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Archive for the ‘TOP STORY’ Category

President attends Asia-Africa Summit

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015


By State House Communications Unit :

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has described Africa’s lack of representation at the Security Council as a grave injustice that must be addressed, particularly so when over 70% of issues discussed at the Security Council relate to the continent.



The president made this call in his capacity as Chairman of the Africa Union’s Committee of Ten on the Reform of the United Nations during the Asia-Africa Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he canvassed Asian countries to support Africa to redress this wrong. “As Chairman of the Africa Union’s Committee of Ten on the Reform of the United Nations, and on behalf of all Africa, I call on our friends in Asia and the global South to stand with us on this most important position for our continent,” he said.

President Koroma also urged for action against criminals who would want to use the divine and peaceful religion of Islam, or the noble ideals of liberation to kill, maim and terrorize innocent people in countries like Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Syria, and Iraq. “We must urge our religious, cultural and intellectual leaders to continue to teach the eternal values of tolerance and peaceful co-existence,” insisted Sierra Leone’s head of state.


According to him, the increasing virulence and quicker spread of diseases such as Marburg, SARS, HNI and now Ebola threaten the very survival of humanity. He called for concerted efforts as these viral diseases are no respecter of boundaries. “They are becoming diseases of the world, and not of any particular region. Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea may be at the battlefront of this current outbreak, but like terrorism, this is a fight for all of us,” he warned.


Vice President Foh rekindles memory of S. I Koroma’s loyalty to Siaka Stevens and the APC

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh has informed indigenes of Port Loko district that the growth and survival of the governing All People’s Congress is as a result of the untiring work, commitment and dedication to service by the founding fathers of the party, including, but not limited to people like the late SI Koroma, Siaka Stevens and CA Kamara-Taylor of blessed memories.



Vice President Foh spoke on Friday, 17th April, in Port Loko Township, during a tour to Kambia and Port Loko Districts being part of the Ebola Social Mobilization drive, which was initiated by His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma. The visit was also aimed at visits to Education Institutions in both districts to encourage reopening of all schools and other educational institutions in every corner of Sierra Leone.

Addressing hundreds of indigenes of Port Loko, including Members of Parliament, Ministers, Paramount Chiefs, and party members, VP Foh said, because of the good works of Sorie Ibrahim Koroma for Sierra Leone and the governing All People’s Congress (APC), there is need to always remember him and pay outstanding tributes to him (SI- as he was fondly known) and all the Founding Fathers of our glorious party.

“We should be grateful to those who have worked hard for the growth of our Party, and that is why I am here to pay respect to late SI Koroma. My coming here is a home coming for me and my wife who is a citizen of Port Loko”. Vice President Foh promised to visit Tonko Limba, the birth place of the late Siaka Stevens and C.A Kamara-Taylor.

Vice President Foh reiterated his promise to be loyal to His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma, and the people of Sierra Leone in a bid to execute the President’s Agenda for Prosperity and move the country forward especially in line with the country’s growth trajectory-the Agenda for Prosperity.

Speaking further, VP Foh underscored the significant role Paramount Chiefs play in state governance, stressing however, that Paramount Chiefs are not politicians “but as a government and party, the APC will always respect the institution of Chieftaincy”. He called on the people of Port Loko to continue displaying religious tolerance saying, “…as a country, Sierra Leone has enjoyed tremendous degree of religious tolerance and we should not allow this to disappear”

In both Port Loko and Kambia districts, Vice President Foh commended the people for their resilience in working towards a zero case of Ebola in those parts of the country, saying the efforts of His Excellency the President should be complement by all and sundry.

VP Foh also encouraged parents to send their children to school, whilst promising school administration and students, in all the schools he visited that whatever challenges they now are facing , government will do all it could to address such challenges.

Ambassador Foh also used the meetings in both Port Loko and Kambia to inform people about the efforts of His Excellency the President in eradicating the virus and in working towards ensuring a full post Ebola recovery drive and the recent meeting he had with World Bank and President Obama of the United States of America.

