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Dr. David Tam-Baryoh: A New Broom in Sierra Leone Politics PDF Print E-mail
Written by Emmanuel Aiah Senessie   
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 21:46

Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is a household name in Sierra Leone, mostly because of his“Good Governance” popular radio programme called monologue. In fact the programme has become sopopular that most people prefer to call the presenter “Mr. Monologue”. Recently Mr. Monologue said in two or three of his programmes that he would be going intopolitics. It looked like a joke the first time he said it. But after saying it over threeor four times it is no longer a joke.

So Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is going into politics in 2018. Those who are very closeto him will tell you that this is a fact. The Doctor has made up his mind. Afterdiscussing and editing serious national issues on newspaper pages and on the airwaves for almost twenty five years, hehas decided that he cannot achieve much for the people behind the microphone and the pen. He now wants toengage into something that will make a direct impact on the lives of Sierra Leoneans.

And the Doctor thinks politics is the best way to do this, if we look at politics as“the authoritative allocation of scarce resources within a nation state.” He wants tobe part of the allocation of Sierra Leone’s scarce resources.

Many people who have heard about the Doctor’s political intentions for 2018 areasking questions, and for which they want answers. One of these questions, and avery pertinent one at that, is: in what capacity does the Doctor want to contest?

Does he want to become the District Council Chairman for Kono or does he wantto enter Parliament in his home Constituency? No one knows for sure yet. TheDoctor has not yet come out plainly on this. There is another question, perhapsmore serious than the first two: does Doctor Tam-Baryoh want to become Presidentof Sierra Leone?The thought alone of seeing Doctor David Tam-Baryoh contesting as a Presidentialcandidate will make many people stagger. Will this critical journalist who hascondemned corruption in every form be allowed to contest the 2018 elections as apresidential candidate? Supposing he wins (and he has a lot of chances to win),what will happen to those who think that Sierra Leone is their personal gold-mine?

But the most important of all the questions people are asking is this: Whichpolitical party is ready to put forward Doctor David Tam-Baryoh as its presidentialcandidate? It is very likely that only the smaller parties will do it because thisstormy petrel has, on account of the grassroots-peasants, quarreled with almost all the politicians in the two main politicalparties; the Sierra Leone Peoples Party and the All People Congress. But politicsbeing what it is, one should not rule this out yet. Politics is not an exact science,because it deals with human behaviour which is characterized by unpredictability.

So it is possible that one of the two major parties will select Doctor David Tam-Baryohas their Presidential candidate. That is the paradox of politics. It has neitherfriends nor enemies, but only interests.

So in whose interest will it be to select Dr David Tam-Baryoh as its Presidentialcandidate for the 2018 elections? Perhaps we will only have an answer to thisquestion by the end of April 2017.

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. David Tam Baryoh: already looking presidential?

If Dr. David Tam-Baryoh becomes the presidential candidate of any of the politicalparties, what will be his unique selling point? What are the qualities that will makehim a winnable candidate? This is the issue the electorate will obviously look atbefore they vote for him. They will not vote for him because he has a Phd and regarded as highly educated, orbecause he has been practising as a journalist for twenty five years. What are thequalities that people see in Mr. Monologue that will make them vote for him?

Number One, Visibility. By visibility we mean being in the public eye for over asustained period on issues that are of relevance to the wellbeing of the people. Soon the side of visibility, Dr. David Tam-Baryoh will definitely score high marks.For he has been in the public eye in this country for almost twenty five years informing the people, advocating for their wellbeing, exposing corruption in high places andfighting injustice especially on behalf of the proverbial common man. In factpeople have heard the name and they are in love with it. The name Tam-Baryoh isa household name in Sierra Leone.

Number Two, Believability. Believability is the quality of being believed or beingtrustworthy. In the area of information gathering and dissemination, Dr. David Tam-Baryoh hasbeen believable, credible and trustworthy. That is why people do not get tiredlistening to Monologue on Saturdays for they know that whatever information hegives out is reliable. He has never attempted to gloss over inconvenient facts, evenif it has to do with his home District of Kono. For this, he has stepped on many soretoes and the common man loves him for that. He has been the voice of thevoiceless.

Number Three, Humility. Those of us who have been close to Dr. David Tam-Baryoh know him as a man who has the gift of humility. With all his enviableachievements, he is not arrogant, high handed, or desirous to attract the attention ofthe public in a self-aggrandizing way. He has sat in public places without manypeople knowing who he is, until he has left. He loves it that way. So we wonderhow he will manage this aspect of his character when he gets thrown into thelimelight of politics where the vuvuzelas will be continually singing his praises.

Tam-Baryoh, if he gets to become President of this country, on whichever politicalplatform, will be a new broom inSierra Leone politics. And as they say, a newbroom sweeps clean. Without any stain yet on his character, will he deliver thegoods so that those who have put their hope in him will not be disappointed? Orwill he get messed up by the old politicians who will descend on him like vultureson carrion, thereby forcing him to become another of the tribe of politicians?

Only time will tell.

 

 

Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

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PARLIAMENT RATIFIES TWO AGREEMENTS TO IMPROVE ON PORTS FACILITIES

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.

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"President Koroma is a big disappointment to press freedom" - SLAJ

Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, has said that President Ernest Bai Koroma has disappointed the media on press freedom in the country. 

“Successive governments have given us false hopes on the repeal of the criminal libel law. The politicians have lied to us. They have taken us to be big fools. President Koroma is our biggest disappointment. We had high hopes in him but he failed us woefully. So we will not trust any politician again, because when they get into office they forget about their promises,” said Nasralla.
 
Nasralla was speaking last Friday while formally launching a report on criminal defamation laws in Africa by PEN Sierra Leone at the SLAJ Harry Yansaneh Memorial Hall, Campbell Street, Freetown. 
 
