THE STORY OF THE EAGLE

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The Eagle has the longest life-span of its species. It can live up to 70 years. But to reach this age, the eagle must make a very difficult decision!

In its 40th year, the eagle’s long and flexible Talons can no longer grab a prey which serves as food. Its long and sharp beak becomes bent.

Its old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, stick to its chest and make it difficult to fly.

Then, the eagle is left with only two options: DIE or go through a painful process of CHANGE!

This process lasts for 150 days (5 months).

The process requires the eagle to fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out.

Then the eagle will wait for the new beak to grow back after which it will pluck out its talons. When its talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old aged feathers.

And after this the eagle takes its famous flight of rebirth and LIVES for 30 more years!!

Why is Change needed???

In order to survive and live.

We too have to start the change process.

We sometimes need to get rid of the unpleasant old memories, negative habits and our fixed mind set.

Only when freed from the past burdens can we take advantage of the present.

If an eagle can make a lifesaving and life changing decision at the age of 40, why can’t we?

In order to take on a new journey ahead, let go of your negative old limiting beliefs.

Open up your mind and let yourself fly high like an eagle!

When it rains, all birds occupy shelter. But the EAGLE avoids the rain by flying above the clouds!

The problem is common to all but the attitude to solve it makes the difference.

Don’t be afraid of change. Accept it gracefully.

My questions to you is this!

Do you want to fly with the eagles or scratch with the turkeys?

Over to you!

Sierra Leone players cleared of match-fixing but ‘damage is done’

Former Sierra Leone internationals Samuel Barlay and Ibrahim Koroma are unhappy despite being cleared of match fixing. The Sweden-based duos are among those cleared by the Sierra Leone Football Association’s (SLFA) Ethics Committee on Tuesday due to a “lack of enough evidence”.

The pair was among a total of 15 people suspended in July 2014 for alleged match-fixing by the SLFA and the country’s sports ministry, who lifted its ban a year later.

It was claimed they influenced a 2010 joint Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifier against hosts South Africa in 2008 which ended in a goalless draw.

“I shed tears when I received the news because I have always known that I’m innocent,” the 34-year-old Barlay told BBC Sport Africa.

“I welcome the news but I’m not happy because the SLFA has dented my image and as a result my career has been damaged. My good image can’t be restored.

“I’ll never fix a match, I’ll never do such a bad thing to the country I love and I have sacrificed for.

“It’s sad because the decision of the SLFA ethics committee came at the time I have already retired.”

“I took the decision to hang my boot at the end of 2018 because of the damage the match fixing allegation has done to my career.

“My Azerbaijani club Ravan terminated my contract and teams were no longer interested in signing me due to the false allegations.

“Sadly, this is how my country chose to pay me back for all my sacrifice on the pitch for Sierra Leone from under-17 to senior national team level.”

The former midfielder who played in Sweden, Finland and Azerbaijan for several clubs added that he would seek advice on what to do next with the matter.

Koroma who currently plays for a lower division club in Sweden echoed Barlay’s thoughts.

“I have waited for this day for so long because I’m innocent for what I’m accused of,” the 31-year-old Koroma told BBC Sport Africa.

“I shivered when I received the news that I have been proven innocent.

“I’ve been spending sleepless nights for the past six years because of the false match fixing allegations that have damaged my career.

“Today I’m playing in the lower divisions in Sweden because clubs in the higher divisions are not willing to offer me contract thanks to the match fixing allegations.

“Offers I received from other clubs in other European countries have to be cancelled when they learnt of the allegations.”

He also added that his mental health has suffered because of the allegations.

“I have gone through a lot for the last six years; I have been tortured psychologically, and depressed,” he added.

“I left Sierra Leone to ply my trade in Europe to escape poverty and change the life of my family but the false accusations against me has made me not to achieve my dream.

“I’ll never play again for Leone Stars. I have taken the decision since the day I was suspended on July 15, 2014.”

“The false allegations brought fear in me to play for my national team. Imagine I play and I make a genuine mistake and the opponent team scores what will happen, I know they’ll accuse me again of match fixing.”

“God knows I have given my best for my country. I’m presently seeking advice on what to do regarding the false accusations against me.”

