He is one of the government officials with profound admiration for President Ernest Koroma. He says he cannot stop respecting and admiring his boss because he is deeply fascinated at him . Last week, the Hon. Maya Kai-Kai , Sierra Leone’s Resident Minister of the Eastern Region , travelled all the way to New Jersey from Washington DC to see his government colleague and elder brother, Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN, Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kai-Kanu, but to give a thorough update on the situation in Sierra Leone. He was accompanied by Press Attache, Mr. Pasco Gerald Temple, of the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S.
Today, we begin serializing the comprehensive interview the young and dynamic Minister gave COCORIOKO while in New Jersey :
COCORIOKO : Thanks you so much once again, Mr. Minister , for your visit. What was the latest on this Ebols situation when you left Sierra Leone ?
HON. KAI-KAI : As you can recall, Ebola started in Kailahun. We were the first district to be hit when the disease broke out in Sierra Leone, but I am delighted to report that through hard work, commitment and determination by President Koroma and the people, Ebola is no longer in the three districts of Kailahun, Kenema and Kono . Kailahun has gone 110 days without Ebola. Kenema has gone over 45 days and Kono has gone 42 days without Ebola.
COCORIOKO : That is a remarkable achievement. Quite a contrast to last year when the situation was grim , especially in Kailahun.
HON. KAI-KAI : Oh yes, it was really grim .
COCORIOKO : What was responsible for such a situation ?
HON. KAI-KAI : My brother, we had extraordinary challenges from the opposition SLPP. Challenges and political gimmicks. When Ebola broke out, instead of helping us combat it, the opposition started shocking gimmicks saying that it was initiated by the government to reduce the population in Kailahun District. They put up a very strong opposition to government’s efforts to combat the disease. This created a big confusion among the people who in turn refused to adhere to the protocols. They were shaking hands with other people and not washing their hands. That was the political aspect. There was the traditional aspect. Remember that Ebola was brought to Kailahun by a sowei woman who crossed the border with Guinea and help to wash the corpse of another sowei who had died of Ebola. When the sowei from Kailahun returned, got sick and died, her suitcase was opened and a big snake was found in it. The people began attributing the Ebola deaths to this incident. They started saying that there was no ebola and the reason people were dying was because they opened the sowei’s suitcase and saw the snake. This made the Ebola fight very difficult for us. But President Koroma decided not to give up. He gave premium to containment efforts and engaged in a leadership of social mobilization. He decided to go all out to combat the ebola outbreak.
COCORIOKO : I can remember things BEING REALLY, REALLY BAD. .
HON. KAI-KAI : . But President Koroma being a man who loves his nation so much did not heed. The first place he went was the hub of the Ebola, Kenema. Remember , that was where they were bringing all the ebola patients . President Koroma was not afraid. He demonstrated extraordinary sacrifice and came to Kenema and addressed the people. He gave tremendous confidence to the health workers and assured them of government’s support. He cancelled his trip to the UN General Assembly because the lives of his people were more important to him.
SEE PART 2 TOMORROW
MR. PASCO TEMPLE ( LEFT ) AND MINISTER KAI-KAI AND REV. KABS-KANU
The Resident Minister ( Eastern Region) , Hon. Maya Kai-Kai, has given a stunning mouthful information about the present political crisis in Sierra Leone over the recent dismissal from the government of former Vice-President, Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana . The minister made the revelations during what he described as a preliminary visit to New Jersey to check on his “government colleague and elder brother “, the Rev. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu , Minister Plenipotentiary at the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations.
The Minister , who was accompanied by the Press Attache to the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S, Mr. Pasco Gerald Temple, will be returning to New Jersey in two weeks to address the Sierra Leone community in the Garden State about the situation in Sierra Leone in a general meeting to be held on Friday April 17 and also attend the All People’s Congress ( APC ) New Jersey Fund-raising dance to be held on Saturday April 18.
Minister Kai-Kai had been doing an excellent job in Washington DC and Maryland explaining the government’s version about the events in Sierra Leone.
KABS KANU LISTENING KEENLY TO THE STUNNING REVELATIONS BY THE MINISTER
In an exclusive interview for the COCORIOKO Newspaper, the Eastern Region Minister gave a comprehensive report on the Ebola situation in the Eastern Region , especially his home district , Kailahun , where the outbreak first started, extensively dwelling on the reasons that the Government encountered serious challenges in containing the outbreak and how government’s efforts were undermined by opposition political propaganda and the traditional beliefs of the local people .
FROM RIGHT : RESIDENT MINISTER KAI-KAI, KABS KANU AND PASCO TEMPLE
He also took his time to explain how President Koroma his own very self ordered the recent audit on the Ebola funds which resulted in startling revelations that certain unscrupulous elements pilfered the funds. The Ebola audit was a culmination of threats President Koroma had made that whoever tampered with the funds would pay the price . The President called the audit because of his transparency but his enemies tried to use it against him.
The Minister is very disappointed that most Sierra Leoneans making noise in the social media are thoroughly misinformed about the Ebola, Audit and Sam Sumana issues , especially the latter, which has created what many are describing as a constitutional crisis in Sierra Leone. He noted that if Sierra Leoneans had really taken their time to objectively know everything that happened and thereby understand the issues their responses would have been tempered.
MINISTER KAI-KAI ( LEFT ) AND PASCO TEMPLE
Hon. Kai-Kai told a very interesting story about how some of the previously unknown information about the situation in Sierra Leone mellowed a member of the APC who had become overtly very critical of government and the party over recent events . After the minister explained the details during a crucial meeting he held with the Washington DC Chapter of the APC, recently, the critical member understood a lot of things previously unknown to him . The member, who attended the meeting, even took part later in the singing of the APC party victory song at the end of the meeting .
As is our style of reporting exclusive interviews, we will produce the interview in series to enable our readers to grasp the issues accurately and clearly. We will start with the Minister’s revelations on the Ebola outbreak in Kailahun.
Watch out for another blockbuster.