Fourah Bay College, West Africa’s oldest University, located on Mount Aureol is not just an institution on a hill top, but sub-Saharan Africa’s first University Institution founded some 188 years ago in Freetown, thanks to the benefaction of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) whose philanthropic initiative saw the emergence of the first University Institution that placed Black Africa in the educational map of the world.
EIGHTEEN presidential elections were scheduled in Africa this year. Thus far, 10 incumbents have secured their re-election, six new presidents have been elected into office, one election has been postponed and one national election (in Guinea) still has to be conducted before the end of 2016.
A review of the electoral events this year highlights the manipulation, intimidation and contestation that mar democratisation processes in the continent.
With a date announced for the 2018 general elections, a platform has been provided for parties to officially start the process of ensuring victory at the end. This can be a herculean task for the next one year, politically speaking.
Where there had been political mudslinging and infighting for close to a decade, behind-the scene smokescreen peace process had to be initiated even if for the pleasure of supporters and other stakeholders. Well, can such moves be a clear ruse? Only time will tell!
Sierra Leone, the motherland has had its share of tragedy in recent years.It suffered an eleven years internecine war and lately an Ebola epidemic that has today resulted in an unprecedented economic hardship that has further deepened poverty and unleash anger against a failed vision.
We are in this current state of penury because of an uninterrupted nine years of mismanagement of state resources, a complete lack of foresight and vision to diversify a mineral dependent economy and the absence of a genuine and sustained fight against the scourge of corruption that continues to deter our progress and cloud our dream.
The current Syrian quagmire which has spilled over to Europe in the form of the refugee crisis gives grounds for a review of relationships between the power brokers, the “Western” alliance of the US and Western Europe regarding the kind of support, engagement, neutrality, opposition and wars with the rest of the world. The west has highlighted political and economic principles as a major factor in engaging with the rest of the world,
Sometimes even one will want to sit down and keep quiet to watch how the political climate or weather in Sierra Leone is moving, especially between the two most powerful political parties, APC and the SLPP in the country. But because of certain issues that some ghost writers normally bring to the public domain will trigger one’s mind to take up his or her type writer or laptop to put his or her thoughts together on such issue/s.
As usual few days ago, I listened to a video clip in the internet. In it, I heard a voice of a lady or woman called herself Zainab distressfully calling Sierra Leoneans all over the world. Particularlythe supporters of President Koroma and his APC government to keenly listen to her for what she is going to tell President Ernest Bai Koroma and if possible to keep the video clip for reference.
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has said in Kenema that “Life nor get spare part” and that the Ebola outbreak is an eye-opener to the improvement of the country’s health care delivery system.
Addressing his audience at the commissioning of the rehabilitated/expanded Pediatric Ward and new hospital and District Medical Stores at the Government Hospital in Kenema on Sunday February 5, 2017, President Koroma reiterated his government continued commitment to roll out strategies that would improve the health sector in collaboration with health development partners.
The last week in world politics can be phenomenal; it normally heralds true reflections of your past deeds, legacies and the loss of some your closest people in your political career. For most presidents, they tend to apologize to those that they might have offended and mend fences and for others, their minds and consciences will continue to fight for the wrongs they have done. Though I did not watch the US inauguration, I was told it was smooth, somber, reflective and democratic whereas the African political landscape in the The Gambia was chaotic, undemocratic and full of angst. As Barack Obama boarded the US helicopter for his peaceful retirement and the emergence of Donald Trump, I feel for the continent of Africa and The Gambia in particular. It appears democracy in the motherland is still a far fetched dream for some rulers and countries. Whereas Barack Obama will be spending the rest of his life in the United States and around the world in a dignified and respectable manner, most of our African Leaders tend to spend the rest of their lives in exile.
New Year to me, it is a time to look back at both what we have done throughout the twelve (12) months and also the renewing of resolutions or covenants with God. That is for those whobelieve that there is a supernatural being that takes care of every individual human being on earth. Although to those who depend on their satanic knowledge that always fail them, when a believer asks his or her God for His divine intervention, especially in a difficult time, they considered that individual or government as weakness. That is why such people are always on one another's throats in fighting for supremacy or in superiority conflict.
On this – the eve of Jammeh’s final day in power, the world waits to see whether he will step down from office tomorrow in line with the country’s constitution and the democratic will of the majority of Gambians who voted against him last month.
