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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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Business News

Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone

John D. Okrafo-Smart, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone and gives his insight into the banking landscape.

Excerpts shared by Sheriff Mahmud Ismail

The Government of Sierra Leone is placing great priority in improving the business climate, enhancing infrastructure and support to private sector development. In line with the government focus, the Central Bank is targeting price stability in support of economic recovery, enhancing monetary policy instruments and liquidity management and also limiting intervention in the foreign exchange market, which will be important to preserve foreign exchange reserves.

The above measures will help in the strengthening of the banking system to support financial intermediation. Commercial banks are thus poised to benefit and take advantage of the improved economic and business environment by offering better services to their customers, including loans and overdrafts and forex to import, thereby creating wealth and boosting government revenue.

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Media News

Two veteran Journalists, now in the United States have paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador

Two very respected and veteran Journalists who are in the United States of America for various reasons have called on Sierra Leone’s Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens not only to appreciate the work of the Embassy, but also to pay courtesy as protocol demands.

Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson, former Lecturer Fourah Bay College, former Director of Information Ministry of Information and Communications, Former Director Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), Former Chairman Independent Media Commission (IMC) and stringer French News Agency  etc. is on vacation and Mr. Cyril Juxon Smith Director Information and Communications House of Parliament, former Acting Director General Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and former UNESCO Media Consultant  is in the United States of America to attend the funeral of his father.

Speaking at the Ambassador’s residence on 4821 Colorado Avenue, Washington DC  Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson said “Thank  you Amr. Stevens for accommodating us in the middle of your tight schedule, and also to discuss with us in a homely spirit.

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Commentary

Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

Boris Johnson as a Journalist worked at The Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers. He edited The Spectator newspaper between 1999 and 2006. He was Member of Parliament for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and was also Mayor of London. He is a member of the Conservative Party and the current UK Foreign Secretary.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was to serve as the first president of independent Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He opened and edited a number of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria and later became an active politician. Obafemi Awolowo was a great Nigerian politician. He also was an active journalist and edited The Nigerian Worker, amongst other publications.

There is a clear link between politics and journalism though, there seems to be a very thin boundary, or perhaps, “a reflective door in the firewall, such that with time, politicians and journalists cross the line changing roles and moving from side to side,” argues Aminat Afolabi in a piece, titled ‘Politics and Journalism, the Interwoven Relationship between Them.”

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View Point

How and Why I endorse Julius Maada Bio for President?

I have

I have endorsed Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for the SLPP presidential ticket in the March 7 2018 elections because I strongly believe in his project and ability to succeed as our next president if given the opportunity.  Perhaps I need to provide  some context as to how, when and why I took this decision.

Maada Bio is the second presidential candidate I have ever endorsed in Sierra Leone. The first was late president TejanKabbah during the campaigns in the 1996 general elections, which he won. I was then publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Expo Times, which won the best-selling newspaper award from the National Vendors Association that year. At the time, my newspaper was the largest circulation and most widely read newspaper in the country and my nearest competitors were For Di People and Concord Times. When the presidential election campaigns became heated and the battle lines were clearly drawn with the three front-runners, TejanKabbah of the SLPP, Karefa-Smart of the UNPP, and Thaimu Bangura of PDP (SORBEH), For Di People declared for and endorsed Karefa-Smart and the UNPP while Concord Times declared for and endorsed Thaimu Bangura and the PDP. Dr Prince Harding and Banda-Thomas then approached me to endorse and help TejanKabbah of the SLPP, who was then the clear frontrunner according to Opinion polls, to win the elections. 

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News - Press Release

EU Election Exploratory Mission meets Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 18th October, 2017). The European Union Election Exploratory Mission to Sierra Leone led by Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, H.E. Tom Vens has paid a working visit to the Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Ministry’s office in Tower Hill, Freetown.

Ambassador Tom Vens stated that the EU Election Exploratory Mission is in Sierra Leone following an invitation by the Government of Sierra Leone for EU Electoral assistance, and to further discuss the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in facilitating EU Observer Mission for the March 2018 elections in the country. The EU Election Exploratory Missionas part of its mandate is in the country to draft and finalise the MOU with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Foreign Ministry.

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Society -Local News

ACC SPEAKS TO MAFFS ON THE PAY NO BRIBE CAMPAIGN

'A nation cannot progress when its citizens allow bribery to prevail over their sense of patriotism', says Simeon D. Sam Crop Officer, Tonkolili Agriculture Office. He made this statement at an awareness raising engagement organized by the Northern Region Office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Wednesday 4th October 2017.  

Addressing staff of the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security (MAFFS) at their Post Office Road Office in Magburaka, ACC Public Education Officer Abdulai Saccoh said, the Pay No Bribe (PNB) campaign is a sustained approach which gives opportunity to ministries, departments and agencies to deal with bribery issues from within their institutions.

Mr. Saccoh stated that the PNB has enabled citizens to interact with the reporting platform, report incidents of bribery using the PNB channels. Saccoh noted that though Tonkolili is not a PNB district, citizens in that part of the country should be aware of the campaign and could use the platform equally.

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Development

U.S. Ambassador launches National Early Warning Systems Project, funded by USAID

On Wednesday, October 18, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria E. Brewer, announced the official launch of the USAID West Africa-funded “Mitigating Election Violence through National Early Warning Systems” (NEWS) project and the inauguration of the National Elections Response Group in Sierra Leone.

Supported by $500,000 from USAID, NEWS is implemented by the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Sierra Leone. The focus is to monitor and identify potential electoral violence triggers and assist government and non-government organizations in Sierra Leone to better mitigate them.
The National Elections Response Group (NERG) is a partnership under the NEWS project, between WANEP, the Inter-Religious Council, the Campaign for Good Governance, government stakeholders, representatives from the National Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS) and a number of civil society organizations.

The primary objective of the National Elections Response Group (NERG) is to monitor the elections environment, develop, and recommend strategies and actions to relevant stakeholders with authority to implement necessary response actions to prevent escalation of tensions or incidence of violence for a peaceful 2018 election. Members of the NERG will work closely with WANEP, the Integrated Election Security Planning Committee under the ONS, Provincial and District Election Security Committees – PROSEC and DISEC with an extensive network of civil society organizations and with 60 community monitors across the country to identify potential risks of electoral violence.

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Politics

PRESIDENT KOROMA SAYS… “I am very proud of Ansumana Usman Koroma”

President Dr Ernest BaiKoroma has informed Sierra Leoneans that, “I am very proud that we have people like Ansumana. We need many more Ansumana Usman Koromas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country, showing and telling a good story about Sierra Leone.”

Whilst speaking at his Presidential office in Freetown, President Koroma affirmed that, “I am very proud of Ansumana and I am encouraging him to do more by helping his people.”

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