Puawui (Dr. Sama Banya): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 April 2018:
The dust is yet to settle as the whole of Sierra Leone continues to be gripped by the SLPP’s spectacular success at the polls. Many are still getting used to saying: ‘President Julius Maada Bio – president of Sierra Leone’.
But not so, the retired octogenarian and SLPP veteran politician – Dr Sama Banya (Puawui) – (Photo), who has decided to come out from retirement from writing, to congratulate the new president and to remind him of his difficult journey to State House. This is what he said:
He said he will – they said he can’t; we said he will and by golly he has. Congratulations Mr. President Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.
It has been a long journey with lots of potholes and breaks and slush in the way, which were much worse than those on the notorious 17 mile stretch of road between Pendembu and Kailahun.
I recall with amusement the blizzard delivered on you by former Vice President Solo B, when you vied for the flag bearer position of Sierra Leone People’s Party which was in governance. You sat through it – looking at Solomon Berewa, but without uttering a word then or thereafter.
All I remember was you turning to me after the meeting and saying, without anger in your tone, “doctor did you hear all that?”
The next was the Sylvia Blyden factor during the contest for the flag bearer and later for the Presidency as the official candidate of the opposition SLPP.
That woman threw everything at you, baring the kitchen sink. Throughout that entire period and after your unsuccessful bid, thanks mainly to the sheer wicked and dishonest manipulation of the former nun turned common mistress of an already married man, Christiana Thorpe, you lost the Presidency.
After you had been persuaded by that hypocritical group of people who called themselves men of God, but primarily to hold the peace in the country, you conceded and gave up your attempts not to accept the falsified results.
Your popularity remained very high within our party. And although you were aware of all those who continued to stab you in the back, you did not hold any grudge. On the contrary, you repeatedly declared publicly your willingness to work with all, in the interest of our party.
Mr. President may also recall the occasion of the laying out ceremony of the remains of the former President Tejan-Kabbah (Photo) at the SLPP headquarters, when I urged the faithful that to maintain the legacy and policy of the late President for party unity, I declared during my tribute that there was no member at the time who was more popular or as popular as you were within the party. I admonished all to rally behind you.
Some of your detractors, led by Andrew Kelly, could no longer contain their indignation and burst out in a scathing attack on me. His newspaper to which I was a columnist, joined the attack.
Mercifully the vast majority of our membership came to my defense. Usu Boie Kamara, your main opponent in the 2011 contest, left our party and joined the ruling APC, where he and others were received with great fanfare.
The 2017 flag bearer contest came and the same group of disaffected members who had not backed you since 2011, and led by the likes of Ambassador Foday Daboh, Brima Keita, Dr. Alusine Fofana, Madam Isata Jabbie – the widow of former late President Tejan-Kabbah and their supporters, left our party and started the nucleus of the KKY Movement, which later formed an alliance with itself and called it the National Grand Coalition (NGC).
They lulled poor Dr. Kandeh Yumkella into believing that they were a popular group with a large following. And the poor chap fell for their self-deception. The result of the February 27 ballot tells the whole story.
Then there was a further rear guard action from John Benjamin, who had carried a grudge since 1996. Eddie Momoh – the editor of the Metro newspaper which was very close to John Benjamin, continued with a series of spurious attacks on you, with repeated falsehood that you had attempted two previous attacks for the Presidency and challenged your attempt to go for a third time.
Mr. President, this old man could go on an and on. But to cut a long narrative short, you are now the president of Sierra Leone. I repeat: You are now president Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone. The battle was rough as only the APC are capable of doing.
In my humble opinion you have inherited a sick, divided, and economically poor country, thanks to ten years of APC’s divisive governance, naked tribalism and regionalism, aided by massive corruption on a scale not hitherto experienced.
Your immediate task now is a healing process. You must put a stop to that crazy Mamamah Airport project with immediate effect.
The outgoing government must be made to respond to the Auditor General’s numerous queries, as well as how they have acquired all their wealth.
You must have absolutely no confidence in the activities of the Anti-Corruption Commission, as it continues to run after head teachers and court clerks, while turning a blind eye to what has stared them in the face for ten years.
I do not intend to resume my Puawui column, but with one more entry, I will resume my retirement activities.
Whilst President Bio is at work plugging all the leakages, please do not forget to guard the borders of Sierra Leone, the sea ports, the airport. These must be closely monitored to prevent cash belonging to the state, government vehicles and other movable items being smuggled out of the country.
