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Reply with quote  #1 
Source: Xinhua   2018-04-11 2:36:58 
Sierra Leone suspends timber export over deforestation concerns

FREETOWN, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The newly elected president of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, on Wednesday issued a directive ordering the suspension of timber export.

According to the presidential directive issued by State House, the suspension is part of the government strategy to fight deforestation in the country.

Former president Ernest Bai Koroma suspended the export of timber in 2013, but the suspension was lifted in early 2017 in the run up to the 2018 elections.

Although timber logging has created many jobs for Sierra Leonean youth, environmental activists have welcomed the suspension and called on the government transform the suspension into a permanent ban.

Reply with quote  #2 
Does Bio have the will for a permanent ban on Timber export? Or is he soon going to succumb to Chinese bribery. We will judge his sincerity about stopping deforestation soon enough.

The promise of free education for all has given hope to many. Some have likened the ascendancy of Bio to the presidency as with the coming of the Messiah. Everyone is waiting for him to deliver on his promise.
Alas, Market women can dream of a change from toting wares or from market stalls to holding pens and becoming executives. And many farmers who saw themselves thrown into a perpetual life of farming with no other alternative can now dream that some day they too will have to chose between one job of the other when they are afforded the opportunity to go to school free of charge. 


Cornelius Hamelberg
Reply with quote  #3 


Why all this cynicism? For a change, the President of Sierra Leone does the absolutely right thing and all you can do is criticise him for doing so? And what did you have to say about Timbergate?

Take heed :

Wish him well. President Julius Maada Bio is to be congratulated for this bold and necessary suspension of timber exports as ”part of the government strategy to fight deforestation in the country.” At this stage it is a suspension and not a permanent ban. Why doubt the president's sincerity? 

And what do you have to say about the fact that ”Former president Ernest Bai Koroma suspended the export of timber in 2013, but the suspension was lifted in early 2017 in the run up to the 2018 elections.” ? That it was a necessary means of O'Bai raising much needed funds to fill the APC's electioneering war chest or for much needed funds for something else, as if he doesn't know about Sierra Leone's most vexing problem of deforestation.

Isn't deforestation one of the causes of the recent mudslide that we are all so sorry about?

Reply with quote  #4 
Cornelius Hamelberg is the only classy APC man on this forum.  Thank you Cornelius.

Here is this idiotic slime ball called AFK attacking President Maada Bio who has been in office for less than two weeks.  Well, AFK, if your Tolongbo comrades had not carted away Sierra Leone's treasury, President Bio's job would have been a lot easy.  But I am sure their Tolongbo balls are freezing right now as they await their imminent arrests for stealing from the poor people of Sierra Leone.
Reply with quote  #5 
Cornelius, I applaud him for the action to ban timber exporting and I hope he will not change his mind but I sincerely doubt that. Bio's history is not devoid of corruption. I see nothing different in him than many of the others that have passed through his position. Of course, I give the past President Ernest Koroma a failing grade on preserving our forests. The real cynicism is on his promise to provide free education for all. What kind of mental deficiency is this that he is demonstrating. Our's is a poor nation faced with immense obligations and basically a social service recipient of the international community. But, maybe, like they say of many politicians, he was simply cajoling the people in order to get votes. What a way to start, Mr. President. You are no doubt living up to the bad reputation that politicians have come to be known for.
I wish him good luck but he does not seem to me to be a reputable man.  
Normady Allen
Reply with quote  #6 

Whether President Bio is a reputable man to you or not is of no significance whatsoever.  You have been a hater of the SLPP and Bio all your life.  But who cares for you, a sour loser?  Get used to it, Bio will be in office for ten years.

Additionally, you seem to be misrepresenting Bio's campaign promise for purely selfish reasons.  The man promised free primary and secondary school education and also the eradication of the annoying college application fees.  These are work in progress and are very much achievable.  So, give the man time to work on his agenda. 

If you are so desperate for the SLPP and Bio to lose power, you may be in the wrong state of mind.  You may never again see an APC government in Sierra Leone, given that you are an old and rusty truck, well into his sixties.

Reply with quote  #7 
The price for a bag of rice today is Le200,000. Bio promised to cut it in half. We shall see. The price for a dollar today is Le7200. We shall see what economic wizardry Bio posses to keep the Leones stable. 
May I draw your attention to the atrocities committed by SLPP hooligans when they are forcibly removing Northerners from the South East and making them become refugees. There is a growing refugee population in Sierra Leone following the victory of the SLPP and Bio is doing nothing to address it.
Since their victory in the elections they have been going around and causing havoc like nobody's business. This has got to stop. 
Not only is Bio not reputable but he is also the Pa-O-Pa gang leader that is causing mayhem in Sierra Leone against anybody that is not SLPP. 
May God save Sierra Leone.
Momodu Banklaneh
Reply with quote  #8 
"May I draw your attention to the atrocities committed by SLPP hooligans when they are forcibly removing Northerners from the South East and making them become refugees."  AFK

Bra, stop crying and lying.  The APC is a bunch of power hungry hooligans and idiots of the first order.  You cannot be ungrateful to your hosts by attacking them after losing elections.  This is repugnant in any way that you look at it.

