Is it time for a third political party in Sierra Leone?

Abdulai Mansaray

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 December 2017

The growing sense of disillusionment across Sierra Leone’s social and political landscape is fast becoming palpable. From official to unofficial, private to public, and all along the diversified strata of our society, there are pockets of dissatisfaction that is slowly simmering under a political façade, suggesting that “ALL IS NOT WELL”. (Photo: UN Chief Ban Ki Moon meeting opposition party leaders in Freetown).

No it is not, and has not been for a long time. When President Ernest Bai Koroma came to power in 2007, it was heralded as the dawn of a great path. Programmes like “Agenda for Change”, which morphed into “Agenda for Prosperity” gave a lot of Sierra Leoneans the hope that had been missing for a long time.

Previous leaders like Pa Sheki and Momoh had come and gone like hot air.  There was little to write home about then. But with President Koroma, there were visible chinks of light that gave some of us the oxygen of hope, that maybe, just maybe – Sierra Leone was on the path to good times to come.

Read more

Sierra Leone opposition SLPP must unite now for the good of the country

Alie Kabba – presidential aspirant for the 2018 elections

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 December 2016

alie-kabba-2016

When ever a reigning party is found as wanting as it is now evident in Sierra Leone, the clarion call for a change in direction grows louder as things get fouler in the country.

It is historically evident that any political party in power that allows itself to be crippled by greed and arrogance, will surely be afflicted with deafness and dumbness. In the event of such a finality of stages, the only button that the central actors can see is the button marked “self-destruct”.

However, within the precepts of a democratic dispensation (in so far as ours could be so described), it would be an irresponsible strategy for the opposition to just sit down, wriggle its hands, and hope that the bumbling snake will soon swallow its own head.

It is incumbent upon the opposition not merely to show that the government is inadequately functioning, but to prove to the voters that there is a viable alternative body on which they could hang their hopes and dreams.

Read more

President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone speaks about his visit to China

John Baimba Sesay – CHINA

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 December 2016

president-koroma-and-john-baimba

President Ernest Bai Koroma today, 6th of December, 2016, ended a week-long visit to the People’s Republic of China. The core of the visit was to express Sierra Leone’s appreciation and thanks to China for their timely intervention in the fight against Ebola. (Photo: President Koroma – left, talking to John Baimba Sesay).

The visit was also meant to scale up ties of cooperation between the two nations at both bilateral and multilateral levels.

During the visit, the President had fruitful discussions with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi, calling for the ties of friendship and cooperation to be scaled up towards a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Before departing for Sierra Leone, John Baimba Sesay had a one-on-one exclusive interview with President Koroma on a range of issues, all tied to his visit. This is what the president said.

Read more

Is term time for presidents the mother of all corruption?

Abdulai Mansaray

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 December 2016

president-koroma-of-sierra-leone06

Any society which neglects its culture is bound to fail. African societies were founded on the principles of society cohesion, where the left hand knew what the right was doing.

With kingdoms, Chieftains, fiefdoms and clans, historians would have you believe that African societies had well established forms of governments well before the term “democracy” was invented by the white man.

In Africa today, we have Western governments trying to teach African leaders on the concept of democracy. But with African leaders showing political lethargy to embrace this concept, western countries have found themselves introducing economic caveats into the begging bowls of their African counterparts.

Democracy and the rule of law are fast becoming the essential requirements of the never ending political beggars from the continent. Chief among those requirements is the demand that African heads of states should have presidential term times (preferably two) introduced and implemented into the political DNA of their respective countries.

Some people will question the morality of such a carrot and stick approach. But to those who believe in the rule of law and good governance, this may be the only way to force the Mugabes of this world to change. It will be an understatement to suggest that this has met with some resistance.

Some African leaders believe that as long as Western governments” have learnt to shoot without missing; they will learn to fly without perching”.

It is therefore not surprising that some have tried everything in their political arsenal to circumvent these conditions by erecting political gridlocks along to way; all aimed at maintaining the status quo of the society for self-preservation.

President Ernest B. koroma is expected to complete his second and final term in office in 2017. But this has conveniently been shifted to 2018. Among the numerous arguments for this political gymnastics is that, the president has unfinished development business and projects that were significantly hampered by the Ebola crisis.

Read more

Time fast running out for Sierra Leone opposition SLPP – time is now

Albert Momoh

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 December 2016

slpp-willberforce-village-welcoms-maada-bio

As the results of the crucial constituency elections come flying in, amidst a thickening cloud of ‘camp-ish’ recriminations, the rhetoric keep rocketing high where goodwill should have taken firmer grip and served as a safe landing platform to cool down frayed and jangled emotions.

I see no ‘winner’ here. I see no ‘wise heads’ either. And not even the shadow of ‘senior statesmen’ – retired or rehired. What I see is a ready-to-shoot collection of running mouths and stand-still brains.

What I see is a glaring absence of real political maturity and a gaping lack of astute leadership intervention skills that are needed to help smooth our way through this rapturous gladiatorial transitional phase to a General Election, where the declared “enemy” is the definite red-claded rogue.

Read more

Yayah Jammeh bows out peacefully as Koroma of Sierra Leone vows to stay on

Benjamin Eya Kaingbanja

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 December 2016

yahya-jammeh

History has been made in the Gambia as the opposition leader – Adama Barrow received a phone call from the incumbent President Yayah Jammeh (Photo), accepting defeat. Barrow’s electoral victory has brought an end to Jammeh’s 22-year old dictatorship.

Many did not see this coming, hence the conclusion that the whole election was stage managed to make way for Jammeh’s handpicked successor.

But like him or not, the video transcript of Jammeh’s concession phone call will leave any reasonable person in not only awe, but with a great deal of admiration for such a display of peaceful transfer of power.

The moment is not one that is reminiscent of African dictators in recent times. There is hope for the people of Gambia.

In Sierra Leone last week, while many were not paying attention amid unending chaos, largely self-inflicted by the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) infighting over the outcomes of internal lower level elections, four events of national constitutional significance, took place.

These events are not unconnected with Ernest Koroma’s grand plan to keep his grip on power and create what in theory looks like a family dynasty.

Read more

Bio writes chairman and leader of Sierra Leone opposition SLPP – chief Kapen

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 December 2016  

chief-kapen-in-london1Chairman and Leader (Chief Kapen – Photo above)

Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP)

15 Wallace Johnson Street

Freetown

December 1, 2016

Dear Chief Kapen,

Conduct of Lower Level Elections and the Role and Composition of 10-Man Committee

Let me start by thanking your administration for all the efforts made to conduct lower level elections amidst some challenges. I am pleased about the Rules and Regulations that guide this process and about the participation of our membership at all levels, contrary to the situation towards 2013 National Party Conference, which is the basis for most of the challenges now.

This process is anticipated to create a level playing field which is an essential element of our internal democracy.

Since this process will identify delegates for the elections of national officers and flagbearer and as an Aspirant for the SLPP Presidential Candidate for the 2018 Elections, I would like to raise concerns of the role of 10-man Committee referenced in your letter dated November 29, 2016 to the Commissioners of the PPRC.

Read more

1 2 3 4 5 94