From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, As Blackout hits Govt’s Press Meet; I.B Kargbo threatens Generator Operator
By Bampia Bundu
Jul 23, 2010, 18:52

The Minister of Information and Communication Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo on the 22nd July 2010 threatened to sack his Ministry’s Generator Operator for not working according to expectations and negligence of his responsibilities. He made this statement due to the unexpected blackout that stopped the Government’s Ministry of Information weekly press briefing, which cause the press conference to be halted for over 20 minutes.


Immediately the National NPA Grid caused the Blackout at Youyi Building, Alhaji I.B Kargbo ordered for the stand-by generator to be switched on but unfortunately for him this could not happen because of some technical developments with the Generator including a reported absence of even a drop of fuel in the generator. To make matters worse, even the generator operator by the name of ‘Mohamed’ was not nearby as he only came back much later to say, “Sir there is no fuel in the machine and the machine needs some servicing which we have not done”.


These utterances from Mohamed the Generator Operator caused the Minister to become even angrier and openly threatened to sack the generator man because of his “reckless behaviour”.

 

“How can a whole ministry not have fuel to run its stand by machine?” I.B. Kargbo raged to which he further queried another of the Ministry’s staff by the name of Ganda. “Mr. Ganda! Mr. Ganda! What are you doing to salvage this situation?” he asked.


At this point, I.B Kargbo used his GSM mobile phone to call up the General Manager of National Power Authority (NPA), Dr. Zubairu Kalokoh to bitterly complain about the blackout. With keen journalists listening in amusement to the scenario being played out, Alhaji Kargbo stated to Zubairu Kalokoh, “We are in the middle of a press briefing and light has just gone off. You very well know by now that Government holds weekly press briefings every Thursday which is broadcast live all over the country”!


Zubairu Kalokoh obviously made a response to the Minister which was greeted by a loud snort of disapproval from I.B. Kargbo. When the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources Alhaji Alpha Kanu asked about what was the problem, I.B Kargbo snorted as follows:- “Zubairu Kaloko says Bumbuna has been shut down again!”


Eventually, after about 25 minutes there was NPA electricity again and the press briefing continued. Ten minutes into the press briefing, the NPA General Manager himself surfaced at the briefing, showed some documents to I.B. Kargbo and the two men chatted privately before GM Kaloko left the conference room.



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