In both Port Loko and Kambia, the Vice President was briefed by the District Ebola Response Centres on the status of the virus in the country. From all indications, Ebola will soon be kicked out of Sierra Leone.

Since April 15, Vice President Foh has embarked on Schools Visitation Exercises in the Western Area in a bid to monitor the effectiveness of attendance and teaching following the reopening of schools on the 14th of April. Schools visited include the Ahmadiyya Secondary School, Muslim Congress, Methodist Boys High School, St Joseph’s Convent and the Milton Margai College of Education, amongst many.

During his visit to Kambia and Port Loko districts, Vice President Foh was accompanied by a number of Government Ministers, including Education Minister, Dr Minkailu Bah, Minister of States, VP Office, Ministers of States-North and South, Ministers of Information, Youths Affairs, Social Welfare, and Acting Internal Affairs Minister, Siaka Tarawalie, and a host of Government dignitaries.


Thursday, April 16th, 2015

The All People’s Congress ( APC ) New Jersey Chapter will be staging their 2015 Fundraising Dance on Saturday April 18, 2015 at the East Franklin Firehouse in Somerset, NJ. Please mark the date.


Former VP’s motion of injunction : Berthan Macauley argues that restraining Victor Foh from carrying out VP functions will be unjust

Friday, April 10th, 2015

The Sierra Leone Supreme Court yesterday  started hearing a notice of interlocutory injunction filed on behalf of  former Vice-President Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana by his lead counsel, Mr. J.B. Jenkins-Johnston, seeking to restrain Vice-President Victor Bockarie Foh from acting as and/or carrying the functions of the Vice President of Sierra Leone until the Supreme Court has determined the constitutionality or lack thereof of the recent action by President Ernest Bai Koroma to relieve the said Sam Sumana of his job .



The first respondent is the Attorney General and Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Hon. Frank Kargbo , represented by  lead Counsel Berthan Macauley jr        while the second respondent is VP Victor Bockarie Foh, who is represented by lead counsel Ajibola Manley-Spaine.

The five Supreme Court Judges hearing the motion are  Acting Chief Justice, His Honor  Valecious Thomas,  Nicolas Browne-Marke  Eku Roberts; Patrick Hamilton and Vivian Solomon.

In his submission before the Bench, Mr. J.B. Jenkins-Johnston argued that the removal of the former VP, Mr. Samuel Sam Sumana from office is unconstitutional as it was contrary to the dictates of the 1991 Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone. He said  Plaintiff, the said Mr. Samuel Sam Sumana,  is calling for a relief to restrain the present VP , Mr. Victor Bockarie Foh, from  acting as and/or carrying the functions of the Vice President of Sierra Leone until the Supreme Court has decided the matter .

But in his submission , Mr. Berthan Macauley jr argued that  it would  be unjust  to Mr. Victor Foh  because plaintiff has not sufficiently ascertained that replicable damage will be considered after the end of the matter. He further argued that He further submitted that the implication of the plaintiff’s application  is that the Office of the Vice President should be vacant pending  the hearing and determination of the case . He  argued that it would be inconvenient and  it would cause irreparable damage to keep the Office of the Vice-President vacant.He contended that the injunction hit mainly on the second defendant instead of the first defendant.

The matter was adjourned and the Court will rule on the motion .





He further submitted that the implication of the plaintiff’s contention and application before the court is that the Office of the Vice President should be vacant until the hearing and determination of the matter.

Massive demonstration on Saturday to support President Koroma and Rule of Law in Sierra Leone

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015


A massive demonstration in support of President Ernest Bai Koroma and the Rule of Law in Sierra Leone will be held on Saturday April 11, 2015 at Lafayette Park , near the White House in Washington DC . The demonstration will be staged by Sierra Leoneans For Peace Standing With the President .



