January 25, 2018 By Joseph S. Margai
A founding member of the United National People’s Party (UNPP), who is also an executive member of the Loko United Development Association (LUDA), Dr. Benedict Kargbo has been appointed running mate for the party.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday concluded nomination for the party’s Presidential Candidate, Dr. Saa Henry Kabuta.
The commission on Tuesday (23rd January) deferred the nomination for UNPP after the party presented a running mate who was below 40 years. NEC regarded UNPP’s action as a contravention of 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, as enshrined in Section 54 (2b) and Section 41 (c).
The party finally complied with constitutional provision yesterday by presenting Dr. Kargbo as their running mate.
Speaking to this medium shortly after the nomination, Dr. Kargbo said the party was now on the right path to winning the March 7th presidential poll.
He added that his party was ready to deliver so that every nook and cranny of the country would benefit from the natural and national resources.
“UNPP was formed in 1995 as a peace-making party to salvage the lives of Sierra Leoneans who had gone through traumatised situations under previous regimes. At that time, some people had already lost their kids, parents, limbs, among others,” he said.
Born in Batkanu town, Libisaygahun Chiefdom in the Karene District, Northern Sierra Leone, Dr. Benedict Kargbo said he is both a medical and academic doctor.
He disclosed that he worked for some time in Sierra Leone in his early years after completing his secondary school and university education before emigrating to the United States of America.
“I have done a lot to the people of Sierra Leone but notable among all was the awarding of scholarships to students in the then Bombali District under LUDA. I also personally contributed to the fight against Ebola and created jobs for unemployed youth to work on my farm,” he said.
Asked to assess the Ernest Bai Koroma-led government, he said he would not give him a failing grade because he has done his best for the country, noting that a UNPP administration would double the efforts of President Koroma.
He said top on UNPP’s agenda are the ‘five pillars of development’ which he identified as ‘agriculture, health, education, housing, transport and communication.’
“One will say that President Koroma has done a lot of infrastructure development but his attention was only directed to major/trunk roads. We need to upgrade the feeder roads in order to facilitate the movement of goods and passengers to and from villages. If the feeder roads are upgraded, agricultural products would be easily conveyed to the market centres,” he said.
Dr. Kargbo, also said no country would develop without electricity supply, adding that Sierra Leone would experience uninterrupted electricity supply if the UNPP wins the March 7 presidential election.
He maintained that if five percent of the country’s natural resources is given to foreign investors, the entire country would be developed within a few years, revealing that that would be one of their initiatives in a bid to enhance sustainable development in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Kargbo, who is happily married with six children, said most of his children are doctors and lawyers working outside Sierra Leone, but always come to render community service to the country, which they are proud to call home.
Meanwhile, UNPP’s presidential candidate Dr. Saa Henry Kabuta said he would change Sierra Leone’s image in various areas, especially in the area of good governance and improved service delivery.
Asked about his take on the dual citizenship debate, he said the issue is not new in the country but that some politicians have brought it up to discriminate and disenfranchise others.