Unlocking the Kono potentials; going for the Diaspora support
But they are doing well; I mean newspapers published in Sierra Lone, especially in terms of their online daily updates. Their daily reportage on development back home must have helped in letting people have a feel of appreciating the good works of the government. I have been one, among hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans, always following developments back home through media reports, thanks to the good work of the media houses in Sierra Leone in bringing the country next to our door steps in Asia and other parts of the work.
If we are not told about how AWOL awarded Standard Chartered Bank which is not just a positive development for the Bank but also for the Banking Sector in the country, we will be informed about how Audit Service Sierra Leone is complementing the efforts of the ACC in combating corruption, which is among the flagships one will using in discussing the governance success of President Koroma. The news item on that APC Chairlady for Bo Mrs. Zainab Mansaray, commencing her testimony in court drew my attention to what happened in Bo recently where, for the want of political power, the precious life of a young boy was taken in the perceived SLPP stronghold of Bo. So to me, the Sierra Leone media is helping me feel at home. I need not refer to Cocorioko online, for it has been an exceptional news media.
Recently, my eyes particularly caught two issues as reported by our media in Sierra Leone; one dealing with the Kono running mate saga as reported by Sierra Express Media and the other, carried by Africa Young Voice, dealing with party symbol and Diaspora politicians.
On the Kono issue, I have particularly followed developments from that part of the country and I have visited Kono on several occasions prior to my departure for China. I followed the Facebook page of Dr. Blyden, with an update on Kono, reporting a seeming fracas there. But my view on that is this; people, including the Konos know President Koroma is going for a landslide, so, whosoever is associated with the President as running mate will be a winner. And every human being is looking forward to becoming a winner. And this is what I think is happening now with Kono. But I want to state again, that the APC will never be divided, it will go to the polls with a united team, and I mean the Brazilian team.
The Torchlight Newspaper is right, in stating that the political tensions now will only be solved by President Ernest Bai Koroma, by naming his running mate, but that does not mean, his attention should be diverted from his agenda of developing the country. Being that meticulous person, President Koroma knows what he is doing and what he will do at the end will be in the interest of not just his party, but that of the country. Indeed, the President loves this country, and will make his decision in the best interest of both the party and the country.
Only recently, the Vice Prescient and a delegation of party members were in Kono, with a message of peace and the need for voters to register ahead of the November 2012 elections. Also taken to Kono during the New Year celebrations was the message that is enshrined in the President and Government’s ‘Agenda for Change’ For Veep Sam Sumana, “The President’s resilience to garner support for national development requires collaborative effort and needs citizens’ approval regardless of regionalism or other debarring factors,” I think what we have been seen over the years has been a quite and sincere apprenticeship on the part of Sam Sumana .There are good potentials in Konoland that the APC will definitely want to utilize not just for the 201 elections but for subsequent elections to come. But I hold the view, there is need for the Konos to also be united and speak with one voice. The importance of the Kono vote could not be overstated, just like the vote from Bombali and Port Loko.
The average Konoman should now see the need to speak with one voice. A divided house can’t meet the needs of the household. President Koroma has been destined to rule, he will win the November elections but those of us in love with him should be seen working as a team. This is the time for Konos to come together for the good of their children yet unborn. If Kono is for the Kono people, then, it implies, the Konoman should be seen supporting his Kono brother. Simple logic.
When I interviewed VP Sam Sumana late last year, he told me he was not worried as “It is the prerogative of my boss, His Excellency the President Ernest Koroma to name his running mate for the 2012 general elections…” Indeed, the decision is completely that of President Koroma and it will be good to allow the President take a decision. Let people, especially party members in Kono, Bombali, Bo, Moyamba, Pujehun etc concentrate on registering for the pending elections as that is one, among several ways of winning the elections. As I have stated before, Sam Sumana has been a very loyal Vice President. And the President knows what decision to take and when to take such. The Kono potential will definitely be unlocked because, when the Kono vote is in favor of President Koroma, it means a plus to the Parliamentary seats for the President’s party.
Having given my opinion on the Kono saga, I also would want to state that I was interested in reading, in-depth a news item carried in the online version of Africa Young Voices newspaper f January 11th with the headline “No party symbol for Diasporas” – Says Executive Secretary” and the paper was quoting one Salieu AB Kargbo, Executive Secretary of the Sierra Leone Civil Rights Coalition. For him, “people living in the Diaspora should not be given either party symbols or top political positions because they cannot deliver as they are not conversant with what is happening in the country.” And that “ most of most of those coming from overseas who were either elected as Members of Parliament or Councilors, made Ministers or given other appointments have not performed well because they were total strangers in the country…”
The issue of people coming from the Diaspora and being part of Sierra Leone’s political make-up has been generating series of debates both in private and public places, with the pages of newspapers not being an exception. When President Koroma came to power in 2007, he ensured, people from across the country were and are still involved in the day-to-day running of the State by appointing them into positions of trust. To this end, he also brought in SIERRA LEONEANS!! AND NOT FOREIGNERS from the Diaspora. President Koroma is a national President, a President for all Sierra Leoneans.
President Koroma, THE PEOPLE’S PRESIDENT, has always been convinced that Sierra Leone is for Sierra Leoneans and as such, in whatever way someone can contribute to the development of the country, he is ready to give a chance, irrespective of the tribe or political belonging of an individual. And the 1991 Multiparty Constitution of Sierra Leone, which was promulgated by the Momoh regime, is clear on who should contest for Parliamentary seat or who should be appointed into position of trust by a serving President and in this case, by President Koroma. It is only when we encourage Sierra Leoneans from the Diaspora, that we are sure of taping their expertise.
The creation of the Office of the Diaspora by President Koroma after the 2007 elections was in no way, a mistake .It was aimed at tapping into the potentials of those Sierra Leoneans living outside of the country. Yes, some have had challenges in performing but there are a whole lot of people who were drawn from the Diaspora by President Koroma that have today made great strides in line with the government’s agenda. We can therefore go for the Diaspora support; they can be encouraged to continue giving their best to Sierra Leone’s development because Sierra Leone needs the hands of each of her sons and daughters, scattered all over the world.
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