Notice: register_sidebar was called incorrectly. No id was set in the arguments array for the "Sidebar 1" sidebar. Defaulting to "sidebar-1". Manually set the id to "sidebar-1" to silence this notice and keep existing sidebar content. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 4.2.0.) in /home/cocorioko/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4041
COCORIOKO » 2016 » February

Archive for February, 2016

Saudi – Based Diplomat Hails Sierra Leone’s Religious Tolerance

Monday, February 29th, 2016


M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia

Director General of Cultural, Social and Family Affairs at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said that Sierra Leone could be the best model with regards to religious tolerance, peaceful coexistence and bonds of unity.



Mehla Ahmed Talebna who is also a former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports in Mauritania made the remarks to Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Representative to the OIC, Alhaji M.S. Kargbo during a familiarization visit to the Headquarters of the 57 – Member States in Jeddah by the latter and his new Minister Counsellor/Head of Chancery, Sulay –Manah Kpukumu last Thursday, 25th February, 2016.

Sierra Leone, the Mauritanian – born OIC Director said, has always been placed top for its religious tolerance in the world. With stability and unity in any country, the Saudi –based Diplomat who also served as Adviser/ Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in her country from November 1989 – August 2005 added, there will be no room for criminal violence, extremism, terrorism and militancy.

“I admire Sierra Leone – a small West African nation that allows everyone to follow their chosen spiritual and religious path, without hindrance, harassment, or oppression,” the OIC Diplomat said.

Responding, the Ambassador thanked Mrs. Talebna for her kind remarks about Sierra Leone and reiterated that Sierra Leone is strongly committed to promoting religious tolerance not only in the country, but to other countries across the African continent.

The Envoy quoted His Excellency’s President Ernest Bai Koroma’s statement at a Supreme Islamic Council conference hosted in the northern headquarters of Makeni a few years ago that: “Sierra Leone will soon start sending our religious leaders to other countries plagued with religious intolerance to provide counsel for religious tolerance to prevail.”

Unimak plans national conference on transition from MDGs to SDGs

Monday, February 29th, 2016

By Emmanuel A.B. Turay

University of Makeni (UniMak), Faculty of Social Sciences in collaboration with United Nations Office in Sierra Leone and other partners, will be hosting the first National Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be held on Friday 4th and 5th March 2016 at UniMak Great Auditorium at 10a.m under the Distinguished Chief Patronage of HE Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as Keynote Speaker.

The theme for this Two-day National Conference is ‘The Transition from MDGs to SDGs – Opportunities and Challenges for Sierra Leone.’
According to organisers, this National Conference is quite appropriate, especially at this crucial moment in the history of the development trend in Sierra Leone to hold national level talks on aspects of sustainability of our current and potential development interventions. It is also undisputable that development interventions have been going on in Sierra Leone over the past decades, but as to whether they have been sustainable in approach is a topic for discussion and thus the conference would facilitate such processes. There are, and have been extensive development programmes carried out by various development actors in the country, and so it is, but absolutely necessary to learn from their experience on how their individual development interventions take into account aspects of sustainability.



This conference will facilitate constructive dialogue sessions between and among state and non-state actors on issues relating to the MDG transition era. It is expected that the dialogue sessions will end into a brainstorming and planning session that may encompass thoughts around the opportunities and challenges that exist for Sierra Leone in the journey from MDGs to SDGs as well as chart the way forward for collective action as a nation.
The target audience for the conference includes Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Intergovernmental Bodies, Diplomats, Local Councils, Private Sector, Youth, Women, Traditional Authorities and Civil Society Organizations.
The scope of activities of the conference will include media coverage both electronic and print, interviews, consultation, presentations and discussions.
The expected outcomes from this two day conference include: Opportunities and challenges identified and disseminated after the National Conference to various stakeholders; establish collaboration and networking opportunities.

This conference will also enhanced, shared understanding of the role of Government and private sector in sustainable development and clearly define processes and systems promulgated to guide government and non state actors in under taking development activities in sustainable manner.

As VP concludes tour of Moyamba District, Ward 303 finally falls to APC

Monday, February 29th, 2016


The Hon. Vice President, Ambassador Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh on Sunday 28th February, 2016 concludes his four days tour of the Moyamba District.

The tour commences on Thursday 25th with the VP making a brief stop at the Moyamba Junction, where he was welcomed into the district with traditional dance performance and an amplified music system.

moyamba 3


The tour continues on Friday with the VP storming the Moyamba Township. Escorted into the township by scores of okada riders, the Hon. VP was received by traditional leaders, students & hundreds of party supporters. He then proceeded to inspect a Guard of Honour mounted by the Armed Forces Agricultural Guard, before addressing party supporters at the party office. This was followed by a meeting at the District Town Council, where he addressed Paramount Chiefs, Local Government Officials, Staff of MDAS and the general public.