SLPP folks are a peaceful people.  But if you attack them as the APC did after losing, then the law empowers them to defend themselves.  Return those alleged refugees to the North.  You guys should learn to love the environment that you hail from.  Little wonder the North is so poor.  Northerners don't like the North.  They all flock to the Southeast and the West.  Shame!!!

The price of a bag of rice was 60,000 Leones when Ernest Koroma assumed power in 2007.  What happened?
Reply with quote  #9 
'Return those alleged refugees to the North' says SLPP's Momodu Banklane.
This is precisely the problem. Mendecracy is showing its ugly head all over again. Does this not remind you of ethnic cleansing in Rwanda? It is these seemingly educated Mendecrats who are the promoters of ethnic divide. So what does it mean to have a motto that reads one people one country? See the composition of your cabinet and tell me how representative it is. Over 80% are South Easterners. Way to go.
Cornelius Hamelberg
Reply with quote  #10 

Dear AFK,

Be positive. Think positive! Me noh wan mek plaba wit yu...

Once again , it's time for " All hands on deck!"

As a veteran APC politician, you are aware that at this critical juncture of Sierra Leone's history, 57 years after Independence was granted, an eleven year long RUF imposed war behind us and several democratically held elections later we are once again at the crossroads with a motto recently made famous and relevant by Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, as a useful guideline : Putting Sierra Leone First.

At this critical time when the APC has a majority in Parliament, I daresay that the APC should resist the evil inclination to pursue any form of obstructionist politics of the type that wilfully rates narrow APC interests above the nation's overall interests. The function of the opposition ought not be to ”oppose at all costs” even good policies that President Bio would like to pilot through parliament. And in the case of the issue now under discussion – a policy that the APC had itself adopted 2013 – 2017 and only abandoned ”in the run up to the 2018 elections”, without giving us any good reasons for doing so – other than we are to suppose , a profit motive.

Nor did the APC in its ten year long stint at running the country ever come up with the laudable idea of what in my opinion is a sine qua non for the nation's development, namely what President Bio is presently proposing : universal free primary education, the policy that you want to shoot down . The late great Chief Obafemi Awolowo promulgated the same in Western Nigeria and we can still see not only Western Nigeria but the whole of the Federal Republic of Nigeria still reaping the benefits. During my time in Nigeria (1981-1984) Ambrose Ali the then Governor of Bendel State (the former Mid-West) spent 50% of the State Budget on EDUCATION. That region is still reaping the benefits.

We should not lose sight of Sir Milton Margai's old dream which Ahmad Tejan Kabbah also tried to further : the education of the girl-child. On the same SLPP trajectory President Bio proposes to move from idea to action ( reality) and all you can do is to try to sow some ugly doubts of your own , by trying to cast some aspersions on President Bio's character : ”he does not seem to me to be a reputable man.”

The following words coming from somewhere in your rear (diarrhoea ?) is a great pity : “The real cynicism is on his promise to provide free education for all. What kind of mental deficiency is this that he is demonstrating.?”

"Mental deficiency"? 

So far your only argument seems to be ” How is it going to be financed?”

Just a little bit of creative thinking should relieve you of your most dire premonitions of failure. The people of Sierra Leone deserve all the help that they can obtain , for the fulfilment of this very good cause...

Captain Jigba
Reply with quote  #11 

Learn how to comprehend simple English.  Momodu Banklaneh used the word "alleged", meaning without proof.  In essence, you have not given any proof that there are Northern refugees in the Southeast.  You APC miscreants are good at lying.

Next, the cabinet.  How many Limbas are members of the SLPP?  Do you want President Bio to bring APC folks into his cabinet?  Bo lef nor. 

Besides, why would ethnicity matter if the president chose the best people that he can work with?  Why are you guys so power hungry? 

You were given ten years to rule and you brought the country down.  Are you recommending the same characters to be included in an SLPP government?  No way. 
Reply with quote  #12 
Cornelius, get your facts straight. Bio is not proposing a universal free primary education, as you put it, but free primary and secondary education. The inability for Bio to comprehend how prohibitive the financial burden will be is why I say that he is either mentally deficient or he advocated it just to get votes 
How can it be all hands on deck when the SLPP Pa-o-Pa's are busy brutalizing Northerners in the North East thereby causing a massive refugee situation. I was in Sierra Leone and I know this is true. How can it be all hands on deck when just yesterday the SLPP conspired to remove a huge generator from Kono in order to take it to Bo but where intercepted by Kono residents including Okada riders who blocked the cranes passage and got the generator returned. Hw can it be all hands on deck when 80% of the cabinet ministers are  South Easterners mainly Mendes and their cousins Kissis. Is this not a taste of 'Mendecracy', a word coined by John Leigh? And by the way where all hands on deck when his excellency Ernest Koroma was at the helm? 
I am an objective guy who calls it for what it is and when I see reason to praise Bio, I sure will. But in my heart I do not have a good feeling about Bio.  
The APC is now the opposition party and I am with the opposition party. I will oppose any and all policies and programs directed by the SLPP that I deem unfit for Sierra Leone. You and I can have differences of opinions. It is fine with me.
Pao Pa
Reply with quote  #13 
"But in my heart I do not have a good feeling about Bio."  AFK

