, Dr. Victor R. Willoughby, Dr. Aiah Solomon Konoyima, Dr. Sahr Jimmy Rogers, Dr. Godfrey Alexander George, Dr. T. T. Rogers, Dr. Dauda A. B. Koroma, and Dr. Moses Michael Kargbo. A good number of military and police officers received awards in recognition to the Ebola fight. Congratulations to all.

President Koroma Gets Nomination For Global Fund Champion At International Meeting In Japan

Thursday, December 17th, 2015



Japan, Dec 16,015 (SLENA)-Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr Abu Bakarr Fofanah has joined high Global leaders in health in Tokyo, Japan for two inter-related important meetings aimed at shaping the global agenda in the next two to three years.


Hosted by the government of Japan in partnership with many prominent leading organizations, Dr. Fofanah on December 16, 2015 showcases Sierra Leone at the International conference on universal Health coverage in the development Era. His participation has been described very resourceful in health issues including the Global Fund to fight AIDS, T.B and Malaria under team: “Towards building resilient sustainable health system’’.

Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah the only minister from the three Ebola affected countries, was given an opportunity to sky-rocket the statues of Sierra Leone in the global health Agenda and the need for Sierra Leone’s voice in shaping the unfolding Agenda that spells over for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Adopted on September 2015, by Global Leaders at the General Assemble in New York.

Health and Sanitation Minister Dr. Fofanah is also expected to show case Sierra Leone in the second part of the two day meeting which focuses on the Global Fund’s 5th replacement preparations.

The Minister appreciates the Global Fund as the strong supporting of Sierra Leone on HIV/AIDs, TB, Malaria and Health Systems Strengthening, and noted the replenishment for the next cycle of Global Fund Financing which starts in 2016, and plans to raise several billions United States Dollars to continue to support countries including Sierra Leone over the period 2017 – 2019.

Other highlights of the meeting includes the keynote address by Bill Gates, opening statement by the Prime Minister of Japan, World Bank President, a talk by Dr. Fofanah at a panel discussion session focusing on building resilient health system through tailored partnership, and sharing the stage with global leaders in health including Dr. Peter Piot, Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines, Dr. Khuat T, Donh, Executive Director, Centre for Supporting Community Development initiatives and chair of APCASO, His Excellency Dr. Raymonde Goudon Caffie, Minister of Health in the fight against AIDs, Cote de Vaire and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehia, Executive Director UNFPA.

Key also, is the nomination of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Sierra Leone’s President for the position Global Fund Champion the replenishment period.

Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah is expected to hold seprate development meetings with JICA’s vica president and the Global Fund Executive Director, Ambassador Kaloko of the Africa Union (AU) Commission, and US Ambassador Caroline Kennendy.


I.B . Kargbo damns his own newspaper

Thursday, December 17th, 2015




7 Wellington Street Freetown

Hon I. B. Kargbo Dissociates Himself From New Citizen Editorial

The Honorable Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo who won the just concluded bye-election of Constituency 030, Bombali District, vehemently dissociates himself from an Editorial on the said bye-election carried in the New Citizen of 16th December 2015.
The commentary was deliberately written to destroy the long existing amicable relationship between President Ernest Bai Koroma and the Honorable Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo.

From experience over the years, the insinuation made in the article that President Ernest Bai Koroma does not consult is totally untrue and deliberately aimed at undermining the democratic credentials of the President.
I. B. Kargbo reiterates that he has no knowledge about the origins of the said vindictive editorial which lacks objectivity that was carried with the full knowledge of the Acting Editor.

I. B. Kargbo who is familiar with the media terrain in Sierra Leone holds the view that battles are not fought in newspaper pages and until recently the New Citizen newspaper was classified both locally and internationally as one of the most objective newspapers in Sierra Leone.
It is embarrassing and discomforting that a newspaper which was founded by Honourable Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo could target the President under whom Honourable I. B. Kargbo works.

The Editorial itself was deliberately tailored to ruin the good reputation of Honorable I. B. Kargbo and to also create the impression that there is infighting within the All Peoples Congress (APC) party.

During the just concluded bye-election for Constituency 030, the President went according to the party rules and also gave his blessings to Honourable Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo to contest the said bye-election.

Hon. I.B. Kargbo also want to thank all those who supported him during and after the electioneering process.
As one of the senior proprietors of the newspaper, a decision has been taken to discipline all those associated with the illegal compilation and circulation of the Editorial will be disciplined.

Meanwhile, the owners of the New Citizen are instituting investigations in an effort to find out what caused this embarrassing episode.
On -es more, the Hon. I. B. Kargbo and loyal staff of the New Citizen vehemently condemn the views expressed in the editorial of the newspaper as the New Citizen apologizes to President Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC for any embarrassment caused by the article.
17th December, 2015

Bollore brings in a new crane to enhance efficiency

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

By Stanley Bangura : 


In a bid to enhance efficiency and maintain high standards in service delivery to its customers at the Freetown Terminal Ltd, the vessel owners and consignees, Bollore Africa Logistic has in a snap decision invested US$5m beyond its present mandate, in a new TEREX|GOTTWALD Model 6 Harbour Crane in addition to the two existing 100 ton GOTTWALD cranes.


Though the two existing cranes had positioned the port as effective and an easy to do business place, the new crane will strengthen it efficiency and make the terminal an enviable one in the West Africa region, said Mr. Joseph Lambert the company’s secretary. Offloading and on loading will be further enhanced, increasing productivity and reducing time a vessel spends in port. Furthermore, the decision was progressive as the choice of crane took into consideration future developments and advancements of the terminal. It will also upkeep timing in the event of down time in any of the other cranes in time of maintenance. The Model 6 Harbour Crane is a class above the existing ones.


The crane, according to Bollore Officials the new crane has a lifting capacity of 125 tons with a longer boom reach, it is faster, better operator visibility, easy to maintain, ergonomic and environmentally friendly. Essentially, it is a machine of power and functionality required in a handling machine for high performance and higher handling rates. This crane can handle bigger vessels calling other ports in Africa, an attractive feature appealing and much to the advantage of ship owners who may now increase their carriage to the port by bringing in vessels of high capacity which may positively affect freight rates.


Bollore Africa Logistic has again demonstrated its faith in Sierra Leone with this investment, supporting the Government’s development plans, contributing to nation building and maintaining international confidence in the port.


When asked about the Port capacity to operate the new crane, Freetown Terminal’s General Manager Bertrand Kerguelen maintained that trained Sierra Leonean Crane Operators are readily available to operate the new ultra-modern crane and repairs will be done by Sierra Leonean technicians when the need arises. The crane arrived on the chartered vessel, Jumbo Javelin, on 14th December 2015 offloading was done on 15th December 2015 and completed at approximately 9:00am and immediately put to work on a vessel at about 3:00pm.


Such visionary planning by Bollore now puts the Freetown port’s performance and standard at par with others if not above and may soon be a candidate for being a transshipment hub in the region.