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Congratulations Mr. President

Congratulations Mr. President

I was in Bo and Kenema last week to take leave of another member of my family who was laid to rest on Friday April 13. There were cries for drinking water in both cities; the story is the same in towns across the country as well as in the capital city itself. Some years ago Dr. Nana Pratt on being appointed chairman of the Guma Valley Water Company asked in a newspaper advert what the citizens of Freetown expected from the company. I thought it was a funny question to ask, which reminded me of what the famous detective Sherlock Holmes would have answered his friend, “Elementary my dear Watson,” WATER OF COURSE! And that was how I replied Dr. Pratt. Recently the citizens of Kissy were appealing to your Excellency to ease their chronic suffering from water shortage. In order to ease the strain and solve the continuing water problem former President Ernest Bai Koroma appointed Christiana Thorpe’s stepson Sam Maligie junior as Water resources minister. At the end of President Koroma’s term of office, while the people continue their cry for water Sam Maligie had rebuilt his father’s family house and also put up two other buildings. I hope Sam will declare the three houses in his declaration of assets; if he doesn’t as AIG Al Sheik Kamara was want to say, “If Sam doesn’t the Transition team would still get the answer from him.” (Just like how he planned to get an answer from your Excellency). Yes, there must be no witch-hunt but by golly! Those kleptomaniacs who have robbed the poor people of this country of a decent standard of living by their corrupt practices must be instigated and made to refund every cent of their ill-gotten wealth some of which we saw on vulgar display during the recent APC rallies. They have made themselves filthy rich and unless we recover the people’s money from them, the likes of Kemoh Sesey and Patsowe will not hesitate to use it to sabotage your government.  And talking about witch hunts, it is the view of many of us from the Kailahun district that the public must be allowed to publicly lynch (FOR NO MORE THAN TEN MINUTES! Rtd. Major Sengu  Koroma and former local government minister Maya Kaikai for ordering armed OSD personnel to manhandle the poor inhabitants of towns like Gbalahun and in Luawa chiefdom and elsewhere. The action forced the poor inhabitants to take to the bush where they stayed for quite a while.

Now that Charles Margai has returned home I wonder what other former members of the PMDC plan to do. Yes. Oswald, (former President Koroma’s unofficial biographer) and his twin brother Osmond. And while we ponder that it would be interesting to watch the faces of characters like honourable Makaya former chair of the Kenema district MPs’ caucus who had said before dumping the SLPP in 2007 that he didn’t want to die poor. Or Arthur Harvey chairman of the Bonthe district SLPP, M A Jalloh of Koinadugu, Wuror Jalloh of Bombali, Lansana Fadika the man who resigned his Western area chairmanship and now ignorantly describes himself as Ambassador for Trade, honourable Francis Konuwa who served for two terms as SLPP councillor and for two terms as Member of Parliament, contested as an independent candidate in the last Parliamentary elections and lost. he then shamelessly declared for the APC and his family promptly disowned him. Dr. Bernadette Lahai was the most ineffective minority leader that we’ve ever had in our parliament; her main interest was serving her own ends and playing up to the APC leadership. The lady would not even publicly declare her ambition to be the running mate of Dr. Kandeh Yumkella. Interestingly she and Francis Konuwa carry the unenviable record of being the first ever opposition members of Parliament to jointly invite the President of their rival party to their adjacent constituencies. Oh Salone!

Mr. President let me go back to your recent meeting with the chiefs and your patronage of admonishing them of their responsibilities. It may interest you to know that thanks to the activities of Maya Kaikai, the APC nominated a section chief in the Luawa chiefdom of Kailahun district as their official Parliamentary candidate in 2012 Parliamentary and Presidential elections.

Mr. President I must end this short series of “Puawui” with my own interesting experience with some members of my Methodist Church in other to demonstrate how nauseatingly hypocritical some Christians would behave. In 2005 some members of the Western area  Women’s Fellowship with which whom I was very friendly requested me to kindly seek an appointment with President Tejan-Kabbah to for them to discuss the high cost of living with his Excellency. A 50kg. bag of rice was then selling at Le60,000:00 and a pint of palm oil for Le800:00. Although I reminded them that it was not the role of ministers to make appointments for the public yet I would make an exception. President Tejan-Kabbah graciously agreed to meet with them but also reminded me that the appropriate person was the minister of Trade. A couple of days to the meeting intelligence report informed the President that in fact the women were planning to demonstrate against his government with banners etc. His Excellency therefore referred them to Dr, Kadi Sesey the concerned minister. The police refused them any street demonstration and advised that they could use motor vehicles which is what they did. I felt betrayed but because they were my friends I let the matter go. Five years later when we were no longer in office I was the main speaker at a Lenten Talk organized by the Central Circuit of the Methodist Church on the subject “The Church’s role in Politics.” When it came to question time I came under a barrage of attacks for allegedly of having betrayed the Church in 2005 when they asked for an appointment with the President and how I had instead referred them to a minister of Trade and what was worse, that I had handed over their aide memoir which was for his Excellency to the minister. To quote my late classmate and friend Honourable Justice Gelaga-King, I was flabbergasted. Fast forward to the end of the just ended APC rule during which the price everything had sky rocketed, rice was now Le235, 000:00 for a 50kg. bag. Palm oil Le3.500:00 per pint etc etc there wasn’t as much as a whimper to this day from my friends. Some of the same women carry APC cards and had even been appointed to the boards of parastatals. That is the Church for you and me.

Puawui….Dr. Sama Banya

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