Members of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government have started a national open dialogue in commemoration of the death of one of it’s founding members, late Salia Jusu-Sheriff. The event took place at the party National headquarters in Freetown on Wednesday 18th December 2019, on the theme, “Hon Dr. Salia Jusu-Sheriff’s legacies in National Development.” The late man was described as the first Sierra Leonean to pass both his junior and senior Cambridge examinations at the Bo School with admission number 666. He was also the first Sierra Leonean to qualify as a chartered accountant from Newcastle University in England, and was also father of accountability in public offices. Professor Joe A. D. Alie while contributing to the topic, “SLPP then, and now, what lessons?” explained that challenges in the SLPP party are not a new phenomenon recalling back in 1958 when Siaka Stevens and others broke away and formed another political party called “People’s National Party” (PNP), as well as in 2005, when Charles Margai left to form the PMDC. The Professor furthered that, the two departures on each occasion from their party almost caused it to collapse but recalled that those who left ended up coming back because their root was SLPP. He noted that internal disputes are common even within larger families not to talk of a political party but assured that at the end those disputes are resolved.
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He therefore urged youth in the party to be law abiding, self disciplined and respectful to people in position of trust especially party appointees and other citizens. He urged, “Let our indifferences be our source of strength and not a cause to divide us,” because according to him they can disagree without being rude and violent. Alhaji Banie Yillah Sesay on behalf of the family informed the audience that the late man was born in Jojoima in the Malema Chiefdom Kailahun District, East of the country and entered Bo School in 1943. He revealed that the late man proceeded later to Fourah Bay College before leaving for the United Kingdom where he emerged as the first Sierra Leonean to qualify as a Chartered Accountant from the University of Newcastle. The late man according to revelations was not only a committed member of the SLPP amidst challenges, hurdles and intimidations he went through for the party, he was able to position the party on a strong foundation. The late man according to friends had always put national interest first in all his political and corporate lifetime especially at a time when a one party state was passed into law. He joined the All People’s Congress (APC) party because of national interest, which qualified him a national hero worth celebrating. Yasmin Jusu Sheriff, one of the daughters of late Salia Jusu Sheriff said the most important message the late man had always given them was education. The lawyer pleaded with youth of the SLPP party to focus more on education pointing out that their father’s passion on education was deliberate, and that it was the only gift given to then. Shee said after her father qualification from the Bo school he was not granted a national scholarship and this prompted him to work at Corporative for a year and half before proceeding to FBC. Yasmin said upon graduation at FBC he gained another scholarship to travel to England to further his education and later returned to give back to the country and the Corporative that granted him the scholarship. She called on young people to take the free quality education serious and to do all they can in ensuring politics is not their first profession.
By Mohamed Kabba
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