Posted by: APO | 5 October 2007



Public Information Office (PIO) of UNIOSIL – 05 October 2007


[Disclaimer: Excerpts below are from print media and news agency dispatches. UNIOSIL cannot vouch for the accuracy of the media reports].


State opening of the House of Parliament

President Ernest Bai Koroma today Friday, 5 October 2007, officially opens the first session of the Third Parliament of the Second Republic at which occasion he presents to the House his administration’s thrust to develop the country. According to The Spectator, the speech of the President would border on security and national development among others; and would later be debated by Members of Parliament. However, the paper opines that because President Koroma was inaugurated on the very day the election results were announced, today’s ceremony would be insignificant. The story goes on to report that during the week President Koroma visited outgoing President Kabbah for consultation and concludes by contemplating that it is not known whether President Koroma would announce his cabinet after addressing Parliament.


My cabinet will constitute people with credibility- President Ernest Koroma

Since President Ernest Bai Koroma took the Oath of Office some two weeks ago, Sierra Leoneans have been anxiously waiting to see what the new cabinet would look like. The delay in the formation of President Koroma’s cabinet is largely attributed to his determination to appoint eminent Sierra Leoneans with credibility. “I am looking for people with good track record to be appointed to positions of national trust for developmental change Sierra Leoneans are yearning for ” African Champion quotes him as asserting. The report says the President wants to appoint people that would have the country at heart who are ready to sacrifice for the development of the nation and not those that will feed on fat from the nation’s wealth, and leave the people starving. Though there are thousands of Sierra Leoneans with those attributes, the report says, President Koroma was taking his time to select the best people that he is sure would help him push the nation forward.


Nigerian envoy bids farewell to President Koroma

Nigerian High Commissioner in Sierra Leone, His Excellency Adamu Abass, accompanied by the Director-General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Umaru Wurie, on Thursday, 4 October 2007, took leave of President Ernest Bai Koroma at the end of his three year diplomatic service in Sierra Leone, New Citizen reports. According to the paper, the Nigerian envoy informed President Koroma that he was returning to Nigeria to take up duties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja; pointing out that he was thrilled to witness the recent parliamentary and presidential elections in Sierra Leone. He expressed satisfaction that President Koroma was elected in the most transparent manner. High Commissioner Adamu Abass further emphasized the cordial ties existing between the two countries and wished that the relationship would be further taken to higher heights. Responding, President Koroma noted that Nigeria was considered by many in West Africa as “big brother” and extolled the outgoing envoy for the role he played in fostering excellent brotherly ties between the two sister republics. He expressed the hope that High Commissioner Abass would sell the positive image of Sierra Leone in Nigeria. The High Commissioner is leaving Sierra Leone at a time when new presidents have been elected in both countries. High Commissioner Adamu Abass will be temporarily replaced by his Charge D’ Affairs until a substantive replacement arrives. The story is also reported in Concord Times and Awoko.


I will resign when the time comes-ACC fumes

In reaction to newspaper publications suggesting that the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) boss, Professor Henry Joko Smart, had been asked by the APC led-government to resign his position, the ACC chief told Awoko that his meeting with thePresident was not along such lines as, “we merely discussed issues that borders on the way forward of the ACC”. He said that “there are procedures for asking someone to resign, quoting the ACC Act of 2000 section 2 sub section 5, which states “a member of the Commission may resign his office by a written notice to the President and may be removed from office, but only for inability to perform the functions of his office, whether arising from infirmity of body and mind or for stated misconduct.” “I will resign voluntarily when the time comes” he is quoted as saying. He agreed that the ACC should be autonomous and separate from the Attorney General’s Office to make it effective.


NPA in stiff battle with robbers

The management of the National Power Authority (NPA) is baffled by the spate of destruction on the NPA facilities that is hampering its efforts to supply constant power to Freetown and its environs. A report in For Di People says events of the past days had seen the NPA sub stations in different parts of Freetown broken into and vital equipment destroyed or carted away. These deliberate acts according to NPA spokesperson, Victor Wilson-Clarke, are far beyond robbery, and are acts of sabotage to thwart the efforts of NPA and the government to achieve the dream of supplying constant electricity to the city. “How can someone broke open a sub station, dug a big hole to a particular depth, cut the underground cable and forcefully removed it from the transmitter to cause some damage,” he reportedly wondered, describing the actions as “sheer wickedness or sabotage”. This was done in about five sub-stations simultaneously in different parts of Freetown, the report states. Mr. Wilson-Clarke reportedly called on citizens to be vigilant and to apprehend those perpetrating such acts; and hand them over to the police.


Sugar factory workers down tools over backlog salaries

An estimated 180 employees of the Chinese-managed Magbass Sugar Factory in the Tonkolili District, north of the country, are reported to have downed their tools until three-month backlog salaries and other allowances are paid, Independent Observer reveals. A representative of the workers, Joseph Bangura, disclosed that they resorted to the strike action due to the unfair treatment they were subjected to by their employers. He said they had notified the relevant authorities including community elders about the imminent strike action, but that it fell on deaf ears. Deputy General Manager of the company, Chinese-born Taihung Liu reportedly confirmed that the company owed the workers, but appealed to them to exercise patience until the General Manager returned from China.


(Compiled by UNIOSIL, Public Information Office)


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