Mamamah Airport is a big white elephant which will cost 400 million dollars and should be scrapped. It will benefit the Chinese more than it will benefit Sierra Leoneans. What an outrage. That 400 million dollars can be better used to provide free education to every child in Sierra Leone.
Nonsense it’s always hard to deal with any person whose sole concern is in reading just a single book. It’s also pitiable
with regards to the unfortunate people, who have not been able to travel around the world to see.
Note: The importance of an airport to this kind of people, is really less significant. Because they have never travelled and so they really see no use to Sierra Leone having a brand new airport, with state of the art facilities. All this resembles somebody reading just a single book in his entire life.
Note: Is it really a “white elephant” project, the construction of the Mamamah International Airport for Sierra Leone???. No no it is not a “white elephant” project at all. Here are some benefits listed below as thus:
1. The new airport will boost investor confidence
2. The new airport will boost tourism influx’
3. The new airport will create jobs
4. The new airport will put Sierra Leone on the map
5. it will be one of the best in Africa when it is finished
6. it will creates viable environment for local businesses
7. it will create and instil entrepreneurial self-driving spirit Within inactive Sierra Leoneans
8. Sierra Leoneans will be proud of this powerful facility
9. Don’t Listen to do nothing people, with regards to this God given to be implemented facility.
10. Ignorance is a big problem within Sierra Leone it self, the Project is not a “white elephant”, it is a good project for me and you and generations yet unborn, will all benefit.
Note: no country in the world can develop without having a credible airport. travel around the world and see. So sorry to
all the nonsense talkers, the ignorant, the so-called educated illiterate, the novice, and to the secret conspirators and enemies of progress. They are naive and all left behind in the world. We are going to build the airport for all Sierra Leonean pride’s sake.
I will sincerely extend my deepest appreciation to the former Sierra head of state, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for accomplishing
and giving Sierra Leone this beautiful gift.
Your advice is total Nonsense. I was expecting Kortoh Dr. Sama Banya to show better common sense and experience in
Understanding of Sierra Leone politics and it ramifications, with what you are now proposing, since you being a rolling stone from the SLPP party to APC Siaka Stevens.
Your comments are ridiculous and rather unfortunate. Do you mean your alleged president with election question mark?
You are dangerously ill advising him to go ahead and cancel the mamamah state of the art international airport project which has already been signed and approved by the Chinese communist party. This actually shows, that you are basically not
Competent to be an adviser to your alleged president with election questions mark.
What a shame on you Dr Banya. This actually is shows that you are indeed one of the enemies of progress, and a secret conspirator. Had it not been for the deliberate and ill-advised Ernest Bai Koroma’s infamous decisions, by handing over power to someone who was assisted by the international community, the British, Au, Ecowas, IMF, Nigeria, Ghana, and the UNDP, there wouldn’t have been any thing called SLPP taking political power in Sierra Leone at all.
So am advising you and your alleged president to tread carefully with all APC sign projects with funding attached to them. If you people go ahead and cancel these projects, that will be the beginning of the end of your infamous government.
Here we go again…a new phase of neurotic tirades. Evangelist, the theme of the piece is REFLECTIVE and CONGRATULATORY, not advisory. Please don’t pull while others push!!
I agree, Mamamah must go on, for all the reasons provided.
Well done Puawui. I agree, the Mamamah Airport Project must be stopped immediately; followed with the toll gate contract to be reviewed as promised in the Presidential debate. The two toll gates at Masiaka and Songo must stop collecting money immediately.
No work has been done at these two toll gates; the only area where work has taken place is the money collection point; immediately after that is the old road. This is a criminal act against the people of Sierra Leone.
There is virtually no qualms honouring the Auditor General’s report if we want that institution to continue carrying out their mandate. The previous government tried to make them redundant by not considering any of their reports; they were not taken seriously.
These guys need to explain their wealth. If not, People will not see anything wrong in corrupt practices. There is nothing wrong to ask people to give account of their stewardship. This is in fact a religious practice. We are told by both the Bible and the Quran that we will surely have to give account on the day of judgment on how we spent our lives on earth.
The President needs to investigate the spending spree of the drunken Sailors. Their unexplained wealth makes the general public think foolish of themselves, and hence consider Politics as a money making machine.
Dr Banya’s statement is full of wisdom and President Bio should take hints from him for a successful tenure. All corruption matters should be sincerely investigated and funds stolen should be brought back into our ailing economy.