Honourable Julius Nye Cuffie is an APC Member of Parliament (MP) representing Constituency 109 which covers Brookfields, Congo Market, New England Ville, Dwarzark and Sumaila Town communities. Hon. Cuffie is a Lawyer by profession; a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Sierra Leone. He is the first physically challenged Lawyer trained in Sierra Leone and also the first to become Member of Parliament in Sierra Leone.
|HON. JULIUS NYE CUFFIE (APC MP)
Hon. Cuffie attended the Saint Anthony’s Boys School at Brookfields in the 80’s. He proceeded to the Prince of Wales Secondary School (1990-1995) where he sat to his O’Levels. His sixth form education was attained at the Saint Edwards Secondary School, May Park, Kingtom between 1996 and 1999. He thereafter gained admission to the Fourah Bay College in 2000 and graduated with an LLB (Bachelor of Law Hons) Degree in 2004. Through academic perseverance, he gained admission at Law School (2004-2005) where he did his Post Graduate Degree as Barrister and Solicitor. Hon. Cuffie who started working as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Sierra Leone in December 2005 also worked at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2007 as Legal Assistant to the Gbao Defence Team. It was in the same 2007 that the physically challenged MP joined the bandwagon of politics, contested and won under the APC ticket in Constituency 109 in the 2007 Parliamentary elections.
Prior to entering into politics, he was the Secretary General, Sierra Leone Union of Polio Persons; and currently he is the President, Coalition of Disabled Persons Organization.
Hon. Cuffie has been a Disability Rights Activist since his secondary school days. He set himself the task of helping his disabled colleagues, especially those who do not read and write, deprived by poverty, deprivation and ignorance. Disability Rights Activism is part of his advocacy, involving talking of the rights of persons living with disabilities as enshrined in the UN Convention that protects the rights of persons with disabilities dubbed "International Bill of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities".
ACHIEVEMENTS AS MP
Less than three months after assuming the mantle of office as a Member of Parliament, he has successfully secured a project from Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) to construct a multi-purpose community center at the Dwarzark community. The project is a multi million project which involves construction of the center and equipping it with satellite dish, an internet café and a multi purpose hall that will be used for social and recreational purposes. Proceeds from the center will be ploughed back into developmental activities. The building project is currently at roof level and the first floor will be concreted soon.
NEEDS OF CONSTITUENTS
Hon. Cuffie pointed out that the needs of his constituents are multifaceted; noting that one dire need of his constituents is pipe borne water, especially the mountainous areas of Dwarzark, Sumaila Town and New England. He also stated that that his constituency need good roads that are accessible and motorable which he said has over the years had daring consequences on the living standard of the people. He also pointed out needs for health centers, government assisted schools and markets in his constituency. He said he is presently embarking on seeking support from potential donors like SLRA, Freetown Cold Storage and Mobile Companies to dialogue with the purpose of helping develop his constituency in line with their cooperate social responsibility. He however expressed hopes that these institutions will not let his constituency down.
ON PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS
Some of these market forces cannot be controlled by the government as according to him the state of affairs is marred by crippling effect of globalization. As the country cannot boast of being self sufficient in terms of rice production and agriculture, Hon. Cuffie made mention of a short term measure that has been put in place. He noted that the Sierra Leone Parliament quite recently passed a Bill reducing the tax on importation of rice which is hopefully believed will reduce the price of rice in the market thereby helping the pocket of the ordinary citizen. He also stated that the current situation, though unfortunate, will serve as a wake up call to Sierra Leoneans generally and the government in particular to concentrate on agriculture, increase sensitization and capacity building vis-à-vis providing materials and tools for agricultural activities to enable Sierra Leone achieve self sufficiency in agriculture in the not too distant future.
ON ATTITUDINAL CHANGE
According to Honourable Cuffie, the need for attitudinal change is not a new concept in Sierra Leone as he expressed belief that one of the reasons responsible for the country’s present doldrums is the negative attitude and approach towards issues. He noted that Sierra Leone is a country in which corruption and all its negative appurtenances have been recognized and institutionalized. He fumed that people admire the ill gotten gains which people achieve when they perpetrate corruption. He stated that it’s high time we started frowning at expatiating ill gotten gains. Hon Cuffie noted that when once this is achieved, and the citizenry embraces that sense of nationalism and development oriented issues aimed at pushing and propelling the nation forward through positive images, then eliminating corruption will allow the country to germinate and grow like other countries that are the envy of the world.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.