The SLFA Ethics Committee says two other players accused alongside Barlay and Koroma still have questions to answer – USA-based keeper Christian Caulker and former Leone Stars captain Ibrahim Kargbo, who is currently banned from football for life by Fifa.

As well as the players a total of eleven football officials were suspended in 2014, facing similar allegations, five of them have now been cleared.

Among those who have been exonerated by the SLFA Ethics Committee are two former Sierra Leone Premier League Board Chairmen Rodney Michael and Victor Lewis, who is also owner and chairman of East End Tigers.

The others are former SLFA executive member Abdul Amid Kanasieu Rollings, ex-Fifa referee Banard Sorbeh and former sports ministry official Alphan Coker.

Michael, who hopes to contest the next SLFA presidential polls, has welcomed the announcement.

“I welcome and appreciate the decision of the ethics committee which is a confirmation of my innocence from the onset,” Michael told BBC Sport Africa.

“The damage done to my reputation locally and internationally is irreparable. My family and I have had to endure intolerable humiliation.

“I take solace that the truth has been revealed and justice has prevailed. Thanks to the SLFA ethics committee for finally ending this seven-year ordeal.

The football association’s ethics committee says that as well as the two players the six remaining officials, including former SLFA administrative secretary Abu Bakarr Kabba, still have questions to answer.

A ninth person, the former national team doctor John Ansumana, has also been included on the list of those still being investigated.

Kabba was handed a five-year ban by Fifa last year after the sport’s world governing body investigated him along with Kargbo and found them guilty of match manipulation.

 

New NEC Commissioner for East Subscribes to Oath

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The New Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission for the Eastern Region, Marian Sia Nyuma-Moijueh, has subscribed to the oath of office before His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio as required by law.

Section 32 (6) Act No 6 of the 1991 states that: “A member of the Electoral Commission shall before assuming the functions of his office, take and subscribe before the President the Oath as set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution”.

Addressing President Julius Bio, the new NEC Commissioner said she was gratified for the opportunity to serve her country, assuring that she would work hard to maintain the standards of the position that she had been appointed to.

“I promise this nation that I will work very hard in this new position and will do my best to support the best ways elections are conducted in this country,” she assured. 

In his brief remarks, President Julius Maada Bio congratulated the NEC Commissioner on appointment and for having been approved by the Honourable House of Parliament.

He reminded her that the task ahead is enormous, but assured of his support in the discharge of her duties.

 

“We look forward to seeing credible and transparent elections under your tenure. Congratulations and best wishes on your appointment,” President Bio said.

 

China to create more jobs in Sierra Leone

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The Sierra Leonean Embassy to China held an executive business dialogue with the top managerial brass of the Kingho Group.

The Embassy’s Delegation was led by H. E. Ernest Ndomahina, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, while that of Kingho Group was headed by its President Mr. Huo Quinghua.

The objective of the Meeting was principally to gather useful insights on the current state of affairs within the Company and its prospective activities in Sierra Leone.

In this regard, the Sierra Leonean Delegation visited certain facilities of the Company and gathered that the Group is one of China’s largest privately owned energy Companies. The Delegation equally gathered that the Group’s investment project to exploit, refine and export iron ore at the Northern Tonkolili District in Sierra Leone are on track, and that a consortium of over ten other companies had been mobilized and now have a stake in the project.

According to Mr. Ding Shichao, Vice President of Kingho Group, the Company already started rehabilitation works at the Tonkolili Iron ore mines as well as at its auxiliary facilities such as the Pepel Port, railway lines, processing plant and power generation facilities. He underlined that these preliminary works are being carried out through a number of local sub-contractors and this decision is expected to generate additional employment in the area as well as revamp its local economy. The Group also envisages technical training for new recruits and some redundant local staff. The lease agreement for those auxiliary facilities could be endorsed by both Parties, by the end of this year.

In the words of Mr. Huo Quinghua, “before the cessation of business activities, well over four hundred highly experienced staff had been employed in the mine and its related operations…Therefore, several jobs would be created after the formal resumption of business transactions in the area.”