He recalled that before he was first elected President of the Republic in 2007, President Koroma was a staunch campaigner against criminal libel law in Sierra Leone, but when he became President he suddenly had a different view.
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Commentary

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As the national or general elections loom in Sierra Leone and, as a true citizen, I solemnly pray and hope with all hopes that Sierra Leoneans of the voting age will consider carefully who they would vote for, come March 2018. The divisive and immature nature of politics as it exists in Sierra Leone has, to a greater extent, contributed to the country lagging behind nearly all other countries in terms of progressive development. My readers should be mindful of the fact that certain countries in Africa would rather develop retrogressively than progressively, a situation wherein governments embark on ego-boosting programs that aren’t beneficial to the average citizen.

A government which expends its energy for the benefit of the people is a progressive government and that is what Sierra Leoneans want at this time after being in the doldrums for ages. It is therefore absolutely necessary for fellow citizens to refrain from casting their valued votes in favor of candidates because of tribal or regional affiliations but on how genuine and capable that candidate is, otherwise stagnation in progress is bound to follow.

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Youth Unemployment Is A Killer Virus In Sierra Leone

“I studied Sociology at NjalaUniversity and graduated in 2015 but still unemployed despite several interviews being attended. I am currently awaiting my MSc at Njala University which is to be awarded early next year,” said 29 year old MabintyKamara.

“I graduated in 2012 with Honours from the Department of Accounting, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. I have sent several job applications; the only long job I got was with the International Medical Corps during the deadly Ebola virus and since then no job. I was also a volunteer teacher but the Minister of Education, Science and Technology did not approve me and others after almost a year of voluntary service so I quit,” said 31 year old Mohamed LaminKanneh.

In Sierra Leone, despite the numerous promises made by President Ernest BaiKoroma to figuratively ‘lay his life for the youth,’ unemployment among youth is one of the highest with no end in sight to reduce the spate of this social menace. According to the United Nations Development Program, approximately 70% of youth are underemployed or unemployed and an estimated 800,000 youth today are actively searching for employment.

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FREETOWN, December 13, 2017 —The World Bank Group has approved aSupplemental Financing (SF) in the amount of US$10 million to help the Government of Sierra Leone meet immediate needs associated with the landslide and flooding disaster that struck Freetown on August 14, 2017.The SF is a grant, provided as a supplemental budget support operation that will flow directly into the Government’s budget.

The funding, under the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), will ensure that the reforms supported under thisoperation remain on track and are implemented without the risk of delays due to competing capacity or budgetary priorities arising from the post-disaster recovery. It will also help with the rebuilding of critical infrastructuredestroyed during the landslide and flooding.

Since the end of the Ebola epidemic, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has initiated substantive reforms to boost productivity, restore fiscal stability, and gradually rebuild buffers. The Government initiated substantive reforms, focusing on agriculture, fisheries and energy, supported by the First Productivity and Transparency Support Credit (PTSC-I), to boost productivity and start rebuilding the country's buffers.

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ANNIE WALSH WINS HUMAN RIGHTS DEBATE
Fatmata Binta Jalloh Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School has won this years’ Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone Inter-Secondary School debate on the topic ‘respect for human rights as a pre-requisite for a politically tolerant and peaceful 2018 elections’.  
The debate which was held at the Sierra Leone Library Board with five Secondary Schools participating is part of series of activities undertaken by HRCSL in commemorating the International Human Rights Day Celebration on December 10th, 2017. Fatmata Binta Jalloh of the Annie Walsh Memorial School came first by defeating Amos Claudius Gordon from the Prince of Wales who came second, Abubakar Marrah from Saint Edwards Secondary School came third and Kelfala Kamara of the Government Model Secondary School came fourth and Evelyn T. Ahorney from the Saint Joseph’s Secondary School coming fifth.
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FREETOWN, December13, 2017 —The World Bank Group on November 17, 2017 approved Additional Financing in the amount of US$59.57 million to West African Power Pool (WAPP) - Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea (CLSG) PowerInterconnection Project, which aims to increase electricity supply in the four participating countries.

The project will interconnect the four participating countries into the 225 kV (kilo volt) regional energy market in West Africa, and will also enable the connection to the WAPP of the planned hydropower plants in Bumbuna Extension, Yiben and Bekongor in Sierra Leone and Mount Coffee in Liberia and other future generation projects.

The Project will provide residents of Greater Monrovia Area in Liberia; Bo, Kenema and the Western Areas in Sierra Leone; and the Forest Region of Guinea, with improvements in power supplies in the short-term. It also pursues a regional infrastructure developmental approach that will provide over the medium- to long-term adequate electricity to the people of the four countries in a more efficient and cost effective way, boosting economic and social development.

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Politics

It will not be Business as Usual…Bio assures Diaspora

He was passionate, confident and assuring as he addressed hundreds of Sierra Leoneans at the prestigious Royal Regency Hall in London on Saturday 9th December 2017 with a very simple message that as the next President it will not be business as usual. For a man who has a solid track record as a disciplinarian, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio continues to attract many voters who feel the country needs a strong and disciplined leadership.

Cataloguing the current state of the country, Bio spoke about a divided country, the poor drowning in poverty, rich swimming in affluence, poor governance, battered economy, high public debt, third hungriest country, high inflation among others . He also reminded his audience that many of the things which necessitated the war such as bad governance, mismanagement of the economy, injustice have been the features of the current APC Government.

However, Bio's message was not just about the doom and gloom but also making a case why he is the right choice that the country needs. He spoke about his track record, experience and how he has always put his country first. "Some have come with slogan, country first, but I served my country first at a very tender age. I did not go around the world to work and come back old to say country first. When I was young I gave my life to our country," a passionate Bio said.

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