Aspirants vying for the parliamentary seat in Constituency 104 (East 1), Western Urban, have showcased themselves in a debate on how they would build their community if elected to parliament.
The topic which they slung it out was: “the role of parliament /parliamentarians in community development”.
The debate, organized by De Humanitarian Organization in collaboration with Talking Drum Studio, was held at the Bishop Johnson Secondary School, Fourah Bay Road in Freetown.
Out of the seven aspirants only five showed up. They are Alpha Babatunde Lewally of the All People’s Congress (APC), Anthony Junior Navo from the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Mohamed Bangura of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), Mohamed Lamin Kamara of the United National People’s Party (UNPP) and Mohamed Lascaf Koroma of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Mohamed Lamin Kamara said the role of a parliamentarian was to serve the people who elected him. He added that a parliamentarian should not go to parliament to enrich himself but to bring development to the community.
Mr Kamara noted that if elected he would deliver to his people according to their needs and wants.
Mohamed Lascaf Koroma from the NDA defined parliament as “a place where decisions are being taken and a parliamentarian is a person representing the voice of his or her people”.
He promised that if elected he would provide water, education, construction of roads, health centre and that he would also empower women. He also promised that he would visit his constituency every weekend to have tit-a-tats with the people.
Anthony Junior Navo from the SLPP said the definition of parliamentarian was a broad term but he would limit himself. He defined a parliamentarian as “a person who people elect to represent them in parliament.
Mr Navo pointed out that if he won the seat the first thing he would do was to reconcile with his opponents.
“I will not be partisan and I will get a common ground for all. I have constructed many pumps for my constituency and soon I will no longer be called Anthony Junior Navo but Anthony Junior pump,” he said.
Mr Navo maintained that he was aware of the rampant youth unemployment in the country but when he won, “I will make sure youth and young men have jobs”. He also opined that his first priority would be electricity, road and infrastructures.
Alpha Babatunde Lewally of the APC said before he started his campaign he did a feasibility study on the needs of his people in that constituency.
He added that, “I did not believe in prepackage politics. If elected I will expand the economy, promote essential services, protect culture, religion and heritage in my constituency”.
Speaking on how he would deliver to his people he noted that, “I know that my constituency is suffering from lack of drinking water, health services, quality education children safety, and electricity road access and job opportunity for the youth”.
Mr Lewally pointed out that if he won the seat he would provide clean and pure drinking water for his people, provide quality education and introduce school feeding programmes, construct better roads, empower youth more especially women and pay attention to law and order in my constituency.
The APC aspirants said he would be accountability and transparency in whatever he would be doing to deliver excellence work.
Mohamed Bangura of the PMDC said if elected to parliament he would advocate for his people and lobby to committees dealing with developmental issues that his people might need.
He maintained that, “I will create enabling environment for supporters of other political parties and lobby for the repeal of the Public Order Act”.
PMDC scribe noted that with the help of his people he would be able to provide social services and embark on projects that would be of benefit to the youth.
Serving as moderator was BBC’s Hassan Harounie.