By Sorie Fofana.
The two major political parties (APC and SLPP) have almost completed the election/selection/appointment of their candidates for Parliamentary election due to be held on 7th March, 2018.
Both parties have lost experienced Parliamentary debaters in the course of thoroughly screening their candidates for Parliament, in order to comply with the law.
The APC are left with only two experienced Politicians on their front bench. They are Hon. Alhaji I.B. Kargbo and Hon. Ajibola Manley-Spain.
On the SLPP side, you have only Hon. Sidi Mohamed Tunis left on the front bench. All the good and experienced Parliamentary debaters either did not run for re-appointment/re-election or were defeated at district election/selection level.
On the side of the APC, they have lost experienced MPs like Hon. Hassan Sheriff, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu, Hon. Benneh Bangura, Hon. Komboh Kamara etc.
On the part of the SLPP, Hon. Ansumana Jaiah Kaikai, Hon. Bernadette Lahai, Hon. Foday Rado Yokie, Hon. Paran Tarawally, Hon. Komba Kordoyorma, Hon. Brima Conteh, Hon. Bu-Buakei Jabbie will not be going back to Parliament.
After March 7, Sierra Leoneans will see a brand new Parliament. Some new faces will dominate the next Parliament.
What will be the faith of the Speaker of Parliament, Rtd. Hon. S.B.B. Dumbuya? Will he continue to be Speaker of Parliament even if he is not an elected Member of Parliament?
Many MPs who were deselected from the APC Parliamentary list, because, they carry dual nationality, have blamed the Speaker of Parliament for not directing the party on the issue before Parliament was dissolved on 7th December, 2017.
Since he is a Member of NAC (National Advisory Council), the Speaker should have directed the party on how to amend that section of the 1991 Constitution since it is not an entrenched clause. A mere Private Member’s Motion could have been used to amend that section of the Constitution.
There are other former MPs who blame the Attorney General and Minister of Justice for not advising the party to amend that section of the Constitution before the dissolution of Parliament in December last year.
They believe that, the current Attorney General, Joseph Kamara was determined to use it to eliminate John Sesay from the APC flag bearer race. John Sesay carries a British passport.
Why is the APC Presidential candidate, Dr. Samura Kamara not a member of the APC NAC?
All said and done, both the APC and the SLPP have benefitted greatly by refusing to amend that section of the Constitution.
It took Lawyer Francis Gabbidon only a newspaper article to point out the illegality involved in having MPs that carry dual nationality serving as members of The House of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers. Until the law is amended, this will affect even serving Ministers in the current administration of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
May common sense prevail!
Tribute To Hon. Frank Kposowa
News about the sudden demise of the late Hon. Frank Kposowa was shell-shocking. Frank Kposowa was a household name in the Sierra Leonean media. He worked at the defunct Tablet Newspaper before moving to several other big newspaper titles including the “New Citizen”, “Unity” and “Unity Now”.
He served as President of SLAJ and retired from active Journalism to become a full-time Politician.
He became a Member of Parliament for Constituency 071 in the Bo district representing the SLPP from 2007 to 2017.
A day before he perished in a gruesome road accident, he telephoned me and was curious to know a lot about the SLPP Running Mate, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. I answered all his questions to his satisfaction.
He was a mentor and a very good friend of mine. I served as Vice President when he was President of SLAJ. He was a very good leader who believed in delegating authority to his Vice President.
The late Hon. Frank Kposowa nominated me to attend several seminars and courses in Egypt, the United Kingdom and Ghana.
We will mourn his death. But we will continue to celebrate his legacy.
RIP, Frank Kposowa!