Trade and Industry Minister Richard Konteh energises APC party base in New Jersey

 

It was all excitement ,  glamour and  politics  in New Jersey on Sunday August 26  when the All People’s Congress ( APC ) New Jersey Chapter staged a sumptuos Dinner in honour of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Richard Konteh. The Minister  made a one-day stopover  in New Jersey from Boston where he had signed a U.S.$180 million contract for a massive steel industry in Sierra Leone.

 The Dinner , conducted under the theme AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY, was held  at the Madison Suite Hotel, Cedar Grove Lane, Franklin Township, Somerset and it brought together distinguished members of the APC in the State  .

COMPOSITE PHOTO OF THE ATTENDANCE : Mr. Dainkeh praying

 

APC NEW JERSEY OFFICIALS AT THE PROGRAM . FROM FAR RIGHT MR. DAUDA BANGURA , DR. ABDUL RAHMAN KAMARA , MR. MINKAILU JALLOH AND A MEMBER.

PHOTO BELOW : FROM RIGHT : KABS-KANU, MINISTER KONTEH, MR.  ALLIE BADARA KAMARA SPEAKING; APC-NA CHAIRMAN, MR. AL-AZIZ TURAY , MR. PAVI JALLOH AND ANOTHER MEMBER.

 

MADAM KADI JALLOH ( KJ)

The program sparked into action with christian prayers by Mr. Alfred Obai Kuyateh . The muslim prayers were said by Mr.  Ibrahim Denkeh and this was followed by the national anthems of the United States and Sierra Leone.  Dr. Abdul Rahman Kamara then introduced the Chairman, Mr. Pavi Jalloh , the  Academic Dean of the Paramus Campus of Devry University in New Jersey. In the opening remarks, Mr.Jalloh lauded the outstanding leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma .

THE HIGH TABLE : MINISTER RICHARD KONTEH , MESSRS . ALLIE BADARA, AL-AZIZ TURAY , PAVI JALLOH AND OTHERS LISTENING KEENLY TO MR. ALIMAMY TURAY

 

 THE HIGH TABLE : MINISTER RICHARD KONTEH , MESSRS . ALLIE BADARA, AL-AZIZ TURAY , PAVI JALLOH AND OTHERS LISTENING KEENLY TO MR. ALIMAMY TURAY

He repeated his views from a recent exclusive interview with this newspaper that he was impressed by the skill and meticulous approach to diplomacy that is one of the keynotes of President Koroma’s leadership .  He lauded the  President for his  quiet diplomacy to secure Sierra Leone’s  territorial integrity and return  to its pre-war borders with the handing back  of the disputed town of Yenga by Guinea. He also dilated on the peaceful relations between Sierra Leone and neighbouring West African countries as a result of the President’s leadership style.

FROM RIGHT : THE HIGH TABLE : MR. A.SHERIFF, REV. KABS-KANU AND MINISTER KONTEH

MADAM MADINA RAHMAN ADDRESSING THE MEETING

Mr. Alimamy Turay , the Assistant Secretary General for the New Jersey APC  Chapter, in making the welcoming statement and introducing APC New

Jersey members , lauded the members for their contribution to the strengthening of the party base in New Jersey. He praised Mr. Foday

Mansaray, the Regional Director of APC-NA ,  for his passion and devotion to the party , joking that when the passion overcomes Mr. Mansaray , he becomes a journalist. He enumerated many of the contributions Mr. Mansaray has made to the APC and he described the Regional Director as an asset to the party.

 

He went on to introduce Mr. Samuel Dilito Turay, the Assistant Secretary General of APCNA. He noted how hard he has worked to make sure that the team comes over to New Jersey. This team had attended functions in Philadelphia, PA, and then traveled to Boston,MA and New York before coming  to this great state of New Jersey. They had  endured sleepless nights and long hours on the road and air to serve the interest of APC and to see that our Leader and President His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is reelected at the November 17, 2012 elections. Mr. Alimamy Turay also went ahead to recognize the presence of our friends from the opposition parties emphazing their roles in making sure that mistakes are minimized  in the system.

 

Mr. Samuel Dilito Turay, the APCNA Assistant Secretary General who lead the delegation  was asked to introduce members of the team. The team included: Honorable Dr.Rrichard Konteh, Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr. Martin Jimmy- Senior Secretary and Personal Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Industry;  Mr. Al- Aziz Turay- Chairman APCNA ;  Mr. Alusine S. Lovell – Compliance Officer APCNA ;  Madam Mamusu Conteh-Luke – Elections Officer APCNA and Mr. Abdulai Sheriff of Minnesota.

 

On behalf of the team, he thank the New Jersey members for their courage  and strength to host this great gathering. It demonstrates clearly the interest members of the New Jersey chapter have for the APC Party. He encouraged everyone present at the meeting to keep up the party spirit and work relentlessly towards reelecting the APC Party and President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for another term of national development.

 

In concluding, Mr. Samuel DilitoTuray responded to a statement made earlier by his colleague Mr. Alimamy Turay about the “opposition working to ensure that we do not make mistakes”. Mr. Samuel Dilito Turay stated that ” APC does not make mistakes but rather we correct the mistakes made by others”.

