From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Famed Opposition Strongman Turns 80 Years
Jun 10, 2010, 17:16

A gentleman who is easily one of the most famous and cherished members of the country’s opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has turned a grand age of 80 years today June 10th 2010. Dr. Sama S. Banya, fondly known as PUAWUI, will be toasted to a grand celebration today by his family and friends which will commence at the College Chapel Church this late afternoon and continue at the Bank Complex with a birthday party.

Dr. Banya, a trained medical doctor turned political legend, has served this country in various capacities and even at his advanced age in life, he still continues to serve the country; mostly in the form of dispatching regular words of wisdom on news pages and outlets.

Dr. Sama S. Banya

Although Dr. Banya is now 80 years old, it is a fact that he is young in both his appearance, his ability to walk for miles and miles and most of all, in the dexterity of his pen which is now famous for regularly releasing articles on contemporary Sierra Leonean polity, usually slanted in favour of his beloved SLPP. So, it was no surprise to have doyens and youths of the SLPP openly express their adoration for the man they fondly term as the ‘young old man’ of the SLPP.

Dr. Banya used to be Chairman of the SLPP but lost the position in a fierce contest to Alhaji U.N.S. Jah in September 2005. Yesterday, Alhaji Jah was not at all hesitant to tell Awareness Times what he thinks about Dr. Sama Banya as he turned 80 years of age.

"I have a lot of excellent things to say about Dr. Sama Banya. He belongs to the generation who believe in giving credit to whom credit is due. He is a fine gentleman who practices the Westminster type of politics. When he lost the elections to me in 2005, he was the very first person to congratulate me and shake my hands and since then, we have worked together amicably with tremendous respect for each other," Alhaji U.N.S. Jah stated.

Continuing, Alhaji Jah said "People like to pay tribute to a great man only when he is dead but in this case, I am calling on all in the SLPP to give praise now to our own Puawui as we fondly call him. Let us give him a birthday celebration to remember today!".

Jacob Jusu Saffa is the SLPP Scribe and he was also quite enthusiastic to talk to Awareness Times about Dr. Sama Banya. He first of all expressed pride that his 3-years old twin children, Jacob jnr. and Janet were also born on June 10th and said he wished they would continue to be as dedicated to the SLPP as Dr. Banya currently was in service to the party.

"Sama Banya is an asset to the SLPP. I personally wish for more Puawuis in the SLPP family now and in the future. We adore him within the SLPP and let me on behalf of the entire party use this chance to say we wish him a Happy, Happy Birthday and to tell him that we love and adore him for all what he is doing for our great party. He is a living legend and I am looking forward to sing, dance and celebrate with him at the birthday bash" J.J. Saffa said last evening.

The Publisher and entire team of this newspaper also add our voices to all the well-wishers of this great Sierra Leonean celebrating his 80th Birthday today. Happy Birthday to you Sir! You are truly a great Sierra Leonean that we are all proud of.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.