One of the leaders of the  organization, Mr. Ibrahim Kamara of Virginia ,  is therefore calling on all Sierra Leoneans to come out in full to support the rally in the interest of peace and good governance in Sierra Leone and also  in respect for the justice system , in whose capable hands is the present matter between former Vice-President, Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Sierra Leone. The one-time VP  took the matter to the Supreme Court , after he was relieved of his duties last month by the President.

The Sierra Leoneans  For Peace Standing with the President believe that since the matter is in the hands of the highest court in the land , Sierra Leoneans should respect the Rule of Law and wait for the Court to render its verdict. The organization has also condemned plans by the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) to stage violent demonstrations in Sierra Leone and destabilize the country.

Madam Beatrice Conteh of Washington DC , another leader of the Saturday’s demonstration at the White House,  said that the demonstration will be in full solidarity with President Ernest Bai Koroma and the Government of Sierra Leone. “It will  be a demonstration of our commitment to continue to support the President and the government and good governance in Sierra Leone.”

She affirmed that President Koroma has done a lot for the nation, but the opposition SLPP and some dissident elements do not want to show any appreciation, but the international community and stakeholders are cognisant of all the socio-economic and political developments of the President.

Madam Conteh said that Saturday’s demonstrations will also be held to foster peace in Sierra Leone. “We want no chaos in our country as we are tired of war . Some power-hungry people want to divide the country for their own selfish ends but we are having none of it. We want our nation to remain united , not divided. We are promoting peace, tranquility and unity . Let us respect the law. Let us not take things in our hands , ” Mrs. Conteh emphasized.

Another massive demonstration is being planned for April 27, 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York.  We will bring you full details.


IBRAHIM KAMARA   703 – 862-5094

BEATRICE CONTEH   703- 507-1875

ALFRED SESAY        202-329- 7839

FINDA FILLIE-FABOE  301- 789- 4150

JOSEPH KOROMA         240- 789- 6944

MARIAMA LOWE-BANGURA  703- 343- 3397



“Avoid Using Social Media against Your Country,” : VP Victor Foh Says in an interview

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015


By M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia :

People are normally recognized in society by virtue of their selflessness, commitment and proven ability to deliver exemplarily. These are some of the prerequisites national leaders often search for as regards when appointing officials to head positions of trust.Therefore, many people I have spoken to say, it was no mistake that President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma deemed it expedient to recently appoint Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Victor Bockarie Foh as Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, following the expulsion of former Vice President Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana from the governing All People’s Congress (APC) Party and his subsequent dismissal from office by the President.



Despite the diverse opinions expressed by Sierra Leoneans following his appointment, Vice President Victor Foh has already brought into the job much vigour, administrative experience as a retired civil servant and diplomatic know-how to wholeheartedly assist President Koroma to deliver on his promises. Though the outbreak of the deadly pandemic seemed to have reversed most of the gains the Government had made under the Agenda for Change, which were to be consolidated under the Agenda for Prosperity, the President is determined more than ever before to continue with the development strides his administration has made.

From all indications, many believe that things will definitely start to take their normal shape during the post-Ebola period.That explains why the President needs an experienced administrator, seasoned diplomat and battle—tested politician as his Principal Assistant to help him complete his work before he leaves office at the end of his second inning.

Immediately after his appointment, Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh met and signed a communiqué with his Guinean counterpart, the Vice President of neighbouring Guinea -Conakry with regards to the collective efforts by the Mano River Union (MRU) countries to end the Ebola outbreak in the sub-region. His move was highly commended by most Sierra Leoneans. They say; it clearly sends the right message that he is here for real business and not for fun.

I was so impressed with his first move that I could not wait to have a brief telephone interview with him last night on certain issues I wanted him to clarify.Speaking in a soft-spoken voice from his residence in the West –End of Freetown, I started by asking him on the issue of the Vice President and Attorney General and Minister of Justice being taken to the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone by erstwhile Vice President, Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana over his dismissal which he described as “unconstitutional”.Ambassador Victor B. Foh declined to comment on the issue saying that it was “sub judice” or before a court of law. But what he emphasized was his determination to work assiduously, selflessly and robustly with the President in every facet of nation-building so that the APC Government will succeed.

