Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 May 2018:
All eyes will tomorrow, Thursday 10th May 2018, be on the official state opening of Sierra Leone’s parliament. President Julius Maada Bio will officially meet and address all members of parliament representing his ruling SLPP, the main opposition APC, Yumkella’s NGC, C4C, Independents, and paramount chiefs.
And there will be none of the disorderly and violent conduct witnessed a few weeks ago, when elected MPs of the opposition APC were forcefully removed from the House by police, after running amok and desecrating parliamentary documents, including the Holy Books used for swearing of oath.
But in the last week, the Parliamentary Appointments Committee has been busy scrutinising the ministerial nominees put forward by president Bio for approval.
The approval process reached a climax yesterday, when all MPs present in parliament debated and accepted the recommendations of the committee to approve all fifteen names in their reports.
One of the most poignant moments yesterday, came when Dr. Kandeh Yumkella made a statement, admonishing the approved ministers to put Sierra Leone first in all their dealings as ministers.
This is what he said:
“On behalf of the National Grand Coalition (NGC), we’ve been very constructive in our meetings. We have screened you as individuals and we believe you can perform.
“Listening to my left side and your right-side Hon. Speaker, one almost feels these men and women can walk on water.
“However, I hasten to caution disappointment is proportional to expectation. We guide that we manage expectations, but I just want to join Hon. Tunis and colleagues on the committee to re-state in public what we said to each of them.
“You were chosen for a reason. You were chosen to serve this country and the people of this republic. The expectations are high, and the challenges are huge.
“You have a hard work to do. We emphasize in some cases that whether it is a reward or competence that made you get your appointments, you have to perform. It is all about delivery now. We hope you will deliver.
“We wish all the nominees well and we assure all those on the Speaker’s right that there is no dismantling of anything. If anything, there is going to be growth and success of others. God bless you all”.
You can listen to Dr. Yumkella here: