President Koroma set to visit New Jersey – September 24th, 2011
His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, in fulfilling his commitment to take the government to the people – a pronouncement he made at Rutgers University in New Jersey in 2008, at Staten Island Community College in 2009, and at the Open Government Initiative Town Hall meeting in New York in 2010 – will be joining once again the Sierra Leonean Community and Friends of Sierra Leone at a banquet in his honor at the Ukrainian Cultural Center, 135 Davidson Ave, Somerset, New Jersey. (Photo: HE Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma)
On behalf of the Sierra Leonean Community of New Jersey, Mrs. Martina Kabba happily welcomes the President. She was thrilled and delighted to hear of all the great plans by the planning committee to receive the President. She went on to call on all Sierra Leoneans to come out and give their support to our country, irrespective of tribe or party affiliation.
The Secretary General of the Sierra Leonean Community of New Jersey, Mr. Hardy Gabisi said he is happy that the All People’s Congress Party has taken a proactive approach of inclusion. He said he was very pleased with the performance of His Excellency, especially in handling critical issues at a time when the country needs strong leadership.
Mr. Gabisi concluded by calling all members of the Sierra Leone Community of New Jersey to attend in large numbers to make the President feel at home on that day. He urged President Koroma to “continue on the path of peaceful transformation and consolidation” for the common good and benefit of our country and all stakeholders who have been power brokers up to this point. He also shed some light on the issue of moving our country forward. Mr. Gabisi, in his usual upbeat attitude, said the transformation phase of moving our country forward will be largely dependent on us as patriotic citizens to demonstrate commitment to match the President’s aims and aspirations.
Members of the planning committee here in New Jersey are: Minister Plenipotentiary Leroy Kabbs Kanu, who has been instrumental in negotiating between the APC-NJ/APC-NA , the Mission in New York, and State House in Freetown, Mr. Aziz Nabe, who has been at the forefront to get the President to come and say thank you to Sierra Leoneans and the town council of Franklin for the outstanding support during the 50th anniversary last April.
Ms. Madina Rahman, a member of the Banquet Committee said President Koroma is a crowd puller. She urges everyone to get their tickets as seating is limited. Mr. Abdul Rahman Conteh, Chairman Banquet Committee for the Presidential visit, Parliamentary Aspirant and Community Organizer, echoed similar sentiments. He said he got involved in the planning efforts not because he is an APC member, but as a Sierra Leonean first who passionately loves his country and President Koroma because of how he has carried himself as a leader. Mr. Conteh said he will do whatever it takes to galvanize grassroots support for people to come out and meet the President.
Distinguished community personalities at the helm are Mr. Dauda Bangura, Dr. Abdul-Rahman Kamara and Dr. Wilfred Bankole- Gibson. These fine Sierra Leoneans are playing their usual community leadership roles to ensure nothing but total success of the President’s visit.
At the pinnacle coordinating the finishing touches to the President’s visit to New Jersey is Alhaji Badara Kamara, and from Washington DC metro area is Ms. Abie Bangali Mansaray, the National Treasurer of the Branch and Mr Hassan Kamara, the branch National Secretary. Mr Kamara said he is confident that his contingent from the DC area will fulfill their patriotic duty to come out and support the President. He added that: “We must come out and support irrespective of our party affiliation or beliefs. The President of Sierra Leone represents all Sierra Leoneans,” he concluded.
In New England, Vice Chairman Mr. Sallieu Conteh has been of tremendous help in assisting in the promotion of the event. He has continued to render his total support to the planning committee both as a Sierra Leonean and his fiduciary position as Vice Chairman of the APC, North America.
Speaking to Alhaji Badara Kamara, President of APC New Jersey, Alhaji Kamara thanked Mr. Foday Mansaray for the joint roles played by both himself and Mr. Mansaray in securing donations from the Township Police department as well as working with the community on a lot of social issues over the weekend. Moreover, Mr. Kamara praised the support of the township and Council Members for all they have done over the years for the Sierra Leonean Community, particularly during the 50th anniversary celebrations last April. He also called upon all Sierra Leoneans not to relent in supporting the economic development agenda which the President has embarked on during the last four years. Mr. Kamara, in his own words concluded: “I was in Freetown. I saw firsthand the hard work of this President all over the country and I’m very excited about the progress.”
Other members of the community who have been very excited and cannot wait to meet the President are the youths of our community. Speaking to the young generation Vice Chairman Mr. Alhaji Fofanah, Mr. Fofanah stressed on the need for youths to return home. He urged President Koroma and his government to keep up the good work he has embarked on since he assumed office. Speaking on behalf of thousands of youth who have not gone back home since their departure when the war broke out, Fofanah said he was confident his generation will be ready to fill in the generation gap caused by the war years by returning home to contribute towards nation building.
Speaking to the president of another youth community organization that has been making inroads in the community in Franklin township “HOPE FOR SALONE”, during a back to school book give-away organized by his organization last Sunday, Mr. Dauda Mansaray said it is up to the youth to forge their way back into nation building. Despite the world economic meltdown, he said the ball is still in the hands of the youth to bring in new innovative ideas they have acquired abroad to rebuild our country Sierra Leone.
Foday Mansaray, New Jersey, USA
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