The Vice President therefore appealed to all government and public officials to help the President complete his development strides for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans and even generations yet unborn. He believes that President Ernest Bai Koroma is development-oriented and loves his country and people; and that, if only officials in government are as determined as the President to take the country to higher height, Sierra Leone could become an enviable paradise flowing with milk and honey within a very short period. The second gentleman of the land by leadership hierarchy did not only admonish government and public officials to work amicably with the President, but he also appealed to Sierra Leoneans of all works of life to join President Koroma’s bandwagon for national development.

According to the former Ambassador, all the development projects the APC Government had successfully implemented over the last seven years have benefitted almost every Sierra Leonean, including road infrastructure, electricity supply, solar lights in district headquarters, the free healthcare initiative, Education, Agriculture and many others across the country. He believes that any patriotic Sierra Leonean should prioritize national development over partisanship and pettiness which he said had undermined nation-building for decades.He called on all Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of party colours, to work with President Ernest Bai Koroma and the Government because without the support of the people, the President cannot do it alone.The newly appointed Vice President also believes that people should forget about the blame – shifting mechanism and concentrate on fighting to end the Ebola Virus Disease which has killed over 3,400 Sierra Leoneans and devastated the national economy.

The outbreak, he added, has also brought all development programmes to a standstill and the APC Government expects herculean challenges in the post-Ebola period to continue from where they stopped when the outbreak struck on 25th May, 2014. That is why Vice President Victor Foh believes that people should not be posting to the social media negative information about the government and the country since Sierra Leoneans desperately need more support from our development partners during the post-Ebola period. Hear him: “I know political opinions may vary, but we should put our political differences aside at this time and unite in the fight against Ebola. Let’s avoid using the social media against our country. Sierra Leone is above all of us.”

With his wealth of experience in administration, politics and diplomacy, many Sierra Leoneans are of the opinion that the former Ambassador can surely use those attributes to add more value and vigour to the Koroma administration. They added that, his numerous diplomatic contacts in the People’s Republic of China will also attract more Chinese investors to invest in Sierra Leone.

Zainab Bangura is not the author of letter circulating

Monday, April 6th, 2015




I have been forwarded a letter being circulated on the internet and on social media, purportedly written by one “Zainab Bangura”, asking all Sierra Leoneans to support the creation of a whistleblower website to fight against the corruption taking place in President Koroma’s government. I would like to make it crystal clear that I am not the author of that letter. In so denouncing it, I want to make the following points known:

1) As a member of the APC party, and a former senior government minister, I still have access to the leadership of the party and to the government including the President. If and when I have issues that are of critical concern to me or against my principles and values, I can and will call them to express those concern(s). They have always and still continue to respect that.

2) I have the utmost regard and respect for authority. I do not believe that the best option to disagree with a leadership is to insult them. Over the years, I have had serious disagreements with, Julius Maada Bio, when he was Head of State, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, and various Presidents in my present job. That being said, I have and will always respect their offices and dignity. That is what democracy demands. The respect is not for them as individuals but for the offices they hold, which is the highest in the land. So, as and when I have disagreed with them, I confront them and express in a very open and civilized manner my disagreement. As such, even when I lead the demonstrations for elections in Sierra Leone against Maada Bio, we stuck to the issues and made our views known publicly. That was and still is my method of engagement.

3) Throughout my various career journeys (from an Insurance Executive, to a civil society activist, to a UN staff in the field, to a senior government Minister and now an international civil servant on the global stage), I have never been a coward. I believe in confronting problems and trying to solve them. I have fought and continue to fight for the truth and justice. In that regard, if I strongly feel the person I have issues against needs to be confronted with facts and figures, I do it with all modesty and honesty, and I have always succeeded in getting results. It is only cowards or people without concrete facts who use pseudonyms or other people’s names to attack the people they disagree with or hate.

4) Written content on social media and the Internet can be traced. It might be an expensive endeavor, but it can be done.

