December 5, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura
Barely two months to the March 7 2018 multitier elections, President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday made, perhaps, his last cabinet recycle or reshuffle, which many observers deem an appeasement to settle grievances among party stakeholders in Port Loko district – one of the bastions of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC).
Just after the selection of the APC standard bearer by President Koroma in Makeni, stakeholders from Port Loko publicly expressed their angst, and in a meeting called on the president to reinstate their kith and kin who resigned their jobs to lead the party.
President Koroma has brought back Alhaji Dr. Alpha Sahid Bakarr Khan as Minister of Information and Communications, Dr. Kaifala Marah as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, while former Ambassador to China, Alimamy Pepito Koroma, has been appointed to serve as Special Adviser and Ambassador-at-Large.
In January 2012, Khan was appointed to serve as Minister of Information and Communications, switching from the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources, where he had served since 2009.
He subsequently became Special Adviser to the president – a position he held until he resigned to run for the party’s highest ticket; but failed to catch the eyes of the president, albeit famously proclaiming to be his ‘apprentice.’
Dr. Marrah was Minister of Finance for four years before he was appointed Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone in 2016. He resigned the said position to vie for APC standard bearer ahead of 2018 elections.
Alimamy P. Koroma, who also deserted his post as Ambassador to the Peoples Republic of China, has also been appointed as Special Adviser and Ambassador-at- Large.
Also, Major (Retired) Ishameal Sengu Koroma has replaced his former boss, Major (Retired)Alfred Palo Conteh, as Minister of Internal Affairs; the latter has been moved back to the Defence Ministry.
Meanwhile, Eric Dura Sesay and Momoh Vandi have been appointed as Ministers of State in the office of the Vice President and Ministry of Finance respectively, while Brima Bangura has been appointed Deputy in the Ministry of Finance. In addition, Captain (Retired) Abdul Rahman Kamara is now Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, moved from the Defence Minister, while Tamba Opel Sam Sumana is the new deputy minister in the troubled Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.
Erstwhile Minister of Information, Mohamed Bangura, is now Special Adviser to President, Dr. Sam Sesay, another failed standard bearer aspirant, now serves as Special Adviser and Coordinator -Sierra Leone International Benchmarks System.
According to a release from State House, all appointments are subject to parliamentary approval, few days to the dissolution of Parliament.