By Sorie Fofana……………
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s decision to remove Maj. (Rtd.) Alfred Paloh Conteh from the Defence Ministry may not be unconnected to the fact that, there is no love lost between Paloh Conteh and the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. S.O. Williams.
It is a well-known fact that, Paloh Conteh is opposed to any decision to continually extend the tenure of office of both S.O. Williams and his deputy, John Milton. They have both passed the age of retirement in the RSLAF.
Paloh Conteh believes that, a fresh blood must be injected into the force, to give way to the younger generation of well-trained and highly educated Army officers to take over the top cadre of the RSLAF.
When Paloh Conteh was removed from the Defense Ministry and appointed as CEO of NERC (National Ebola Response Centre) there were mild jubilations at both the Defence Ministry and at Cockerill.
Since Paloh Conteh has not been assigned to any new office, the man has been left completely embarrassed. He drives regularly in the MOD official vehicle eventhough he is no longer the Minister of Defence. That Ministry is now being headed by the President himself. It is pathetic that the man who fought to end the Ebola scourge in Sierra Leone has suddenly become jobless.
If, for any reason, the President does not want to relinquish his Ministerial role in the Defence Ministry, why not give the young man another role to perform? Or is Palo Conteh being punished because some sections of the media portray him as a man who has political ambition to succeed President Koroma?
As far as we are concerned, Paloh Conteh deserves another job, not necessarily a Cabinet appointment. After all, the man showed great leadership in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease.
His deputy at NERC, Steve Gaoja is also reportedly lobbying for a return to the Cabinet. He was sacked as Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs by President Koroma.
It is not yet known whether or not Steve Gaoja has officially joined the ruling APC party. He was a leading member of Charles Margai’s PMDC party.
Steve Gaoja is a very talented and hardworking man. As National Coordinator of NERC, he did a great job. The sooner the plight of these two hard working guys is addressed, the better for both of them.
May common sense prevail!
By Sorie Fofana……………