Mohamed C. Bah – NDA Presidential aspirant
31 July 2012
I will continue to be an advocate for a better Sierra Leone, where everyone enjoys the wealth of our nation. I will continue to introduce the psychological and hidden problems – the one we never discuss openly – about the development of our future.
We always see our circumstances and challenges more or less as logistical inadequacies or intangible economic infrastructures, not the attitude and mindset of how we think or behave as a nation.
The physical deficiencies of what we need or lack are the symptoms and not the fundamental problems.
Our poverty may not be the lack of endowed natural wealth or human resources, but the prevalence of an uncompassionate mind that think so poorly as to deny the very basic welfare of our own citizens.
Thank God, Sierra Leone is not located in the desert, nor lacks the natural resources to build its own prosperous future.
31 July 2012
Sierra Leone’s National Electoral Commissioner – Christiana Thorpe is never too far away from controversy. If she is not being accused of rigging votes in favour of the ruling APC party as she was in 2007, she will be accused of administrative manipulation of the voter registration system to favour her pay masters.
But yesterday saw opposition politicians of all colours, reeling at the latest bombshell dropped by the Commissioner.
She has massively raised the registration fees for all candidates contesting the presidential and general elections in November. Is she playing politics, or is she demonstrating her sheer lack of business management skills?
30 July 2012
After almost five years in office, pondering how best to retrieve Yenga – a Sierra Leonean territory, annexed by a territorial hungry Guinean authorities, president Koroma seems to have given up all hope. He is now caught in a diplomatic muddle.
He has signed a meaningless agreement with the Guinean government, the legality and clarity of which, makes the people of Sierra Leone not much wiser nor better off.
Dr. Sama Banya – Puawui
30 July 2012
Thanks to the unique efforts of President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Guinean and Sierra Leonean governments have agreed to demilitarize Yenga, and to withdraw all military presence from the area.
Last Friday, a joint communiqué was signed by our own Foreign minister – J.B.Dauda and his Guinean counterpart on the vexed question of Yenga.
J.B.Dauda read the statement with such relish, that I was tempted to raise the Green, White and Blue national flag and bellow out: “High we exalt thee.”
What absolute nonsense!
28 July 2012
A report has chastised multinational corporations for the illicit transfer of most of the $ 1.5 trillion they make in Africa each year, back to the developed countries, draining hard currency reserves from the continent.
This according to the African Press Organization (APO) is stimulating inflation, reducing tax collection and deepening income gaps.
The report on ‘Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Scale and Developmental Challenges’ is adamant about the role of multinational corporations, in what some call Africa’s greatest economic sabotage.
27 July 2012
In the wake of allegations and counter-allegations of corruption involving the vice president of Sierra Leone, a renewed focus is being turned on to the manner with which the government has been entering into agreement, with foreign companies to exploit the country’s mineral resources.
Sierra Leone’s rich natural resources have the potential to net the country, an estimated annual revenue of more than $600 million. But today, the reality is that ‘declared’ annual government revenue from mining companies is less than $25 million.
Poor governance, corruption and the lack of human capacity to monitor and evaluate the operations and performance of foreign companies operating in the country, are making it easier for companies to succeed in avoiding or evading their obligations to the people of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Sama Banya – Puawui
26 July 2012
The above is the title of late President Siaka Stevens’ autobiography; it is an interesting book which tells how the son of an ordinary police man attached to government house, had risen to become the President of Sierra Leone.
I gave up finishing the book when I reached the chapters dealing with governance and the President’s constant interjection of ‘putting the country before self’.
It was back in 1959 when I was honorary secretary of the Sierra Leone Students’ Union in the United Kingdom. I saw a sensational headline in the then London Evening News newspaper: “DIPLOMAT IN COURT FOR SEXUAL OFFENCE!”
The story was about our Commissioner (we were still a dependent Colony), having been charged to court for a sexual offense against his English secretary.
I immediately called the Commissioner for confirmation, but his was a complete denial. Without waiting for the court proceedings, I sent a telegram to the Prime minister – Sir Milton Margai and repeated the commissioner’s story, adding that it was a conspiracy, because he had replaced the former colonial officer who had been commissioner since the name was changed from Liaison officer.
Fuambai Sia Ahmadu
26 July 2012
Famous actresses like Angelina Jolie have become the butt of many jokes, because of their humanitarian or “good works” in Africa and other parts of the developing world.
In Sierra Leone alone, a few of the Hollywood A-listers have taken up some sort of cause or another, highlighting the plight of war affected children, of maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition and other social challenges.
Actress and producer – Salma Hayek caused a bit of a stir, when she came to Freetown and was pictured breastfeeding an African baby (she still had breast milk from her own recent delivery) and lecturing women on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Some critics saw Hayek as another opportunistic Hollywood star, exploiting the issue of poverty and nutritional deficiencies in African children to buttress her own image as a “do-gooder” in the world.
A few Sierra Leonean cynics grumbled that these affluent, famous western women continue to portray African women as ignorant, always lacking in knowledge of what is good for their children and their own health and in need of enlightenment from more advanced, educated and wealthy western (especially white) women.
Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon
25 July 2012
Sierra Leone’s 2012 elections are the final frontier for transcending the assumed limits of our fears and perceptions; our ethnic tendencies; our political prejudices. It is a new horizon awaiting.
The message which each and every one of us should be passing on to our kith and kin, literate or illiterate, is that the choice should not be about personalities or looks or personal deeds.
It should be about the fact that this time around, we really need to sort out our defects, which somewhere deep in our psyches, we know is the reason for our continued existence in the backwaters of underdevelopment.
24 July 2012
“We cannot categorically state that President Koroma was aware of Sam’s behaviour. Should Mr. Koroma have investigated Sam a little more before trusting him?”
Those are the words of Mark Heiligman, the American businessman who accused the vice president of Sierra Leone – Sam Sumana of taking money from him under false pretences.
In his earlier letter to the people of Sierra Leone, published two days ago, Mark Heiligman not only accused the vice president of theft, but also extended his angry accusation at the president. He said that the president had collaborated in the scam.
In the latest twist to this shameful scandal, supporters and PR agents of president Koroma are already uncorking champagne bottles, in celebration of what they regard as a complete exoneration of the president by Mr. Heiligman.
But what about the vice president? With elections just few months away, is he being used as the fall guy, in an increasingly tense political atmosphere, where there are competing names of APC senior party grandees queueing up to become president Koroma’s election running mate? Or has the vice president slipped on his own banana skin?