The third phase of the tour saw the VP visiting the Njala University, Mokonde campus where the he addressed the Academic Staff Association (ASA)

moyamba 4


After carefully listening to their concerns as put forward by the President of ASA, Dr. Foh assured them that he will pass on their message to HE the President, promising that their concerns will be addressed promotly. He further stated that “the challenges are enormous, but could be tackled if we all work together”.

moyamba 2


From Mokonde, the Hon Vice President proceeded to Mano Dasse, the second home of his amiable wife, Madam Jonta Foh, where he was warmly received by the Paramount Chief and a jubilant crowd, with traditional dancers thrilling the VP & his entourage. In addressing the people of Dasse who converged at the town field, he expressed delight at the reception accorded him. This he went on to state has reaffirm that he is part of them. The highlight of the meeting was the pouring of libation for the President, the Vice & the government, with the symbolic Crowning of His Excellency the President as Paramount Chief of Mano Dasse.

moyamba 5


The Vice President then proceeded to the township of Taima, where a large crowd was waiting expectantly to greet him. It was not a wait in vain, as the people left the town hall in jubilant mood after receiving the message from the President, accurately delivered by his Principal Assistant, Dr . Victor Bockarie Foh ( God e will).

The highlight of the four days tour, was a Thanksgiving service at the United Methodist Church in the village of Joyah, off Mofombo, where Prayers were offered for the President, the government & the entire nation for God’s continued guidance and direction in the execution of the President’s Agenda for Prosperity. In his address to the congregation, the Hon. VP talks on reconciliation & love for one another. He admonished worshippers to put country before self. A donation of one motorbike was made to the pastor of the church, on behalf of the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

The Hon. VP climaxed his tour with a meeting at the home of veteran politician, Hon. Michael Abdulai, at his home town Senehun, where he met with religious and traditional leaders.

Accompanying the Hon. Vice President on a tour that has been dubbed as a remarkable success, were the Minister of State -Vice President’s Office, Hon. Mohamed Alie Bah; Special Adviser to the VP, Dr. Jengo Stevens; Ministers of government and veteran politicians of the APC.

With the fall of Ward 303, in what is believed to be an opposition stronghold, political pundits are of the opinion that the influence of the Hon Vice President, who himself is a South-easterner, is beginning to take a toll on the South – East.
©Communications Unit
Office of the Vice President

Traders Honour President Koroma

Sunday, February 28th, 2016


By State House Communication Unit

In realisation of his tremendous personal efforts during his social mobilization drive for community involvement and ownership of the fight against Ebola, President Ernest Bai Koroma on Saturday 27 February received a certificate of merit from the National Traders Union during the launching ceremony of the reconstituted petty traders union at the Coronation field in the Southern provincial city of Bo.



According to Alhaji Mohamed Bureh Kamara, president of the National Traders Union, President Koroma should be commended for his significant contribution in leading the fight against the Ebola virus disease as well as his promotion of the aspirations of traders.

Launching the organization, President Koroma called on the traders union to unite, remain focused and cater for the welfare of one another. He assured them of government’s determination to continue to address challenges facing traders across the country.

He thanked them for their contributions in the fight against Ebola and for complying with regulations imposed during those difficult moments of the fight to eradicate Ebola from Sierra Leone.

The president expressed delight over the fact that traders are at the center of the ongoing implementation of post-Ebola recovery programmes under the private sector pillar intervention, and added that government has the concerns of traders at heart. He disclosed government’s plans to provide financial assistance to traders in terms of space and facilities to enhance trading and stimulate economic growth.

APC defeat SLPP again in their stronghold

Sunday, February 28th, 2016


The ruling All People’s Congress  ( APC )   yesterday defeated the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP )  in the latter’s stronghold in the Ward 303, Constituency 84 Bye-Elections in Moyamba.

APC 947

SLPP 773

The APC  also beat the SLPP  in Kailahun in another bye-election a few months ago.

Sierra Leoneans commend Zainab Bangura for Hillary Rodham Clinton Award

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

On Monday February 22nd, Mrs. Zainab Bangura , the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, was  awarded the Hillary Rodham Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security by Georgetown University through the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, the Georgetown Global Futures Initiative and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

Mrs. Bangura, on receiving the award, said that “I would like to dedicate this award to all the brave women across the world that have been victims of the heinous crime of sexual violence and who have been courageous enough to share their stories with me as I strive to make their voices heard on the world stage.”





