Pragmatic presidents and versatile leaders – that is SLPP

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!


  1. This statement and I quote – ‘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.’ interest’s me very much.

    Will the APC if they win in 2023 do the same? I hope people will not take my statement as true. It’s just for comparison. Let’s say the APC takes power and they say for example, the SLPP dismantle all the very good policies or whatever people may call it. Should people believe?

    My question to Dr. Banya is, what needs to be done to curb such practices by governments after they take power? I believe that continuity(especially good policies with former governments) must continue. But the blame game keeps repeating.

    When APC comes, they say THIS and when SLPP comes they say THAT. Should the people of Sierra Leone have to leave with THIS and THAT forever? I think it’s time for the APC and the SLPP to retire because, these two parties keep teetering confusion all over the place.

    I hope God may one day send us someone who will just put these two giants on the sidelines and make them account for their stewardship. Dr. Banya is an experienced politician in our country and I respect him. He was once a minister in the APC government. It was minister of FINANCE if I am not mistaken. So, when he speaks people must listen and make the best of his wise thoughts.

    He knows the very truth in Sierra Leone politics. Believe me. From bad to good politics. May be YUKI YUKI to honest politics. I pray that he lives long so that he will mentor me if I ever want to enter into politics.
    LONG LIVE THE DR. Banya.

    • Sahr you and many others are the cause of the continual downfall of Sierra Leone. How long will Sierra Leone have to suffer? SLPP though corrupt I can attest has done more progress. By all records APC is the most corrupted party in Sierra Leone. “Look as bad as it may sound” if Sierra Leoneans do not wake and wake up faster to change.

      There will be a bitter and dreadful war set to unveil. Sierra Leoneans citizens are tired of this APC and SLPP political games, greed and gimmicks. Why should Earnest Bia Koroma, a once insurance seller, high school dropout, no public service background become president and now own mansions all over Sierra Leone and beyond, while citizens of Sierra Leone die everyday due to poverty? Why,why, so many whys?

      When will there be change? Why hasn’t Earnest Bia Koroma been charged for fraud? He is guilty on all counts and he should be in jail. Why oh why must Sierra Leone continue suffer? This is too much; Sierra Leoneans are tired!!

  2. I sometimes wonder where some of the musicians were getting their facts from when some of their lyrics were full of negativity against the late President Kabba’s government for example “ Borbor Belleh and Corruption Corruption “ which I believe helped brainwash some of the voters that the SLPP government then was worthless.

    But few years later after APC won the 2007 election, I also listened to the lyrics from the same musician saying “ Yeterday betteh pas tiday” and I am sometimes shocked when some APC members always refer to late President Pa Kabba as a role model only after his death.

    I personally believe that the communication unit of the SLPP government then should have done much better job in disseminating some of these information, but hopefully with the appointment of this new information minister and his deputy together with their communications unit will continue to propagate the successes of the new direction especially in the social media and never be complacent because the APC propaganda machine will always continue to be on overdrive.

    • Thank you very much Joe. I love such comments.
      Let me quote what you said – ‘Sahr you and many others are the cause of the continual downfall of Sierra Leone.’ Will you please clarify your statement?

      Please reply as soon as possible and let’s discuss. You might be right or have a point.

    • Joe,

      There is corruption everywhere in the world. But what Dr. Banya is saying is that relative to the useless APC, SLPP heads of governments or presidents have been pragmatic and versatile. Consider the corrupt and inept Siaka Stevens, Joseph Momoh and Ernest Bai Koroma. Can you by any measure compare them with Sir Milton Margai, Sir Albert Margai, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Julius Maada Bio?

      Fact is that the APC is a curse on Sierra Leone. APC has always been associated with calamities – the civil war, armed robbery, Ebola, mudslides, etc. How long can Sierra Leone keep being a patient on a death bed with the unscrupulous APC?

  3. A braggish piece but, I’m afraid, hardly any substance. I must say, I like the flow of words: like a song.

    Perhaps better next time round. Keep it up.

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