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The President’s Legacy, Our Duty to Protect! PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Baimba Sesay-CHINA   
Thursday, 23 February 2017 21:01

With a date announced for the 2018 general elections, a platform has been provided for parties to officially start the process of ensuring victory at the end. This can be a herculean task for the next one year, politically speaking.

Where there had been political mudslinging and infighting for close to a decade, behind-the scene smokescreen peace process had to be initiated even if for the pleasure of supporters and other stakeholders. Well, can such moves be a clear ruse? Only time will tell!

With huge achievements scored by the governing party, efforts should yet not be reduced in ensuring the people-the masses are informed, told of what has been achieved and what lies ahead should there be a change in political leadership, nationally.

Hard facts, a national change in partisan leadership in 2018 would mean a reverse in whatever gains we have made over the years. This should be discouraged, democratically, for the very good of the country’s growth trajectory!

The All People’s Congress is seeking a third political mandate from the voters. It democratically, in 2007 removed a governing party-SLPP from political power, thanks to the likable character, added to other features of then Opposition Leader and later President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. It is politically correct to conclude, that President Ernest Bai Koroma has been a determinant force in reshaping the APC today. He has been a master player in the very growth of the Party. The Party removed brutally from power in 1992, feared to be associated with, is no more the APC we have today!

Not only in building the strength  of his Party and in allowing an open political space for opposition parties, the President’s eight years in office have accounted hugely for the growth the country has undergone. From sustaining her democratic credentials, to improving her image globally, building a broken infrastructure nationally(including perceived Opposition strongholds), fighting graft, building the economy and promoting women and generally gender related issues, the country has come a long way, thanks to the collective will and the astute leadership  of the President.  

There has been the creation of institutional frameworks added to the physical and human infrastructural foundations; government’s expenditure profile had to be tilted towards growth related spending, with an enlarged total capital expenditure. We witnessed an extremely sturdy revenue performance, due to an improved collection of domestic taxes with a dedicated workforce.NRA today talks about trillions in their revenue collection drive. Impressive!

The launch of the Free Health Care Initiative for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five in April of 2010 resulted to massive increase in the use of health services and better health care access across the country. Though there still are challenges, what though became apparent is, that the number of health facilities increased by an encouraging percentage, with  facilities, including maternity wards, basic emergency obstetric and newborn care centres, new referral hospitals and medical stores established or being constructed.

The enactment by the country, in 2008, of the most aggressive anti-corruption legislation in the region, if not the continent saw us making steady and tremendous progress in tackling graft, with public officials being chased and made to account for their actions. The country continues to make strides in promoting integrity and fighting widespread Corruption.

Human rights and political freedom remained guaranteed, with no politician or media practitioner jailed. Generally, government’s support for the autonomy of the country’s Human Right Commission has been outstanding and commendable, thus eventually creating the platform for it to improve its effectiveness resulting in its elevation to “A” status by the United Nations.

Not only has the commission maintained a Comprehensive Annual State of Human Rights Report, it also has enabled government successfully report and participate in the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review. The country now remains committed to international peace and stability, and contributing to regional peace efforts thus eventually creating a tough self-assured democratic and nonviolent nation, accomplished with the support of the global community.

This is very important-we do have a legacy to protect and maintain first as a country and as a political Party the APC-the legacy of this President and government. The best we could do to protect these legacies is returning the party to power come 2018. But bulk of such work depends on what we do in the coming months as a political party, leading to the general elections. There is no way we could allow the accomplishments of this government be taken to the gallows of political execution (ballot box) and be killed (by allowing a defeat come 2018). This means, working assiduously and collectively if such should be protected and the work should start now and it involves a united force. The work starts now!  

Elections are not won on the day ballots are cast, rather through a long steady democratic process; talking to party members, ensuring they are registered to vote and convincing them to vote on the day of voting. It is strategic to have a candidate that could get us what President Ernest Koroma got us during the last elections, and eventually demonstrating our readiness to support the single candidate we shall be having!  

Our Members of Parliament and councilors- including Chairpersons of Councils are core players in all of this. They should be one of many platforms upon which the party could stand, in reaching the desire goal. The work they may have done should all be contributing factors.  A win in the 2018 general elections can be a gift we could offer ourselves for his (Party Leader and Chairman) legacy, it is our duty to protect!

The APC is a mass Party; the people being the cornerstone upon which Party strength is built. The bigger picture is the Party and it ideals; the desire of one should not undermine the aspirations of all and sundry. At the end, we should be able to come together as we have always done for there is victory for us in the struggle!

 

 

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.

Read more...

Business News

ACC CAPACITATES SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK STAFF ON ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION ISSUES

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.

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Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.

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Commentary

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
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View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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News - Press Release

Regent village head calls on LAB to tackle domestic violence

The village head for Regent, Ms. Jokomie Browne has called on the Legal Aid Board to help curb the increase in incidence of domestic violence in the Regent Community in the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.

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Society -Local News

250 LAB trains staff on Alternative Dispute Resolution

A hundred and twenty-five staff and volunteers of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board including lawyers and paralegals have benefited from a four-day training on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the Stadium Hostels in Freetown from the 24 to the 27 July 2017.

Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 

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Development

30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.

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Politics

News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
 
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
 
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
Read more...
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