President Ernest Koroma has yesterday October 8th 2007, announced the names of Ten Sierra Leoneans who are going to be members of his Ministerial Cabinet if Parliament approves them. The list of names was mostly greeted with wild applause both locally and in the Diaspora.
At a social gathering yesterday in London, Sierra Leoneans went wild with enthusiasm over the calibre of names. On several Internet Discussions monitored by this presshouse, only a few comments were made criticising the names of the yet-incomplete Cabinet. The overwhelming mood was supportive applause.
Here in the capital city which remains a Koroma stronghold, the names were received with wild hoops of joy from people with ears stationed to radio sets.
The Sierra Leoneans are:
Mr. David Omashola Carew, the current Head of KPMG-Sierra Leone, the country's leading Accounting & Management Consultancy Firm is nominated to be Finance & Development Minister.
Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, a Sierra Leonean considered by many to be the most influential Sierra Leonean on the global stage will leave the United Nations in Liberia to be Foreign Affairs & International Relations Minister.
|Zainab Bangura Meets with George Bush at the White House
Lawyer Abdul Serry-Kamal, a brilliant lawyer will be Justice Minister and Attorney General.
Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists who has an uncanny hold over local journalists will be Information & Communication Minister.
Alhaji Abubakar Jalloh who missed being Koroma's Running Mate in 2002 and who lost to Sam-Sumana the bid to be Running mate in 2007, has been pacified with the position of Minister of Mineral Resources. A trained Geologist, he once worked as an executive in the Mineral Sector but went into exile from Sierra Leone in 1992 when the NPRC Military Junta overthrew the APC. He spent several years in self-exile.
Dr. Soccoh Kabia, the illustrious son of one of Sierra Leone's formidable female legends, the late Paramount Chief Ella Koblo Gulama will represent the People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) in Cabinet as Minister of Health. He is a trained medical doctor with over thirty years experience in the United States of America.
Dr. Sam Sesay will be Minister of Agriculture & Food Security. He is believed to have once served the NPRC of Maada Bio. There are conflicting reports as to whether he represents PMDC or APC.
Alhaji Alpha Kanu, the well-spoken gentleman who has been Koroma's Spokesman for the last year will be Minister of Presidential and Public Affairs. He has been in the last Parliament (2002-2007) representing Port Loko District under the APC but was denied the Party Symbol this year. He is severally cited as being responsible for the growing confidence Koroma enjoyed in the pre-elections period as a result of his smooth talking skills. He once suffered his airline business leaving pilgrims stranded but he was cleared of any personal wrongdoing.
Alpha Kanu shown here hugging former VP Berewa shortly before
Run-off Elections, has been bending over backwards to sell Koroma's
Unity & Reconciliation Message to all Sierra Leoneans.
Mr. John Saad will represent the PMDC as Minister of Housing & Infrastructural Development. Saad's mother is reportedly from Jojoima in Southeastern Sierra Leone whilst his father was a Lebanese merchant. He was once Chairman of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) in London in the nineties but he resigned from the SLPP in 2006 to join the PMDC.
Captain Benjamin O. N. Davies will be Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment. There are conflicting reports as to whether Davies is representing the PMDC or is an APC Member himself. He once served as a Counterpart General Manager at the Nation's Ports Authority but he fell out with the Government and had to leave the country. He is a very likable gentleman from a respectable Freetown family.
The enthusiasm of Sierra Leoneans for the new Cabinet is not unconnected to the fact that all of the names have never been Ministers and many of them have distinguished themselves in their fields of practice and sport credible backgrounds.
David Carew, who will be the most senior Cabinet Minister as Finance Minister, is indisputably one of Sierra Leone's finest financial figures with a very credible reputation and with skills that make him regularly soughted in places as far away as South East Asia as well as in many of the world's capital cities. He is extremely hardworking, well known as a self-made man and his ascendance to the position of Finance & Development Minister has left many Sierra Leoneans hopeful for the future.
Several of the new Ministers spoke to Awareness Times yesterday evening shortly after the announcement.
Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the Information Minister designate who is going to be the Minister mostly interacting with the media was very delighted and enthusiastic as he spoke to Awareness Times.
"I am taking this appointment as a major challenge. Sierra Leone has serious work to be done for it. The people have placed immense faith in all of us and so we must deliver. This is a Government that simply will not fail." I.B. Kargbo strongly promised.
"We are going to use this country's resources to change the country's fortunes for the better," I.B. Kargbo assured last night.
Kargbo, who will be the new Spokesman for the Government also assured that President Koroma was "dead serious" with his promise that there will be "no vendetta".
"We are not here for any vendetta against any political opponent. Everyone can rest assured that there is going to be no witch-hunting under President Ernest Koroma. Our total focus is to move the country forward. Progress is long overdue here," Kargbo said.
Meanwhile, for his part, the nominated Minister of Finance and Development, David Carew, who bestrides a successful accounting and management consultancy empire that has seen him severally cited as one of Sierra Leone's richest men, assured of his "complete dedication" to serving Sierra Leone. Speaking to Awareness Times as the most senior Minister-designate, he spoke on behalf of his colleagues.
"Having come from where we were as a nation, we are committed to give our best to take the nation forward. We are all going to put aside our personal empires, our wealth and our personal ambitions and make whatever sacrifice is neccessary to take this land forward," Carew promised.
We have carried Carew’s Profile in this edition and we will carry Profiles of other Ministers subsequently.
Awareness Times wishes the President and his new Team the best of luck as we await the unveiling of the names of his other Ministers!