It is with humility and honor that I announce my candidacy as a SLPP flag bearer aspirant for the 2018 Presidential and General elections.
My name is MOHAMED KABIRU GASSAMA. I was born at Boajibu, Simbaru Chiefdom, Kenema District on 20th November 1955. I attended Primary Schools at the St. Francis of Asissi in Boajibu and SLMB at Rokupr, Kambia District. I did my Secondary education at Bo Ahmadiyya and Bo School, and at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone.
I have about thirty years of professional work experience and competencies at national and international levels. I served as Senior Policy Adviser at the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and Dakar, Senegal from 1998 until my early retirement in December 2013, Before that, I was Minister of Employment and Industrial Relations, Government of Sierra Leone from March 1996 through November 1996. Between 1985 through March 1995, I worked for the United States Federal Agency African Development Foundation as Financial Analyst and Economist, Public Policy Consultant for the USAID, in Washington DC, and other consultancies, including at the World Bank, Public Enterprises, Reform and Divestiture Commission (PERDIC) here in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
To provide enlightened leadership and contribute robustly to the sustainable development of Sierra Leone through the formulation of job-rich economic growth and development for the eradication of poverty, deprivation, want, and exclusion.
If I am elected as the SLPP flag bearer and eventually as President of Sierra Leone, I swear in the name of Allah, Party and Country, that;
For Our Great Party:
• Strive to achieve unity amongst all members, stakeholders and executive at national, regional, district and zonal levels.
• Ensure the institutions of the Party are strengthened including an Office in all the 17 Districts, of the Party.
• Ensure that all elected representatives of the Party including national, regional, and district executives are paid negotiated salaries, benefits (including subsidies for education of their children and free health care)
• Support a rotational system for the flagbearer of the Party, ensuring each region gets an opportunity to provide a candidate for the leadership and Presidential candidate. Every five years a region shall present a nominee for the flagbearer as a result of a free, transparent and democratic process of vetting of the candidate from the zonal, constituency, districts and regional levels at an all delegates conference for endorsement by consensus. That candidate will be presented by the Party as flagbearer for the presidential elections. This will avoid the rancorous and divisive nature of electing our flagbearer through open elections;
• Ensure necessary equipments, vehicles and other sundries are provided to allow the effective running of the Party.
For our country, key priority areas, include but not limited to:
• A Constructive and effective national security and intelligence infrastructure is established. It is clear that bad governance and our security and intelligence failings are responsible for 2 devastating calamities (11-year senseless banditry and the Ebola which threatened the very existence of our nation). No economic and development plan could be soundly implemented without security and stability. We will therefore endeavour to establish a National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISER) to replace the Office of National Security (ONS) with necessary resources to effective protect and defend our nation.
• A freely accessible National Education system. The current education system has failed to effectively implement the reforms that have been identified and efforts will be made to only implement identified but new reforms and to establish community colleges in all 14 political districts and a university in the Eastern region of the country.
• A Public Health Scheme that provides freely accessed health care to all. This will entail necessary overall of the health care system including the construction of the critical infrastructure and training health care personnel at all levels (i.e. establishing medical schools and para-medical schools in all regions).
• An Agriculture and Food Security scheme to enable the nation to grow abundant staple food and other crops for export, agro-processing through value chains development. The objective is to ensure food self-sufficiency within the shortest possible period through mechanized commercial farming especially in the South-east and North-west of the country as the basis for industrialization.
• A sustainable and renewable energy infrastructure to provide electric power for domestic, commercial, manufacturing and industrial consumption for the whole country. This will include the combination of thermal, hydro, solar, wind, and other sources of energy potential in the country.
• Establish development and industrial corridors, industrial parks through enabling policies and strategies, the mapping of resources and provision of necessary financial inputs and technology.
• The Provision of necessary road infrastructure, ICT and other inputs for mobility of labour and other resources for the sustainable development of our country
• Strengthen decentralization and devolution of powers and resources to the municipalities and district councils, through the establishment of District Economic Development Agencies as technical institution to support and develop district plans, bankable investment projects to promote employment and development in each district. This will ensure greater and effective participation of the people in their welfare and development.