Regular readers of the African Champion newspaper unless they are members or ardent supporters of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples party SLPP, may be excused were they to come to the conclusion that the party was on the brink of disintegrating. That things are definitely falling apart with the elders demanding the resignation of the national Chairman and the national Secretary-General John Benjamin and J J Siaffa respectively. John Benjamin is alleged not to be on speaking terms with one the flag bearer aspirants Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. (Photo: Dr. Sama Banya)
The interesting thing about all this is that the newspaper editor’s claim that a body like the Elders’ Council regularly confides in him with their grouses. Of course it is a common occurrence that when an established party is in opposition the membership is more emboldened to speak its mind particularly at a time of leadership contest. This type of behavior is not common when a party is in governance because a simple warning glance from the leader and President is enough to signal that enough was enough.
Readers may recall the accounts of divisions and quarrels in the Lokomasama chiefdom of Port Loko district with matters going as far as the High court. But then President Ernest Bai Koroma stepped in and ordered the leadership of the people to get together and put an end to the dispute or he would impose a solution, the ministers and Members of Parliament representing the area were reported to have got together immediately. Nothing further has been heard about quarrels and divisions. Which political leader hasn’t among his or her supporters some overzealous ones who sometimes act in a terrible manner although having the best intentions for their supporters? Having said all this my advice to our members, and I repeat this with inside knowledge that things are far from what the African Champion puts out or hopes for. Concerned genuine party supporters know exactly whom to contact in times of anxiety and concern. Leave the African Champion newspaper to continue its dream of imminent disintegration of the ‘Torkpoists.’
The public at large including political opponents and previous antagonists like old man Puawui, are agreed on one thing. That Mohamed Daudis Koroma has been a most enthusiastic and result oriented minister in President Ernest Bai Koroma’s government. On several occasions newspapers and individuals had prayed for the elevation of the versatile young minister with particular reference to the ministry of health and sanitation. But promotion eluded him until the recent cabinet reshuffle which saw his promotion to minister of state.
Some people have wondered why there should be a minister of state in a ministry when there is a substantive minister as well as a deputy minister. I am not a member of the ruling All Peoples Congress party; still less likely am I a spokesman for his Excellency and therefore what follows is Puawui’s interpretation of the situation in response to a few people who do not appear to understand the difference between a minister and a minister of state.
I shall take the British system on which much of what we do is based. There they have Departments each of which is headed by a Secretary of State. But there are various divisions in each department and these have a minister in charge; however the overall responsibility for policy in the department rests with the Secretary of State. Our ministry of Health and Sanitation is a large one, the personnel of which are mostly professional doctors and specialists. In addition there are many health institutions spread across the country from all of which problems do arise. It may be the President’s intention that a senior minister not necessarily in cabinet, would take charge of them while the ministry itself remains the responsibility of the minister. This is Puawui’s understanding and interpretation.
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