In response to this presentation, the Ambassador indicated that the Government of Sierra Leone, led by H.E President Julius Maada Bio is keen at creating an enabling business climate for genuine investors such as Kingho Group.

He furthered that Sierra Leone aspires having trustworthy, credible and patient investors that will value fair and ethical business principles and practices.

He pointed out that following the visit and the detailed presentation made by the Company, it was becoming obvious that the Group meets the corporate bench mark that the Government of Sierra Leone has set for foreign investors on its territory.

The Ambassador pledged to convey the Message of the company’s resolve and recommitment to abide by and uphold the standard corporate principles outlined by the Government of Sierra Leone under the visionary leadership of H.E Dr. Julius Maada Bio. 

He concluded that Sino-Sierra Leonean friendship will continue to be strengthened through honest partnership that aims to support the Sierra Leonean Government’s campaign to bail its people out of poverty through smart vocational education and training, job creation, agriculture, and health services and equal opportunity for all citizens.

 Bar Association Meets President Bio

The new executive of the Sierra Leone Bar Association has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio and congratulated him on his steps in nation-building.

President of the association, Eddinia Michaela Swallow, commended President Bio for his commitment to human capital development, gender empowerment issues and launch of gender policy, addressing sexual and gender based violence especially the setting up of special model court for rape and sexual based violence, the one stop centres and enactment of the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 2019. She also commended the President on his dedication to the fight against corruption.

“Your excellency the Bar Association is not a political organisation so let me assure you that under my administration it will not be used as a conduit for politics rather whatever interventions we make will be premised on a genuine contribution to national development,” Madam Swallow noted.

Ms Swallow also stated the new executive stood ready to collaborate with the government on protecting the rule of law, consolidating peace and democracy and strenthening good governance. “For instance, we know you have made commitment to progress with the constitutional review process. We look forward to work with your government on how the process can be accelerated so that a reviewed constitution can be part of your legacy,” Swallow said.

On the welfare of members of the Bar Association, the Eddinia Michaela Swallow said that her administration intended to engage certain Government agencies to see how lawyers can have access to certain services on a premium basis like having access to the VIP lounge at Lungi International Airport for senior barristers. She also appealed to the President for capacity building support from government through the strengthening capacity of professional bodies initiative.

On his path, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio congratulated the Bar Association Executive and admonished them to govern in the interest of the association and the state, saying that the rule of law should be at the centre of their administration.

“Sierra Leone is on the pathway to development. We need everyone on board for this transformation. I congratulate you in your new offices and wish you all a successful tenure,” he concluded.

 

 LEEMA SPEAKS ON CONST 110 RESULTS

By Hon. Lahai Lawrence Leema, National Public Relations Officer SLPP

The Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party has noted the announcement of the final results by the National Returning Officer of the National Electoral Commission of the Constituency 110 parliamentary bye-elections which declared Kadie Davies of the APC as Member of Parliament elect. While we are disappointed with this result, let me on behalf of the party congratulate all our supporters for coming out and casting their ballots in a peaceful atmosphere. We wish to maintain that we accept these results with our usual grace and consider this a victory, especially because we have secured 48% of the valid votes cast, in a constituency traditionally considered an opposition stronghold. This result, we believe, is indicative of the fact that the SLPP is winning the hearts and minds of fellow Sierra Leoneans across the political divide.

With this headway, we will work hard to maintain our political bases, while continuing our national development efforts.

Let me at this juncture applaud the indefatigable and vibrant  Madam Josephine Jackson, the SLPP candidate for these elections. You put up a brave fight and lost with honour, dignity and respect for yourself and the SLPP party. Your determination to win this election left us on a very good footing to evaluate our chances to win 2023 elections without a runoff.

To our revered First Lady, Mrs. Fatima Bio, we thank you for your show of leadership and drive to succeed in the midst of innumerable odds.

Thank you again to all my vigilant SLPP supporters for keeping a very high spirit and determination to win these elections. I entreat you all to keep the peace at all times and respect the ‘One Country, One People’ mantra of the party.

Having said the above, let me reiterate that we honourably concede this loss and happily go back to the onerous task of leading Sierra Leone from the economic doldrums into which it was crashed by the APC.