Britain has announced the evacuation of its citizens from the Gambia and other European countries are doing the same, following Jammeh’s declaration of a state of emergency, which gives him powers to declare war.
I have never been a fan of President Yayah Jammeh and wouldn’t lose sleep over his fate. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) must however be warned that “regime change” is a serious business. Going in is the easy part. But getting out is an art.
The ‘pottery barn’ rule applies. The so-called pottery barn rule was General Colin Powell’s warning to President Gorge W. Bush as he went into Iraq: “You break it, you own it”. Time proved him right. The European powers, France and UK too, learnt that lesson in Libya.
Plans are currently underway for the establishment of a School of Clinical Sciences in Sierra Leone. Health Minister Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah tells the nation.
President Koroma in his wisdom made no mistake to appoint a medical professional in the Health Ministry that has the vision and initiative including all it takes in addressing the infrastructural and human resource gaps in building a resilient health system for a country coming from the ashes of war and the Ebola tragedy that left very many health professionals dead. Some of them specialized in their area of discipline.
Presidential and general elections in Sierra Leone are less than fifteen months away. Yet the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is far from being ready to contest those elections, let alone position itself as a government in waiting, despite the popularity of the ruling All People’s Congress Party (APC) now at rock bottom.
Since its catastrophic defeat at the polls by the incumbent APC in 2012 and at almost every by-election held since then, the Sierra Leone People’s Party has fast become a shadow of its former self, torn by infighting, indiscipline and lack of strong leadership.
One side eschewed violence and in defence of the values of the party’s founding fathers vision of one country , inclusiveness , constitutionality and the rule of law. This side is the Alliance. It comprised of intending flag bearer aspirants who are concerned about the violence, lawlessness and dysfunctionality of the party.
President Koroma has made his first visit to Israel since becoming president in 2007, and in less than fifteen months before leaving office.
His visit to Israel is as symbolic as it is historic. But policy analysts are questioning why after just one month of returning from a working visit to China to strengthen economic, security, and bilateral relations with the Chinese, president Koroma has now headed to Israel in search of that which he has been promised by the Chinese – cash, security, investments, and technical expertise.
Sierra Leone’s economy is in dire straits, and the Koroma government is in need of cash to pay salaries and run public services. So, every little help from anywhere, would be welcomed.
A rowdy crowd of SLPP supporters in front of the main Law Courts in Freetown earlier this week. This crowd later became very violent and shots were fired injuring at least one person. Two factions, Paopa and AAA (aye, aye, aye) from the country’s main opposition party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party, were at each other’s throat, struggling for legitimacy and dominance. Police had to intervene to disperse them.
Leaders in the Sierra Leone People’s Party are running around with political fears, nervousness, and other domestic problems that have had the best of them to the point of not knowing where to turn for help.
Avid readers of the “One Drop” column may recall that my One Drop of 2 November 2016, titled “A Comedy Called SLPP: Season 1”, was provoked by my son Medsimed Kapr. He had asked me to buy him a comedy movie so that he could amuse himself. I had told him to wait any time the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) had an event he could, certainly, have some sort of comic relief from it. And when the SLPP called a press conference at their Wallace-Johnson Street headquarters in Freetown few days after my son had asked for a comedy movie, he had a good amusement from that press conference.
My fellow Sierra Leoneans and none Sierra Leoneans, please I would like you to join me in saying goodbye to 2016 and to thank my maker, God Almighty. Who is also the creator of both Heaven and Earth, particular for being my most qualified and perfect sailor throughout the year 2016-2017.
The fact is some of us who do believe that there is a true living God that does everything in this universe, we always like to thank him for whatever he does for us. Whether big or small. Therefore,even in good times and bad times we are always ready and willing to say thank you pa pa God, (Father God) especially for enabled us see another day or year with sound mind and sound health.
Therefore, according to His two Holy Books, the Bible and the Quran, he tells us to always put Him first in our daily activities and say thanks to him. Regardless of whatever circumstances that we may find ourselves. Whether good or bad, especially during the process of our being on earth.
The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is in the habit of knocking itself out every now and again – a habit it has come to perfect, since losing the 2007 elections. But will it recover from yesterday’s bout with its own demon?
Yesterday’s resolution passed by a group of its National Executive Council (NEC) members, to suspend a number of their fellow executive officers, including the party chairman and leader – Chief Somano Kapen, has brought the party closer to the edge of disintegration.