5) I have never and will never be involved in social media and Internet chats with the exception of promoting my work or communicating with friends, family and colleagues. My journey in life that has taken me from Yonibana to New York warrants that I behave with dignity and respect. I cannot disrespect my current status and position by dragging myself to the lowest level of indignity by writing such a letter against my own government. President Koroma is my President and will continue to be my President until he leaves office.

Against the background of 1-6 above, I am pleading with fellow Sierra Leoneans to keep me out of all ill-conceived political, religious and ethnic differences and arguments. It is extremely sad and unfortunate that most Sierra Leoneans do not respect one another or our country; cannot handle or deal with the successes of other people; and think that the only way they can achieve their objective is by dragging the names of hardworking Sierra Leoneans into the gutter. Yet, we complain about how successful other countries are. That success did not happen by accident, but by the concerted efforts of its people, working together and respecting each other.

A country is made up of its people, tradition, culture and landscape. When the people of a country have abandoned their culture and adopted a foreign culture and respect it better than their own; and have developed the habit of condemning their country and its people; and see nothing good in their country and so they work and scheme endlessly to destroy any successful person, then that country is doomed. Sierra Leone can only join the likes of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cape Verde and the rest of Africa that is moving far ahead when we all realize that we as a people have a common destiny, and that we have to move as one.

Nobody can develop Sierra Leone but us. We can only do that however when we start to realize that, (a) some people are born to lead and others are born to follow; (b) our leaders get their authority and strength from their followers;  (c) insults and/or personal attacks are not the best way to address our differences. When we are all cognizant of the above realities, then, and only then can we move ahead with sincerity, strength and dignity to build a very prosperous and successful Sierra Leone that we can all be proud of to call home.

Thank you and Happy Easter.

© Zainab Hawa Bangura
Under -Secretary General and Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Sent from my iPhone
Zainab Hawa Bangura
Under – Secretary General and Special Representative of the
Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Cocorioko website is being rebuilt

Monday, April 6th, 2015

As we continue to progress  as a newspaper that caters for the diverse interests of our people, we will continue to make changes to our website to make it sharper, brighter , more aesthetic, more user-friendly  and more interesting . It is with this goal in mind that our website is undergoing a complete reconstruction. The old looks and features  must always yield to the new , in the interest of our thousands and thousands of readers all over the world to keep pace with technological advances in the creation of more beautiful and useful  media platforms.



This is the beginning of a comprehensive overhaul  of the old website and addition of new features  that will also see the return of our famous online anonymous forum.

We therefore ask you to be patient with us as we undergo this period of reconstruction . We ask you to bear with us until we return to complete normalcy.

We will be updating the site on a modest scale while the reconstruction is going on.

We want you to have the best,  so bear with us as we make these changes to the look of our website.

In the same vein, we have successfully retrieved our  2002 -2007 articles from another former hosting company which fortunately secured them for years though we had terminated business with them .We will  provide a link to this website very soon.



China to continue helping Ebola-affected countries

Monday, April 6th, 2015

China will keep sending medical staff, technology and relief materials to help African countries with Ebola outbreaks as they are needed, said Cui Li, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

She made her remarks during an interview with China Daily soon after World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan warned against complacency in the fight against Ebola, the deadly disease still affecting West Africa.



Chan said that the fight against Ebola faced huge challenges, and she called on the international community and the virus-hit countries to work together to tackle them.

Cui, in response, said: “Medical assistance, targeted to needs, will stay in the Ebola-hit countries and other African countries to finally reverse the epidemic. To contain the epidemic where it started is in the best public health interests of people in the rest of the world, including the Chinese.”

As of Feb 9, China had sent nearly 800 medical workers to affected regions, and it will continue sending workers for at least six months, with plans to send 200 more medical staff members in coming months to assist in the outbreak response, said Cui.

“Experiences gained from the aid project in the anti-Ebola campaign this time will be studied to help form the guidelines on China’s medical aid programs in the future,” Cui said.