Many Sierra Leoneans have commended Mrs. Bangura for the coveted award. Here are some on Facebook :

Mr. Ibrahim Kamara ,  the  Chairman of the All People’s Congress -USA : “Who would have thought a girl from the small town of Yonibana would be a champion for the course of women in the world. May God continue to bless your soul and continue to be yourself. I believe, as many others, that you are ready for political prime time in our beloved Sierra Leone. You got my unsolicited vote. ”

Mr. Raymond Conteh  of New York said : “Indeed it takes a village to raise a child as the old adage goes. Sierra Leoneans across the sphere of the world are proud of yur exemplary achievements our sister Hawa yu are a shining star continue to burn the flames congratulations. ”

Sahr E. Johnny :  “Congratulations, Madam Under Secretary General Bangura. ”

Tima Sissoko :  “So proud of this woman. Congratulations “.

Festicles  Tussybody : “Congratulations mum …we know that the sky is not even ur limits keep flying higher and higher. ”

Ibrahim Bangura :  “Congratulations Dr haja zainab Hawa Bangura.Some people pass through this world and leave it just as they found it. But people like you take the time to do special things for others that make the world beautiful.Thanks may God bless you more and more.We love you and sierra Leone wants you.Thank you ma.”

Isha Sema : “Congrats Madam Bangura, keep shining”.




President Ernest Koroma commissions army barracks and inspects water works in Bo

Sunday, February 28th, 2016


His Excellency, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces and Minister of Defence  has commissioned  and handed over  the newly-  constructed accommondation blocks at the 5th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Gondama 7 miles off Bo.

president  bo 2

president bo 1


The president made a brief stop over at Tiama junction where he was received by a jubilant crowd of supporters.

President Koroma gave the keynote address,  followed by the cutting of the tape and conducted tour of the Barracks.





As President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma says this is Developments time for the country
President Koroma visit the ongoing water supply project in Bo district, and this water supply project to be commission very soon.



Sierra Leone Pastors Alliance formed in the U.S.

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

The Sierra Leoneans Pastors in North America have come together and formed the ( Sierra Leonean Pastors Alliance, with the aim to develop an inseparable Christian and spiritual relationship with God to impact fellow pastors and ministers, and ensuring our empowerment through the Holy spirit to proclaim and advance God’s work on earth.




Our religious engagements should serve as a voice of our spiritual unity, power, motivation, and inspiration through our Lord Jesus Christ for the advancement of our respective ministries and spiritual growth of members of our congregations, said the PRO of the organization Rev. Thomas Sinclair Bhai-Kamara.

The Sierra Leone Pastors Alliance comprising of a body of pastors and ministers with different Christian denominations and diverse cultural backgrounds have come together to promote and strengthen unity, cooperation and mutual understanding for the advancement of our common Christian values, interests and desires to work assiduously, collectively and collaboratively for the common good of all pastors and spiritual advancement of members of our respective congregations. We do this with our strong convictions to unite all Christian leaders and followers of Christ and to promote and strengthen our Christian values in the body of Christ, and to celebrate God’s power of love, caring and compassion amongst us Said the President of the Alliance Rev. Christo A. Kamara of St Paul’s A.O.G Church, Boston Massachusetts. We shall fulfill our duties by supporting one another in times of circumstances encountered while promoting the gospel of Christ to our member, the community and society in general commented the Vice President Pastor Bert Ngoba of Virginia, USA.

Meanwhile, the two year old Alliance which have recently picked up steam and status in the USA is coveting the prayers of fellow Christians around the world, because they have hopes and vision to help their country of origin ..

Report filed by Rev. Thomas Sinclair Bhai-Kamara – Public Relations Officer
Sierra Leone Pastors Alliance – USA.




Where Umaru fofana got it wrong

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

Where Umaru fofana got it wrong

John Baimba Sesay-China
Sierra Leone is at the crossroad in her development. This is especially so in the last years of governance by President Koroma. And given the successes the country is achieving across the board, notwithstanding prevailing challenges, some find it bitter and deep in heart,broken, that there are people saying and writing the positives of this government and the President. Thus, in my view, this should give us,especially those who are part of government’s public relations and communication team, the zest to continue bringing to the public attention what this government has done and continues doing for its citizenry.



Just few days back, the recent past SLAJ ex prexy touched on a range of issues and the said article posted all over on socials media and in the process, referred to Press Attachés as “Jelibas”, a Mandingo word, meaning or praise singers. Well, he apparently has got it wrong and woefully so. Few things- we are assigned to our missions as part of the Government information system. And if, in the execution of our duties, we look at government successes and highlight same for public consumption,should one take offense ? Besides, may I ask few questions: what yardstick did the ex slaj head use to conclude we have not added value to governance? Is he the one who assesses our performance indicators yearly? Is he heading our line ministry-Information and Communication? Was the piece done out of emotion or with some other motif? Sir, you got it completely wrong and emphatically , very much so. “Jeliba” is a Mandingo word,meaning praise singer, and I am supposed, he who assesses another in such manner may have had the experience before. But if stating the facts about development in Sierra Leone is praise singing, if looking at what the Government achieved along its commitment is all praise singing, then so be it for I rather be,than do that which undermines my conscience.

