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HON. JOSEPH F. KAMARA IS A NATIONAL CHARACTER WITH THE POPULAR VOTES PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bandabla Sam Mbomah   
Friday, 03 February 2017 16:30

Sierra Leone’s political history as recent as 1996 to date has proven that the perceived new comers to the two major political parties; the Sierra Leone People’s Party(SLPP) and the All People’s Congress(APC) always take them to State House for two consecutive terms.

In 1996 when constitutionality returned to Sierra Leone after the National Provisional Ruling Council(NPRC) Junta rule, both the green and red parties encountered the problem of who should become their flagbearer. The dilemma then was not due to a dearth of Presidential materials within their parties but a kind of rebranding the images of perceived Mende hegemony in the SLPP and dictatorship and one party mentality within the APC. SLPP countered this negative perception by sacrificing its biological seeds like Charles F. Margai, Dr.SamaBanya et al for a “newcomer and stranger”, the Late Dr. Ahmed TejanKabbah.

The reason for this fortunate trade off by the SLPP was to sway public opinion off tribalism and nepotism which was the hallmark of the greens and take over State governance after thirty years in the wilderness. The old guards in the party were definitely not happy but accepted Dr.Kabbah who served as an instrument to prevent the APC from coming back to power. Indeed Dr.Kabbah won two consecutive elections for the SLPP in 1996 and 2000 respectively.

The APC was revived under the old guards, namely; Hon. Edward Turay, Serry Kamal (Late), OshoWilliams(Late), Chukuma Johnson(late), Sanie Sesay, Birch Contehand others,but could not make a  breakthrough in any of these elections. Contrary to the SLPP scenario, some amongst the APC old guards rejected the young and charismatic Insurance Broker, Ernest Bai Koromawhom the majority believed would give the party a new look and rescue them from the political wilderness, where they had been consigned since 1992.

ErnestKoroma was persecuted and humiliated but due to his honesty and genuine intent to serve Sierra Leone, defeated his internal enemies and secured an emphatic victory in the 2007 polls. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is on record as being one of a handful of opposition leaders in Africa to remove a sitting Government from power.

In referencing these significant events in the political history of both the APC and the SLPP, the Partyelders are to be reminded that “New” does not imply unelectability or inexperienced. The global vogue is the value a candidate can add to his Party rather than membership by inheritance.

This brings me to the issue of the Hon. Joseph F. Kamara, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who despite the clarion call by the general populace as the fittest replacement for Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is being referred to as a “Newcomer” by some of theAPC  old guards.

African electorates naturally believe in the transition plan of power changing hands to the opposition after every two terms regardless of the performance of the ruling Party. In the case of Sierra Leone, the global economic meltdown has seemingly affected but not destroyedthe development strides of President Koroma. Ebola, a drop in world commodity prices plus Economic and legal reforms influenced by our Western partners have further triggered mass disenchantment among the populace as we move towards the 2018 Presidential and Parliamentary polls.

The people however see hope in only one candidate among the would -be aspirants in both the SLPP and the APC, that is, Hon. Joseph F. Kamara. JFK, as he is popularly called is the “new oil for Sierra Leone”. His unblemished career history and forthright nature makes him exceptional.  The youths who constitute 60 percent of the voter population describe him as a unifier, a national character who judge people not by their tribe or region but what they can offer to take Sierra Leone to another level.

It is evident in JFK’s performance at the Justice Ministry since his appointment in January, 2016 that he has the capacity to protect and build on the Legacy of President Koroma. His passion for information, communications technology equates him with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. The Realization that information technology is the engine for economic growth is a sign that a JFK Presidency will transform Sierra Leone to the envy of Africa.

Political debates in popular opposition Pubs see APC’s JFK as their alternative Presidential candidate if all efforts to unite their party fails. “The gentleman is easy to market. He is a likeable character and has roots in all the regions. His father was born in Moyamba District from a Tonkolili parentage, his mother hails from Bombali district and happily married to a woman from the Western area” Thomas Lahai explained.

To the opposition supporters, a JFK candidature will see them stay in opposition for the next ten years as the gentleman is still in his early fifties.According to a strong party supporter, MusuGbemeh, “JFK is handsome, hardworking, a grassroots person and entrepreneurial; such a man cannot be traded off in the name of old versus new political gimmick”.

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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Business News

Four illegal fishing cases found in Sierra Leone in four days

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 20, 2017/ -- Four illegal fishing cases have been found during a joint surveillance mission conducted by Greenpeace (www.Greenpeace.org/Africa/en) and Sierra Leone fishery authorities. Two Chinese vessels and one Korean vessel have been arrested for infringements of Sierra Leone fishing legislation, including possessing or using illegal fishing nets on board, no visible marking and a lack of required paperwork, including log books and authorisation for unloading catch. Fishing authorities ordered the vessels to return to Freetown port for further investigation. A fourth vessel, owned by an Italian company, was found with four kilograms of shark fins on board. Though not illegal under Sierra Leonean laws, this is a clear violation of European Union (EU) fishing rules. This boat’s case will be taken further with relevant EU authorities.

In addition, more than 70 bags of shark carcasses were found on one of the Chinese vessels.

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Media News

Press Freedom under Siege in West Africa: 30 Media Workers Arrested in 38 Days

The 30 victims, made up of 15 journalists and 15 media technicians, were arrested, detained and/or assaulted in 10 separate incidents in four countries namely Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo. Nigeria recorded six incidents, Cote d’Ivoire recorded two incidents while Guinea and Togo recorded an incident each.