In the largest-ever medical aid program so far implemented by China, the government has sent a total of 750 million yuan ($120 million) worth of humanitarian and medical assistance to 13 Ebola-affected countries since the outbreak in West Africa began. About 800 medical personnel on both the clinical and public health sides have been sent to epidemic areas to combat Ebola, train local medical workers and help sustain the efforts, statistics from the WHO showed.

To date, more than 10,000 local staff members working in Ebola control and prevention, including doctors, nurses and community health workers, have been trained by Chinese experts, according to the commission.

Renewed pledge

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged last month while meeting with the WHO’s Margaret Chan that China would perform its duty as a major developing country and continue to do everything in its power to help the Ebola-hit countries together with the international community.

“China will also help African countries to develop their health systems so that they can adapt to the post-Ebola era,” he said during his visit to Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

Chan responded that the WHO stood ready to cooperate closely with China, raise the level of awareness and coordinate all sides to achieve the final victory.

She hailed China’s important role in the fight against the Ebola outbreak, calling it “exemplary” for the international community.

According to Cui Li, Chinese teams on the ground have to date provided testing for more than 4,200 Ebola virus cases in their mobile lab and received nearly 700 confirmed patients at their observation and treatment centers.

She said China’s actions and support in combating Ebola have been timely and sustainable.

The situation in Sierra Leone : Minister Maya Kai -Kai comes to New Jersey and tells all

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

The Resident Minister ( Eastern Region) , Hon. Maya Kai-Kai,  has given a stunning mouthful information  about the present political crisis in Sierra Leone over the recent dismissal from the government  of former Vice-President, Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana . The minister made the revelations during what he described as  a preliminary visit to New Jersey  to check on  his “government colleague and elder brother “, the Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , Minister Plenipotentiary at the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations.

The Minister , who was accompanied by the Press Attache to the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S, Mr. Pasco Gerald Temple, will be returning to New Jersey in two weeks to address the Sierra Leone community in the Garden State about the situation in Sierra Leone in a general meeting to be held on Friday April 17 and also attend the All People’s Congress ( APC ) New Jersey Fund-raising dance to be held on Saturday April 18.

Minister Kai-Kai had been doing an excellent job in Washington DC and Maryland explaining the government’s version about the events in Sierra Leone.





In an exclusive interview for the COCORIOKO Newspaper, the Eastern Region Minister gave a comprehensive report on the Ebola situation in the Eastern Region , especially his home district , Kailahun , where the outbreak first started, extensively dwelling on the reasons that the Government encountered serious challenges in containing the outbreak and how government’s efforts were undermined by opposition political propaganda and the traditional beliefs of the local people  .



He also took his time to explain how President Koroma his own very self ordered the recent audit on the Ebola funds which resulted in startling revelations that certain unscrupulous elements pilfered the funds. The Ebola audit was a culmination of threats President Koroma had made that whoever tampered with the funds would pay the price . The  President called the audit because of his transparency but his enemies tried to use it against him.

The Minister is very disappointed that most Sierra Leoneans making noise in the social media are thoroughly misinformed about the Ebola, Audit and Sam Sumana issues , especially the latter, which has created what many are describing as a constitutional crisis in Sierra Leone.  He noted that if Sierra Leoneans had really taken their time to objectively know everything that happened and thereby understand the issues their responses would have been tempered.



Hon. Kai-Kai told a very interesting story about how some of the previously unknown information about the situation in Sierra Leone mellowed a member of the APC  who had become overtly very critical of government and the party over recent events . After  the minister explained the details  during a crucial meeting he held with the Washington DC Chapter of the APC, recently, the critical member understood a lot of things  previously unknown to him  . The member, who attended the meeting,  even took part later in the singing of the APC party victory song at the end of the meeting .

As is our style of reporting exclusive interviews, we will produce the interview in series to enable our readers to grasp the issues accurately and clearly. We will start with the Minister’s revelations on the Ebola outbreak in Kailahun.

Watch out for another blockbuster.