November 3, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Lecturer at Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone (USL), Teddy Foday-Musa, who is aspiring for a parliamentary seat in Constituency 81 under the ticket of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), has said he would transform his constituency into a hub of development if he is awarded the party’s symbol and subsequently wins the seat in the March 7, 2018 parliamentary election.
Constituency 81, which used to be Constituency 73 prior to the boundary delimitation and redistricting process, is situated in Bo district, southern Sierra Leone.
Mr. Foday-Musa, who was speaking to this medium at his FBC residence on Thursday, said his reason for venturing into politics is to bring improved governance to the local people.
“I have realised that for the past ten (10) years there is a gap between the government and people due to lapses of the parliamentary representative. I will have to set up committees to manage the constituency development funds that are allocated to the constituency. Once I win, I will be the principal signatory to the account of the fund because I have to account for it in parliament but two of the constituents would be signatories too,” he said.
He said they would have to organise themselves into committees, including those of the aged, women, youth, and disabled people, adding that all of them would come together to plan what problems are there to be solved in the constituency.
“You can’t say you are representing the people in parliament when you are not consulting them on any development projects. Whenever certain amount of monies is spent on their behalf they should be aware and also be part of it,” he said.
The primary functions of parliamentarians are lawmaking, representation and oversight but the SLPP parliamentary aspirant said he would work beyond those functions if he is elected in the 2018 election.
“I am coming with wealth of experience as a man who is a community developer and have worked in the private sector. I have established an NGO (non-governmental organisation) for persons with disability called Disability Rights Activists and I have implemented projects. My intervention in the 2012 elections rolled out the result of a huge participation of disables in those elections,” he said.
He said he is quite aware of the fact that the unemployment rate is high in the country, but that he intends to keep his constituents busy by giving them support in the area of agriculture, small and medium enterprises, among others. He added that he intends to write projects that would help to transform his constituency.
“I am also aware of the fact that in my constituency there is a problem of access to the market for the products of farmers as a result of poor road network. I would ensure that some of the feeder roads and broken bridges are fixed up by networking with some volunteering constituents,” he vowed.
The SLPP parliamentary aspirant revealed that some of his constituents are without drying floors to dry their cocoa and coffee, rice, groundnuts, among others, and vowed to use constituency development fund to construct drying floors for them.
Born in a ruling house of paramount chieftaincy, Teddy Foday-Musa, whose uncle was elected two years ago as a Paramount Chief of Jaiama Bongor chiefdom, Bo district, said he is a grassroots politician that would listen to views of every constituent in order to develop his constituency.
Quizzed about what he has contributed to his constituency, he said he has been paying college fees for students in various tertiary institutions as well as awarding scholarships to deserving students, adding that his house is home to students from his constituency who study in Freetown.
He revealed that he has registered two community-based organisations and acquired five acres of land where some of his constituents are embarking on agricultural activities, adding that he has been providing farming tools for them through support from his partners in Holland.
“I presently have a data base of students from my constituency who are entering into college, those who are graduating and those who are seeking employment,” he said.
Asked as to his response should he fail to get the symbol, he said he would not leave the SLPP for anyone and that he would ensure that his plans for his constituents would still be realised.
Having lived and owned a house in Holland, Mr. Foday-Musa said he is a happily married man with three children and that his first daughter got her first degree six years ago, noting that she has enrolled into the Sierra Leone Law School having graduated with a law degree from FBC this year.