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Page added on August 3, 2012
The recent pronouncement by the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Dr. Christiana Thorpe, for candidates in the race for Parliament to pay the sum of Le25,000,000 (twenty five million Leones), most sons of the soil with good intentions to contest in the race have decided to back out of the race. Whilst others are lauding the fact that the said amount, if paid, will teach some sense of responsibilities amongst those that will book their ticket to the House of Parliament. (Photo: A cross section of those present at the meeting)
It is certain that most of those ending their terms in Parliament have not done much at constituency level. In spite of the fact that most of them had totally and entirely abandoned their constituencies, they are presently going around using sugar quoted words, pretending as if they are prodigal sons that should be given another chance.
Constituency 109 comprises of New England Ville, Dwarzark Farm and some part of the Brookfields Community. The constituency has suffered greatly as a result of poor representation in the House of Parliament, which has rendered most people in a helpless state, thereby thinking of a redeemer that will map out a frantic coordination approach that enhances development.
Currently, three sons of the soil have shown interest to unseat the incumbent, Hon. Julius Nye Cuffie, who has done virtually nothing to bring sanity to the constituency. They are Mustapha Bai Attila, Amadu Fofana (from APC) and Michael Katta (from SLPP).
It is no more a secret that bad road network, none availability of safe drinking water supply and poor electricity supply, especially in the Dwarzark Farm Community; are major problems affecting the people of constituency 109.
A meeting was held over the weekend at the Dwarzark Farm Community, where representatives from Brookfields and New England Ville were present. The meeting was aimed at discussing the various problems affecting the people, and also possible solutions were suggested on the way forward.
One of highlights of the meeting was to assess the performance of the incumbent Member of Parliament, Hon. Cuffie, of which many observed that his focus was more or less for the disable community. This eventually prompted the call for a change amongst those present at the meeting.
Sama Sesay is a representative of New England Ville Community. He observed that since President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma made it clear that candidates for the Parliamentary should be nominated by the people at Constituency level, they are looking up to the decision of those in authority for a positive implementation of this promise. “He noted that even though one of the aspirants, Amadu Fofanah had constructed a dam for the New England Ville Community, we are looking up to the final decision of the ruling party,” he said, suggesting that if at all the APC want to retain constituency 109 there is a need to change the incumbent Member of Parliament. His suggestion was supported by Memuna Suma who made it clear that they prefer voting for another individual in another party rather than the incumbent.
Marie Chabala Bangura is the Chairlady of the Market Women Association at George Brook. She recalled that they have not enjoyed any good representation in parliament, and noted that they prefer boycotting the entire electoral process if the incumbent is awarded a symbol. Highlighting some of the reasons why they are not happy with the incumbent, Marie Chabala said Hon. Nye Kuffie has not been coordinating with members of his Constituency; and as a result he has failed to facilitate and negotiate well a promises he made during his campaign in 2007.
Marie advised the APC Party Officials not to sit in their offices but must go out to various Constituencies to get the views of the people so that they give them the right candidates.
“We want someone that seeks our interest and is capable enough to represent us in Parliament,” she said.
It is certain that the people of Constituency 109 are willing to respond to the President’s call to present a candidate of their choice. Even though there are enormous problems in the constituency, they are optimistic that the President’s Agenda of Prosperity will serve as a solution if only the right man is given the ticket.
Haja Koni Yabai Sesay is a household name in Sierra Leone. The prominent business women has created lots of impact in constituency 109, which is one of the strongholds of the ruling All People’s Congress Party. Sometime ago she demonstrated her passion for the leadership of the country when she called a meeting in her Komsa Enterprise business centre in the PWD Compound, Pademba Road – Freetown. She reiterated the fact that people should treat the electoral process with all seriousness because it leads to electing the right person that will develop the country. She said as a Sierra Leonean she expected those contesting elections to have done positive things that will better the lives of their people. Even though she did not mention a particular candidate she is in support of in Constituency 109, Haja Koni Yabai revealed that the candidate of her choice is already in her mind, and when the time comes she will throw her support behind the individual.
She noted that even though her constituency has not benefited from those voted in to represent it, she is however thankful to President Koroma who included the Dwarzark Farm Road in his thirty feeder road construction and rehabilitation plan. “We have not seen much development in this constituency; this is why we are looking for the right candidate whom we will carry on our barks to go for the symbol,” she said.
She added that people should see the need to take part in the electoral process, and after which they will proud enough to have voted a candidate of their choice that will represent Constituency 109 in Parliament after the elections. “Whosoever the majority want in the constituency will be supported,” she concluded.
Elizabeth M. Kamara is the Chairlady of the Abacha Sellers who resides in the New England Ville Community. She informed this press that if President Koroma wants to enjoy his second term in office he should allow the people to present their candidate that will represent them in Parliament. Madam Kamara pointed out the fact that the New England Ville Community is one of the neglected communities that has not enjoyed from the development package promised by the incumbent Member of Parliament, Hon. Julius Nye Cuffie.
She reiterated the fact that when the Honourable was canvassing vote in the community she promised to provide water supply facility, which is one of their main obstacle to good living. She alleged that when Hon. Cuffie had succeeded in getting their votes he informed them in a meeting that “those with houses should apply the same methods used to construct their houses to construct water supply facilities in their environments.”
Contrary to report floating around the community on some of the development activities ushered in by the incumbent Member of Parliament, Madam Elizabeth Kamara responded that she is not aware of such projects, and added that even the Dwarzark Farm Road construction is part of the President’s thirty feeder road rehabilitation project. “We want the government and especially our representatives in governance to realize that water is life,” she said, and added that they believe in development oriented leaders who should follow the footstep of the President at community level.
The functions of Members of Parliament as stated in the 1991 Constitution are to make laws, represent their people and do oversight activities. Apart from the above roles, Sierra Leoneans are expecting their Representatives in Parliament to be initiators, facilitators and negotiate on development activities that will effect a positive change in their constituencies.
By Foday Bailor Bangura (FBB)
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