UNIVERSITY OF SIERRA LEONE GRADUATION
We congratulate all our brothers and sisters who finally shook hands with De Pa at the amphitheatre last weekend to mark the end of their academic sojourn on Mount Olympus…we know that for some it’s only phase one as they will be going into other programmes in the same institutions. God be with them.
However, we think everybody; including the university authorities must now admit that the former principal of the university, Professor Aiah Kpakima was ABSOLUTELY CORRECT to move the whole ceremony to the National Stadium five years ago. The number of people and cars that went up the hill on Saturday was just unbelievable.
The poor amphitheatre and the college campus can’t cope anymore. Why are the authorities still causing so much pain to people wishing to see their children’s graduation ceremony in the process completely disrupting the lives of so many people in small communities around the college? We have to do away with this romantic but unrealistic talk of ‘keeping the tradition’ of going to the amphitheatre and end this yearly suffering inflicted on our people.
Society has moved on from the thinking that went into building the college and the amphitheatre. More people have cars today and others can afford one at least for the occasion and the student population grows year-on-year, clearly putting pressure on the facilities – it’s like Guma Valley trying to provide, pipe-borne water to all households in Freetown on a 24-hour basis – totally impossible.
By the way SLRA were at it again this year. They were patching up the road leading to the college up till the minute De Pa landed on the campus. They are gone again for another year…Bye Mr. Munda Rogers see you again in December. Meanwhile the road beyond the campus leading to Leicester and Gloucester is a total disgrace. Will De Pa pay a visit to Leicester next month please?
RED, RED, RED, Colour War! Colour Madness!
What’s in the name…the question has always been. Now, What’s in the colour. Sierra Leone’s national colours may soon be changed from GREEN, White and Blue to RED, White and Blue. Since the founding of Fourah Bay College in the 19th century, its official colour has always been Green. In the last four years that seems to have changed. Some lecturers have repainted their quarters just to get rid of GREEN. RED has now been added to the students’ identity card. And the door to Sierra Leone’s embassy in Monrovia has been repainted Red. Did you see some of those guys carrying RED, WHITE and BLUE as our country’s flag? DRINK Sprite in public and you are perceived SLPP…Drink Vimto and you are APC. God save us from this colour war and colour madness.
OGA SPORTS MINISTER – POPE JOHN PAUL HOW NOW?
We address this to Minister, Brother Paul Kamara. All of us have our faults. Paul has his. What nobody can take from him is the fact that he has spent a good part of his life fighting for the basic rights of other people. That’s a fact.
Minister Sir, we don’t believe that given your background, you will allow the basic rights of 7 to 12 year olds to be so violated with such impunity on your watch. You probably don’t know this but these are the facts: The stadium management has lost complete control of one of the most important facilities in this country. The place is dirty and the booking schedule for activities is chaotic.
The presidential pavilion is the worst place now. The stadium toilets are badly kept; you can get the smell of stale urine and faeces from a mile away, in fact people pour urine all over the place and there are dozens of boys who find their way into the stadium daily, chasing people’s cars for money – Bra you borbor dae ya. Sometimes cars are broken into and your people are distressed while on the stadium grounds.
Also sir, the stadium Managers rent the facility out to nursery schools (Le. 800.000.00 each day) for sports meets and halfway through their programs they send police officers to throw the children out because of Sierra Leone Premier League football. Minister Sir, this is not right. There is no light at the stadium even though there is reasonable supply of electricity in parts of Freetown.
Wusum Stars of Bombali were cheated badly recently when they pulled out a match against Central Parade because the pitch was very dark. The referee callously awarded the points to their opponents
The other day it was absolute chaos at the basement of the presidential stand as teachers and parents protested at the way your staff treated them with the aid of very rude OSD officers.
We know they need money to run the facility but let’s not go digging for money at the expense our people’s basic human rights – something we know you feel strongly about sir.
For starters, we think the fire service can do a good job giving the whole place good scrubbing. Let the Managers also pay Guma Valley so that water can flow freely again…and NPA too. It makes absolutely no sense bringing so many people into the stadium everyday when you just can’t take care of basic hygiene. How about that?
FREETOWN’S OPEN SEWERS
Let’s be honest as people who live in Freetown, what is happening in the heart of our capital city is a real shame. We drive or walk by places like Belgium, Wallace Johnson Street, close to SLENA headquarters, the Freetown City Council office and Siaka Stevens Street, near Mercury International and we are seriously perfumed by the stench of raw sewerage flowing freely. We have been trying to find out whose job it is to deal with this situation but we are confused by the responses we are getting to our questions. Permit us to ask; is it the Ministry of Health or the Freetown City Council that is responsible for this. We are not sanitary Engineers we therefore don’t know what the sewerage system constructed by the British colonialists looks like but we think we can safely say that the system is under a lot of pressure. As ordinary residents of Freetown, we can only say we deserve a better sewerage system – a system that keeps us all healthy.
FOI BILL DIED IN THE HANDS OF PMDC
Apart from the sharp disagreement between Minister IB Kargbo and the Speaker of parliament over the key question of just what remains of the process of getting the FOI bill through parliament, (we shall be doing proper analysis of the situation in the next edition), the SDI forum at British Council the other day was very informative.
We now know that it was in fact the PMDC’s Hon. Thomas Mansaray who moved a motion to kill the FOI bill. Thomas Mansaray is a PMDC man only because he needs a party to sit in parliament at this time. Otherwise, like Warrior Tom Nyuma, he is a committed Ruling Party Man. Nothing wrong with that. However, in killing the FOI bill, was he doing the hatchet man’s job for his new masters or was it the official policy of PMDC UNITED headed then by The Dalai Lama? OK, the Speaker says the whole process must start again. We suspect we will get neither an FOI act nor a review of the criminal and seditious libel provisions in the Public Order Act during Dr. Koroma’s first term at State House, contrary to what he had promised before his presidency and in the last four years that he’s been in charge.
The man who represented what is left of the PMDC at the SDI forum, an idealistic university Professor said his party has no control over Thomas Mansaray and a few of their other MPs, so that in the case of the FOI bill, he acted on his own.
After some clear thinking about this, we can conclude that The Dalai Lama is like Ayeti Abanda. People who follow Sierra Leone Football will remember this Cameroonian fellow who was freed from jail by the East End Lions executive in the 80s just because he told them he was a fantastic footballer, who happened to have been hanging out with the wrong crowd in Freetown and so landed in Bambay Kamara’s stinking, rat-infested CID cell by default. Ayeti Abanda proved a huge disappointment and had to be chased out of the country.
In the same way, The Dalai Lama promised so much staking his own political life only to disappoint himself and those who believed him, just as East End Lions, The Killers believed Ayeti Abanda.
The Dalai Lama managed to unleash about nine spineless MPs on the nation and since then, this country has had no rest. Next time we hear The Dalai Lama speak on radio, we will switch off.