First Lady Delivers Report To Husband

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Delivering the Keynote address, His Excellency Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio commended the First Lady and the presidential task force on Sexual and Gender Based Violence that comprises of people from different professions both nationally and internationally of which he is the chairman for a collective job well done.

“I want to thank the First Lady on your behalf, for a marvelous job; for commitment, for dedication, for tenacity and audacity”, said by president Bio. He further thanked her excellency for understanding the problems of girls and for the intuition to find likeminded committed and passionate individuals from all sectors to work as a coalition, in finding a lasting solution to the issue of violence against women and girls, while he thanked every Sierra Leonean for not only believing in the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign, but also his Human Capital Development program, as women make up 52% of the country’s population.

According to President Bio, the Hands Off Our Girls is not limited to color, tribe or region and is beyond advocating and protecting the human rights of women and girls, but about greater awareness of gender and social norms and discriminating practices that have disadvantaged girls, proving equal access to education, justice, healthcare and other resources, as the HOOG fully compliments government’s human capital development flagship program.

His Excellency concluded by stating the importance of education to the young kids, as he encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity that will emancipate them from poverty in the future.

Her excellency Fatima Maada Bio while presenting a report on behalf of the task force for Gender Based Violence and children of Sierra Leone to the President, expressed her profound thanks and appreciation to His Excellency Brig. Rtd. Dr. Julius Maada Bio for his relentless support in the fight against rape and all forms of violence against women and girls in Sierra Leone, considering how passionate he is about the protection and empowerment of girls and women.

Highlighting some of the progress made by her office through the Hands Off Our Girls Campaign since its launch in December 2018, madam Fatima Maada Bio started with the Match that assembled other passionate First Ladies from across Africa in a peaceful protest match demanding for the men to Hands Off Girls and allow them to stay in school and learn, the pronouncement of rape as a National emergency, the Repeal of the Gender Offenses Act of 2012, the Free Sanitary Pad project, the opening of the Sexual Offenses court model, and the 80 convictions since the court was opened in July 2020, among others.

The journey according to Madam First Lady has been history making one with the help of the Global Campaign He4She champion, who is President Julius Maada Bio, while she continued to thank him for allowing her office to champion the National Food Basket, which gave direct supported communities, health-workers, ataya base, widows, paramount chiefs, bike riders and security personnel during the time when Covid-19 was at its peak all around the country.

In a letter written to President Bio by the First Lady, Madam Fatima lamented on the need for community ownership in the area of preventing child marriage, and give women the confidence to speak out when found in an abusive relationship, calling on lawmakers to consider punishing perpetrators and ensure bye- laws are being implemented to protect girls from child marriage, and make it in blue print that the official age for marriage in Sierra Leone is 18 years.

Minister of Basic and Senior secondary education, Dr. Moinina Sengeh educated the schools that no girl under 18 can give informed consent; hence boys and men must keep their hands off the girls, ad he encouraged the girls to take advantage of the Free Quality Education.

Making a statement on behalf of the Sierra Leone Police, the inspector General if police, Ambrose Sovula extended their continued support to the Hands Off Our Girls, while urging future perpetrators to Hands Off, as there will be no hiding place for criminals of such nature.

The C.E.O for the Maada and Fatima Bio Foundation, Mrs. Samba, disclosed to the public that the sanitary pad is their initiative as a foundation and distribution will commence in January 2021, as the drive behind the Free sanitary pad project, which is to compliment the effort of Government; as sanitary pad is a right and not a choice.

Chernor Bah, C.E.O of Purposeful foundation commended the First Lady for the political leadership in the fight against rape and other sexual offenses, while he disclosed that this is the first time in the history of Sierra Leone that every eye is turned to the protection of girls through the First Lady’s campaign, as his foundation is fully behind madam First Lady in ensuring that women’s voices are heard and they get a place society to thrive on equally with the boys.

The C.EO of Africell, Shadi confirmed the importance of the campaign and its successes, as it turns two, as his telecommunication company has been supporting the Office of the First Lady to tour the entire country in educating the people about the Hands Off Our Girls campaign message, and that they are committed to continue supporting such a laudable and impactful work by her Excellency.

 

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