Dr. David Tam-Baryoh: A New Broom in Sierra Leone Politics
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.
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.
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.
Press freedom has come under severe attack in West Africa as security agencies, particularly the police, appear to be on rampage against journalists and media workers. In a space of 38 days (January 5-February 12, 2017), 30 media workers have been arrested, detained and/or assaulted by security forces, prompting fears that the gains that have been made in recent years on press freedom and freedom of expression could be eroded.
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.
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.
(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.
The Parliament of Sierra Leone has on Thursday 20th April 2017 unanimously voted for the deferment of debate on the Bill entitled “The Finance Act 2017”, pending a pre-legislative briefing and that it should be piloted by the substantive Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo.
Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House who moved the motion explained the importance of the Finance Bill that it provides for the sources of revenue for Government in respect of taxation. She furthered that the pre-legislative hearing will clearly explain the reductions, additions, and significant changes that have been included in the Finance Act of 2017 to Members of Parliament, who will better articulate issues connected thereto during the course of the debate.
The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, SBB Dumbuya said that “judging from the significance of the Bill, it should be preceded by a pre-legislative briefing” as per the dictates of parliamentary practices and procedures.
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles and other staff of the Freetown Office have paid an on the spot visit to the Legal Aid Board Office in Waterloo where they interacted with clients. There were twenty-two clients with women accounting for the majority.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles spoke to some of the clients about their complaints majority of which were maintenance cases. She also touched on the quality of service provided by the staff. She assured that they will received the same quality of service asclients in the Freetown Office and other parts of the country where the scheme has got an office. ‘You have to be patient with us because we do have enough staff to service you all at the same time but we will continue to do our best with the resources at our disposal,’ she assured them.
The Defence Counsel, Lawyer Tholley and Paralegals Arnold Dixon and GibrilJallohbriefed the Ms. Carlton-Hanciles and team on the volume of cases received per day. Ms. Carlton-Hanciles assured that steps are being taken to improve the office with furniture, computers, fan and air conditioners. ‘There is need to improve the working environment for you and our clients as the numbers accessing the scheme continue to increase,’ she said.
PRESS RELEASE: Rural Renewable Energy Project Conducts Installation Training
FREETOWN, 19 April 2017: UNOPS Sierra Leone is hosting a training for selected installation companies, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, the President’s Recovery Priorities (PRP) programme and United Kingdom Government’s Department for International Development (DFID – also known as ‘UK Aid’).
The theoretical aspect of the training runs from 18th to 20thApril at the Golden Tulip Hotel, followed by 14 days of on-the-job sessionsin Petifu and Conakry Dee communities, in Port Loko District.ASACO, the supplier of the solar equipment, is providing the training facilitators and installation tools.
Participants are mainly Sierra Leonean engineers from Barefoot Women Solar Engineers Association (BWSEA),Frontier Business Solutions (FBS) and APTECH Africa Limited. Training contents include, photovoltaic (PV) system basics, types of solar systems, arrays and connections, project safety and guidance on using the installation checklists.
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".