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Sierra Leoneâ€™s new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Edward Mohamed Turay, has said he will establish what he referred to as a â€˜surgeryâ€™ to address concerns and problems of Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom.
Turay made this statement at a well attended gathering where he addressed Sierra Leoneans for the first time since his appointment at the Lambeth Academy, Elms Road, Clapham, South West London.
The High Commissioner said he was going to make it a matter of policy to be meeting Sierra Leoneans the last Friday of every month so that they could sit together and brainstorm on the way forward for Sierra Leone.
Turayâ€™s proposal was greeted with thunderous applause from the jam-packed audience.
Â â€œPresident Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has sent me here to strengthen the spirit of oneness among Sierra Leoneans,â€ Turay said, adding that his open-door policy transcends beyond political lines and that he is here not as a politician but as a diplomat.
Â â€œMy open-door policy knows no Mende man, no Temne man and no Krio man â€“ all I know is Sierra Leonean because I want us to work together and move Sierra Leone forwardâ€.
Statements were made by representatives of various political parties among them the All Peopleâ€™s Congress (APC), the Peopleâ€™s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), while the opposition Sierra Leone Peopleâ€™s Party (SLPP) was conspicuously absent.
APC representative Kumba Momoh, called on the Diaspora to work together with the new High Commissioner in order to compliment the works of President Koroma.
She re-echoed the Presidentâ€™s call for Sierra Leoneans to forget about the days of politicking and work towards national development.
PMDC representative John Komeh, disclosed that there are about 25,000 or more Sierra Leoneans in the London Borough alone and called on the new High Commissioner to use his office to establish a one-stop shop for the Sierra Leonean community in the United Kingdom.
He hoped that the appointment of Turay will bring about positive change to Sierra Leoneans in the UK and called on him not only to emulate the good works of his predecessor but to surpass them.
Kabineh Koroma of Southwark African Family Support Services (an organisation working in the interest of mostly Sierra Leoneans in the UK), called for total support to the new High Commissioner.
He said he had known Turay for quite a while now as a man of integrity â€“ describing his appointment as an appropriate choice made by the President.
Unisa Dizzo Conteh, President of the Young Leaders, said itâ€™s about time for the youths to take centre stage towards the development of the country â€“ and called for the provision of an office for youths at the High Commission.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Serray Wurie described Turay as an enviable figure with sound credentials as well as being a man of action.
He specifically made reference to a statement made by an SLPP Member of Parliament Komba Koedoyoma, who said the appointment of Turay as High Commissioner to UK is a blessing for Sierra Leone and a big loss to Parliament where he served as Majority Leader.
The programme was initially piloted by Victor French who later handed over to Wurie.Sorie Sudan Sesay, Information AttachÃ©, Sierra Leone High Commission, UK/NI
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