This Limba boy is really sick.  Who cares if you have a good feeling about Bio or not?  Go tap your palm wine or work as a Sorie Month boy, Mofo.   Where were you when Ernest Koroma was relieving Southeasterners of their jobs and filling those jobs with Limbas and Lokos?  Bo go sidom nar u damn Limba corner, F@@@kg  Yapo.
Cornelius Hamelberg
Reply with quote  #14 

Dear AFK,

Unfortunately, in this and some other African forums, the “big grammar” and chest-beating is often about understanding (or not understanding) this and that piece of “simple English” and never about understanding or writing the same kind of stuff in Themne, Mende, Kissi, Yoruba or Krio.

As Oscar Wilde says in Part One of his “With some remarks upon THE IMPORTANCE OF DOING NOTHING”,

Ernest : “I dislike modern memoirs. They are generally written by people who have either entirely lost their memories, or have never done anything worth remembering; which, however, is, no doubt, the true explanation of their popularity, as the English public always feels perfectly at its ease when mediocrity is talking to it.

Gilbert : “Yes; the public is wonderfully tolerant. It forgives everything except genius...”

With regard to the past ten years of APC rule, some people's memory is short, they remember none of the good, only remember the bad , as you know, “the good is oft interred with their bones” - so ,  dear AFK, many thanks for reminding all of us of some of the good , even though you do not mention the hundreds of miles of new macadamised roads that were under construction in Sierra Leone, thanks to the APC....

One of the things I continue to appreciate about Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara is that his commitment was ( is?) to ensuring that Sierra Leone becomes a middle income country by 2035 – a much more realistic date than some other unscrupulous politicians whose wont it usually is to promise that heaven will be brought down to mother earth within their first mandate period. When Dr. Kamara said ”by 2035”, of course, I thought it was unwise of him to speak that kind of hopeful truth, since most people don't want to have to wait that long, they usually want to hear about the here and now, they want promises of instantaneous change , not promises of middle income by a time when we don't even know if the planet would not have finally come to an end through a nuclear holocaust. (On the other hand, the religious people who believe in Heaven would like to tarry here on earth as long as possible)

What you say about ”Election promises” or ”valfläsk” as the phenomenon is known in democratic Sweden, comes as no surprise. That Brer Bio is braying about this in the second week of his presidency is testimony of high seriousness about the matter - that it's not just ”valfläsk” for the simple reason that it is a priority that occupies a very important position in the SLPP's New Direction agenda. A few weeks ago when I compared the APC manifesto with that of the SLPP's New Direction I found that the SLPP agenda had much greater detail about their education programme : I invite you to take a look at it, if you have not already done so.

Don't you think that the “free primary and secondary education “ that you aver President Bio proposes is both good and necessary ? As to your pessimism : “The inability for Bio to comprehend how prohibitive the financial burden will be is why I say that he is either mentally deficient or he advocated it just to get votes “, you may be right, but only very temporarily :last night, talking to one who knows, I was told that Bio can't even pay out salaries for the month of April, that it's that bad. I mentioned aid from UNESCO the IMF etc. and my source laughed. Don't I know that structural adjustment programs always demand taking away subsidies from education ( as happened with Jerry Rawlings, in his time)?

Free education just means that student fees are abolished , right? In that case what will be needed is more schools, more teachers more school equipment, text books, computers. All of this will not be achieved in one day..

Professor Sengbe are you there? I suppose that the Saro diaspora is capable of raising funds for this programme . Over here there's a singularly impressive example of the Peagie Foday Scholarship Fund . Such efforts could be multiplied a thousand fold …

If it's Bio's choice that “80% of the cabinet ministers are  South Easterners mainly Mendes and their cousins Kissis.” - it's not the wisest thing to do but it's still alright with me, as long as they can do the job.

Re . “the SLPP Pa-o-Pa's are busy brutalizing Northerners in the North East thereby causing a massive refugee situation “ What has President Bio done about this bad news ?

Ishmael Yillah
Reply with quote  #15 
Some old folks still argues like children. Can't some of you engaged in civil discourse with some level of civility. Why all these uncouth behavior?

Reply with quote  #16 
Hi Ishmael Yillah.  How is President Yumkella doing?
Reply with quote  #17 
Great decision by President Bio. He is already doing great things in the interests of the people of Sierra Leone. Hopefully he will keep doing so and not resort to selling the country down the river like the dirty APC did for the past decade. 
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