In contemporary governance, the relevance of information gathering and dissemination cannot be overstated. A nation that feeds on accurate,timely and reliable information goes a thousand miles in strengthening her democratic credentials. It is therefore, good and acceptable to have public relations officers in government ministries, departments and agencies as we now see in almost every MDA in Sierra Leone. They help in not just bringing those institutions closer to the people, they also largely help in lifting the bars of cooperation between the mainstream media and the institutions they work for. This Government has done very well in this area and it certainly would continue. No matter what one thinks.

To the much debated Mamamah Airport on the mainland in the Port Loko district. This is a national project that the President Dr Ernest Koroma, government and the country remained committed to. This is a 300m dollars national project, ( with funds from China ) that the country needs for not just short term, but long term economic and infrastructural growth. Had it not been for the outbreak of Ebola, the project should have been in an advanced stage for, prior to the Ebola outbreak,there had been mobilization of resources in terms of machinery and human resource. In fact, had the project commenced, it should have ended two years or so to the next general elections .

Therefore, The ex slaj prexy,in my view, got it completely wrong to categorically state the airport is not about an airport,but about access to funds by government for the next general elections. Such states that should be backed with facts if they should be trusted. Such unsubstantiated claims,from every sense of reasoning has the potential of inciting public anger. Again,let us don’t shift the debate trajectory from the substance around the need or otherwise of a new airport,to now a completely political debate. Let us look at what a new airport on the mainland would bring us a decade from now. We should not be shortsighted,only thinking of the immediate benefits.Bringing politics to a national project is, I believe the least expected as a country.
The airport, i hold the view, and as I have always said, will help put the country in a valuable position to compete positively in International Trade and Commerce. It will give us the opportunity to expand our capital city, as well as bring in needed development as in new hotel facility, new settlement, new public sector investment which eventually will help improve on the country’s economy. Mr former slaj president, you got it wrong and kindly allow me suggest we put our emotions away when we discuss national issues like these ones. Thanks and you hear me no more on this.

Sent from my iPad


John Baimba Sesay
Press Attaché
Sierra Leone Embassy
7 Dong Zhi Men Wai Dajie,
Chaoyang District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China
*Tel: 0086-15010707051
* Fax:0086-1065323752*







FLASHBACK : Were they the trials of the century in Sierra Leone ?

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

daily mail grant




Again, I bring my readers another interesting story from the 1966 and 1967 newspapers given to me by the legendary Peace Corps and historian, Gary Schulze. I am posting two of the biggest legal cases we had in Sierra Leone 50 years ago. This is for the benefit of many of our present day journalists, social activists and social media commentators who were not born yet when these events occurred.

The events in question pertain to the murders of the police Superintendent, Mr. Cyril Grant and the POW fifth former, Louis Farmer.. Americans regard the O.J Simpson trial as the trial of the century. Were these two cases the trials of the century in Sierra Leone ?

For you the youngsters, Mr. Grant was killed by a Gambian diamond dealer , Lansana Kuruballay, while being led to a ship at the PORTS to be deported .

Louis Farmer, on the other hand, was murdered by some students after an athletics meeting at Brookfields Stadium.

They were among the biggest legal cases we ever had in Sierra Leone. They captivated the nation like the O.J.Simpson trial in America.. The only two other big trials I can remember were the Alimamy Khazali Ritual Murder case and the Mohamed Sorie Fornah and 14 others Treason trial.

What do you say ?



Trial of the Century 2

Here on the right hand side is the Daily Mail report on the other murder case I spoke about in my first post- the murder of the Prince of Wales School fifth former, Louis Farmer.

As I said in my first post, these cases captivated the whole nation , like the O.J. Simpson trial in the USA.

Farmer was a famous sportsman , loved and admired by everybody and as you can see from his photo he was a very handsome young man, and well dressed .

The trial of the schoolboys who allegedly killed him and the trial of Lansana Kuruballay, who murdered the police office I mentioned in my first post , were the biggest trials of their kind in Sierra Leone. The only two other trials that probably supplanted them were the Alimamy Khazali Ritual murder case in 1974 and the treason trial of Mohamed Sorie Fornah and 14 others in 1975.

What do you say ?