By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
Last Friday’s unannounced visit of the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone to Port Loko can be a clear demonstration of outright disregard for both Members and Supporters of the Ruling All Congress Party on the side of the Political Heads of this District. It is also a pointer to the fact that the Organisers of the visit have no respect for the Local Press which is often marginalised. In fact the Township was set aback with the unbelievable rumour that His Excellency –Vice President Foh was due in the Township that very Friday morning. The semblance was only noticed at about 10am when armed Police Officers went to barricade the Roads leading to the S.I. Curve Road and prevented Commuters form plying through that route.
Even though the low turnout was justified with the explanation it was a mere Family meeting that the Vice President came to attend, Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh himself said, he was on his usual ‘Meet the People’ tour. The Vice President said he was in Port Loko with the permission of his Boss – President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to see how the People of Port Loko were fairing on, and that he would be proceeding to other parts of the Country in subsequent months. ‘This is the same routine visits that our forefathers in politics used to make’, he reiterated.
The long hours spent in a close- door meeting at the Port Loko residence of the Chief Immigration Officer-Mr. Kolifa Koroma , tells of a different story altogether. It was attended by a good number of the Political Heads of the District including the Northern Region Chairman of the APC- Hon. Alhajie Buya Kamara, Majority Party Leader in Parliament-Hon. Ibrahim Bundu, the Political Affairs Minister –Hon. Alhajie Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay and of cause the Information and Communications Minister- Hon. Alhajie Alpha Kanu, who arrived at the tail end of the meeting. The wife of the late S.I Koroma – Madam Mabinty Koroma and other prominent members of the Koroma Family including the Alhajie Yayah Deen Kamara were also in attendance.
Perhaps the most appropriate indicator was the presence of the Award winner for the Rehabilitation Project of the Bai Burreh Memorial Hall – Mr. Mohamed Ali of the Sabassco Enterprises. The facts became uncancellable at the Bai Burreh Memorial Hall where statements were made. Madam Mabinty Koroma spoke of a wrong method of approach on the side of the Political Heads of the District. She said the Building belongs to her late husband- S I Koroma – a onetime Vice President of this country. She explained how the building was allowed to be used by the All Peoples Congress Party for over 30 years. She said this did not in any way imply that it is now the property of the Party. She however thanked President Koroma and Vice President Victor Foe for the timely intervention. It was the Information and Communications Minister –Hon. Alhajie Alpha Kanu who apologised to the wife of late S I Koroma, on behalf of the leadership of the APC Party in the District.
It is worth recalling that the Bai Burreh Memorial Hall is the operational headquarters of the APC. But the Building has not properly been taken care of. It was subsequently reduced to a brothel and a breeding ground for several arts of naughtiness. The Conference Hall converted itself to a seaming Pool whenever there is a heavy down pour of rain after every other furniture had been carted away by thieves. In spite of the fact that it is the Party in Power, none of the Party Politicians or Successful Descendants of this great District were organised enough to have it rehabilitated.
Recently, the Leader of Government Affairs in Parliament –Hon. Ibrahim Bundu came up with a dream he claimed to have dreamt while he was out of the counry. It suggested that the late S I Koroma was now angry over the manner in which the leadership of the Party has neglected the Building and Port Loko as a whole. A meeting was summoned to share the dream and it was resolved that something must be done to Rehabilitate the Building. As an initial step, some caws were slaughtered in a bid to appease the late man and other aggrieved persons of the Party in the underworld.
It appeared the members of the Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Building never saw the need to either confer or notify the Family of the late man. When Madam Mabinty Koroma gained that the Building has been unroofed and that the rehabilitation has commenced in earnest she went and cried for the intervention of the President. It is gathered that the President himself was not properly briefed on this development and was quite spiteful with the Organisers of the Project. The Vice President was therefore errand by his Boss to prevail the Koroma Family to keep cool and allow the rehabilitation to continue undisrupted. Meanwhile the contractor has expressed delight over the award and promised to measure up to the expected standards. He said work will recommence this week and appealed for the cooperation of all. These are some of the Pictures obtained on the visit of the Pa …..