MADAM BOMPOSSEH NAMINA KOSAY

The Minister Plenipotentiary to the UN , Rev. Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, called upon to make a statement on “Public Affairs and The Rebranding of Sierra Leone ” stated that one of the  laudable achievements  of H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma is that he has  created  a new image for Sierra Leone. The President, in his quest to change the negative international image of the country,  introduced the concept of the rebranding of Sierra Leone in 2007 after coming to power . The Minister called on the Sierra Leone media not to emulate the journalism of  the opposition press in painting a  negativity picture  of Sierra Leone to the outside world .Rather they must  help to rebrand the country to stimulate investment, commerce and tourism, which would provide the much-needed boost to the socio-economic and political development of the country.  He said that “Sierra Leone is our country and it is the duty of all patriotic citizens to project a respectable image of the country to the international world to help bring development to the country  ”. He therefore  called on Sierra Leoneans to love their country and  help the pro-government media  showcase the beauty and riches as well as the stupendous investment and tourist potentials of the country.

MR. FODAY MANSARAY SPEAKING

MR. ALLIE BADARA KAMARA ADDRESSING THE DINNER

Mr. Foday Mansaray, in his statement on the forthcoming 2012 elections, called for support to President Ernest Bai Koroma and the members of the party who will be vying for parliamentary seats. He was pretty sure that President Koroma will win the elections but partisans should also ensure that he does not become a lame-duck President by working hard to make sure that the APC  also wins the majority of the parliamentary seats.  Turning to the reasons why he at times  goes into journalism, Mr. Mansaray agreed with Mr.Turay that it was due to his passion for the party, but equally so, he said  it was due to the influence of Minister Kabs Kanu. “You cannot be closer to Kabs-Kanu without becoming a journalist “, he further joked. He commended the Rev. Kabs-Kanu for the role he has been playing to discover and motivate journalists to promote the APC party vanguard .

 DR. ABDUL RAHMAN KAMARA ADDRESSING THE CROWD

Statements on Women’s participation in politics were made by Madam Madina Rahman, the Vice-President of the New Jersey APC Chapter   and Mrs. Bomposseh Namina Saffie Kosay, wife of former NJ APC  firebrand, Mr. Allie Kosay, who is now a Paramount Chief in Kambia, Sierra Leone.  Ms. Rahman lauded President Koroma for providing women the opportunity to participate in politics and she looked forward to the 30 % female representation in Parliament. Madam Bomposseh asked for  traditional music and did an exciting chieftaincy dance . She also commended the government for the opportunity being given women to play a part in decision-making in the country.

 M.B. ATILLAH IN ACTION

In his keynote address , Minister Richard Konteh said that before the APC  came to power in 2007, Sierra Leone was famous for all the wrong reasons. He said “we were last in the UN Human development index  but during the reign of President Koroma, Sierra Leone is now in the middle and still rising.” He informed the gathering that Sierra Leone has become more blessed and diamonds have been discovered in Batkanu in the Northern Province. Sierra Leone, he went on,  now has the fastest growing economy in the world and the government has ensured that it provided in Sierra Leone the best environment for doing business in Africa, which has led to the influx of investors.

The Trade Minister also announced that earlier during the day in Boston, he signed a U.S. $ 180 million contract to build the biggest steel industry in Africa in Sierra Leone, using the country’s own iron ore. “Now, we are using local materials like cassava to produce our own flour”, he went on and said that the government was now awarding contracts to businesses owned by Sierra Leoneans who will in turn provide employment opportunities for Sierra Leoneans.  He called on Sierra Leoneans to  go into the private sector as government had no sufficient vacancies and resources to employ everybody. He advised Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora to buy shares in companies in Sierra Leone because they have the financial muscle and experience.  He however said that Sierra Leoneans should trust each other and engage in viable and legitimate  businesses with each other. The minister praised the government’s socio-economic and political programs which have transformed the country and made it lucrative for international investments. The minister reiterated  that the time for poverty reduction has passed in Sierra Leone and now it is time for the AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY.

  SLPP MEMBER MR. BEN JALLOH SPEAKING

In giving the vote of thanks , the APC NJ President, Mr. Allie Badara Kamara , thanked all members for their cooperation and support in staging the dinner.  He also thanked Minister Richard Konteh for coming to New Jersey to address the APC Caucus.

One of the  highlights of the dinner was a command musical performance by Mr. M.B. Atilla, a blind but very talented Sierra Leonean who also entertained the crowd with jokes that rocked the hall with side-bursting laughter.

PRESENT at the dinner was Mr. Aziz Turay, the Chairman of the APC-NA who had travelled all the way from Arizona to attend the programs for Minister Konteh in Philadelphia, Boston and New Jersey .

An opposition SLPP member, Mr. Ben Jalloh , was also present and was given the opportunity to speak. In his statement he said he was at the meeting not as an opposition member but as a patriotic Sierra Leonean. He expressed profound admiration for Minister Konteh’s presentation and praised the government for its efforts, noting that any patriotic Sierra Leone would laud progress in the nation , whether executed by the ruling or opposition party.

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