By Sorie Fofana……………..
We continue our series on possible contenders for the position of flagbearer in the main opposition SLPP (Sierra Leone Peoples Party).
Today, we take a critical look at Mr. Alpha Osman Timbo, a flagbearer contender in 2011.
Alpha Osman Timbo
Mr. Alpha Timbo needs no introduction. He is a well – known Politician in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Timbo started as a high school teacher, trade unionist and ended up as a Cabinet Minister and senior Politician.
As Secretary General of SLTU (Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union) for nine years and Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Labour Congress for four years, Mr. Timbo made the welfare of his membership a key priority.
In 1999, Mr. Timbo was appointed Minister of Labour and Social Security. His deputy was Idrissa Kamara alias Leather Boot.
Mr. Timbo pioneered the establishment of NASSIT (National Social Security and Insurance Trust). The late former President, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah once publicly described Mr. Timbo as one of his best Ministers in the Government.
As Labour and Social Security Minister, Mr. Timbo acted in several Ministries including Energy and Power either when a vacancy occurred or when the substantive Ministers leave the country.
In 2005, Mr. Timbo was elected Deputy National Secretary General of the SLPP (Sierra Leone Peoples Party). He remained in the Cabinet of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah until the SLPP lost both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2007.
When President Ernest Bai Koroma was sworn – in as President in 2007, he offered to retain Mr. Timbo as Minister in his administration. Mr. Timbo politely declined the offer saying that, as Deputy National Secretary General of the SLPP, he wanted to continue to serve the Party in opposition.
In 2011, Mr. Timbo contested for the flagbearership of the SLPP but lost. He is considered as one of the prominent Northerners in the SLPP.
Mr. Timbo is a charismatic, youthful and outspoken Politician. He has said openly that he is running for the flagbearship of the Party. Goodluck to him.
(Part 4 tomorrow. Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella)