By Mahawa Allieu
The Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone and that of the Government of the Republic of The Gambia are to enter into Frame Work of Cooperation Agreement for the Establishment of a joint Commission between the two countries.
A team of Cabinet ministers from Sierra Leone headed by the Internal Affairs Minister, David Panda Noah over the weekend landed in Banjul The Gambia to sign the agreements. The principal objective of the agreement is to support each other’s development aspirations and promote socio economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.
These agreements are to strengthen ties of friendship and understanding between the two countries and to further promote and develop relations in the economic and technical fields.
The General framework of Cooperation Agreement will be guided by the principles of mutual respect for each otherâ€™s national sovereignty and independence.
The Agreement shall encourage cooperation in but not limited to the following areas; Economic, Trade Investment
Financial services, information and intelligence sharing, Education, Health, Tourism and culture, infrastructure, security, Agriculture among others.
In his statement, the head of delegation from Sierra Leone Hon. David Panda Noah spoke about the relationship between the two countries which dated back to the colonial era. He said the sisterly relationship between Sierra Leone and The Gambia was not just a product of two countries foreign relations or their Diplomatic ties, but one that is of importance and goes beyond just opening High Commissions in the two countries.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Mamadi Gobeh Kamara said the similarity between The Gambia and Sierra Leone in the educational sector was a hallmark in their relationship. She said during the colonial era, majority of Gambians received secondary school education in sierra Leone.
Similarly, there was also a very strong trade relationship between the two countries she stated.
After signing the agreements, they shall enter into force by an exchange of notes between the two parties notifying each other of the compliance with the conclusion of their respective procedures.
Public review articles
GIVE THE YOUTHS A CHANCE!
My main goal as minister is to give the youths a chance in life. I saw it work in futbol; and the life-line I gave to the majority of players plying their trade in Europe; especially in Sweden. It produced the bulk of players that have brought and continue to bring laurels to Sierra Leone; including Mohamed Kallon; who played at the highest level in world futbol. The Spanga Is Connection with my club Wellington People is the greatest cooperation ever for Salone futbol. It qualified Leone Stars twice for the African Nations Cup; won two Zone 2 tournaments in a row; and Wellington People won the first U-20 competition for Salone in Benin. It led our U-17 to qualify for the World Cup played in Finland; and appealed to the Finish govt to grant them asylum status; which they did; and to our awoled athletes during the Commonwealth Games in Australia. These are just a few examples.
But I carried that spirit as minister by bringing the youths together from all over the country; and without discrimination. And that’s why I am the most popular minister amongst the youth; just like I did for most successful south-easterners; like Junior Foday, Paul Kpaka, Brima George, Pipul and a host of others; but never took a single penny from anybody; and refused to be an agent. I was jailed and all what I owned including office equipment, two printing presses, brand new Mercedes; to the extent that they went to seize the house I stayed; thinking I owned it; just because I fought corruption in futbol; and other illegalities; including the most powerful Judge both in futbol and the same time; President of the Appeals Court of Salone. As sports minister; I decided to employ youths; whom I thought could bring fresh legs in sports. I know about corruption in sports; and knew it was difficult to find somebody who is not corruption; like finding a needle in a haystack. One was a lawyer Ibrahim Bangura who has a reputation; but decided to give him a chance. From London, I made him DirectorÂ of Sports; and refused to make Alphan Koker involved in match- fixing with Singaporean Raj Perumal; inspite of pleas from former vice- president Victor Bockarie Foh; both from Jimmy Gbagbor. But Bangura did not live up to expectations; just like the Krio saying; that monki norba lef ihn blak ahn. I queried him and about to set him as an example; when he ran to State House and was sacked for him and Isha. He went on to seize my official car the very next day; and seized the keys from my driver.
The other from London is Chris Dauda; whom I never knew before; but he proved to be devoted to his job as Leone Stars team manager. The appearance of Leone Stars was transformed and together; the team was unbeaten in home soil; and had it not been for sabotage; failed to qualify thrice for the African Nations Cup thrice by a whisker; even for the World Cup. The team was no longer underdog to big teams like Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Dauda is still team manager for Leone Stars for about a decade now. The other was Anthony Koroma as Youth Commissioner; for the govt including Chericoco and other MPs were totally against him. I was summoned to State House; but stood my ground or ready to quit. EBK was disappointed; and the secretary to the president; Osho Koker said that since it is my wish; so be it. EBK hoped I wouldn’t regret it; they knew he was die-hard SLPP; but I didn’t look toAnd that. I knew he was the former head of Nasmos; the Bio organisation; set up to campaign for his perpetuity; disguised under the banner; Peace Before Elections campaign. Nasmos wanted me annihilated; and survived an assassination attempt by a whisker. Dr Swee Chai Ang of the London Independent Hospital said it was a miracle that I survived after undergoing multiple operations. Anthony refused to co-operate with my Youth ministry; and was signing with green pen until Pessima at State House told him it was the purview for ministers only. The NYC Board under poet Farook Sesay soon recommended that I should be sacked. But it was a learning curve about the mentality of Saloneans; as a species not only ingrates; but hate their country; by living for self not others. Another was Musa Sesay as stadium manager; but he soon showed me why he calls himself; Hitler. He refused to pay a relative who supplied chairs to kick- start the running of the restaurant and kitchen. Just a few months into the job; he bought a car and living big. He and Ibrahim are in the White Paper. Now, Alfred Tucker; whom I suspended but apologised and begged never to commit same; became the real guy and still holds his position as deputy stadium manager. Unlike the rest, he would sometimes call to show his appearance. Last but not least is Shamsu Mustapha; the only son of Elizabeth Mans; former APC minister of fisheries and still the Leader of the APC Women’s wing. We never spoke during my entire stint as minister; and did not appoint Shamsu bcos of her or any other influence; even though she never for once like any mother; to say thanks to appoint her son as deputy director of sports. We all worked on the National Sports which was rated as the best; and Commonwealth Sports recommended it to Tanzania. It includes among others; the setting up of a Sports Lottery; approved by Cabinet. The Israelis were about to start operations; when it was blocked for Mercury. I was devastated bcos 30 percent was for sports; which could’ve gone a long way to revolutionize sports in the entire country. Today, Shamsu has bagged an international job in sports. Congratulations! Of course like the others, he never showed an iota of appreciation; to even one day call after I was sacked. Infact, not one in futbol I helped showed any appreciation; to even call and show gratitude. But I am happy for them; bcos we need to give the youths a chance. I am poor but most of them are rich today; and helped their families and other relatives. But my policy; is to love all, hate none; and never hit back at those who hate me simply for putting country first; in everything I do. That is why both Bio and EBK commend me as a patriot; and only a selfless, incorruptible leader; who tells truth to power all his life; can bring aboutÂ radical and drastic reforms in the body politic; that would lead to a youth risorgimento! And it is not actually easy for any Salone politician that I know; that can bring about the much- needed reforms- whether in the APC or SLPP; or any other political party for that matter. That is why the APC party must be consoled; that nothing would stop them from winning 2023 with Paul Mandela; the only meaningful APC flagbearer; that is not in the Paopanista White Paper. And the only one to present a manifesto ( some of which Paopanista has implemented) titled: The Youth Revolution in the God Revolution to save Mama Salone forever! And so sau the prophesy of ITA Wallace-Johnson; that the APC youths would one day elect a radical leader; to bring about radical and drastic changes; that would once again make Salone; an envy not only to Africa, but the rest of the world. And that’s why Paul Mandela is the Prophet of Truth in the entire country; sent by God to finally save Mama Salone; from the satanic clutches of bad heart, the pull him down syndrome and untoward negative attitudes.