In Nigeria, seven journalists were arrested and detained during the period. In Cote d’Ivoire, six journalists were arrested and detained in a single incident while one journalist each was affected in Guinea and Togo, bringing the total number of journalists affected to 15. In respect of the other media workers, nine staff of a newspaper printing firm were arrested in single incident. In Cote d’Ivoire, six technicians working with the state-owned television station were also arrested in a single incident.

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Commentary

A NEW DAWN FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SIERRA LEONE, PARLIAMENT APPROVES MELRON NICOL-WILSON AS NEW OMBUDSMAN

The Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Mr Melron Nicol-Wilson as new Ombudsman, on Tuesday April 11, 2017. This follows him being named by H.E President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as the replacement to Justice Edmond Cowan - a long-standing legal icon, who now chairs the Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Committee.

A man whose action speaks louder than words, Mr Nicol-Wilson has been appointed as new Ombudsman for Sierra Leone, a position reserved for high-profile people, who are well-respected and with unblemished character. Mr Nicol-Wilson has the typical pedigree of an Ombudsman, best known both in Sierra Leone and internationally as a champion for justice and human rights.  

The Parliament’s decision to approve Mr Nicol-Wilson was anticipated, as the high-profile human rights lawyer emerged unscathed from an exchange of views with Members of Parliament.

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View Point

ELECTION IS A TESTIMONY TO PEOPLE’S SOVEREIGNTY

(The thoughts expressed in this article are purely and entirely the thoughts of the author)

Election in any democratic setting, include the enjoyment of those rights that will elicit the full participation of individuals in determining the political life of his/her country. An election is a decision making process through which eligible citizens(those who have reached the age of majority, 18 years and above and with sound mind) freely choose their leaders through the ballot box to hold public offices for a specified term.

Generally, people vote with the expectation that the office holders would represent their communitiesand or countries best interest.  Elections are viewed as a central feature of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. Essentially, election is a testimony to peoples’ sovereignty and that ought to be respected and the process must be credible, otherwise there will be challenge with regards the acceptance of the result.

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News - Press Release

Police reject security for Alternative Peoples Independence Procession and Rally

April 24th 2017: On the occasion of the 56th anniversary of Sierra Leone’s independence, Movement for Social Progress (MSP) had requested the Sierra Leone Police to provide the necessary security for a peaceful Alternative Peoples Independence Procession and Rally that was planned to coincide with the official celebrations. The procession was planned to start from Clock Tower to Brima Atouga Stadium in the East end of the city while the official events are scheduled to take place in the West end of the city.

In a meeting with senior members of the Sierra Leone Police at the SLP headquarters, on Monday 24th April attended by the Inspector General, Francis Munu, the Head of Police Operations, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Al-Sheikh Kamara, AIG Memuna Konteh Jalloh, AIG FUK Dabor, among others, the police top brass told members of MSP that they would not be able to provide security for the procession and rally.

The Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, informed the meeting that they were overstretched with covering the official events, the traditional masquerade (or Odele) parade as well as the Lantern Parade on the eve of Independence.

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Society -Local News

AG to launch LAB in Waterloo

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has told the people of Waterloo that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice (AG), Hon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara will serve as the keynote speaker at the launch of the Legal Aid Board in Waterloo in the Western Area Rural District on 6 May 2017.

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles pointed out thatHon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara has served as keynote speaker in all the launches the Board has had around the country. He noted that the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice is the supervisory ministry for the Legal Aid Board and further underlined the importance of having the holder of the office at such events in terms of availing himself with the challenges ordinary people face in accessing the justice system. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for these issues to be discussed by the cabinet.

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Development

LAB wants transports to allocate seats to the blind

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has disclosed plans to launch a White Cane Campaign in the coming weeks.

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles made the disclosure while addressing a cross section of the Waterloo Community including stakeholders at the District Council Hall on Monday, 24 April 2017 in a meeting to plan the launch of the Legal Aid Board in Waterloo in the WesternArea Rural District on 6 May 2017.

She noted that the campaign will seek to address the challenges faced by blind people in using public transport. ‘Blind people have been suffering in silence for far too long,’ she said. ‘They have been discriminated against because of their disability and this cannot be tolerated.’

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Politics

SAM SUMANA TRAVELS TO GHANA ON "EMERGENCY TRAVEL CERTIFICATE"
Former elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana left Freetown International Airport, Lungi late afternoon Wednesday April 19, 2017 onboard Kenya Airways on an "Emergency Travel Certificate",  en route to Abuja, Nigeria on or about April 23/24, 2017 for the hearing of his petition filed on October 24, 2016 in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, "seeking an enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights arising from his unconstitutional removal from office, and for further orders contained in the application."
 
"This matter has been set down for hearing by the Court for April 26, 2017."
 
According to a spokesman for the Sam Sumana family Matthias Bendu who was with Sam Sumana at the airport until the aircraft was airborne because of advanced information reaching the family that there would be some problem awaiting Sam Sumana at the airport, Matthias Bendu told this Writer on the cellphone from the airport that Sam Sumana "was detained by Immigration Officers at the airport for more than thirty minutes  after the aircraft  landed, and it was due to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Francis Munu who told the immigration Officers that Sam Sumana had not committed any crime and must be allowed to travel".
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