By Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Saudi Arabia
John Baimba Sesay is a native of Kapethe Village, Safroko Limba Chiefdom, with chiefdom headquarter town of Binkolo, in Constituency 034, Bombali District. The Constituency covers Safroko Limba and Pakimasabong Chiefdoms in the same district.
Born in the early 1980’s, he holds Bachelor of Arts (BA) Mass Communication, with Hons, 2004-2008 from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. He also holds a post graduate Master of Arts (MA), Mass Communication (2009- June 2010) degree from the same university.
John Baimba is my colleague based in Beijing. Having worked for a number of daily newspapers, including, Independent Observer, For Di People and Awoko, he has a wealth of experience in journalism.
He also worked with Search for Common Ground/Talking Drum Studio between March 2007 and March 2008 as an Assistant Producer, primarily responsible for the weekly production of a radio documentary on decentralization (Local Councils).
Between September 2008 and February 2009, Sesay was Information Officer at the Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI), an organization that led a campaign on the enactment of a law on Freedom of Information.
He also had a spell of period at the National Revenue Authority (NRA) in developing his career. From February 2009 to May 2011, he contributed greatly to the institution’s Media and Public Affairs department as an Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Commissioner-General’s Office.
He also worked as a Communications Specialist at a World Bank funded project on fisheries, the West Africa Regional Fisheries Programme-Sierra Leone (WARFP-SL), from June 2011 to November, 2011. The project, with Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Cape Verde as implementing countries, was focused on the effective management of the country’s fisheries sector.
By late 2011, John Baimba Sesay was graciously appointed by His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, as Information Attaché, to the People’s Republic of China. His six years in diplomacy have been progressive, given his contribution, through his work, to the surge in ties between his country and the People’s Republic of China.
He is a member of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalist (SLAJ). As a Journalist, he has written extensively on national issues not least on governance, decentralization and diplomacy. His 2010 thesis work submitted to the Department of Mass Communication, Fourah Bay College USL was focused on how Access to Information could help in Strengthening Democratic Governance.
Should he be awarded the symbol to contest for a Parliamentary Seat for Constituency 034 and win, Sesay looks forward to “providing an effective representation, by not just been seen, but the constituency should be heard on national issues.”
On the telephone line from the Beijing Capital International Airport shortly before he departed for Sierra Leone last night, Sesay says, he believes there shouldn’t be a missing link between those (Councilors) representing the constituency at the local level through the decentralization process and a Member of Parliament.
“When coordination between those two players is missing, added to closer ties of cooperation and consultations with other stakeholders, it becomes a challenge even for the growth of the constituency”, he told me when boarding his flight.
He also has a strong desire to promoting education. Hear him: “There is a lot we could do to change the face of the Constituency.” He added that, “paying attention to education could go a long way in addressing those huge expectations from our people, even if in the long term.”
Umaru S. Dura is the former Minister Counsellor and Head of Chancery at the Sierra Leone Mission in Saudi Arabia. He hails from the same Chiefdom. This is what he told me about the Beijing based diplomat. “It’s the likes of John Baimba Sesay that progressive and well-meaning Sierra Leoneans should wish to see in positions of trust,” the retired diplomat added that, “for a person of Baimba Sesay’s caliber, character and vision to be in charge of Constituency 034, there would be hope for the people to benefit from developments in many areas and no doubt, he would deliver the goods accordingly.”
Umaru Dura furthered that: “The man has been tested in a number of domains and areas of responsibility and, to the admiration of many; he has invariably proven to be a match of the tasks assigned to him.” He concluded: “So, what else are we looking for in candidates vying for such a significant position as a parliamentarian? Let’s test the man. I am sure, if given the opportunity, I trust that he would excel and the sky will be his limit.”
For Sorie Sudan Sesay, the former Editor of Independent Observer newspaper and current Minister Plenipotentiary at the Sierra Leone High Commission in London and CEO, Sierra Update, Sierra Leone’s widely read magazine, “Baimba’s dedication, hard work and patriotism are really inspiring.”
Sudan who have known Baimba for nearly two decades added: “The young man has proven to be not only diligent and astute, but also a patriot who has the interest of Sierra Leone at heart and with all his lofty qualities, John Baimba Sesay deserves to occupy any position of trust.
— with Philip Donald Kargbo.