the late Sierra Leone’s Envoy to the Arab United Emirates ( The UAE), Siray Alpha Timbo, who met his appointed time and ultimate destiny on 17th April, 2017.
However, owing to the shock that engulfed my being and the pain and grief that permeated every nerve in my structure, it was almost certainly impossible for me to have clear thinking or marshal any thoughts about the Late Ambassador Timbo. For me, his sudden demise was a personal loss in every sense of the word.
had the urge to return home and register for the 7th March, 2018
national elections. Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo also travelled to
Sierra Leone for the same purpose and eventually registered in his
birth place of Rokulan in the Bombali District. The last communication I
had with him was when he texted me in confidence that he was
travelling to Senegal but didn’t disclose for what reason he was
travelling to that country. I had no foggiest idea that he was at his
death’s door when he sent me that confidential text.MY RELATIONSHIP WITH AMBASSADOR TIMBO
Realizing that I was one of the editors for the Champion, he would occasionally invite my late colleague and intimate friend, Mr. Mohamed Daudis Koroma, (then Managing Editor) and myself to his office to counsel us on how we should conduct ourselves as young journalists in the profession.
He always advised us repeatedly to stop publishing stories that would tarnish the image of the country abroad as they would scare foreign investors to do business in the country. Thus, to the late Mohamed Daudis and me, Timbo was not just an elder brother; rather, he was an advisor, a friend and a mentor. He was extremely kind and generous to me beyond imagination. He would do whatever it would take him to help me excel in my profession. It was his burning wish to see me reach the top of success ladder.
What is more, since late Ambassador Timbo and I established those strong brotherly and friendly ties nearly twenty years ago, he was never
incommunicado with me. Even during my many years of stay in the United States, he would often call me and email me to ensure that I was doing alright. He was indeed exceptionally a true brother and an intimate
friend to me. Another good thing he did for me was introducing me to the large Timbo family at home and abroad; some of whose members I have come to be very close with over the years.
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation requesting that I cover
his entire diplomatic jurisdiction. The letter was approved and
consequently, other Sierra Leone diplomatic missions in Kuwait and Iran replicated what the late Ambassador did and their request for me to
cover their activities were also granted by the Ministry of
Information and Communications and that gave me authority to cover the entire Gulf States but resident in Saudi Arabia. Since then, I have
enjoyed working with those Embassies and I have gained much experience as a result. I travelled extensively with Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo, meeting with Heads of State, Government Ministers, Members of Royal Families in different Arab States over the past two years.
Gulf State; little was known about Sierra Leone by both the Government and the people of The UAE in general. In his capacity as Sierra Leone’s envoy to that rich Gulf State, Timbo made sure that he marketed Sierra
Leone using his God-given diplomatic skills in the best possible fashion. Through his fast but meaningful diplomatic moves in his first
year, Ambassador Timbo had the opportunity to meet with key ministers in The UAE Government such as: The Ministers of Energy, Finance, Education, other senior officials, to name but a few. Also, he had the opportunity to meet with a number of potential investors. It is worthwhile to note that such meetings have indeed been very fruitful because a good number of UAE businessmen have visited Sierra Leone with the purpose of either starting an investment process or making feasibility studies for possible future investments in Sierra Leone. All these moves come as a result of the efforts exerted by the patriotic born diplomat, Siray Alpha Timbo.
shortly after his departure from Turkey a couple of days ago, a heavy weight Turkish business tycoon visited Sierra Leone for him to see with his naked eyes what business opportunities he could embark upon in not-too-distant future. During the visit of this Turkish VIP, he had the opportunity to confer with Sierra Leone’s President, His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Foreign Minister, Dr. Samura Kamra and the Energy Minister, Ambassador Henry Macualey. The Late man’s exemplary performance in the diplomatic circles convinced me that indeed President Dr. Ernest Bai Korma made no mistake in reposing confidence in him to serve his country in a diplomatic mission before his death.For the records, it is worthy to note that late Ambassador Timbo would invariably ensure that concerned officials in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and International Cooperation here in Freetown were thoroughly briefed about all his diplomatic moves and interactions with foreign officials wherever and whenever such interactions took place.
wanted to retire from public service after a couple of years when he would have been 60. He told me that he had been in almost certainly
non-stop public service since he returned from Romania after his graduation as an architect in the 1980`s. He actually wanted to enjoy an early retirement. But because his services were always needed by Government and people, he decided to serve until the age of 60. He had wished for an early retirement to live quietly with his family. Prior to his demise, Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo had told about his intention to perform this year’s Hajj. To show his religious awareness, he had already booked for himself and his wife, Haja Martha Timbo rooms close to the Grand Holy Mosque of Makkah where he was planning to spend part of this year’s blessed holy month of Ramadan for Umrah (minor hajj); as he did last year with two of counterparts, Ambassador Alhaji M.S. Kargbo of Saudi Arabia and former Ambassador Dr. Muhammad Fofanah of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
engaged in Islamic works. He wanted to build Mosques which he had started in his village by renovating the historic Rokulan Mosque and engaged in community service in whatever capacity he could. He would say that his ancestors were great servants of Islam, and he would thus
like to emulate their path.The Late Ambassador Siray Timbo was a philanthropist per excellence. Those who happened to enjoy his generosity say he was generous to a fault. He loved to help the needy. Many a time he would render help without even being asked to do so, exhibiting a highly desired Islamic and human value.
Timbo, he would always narrate the plans he had for his country and
people. I gathered from our conversation that he was a man who loved
his people and country and a man with much faith. He would never put on any bad countenance even when he was hurt.
Timbo advised that one should not worry for anything in this world
when we were discussing the death of Ambassador Ibrahim Bakarr Kamara fondly called Orsoya – a man he spoke with few hours before his death in February this year. He also said he had been taught that death was not determined by your age or material achievement. He sounded very much as though he knew he would die soon.
GREAT LOSS TO THE NATION AND THE TIMBO FAMILY
Based on the above, the reader could see and figure out why Siray
Alpha Timbo’s sudden departure has been shocking
not only to his family and friends like myself, but to also His
Excellency, his Government and the nation at large.
citizenry especially His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma who had much respect for him as one of his trusted lieutenants and
former pupils of the St Francis Secondary School in Makeni, the ruling
All People’s Congress (APC) party, the Sierra Leone Nationals Union in the UAE, Turkey and Qatar, Sierra Leone Consul General/Honorary Consul in Ankara and Istanbul and thousands of Sierra
Leoneans who benefited from his largesse.
The passing away of such a high caliber of a man in the person of Siray Timbo is by all means a huge and sad loss. No matter how I may endeavor, words cannot express the magnitude of the loss I personally feel in the sudden demise of my brother, friend and mentor, Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo.
On behalf of my humble self and my family, I am taking this
opportunity to sincerely extend my deepest sympathy and most profound
condolences to the family and friends of late Ambassador Siray Timbo,
President Koroma, the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the
immense loss of such an exceptionally patriot citizen.
I beseech Allah the Most High to condone Siray Timbo’s sins and make
paradise his eternal abode. I likewise beseech Allah to bless
his family and protect them from all evils and grant them longevity in
good health, happiness, and prosperity.