By Alhaji M.B. Jalloh, Press Attaché, Saudi Arabia
His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has lived to his promise to the people of Sierra Leone that he would have no sacred cows in his All People’s Congress (APC) administration that has not performed exemplarily well in democratic good governance and the socio-economic development of the country. This has been clearly demonstrated in the recent shakeups in the Koroma administration which led to the dismissal of some senior officials in government institutions such as the Chief of Staff at State House, the Minister of Energy, the General Manager and Deputy Manager of the National Power Authority (NPA), the Minister of Works, Housing and infrastructure, the Executive Director of Sierra Leone Road Authority (SLRA) and many others whom many had thought were untouchable in the APC Government.
Notwithstanding the shakeups in the Koroma administration, the President also deemed it expedient to appoint his loyalists to positions where substantive holders had been assigned to other honourable duties to perform on behalf of the Sierra Leone Government and the people of Sierra Leone. One of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s appointments that has resonated well with the general public, especially APC members and supporters, is that of the erstwhile Member of Parliament for Constituency 105 in Central Freetown, Hon. Nuru Deen, who represented the ruling APC and his constituents in Parliament from 2007 to 2012 respectively. President Koroma recently appointed the young political, social and sports active as his Personal Assistant on Political Affairs. The position had been previously held by the current Sierra Leone’s Ambassador here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Alhaji Mohamed Sillah Kargbo, whose ambassadorial performance has also impressed not only his home government but also the Saudi Arabian authorities, most of whom have described him as “a natural diplomat.”
The current Assistant to the President on Political Affairs, Hon. Nuru Deen, was recently in Saudi Arabia on an official assignment. During his visit, I had a brief chat with the young and dynamic Presidential Aide.
Who’s Nuru Deen?
The young and promising political leader came to political limelight in the country during the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections that were won by his political party – the All People’s Congress (APC).
Hon Deen contested the parliamentary elections in Constituency 105 in Central Freetown and became the eventual winner. During his five-year term in the House of parliament, he contributed meaningfully to pertinent debates in parliament that bordered on cohesive national development that benefitted the citizenry of Sierra Leone. Of course, the former Member of Parliament would be remembered as the MP whose undying interest in Youth and Sports activities was admired by his colleagues and the general public. He promoted youth development and sports when he was Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Youth and Sports. Hon. Nuru Deen would even travel with the National Football Team – the Leone Stars – during international matches in order to boost the morale of the players. There was hardly any youth organization or group that would not recognize Hon. Nuru Deen whenever they had occasions.
But in spite of the tremendous efforts he made to promote youth development in parliament, everybody was taken aback when Hon. Nuru Deen was not awarded the APC Symbol during the November 2012 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections. Most APC supporters and members in Constituency 105 expressed dissatisfaction that their man was not given the APC Symbol with all the assiduous service he rendered to the party and nation.
After he was boned out of the Symbol contest, Hon. Deen, being a quintessential gentleman, decided to lie low. He later decided to go into private business for his economic prosperity. Whilst in business, Hon. Nuru Deen never expected that it would please His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone to give him an appointment at this crucial time. But to his greatest surprise, it was in May this year, when President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma appointed the former MP as his Assistant on Political Affairs. The presidential appointment took Hon. Nuru Deen back into the political fold with pomp and pageantry.
The honourable sees his appointment as an opportunity to showcase his political acumen to the APC, the people of Sierra Leone and the world at large. In my brief interview with him, he told me that he saw his appointment as a confidence being reposed in him by President Koroma.
“I want to serve President Koroma and the country diligently so that his Agenda for Prosperity will succeed because he cannot do it alone,” Hon. Nuru Deen said.
The dynamic politician promised not to disappoint the President and therefore admonished the Sierra Leonean youth in governance not to betray the confidence the president has reposed in them. The former MP has made the admonition to the youth because President Koroma is the first Sierra Leonean Leader whose penchant for promoting the youths has been unprecedented. When he won the November 2012 presidential elections, he dedicated his second term to the youth of Sierra Leone and appealed to them to work with him for the prosperity of all Sierra Leoneans, including generations yet unborn.
The honourable also showered praises on His Excellency, the President, for the unprecedented developmental strides his government has made in the last six years. Hon. Deen went to the United States of America at a very young age for a higher academic pursuit. He attended the prestigious New York School of Paralegal and became a Certified Paralegal before he took up an employment with a Law Firm in Washington DC.
He was at the same time an active political animal that cut his teeth in all APC affairs especially at a time when the party was in opposition. He served as Organizing Secretary of the APC Branch Washington DC. Hon. Nuru Deen also served various social and professional organizations in the Washington Metropolitan Area and performed remarkably well.
Many Sierra Leoneans I’ve spoken with about the appointment of Hon. Nuru Deen are certain that he has got the best opportunity to prove some people wrong, especially those that militated against his chances of getting the party symbol for the November 2012 parliamentary elections.