Dr Sama Banya: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 March 2019:
In the last Puawui edition I made reference to the success story and achievements of the previous SLPP President the late Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan-Kabbah, who departed this world for eternity five years ago. May his gentle soul continue to rest in the Lord. I listed some of his innovations which enhanced good governance and promoted democracy.
Two of his pragmatic lieutenants at the time were Alhaji Kanja Sesay and Alpha Timbo. I remember an occasion in a part of what was then my extensive Kailahun South constituency when I was a Member of Parliament. I was introducing some dignitaries in Vice President Solomon Berewa’s campaign team in Jojoima.
All I asked was whether there was any part of the country that was known to anybody, which did not have at least a NaCSA sign board. When I announced that Mr. NaCSA himself, (meaning the leadership of the Agency) was among us, there was thunderous applause as Alhaji Kanja Sesay rose for identification. (Photo: Dr Sama Banya)
NaCSA was one of the most successful agencies whose activities had a direct impact on the country especially during the post war Demobilisation, Disarmament and Resettlement period. Today he is heading the vital Energy ministry and the positive evidence is sticking out everywhere.
I will say nothing here about the failed solar street lights in the Provincial cities and towns under the APC, except that they were money down the drain. Check the ones along Lumley beach as well.
Alpha Timbo was the SLTU Secretary General who was brought into the Tejan-Kabbah administration mainly as a result of his performance within the Civil Society humanitarian exercise,a during the notorious January 6 rebel invasion of Freetown.
As Labour minister he began to set up NASSIT from scratch and in spite of the rotten ferry incident, the misuse of its funds and other nefarious activities of the new management under the APC it remains a bulwark of the SLPP administrations handy work.
Another innovative action of the President Tejan-Kabbah government was the creation of revised and authoritative local government structures with democratically elected councils. Following the elections, both President Tejan-Kabbah and his Vice President Solomon Berewa personally visited every local government Authority throughout the country to install the New Councils.
Emphasis was laid on the local government “Being the highest Authority” in the local governance structure; much responsibility was to be devolved to them and indeed a special secretariat was set up for just that exercise.
When the APC took over government in 2007 they dismantled practically all the essential functions and responsibilities which reverted to the central government followed by its now infamous “orders from above.” It won’t surprise me if many such crooked deals are exposed in the ongoing Commissions of Inquiry.
In his 2018 Campaign Manifesto, the SLPP Presidential Candidate who is now his Excellency President Julius Maada Bio promised to DEVOLVE all those functions back to the local governments.
What a joy, what a relief and what a sign of progress that it is not quite twelve months and the Special Committee meeting under the chairmanship of the quiet but result-oriented Vice President, has published a long list of the responsibilities that are to be devolved with immediate effect.
Needless to say this is going to enhance the functions of the local councils with particular reference to revenue mobilisation, job creation and youth employment. Yes, the Tolongbo opposition must be wondering what this “Talk-and-do” pragmatic Paopa will leave for them to contest at the end of ten years or more. As my cockney land lady Mrs. Mudge would have said, “They aint seeing nothing yet Sama!