By Hassan Bruz (SLENA Northern Bureau Chief)…
It has been a normal pattern for Politicians to overload the Electorate with a barrage of lofty promises each time the Country gears toward general elections. But it would appear there is now a change of wind blowing across which requires Politicians to be much more committed to their utterances. This could not be unconnected with either the increasing numbers of those throwing their hats into the contest or the desire of the general public to go for a Candidate that is more trustworthy. At any rate, it remains a fact that People are getting fed up with the unfulfilled promises from Politicians and would now only lend support to an Aspirant that is convincingly credible.
Perhaps this is where Hon. Osman Karankay Conteh – popularly known as OKC, enjoys a centre space while others continued to struggle for a mere recognition. He is the Member of Parliament for Constituency 050 in the Marampa Chiefdom, Port Loko District. He was elected under the Ruling All Peoples Congress [APC] Party to succeed Madam Isata Kabia –the now Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs. Even though Hon. OKC is barely 9 Months old in Parliament, he seems to be already basking in the vanity of being desired for a full term representation.
This was made abundantly clear at Masethleh – one of the neglected Communities in the Marampa Chiefdom where the Member of Parliament was accorded a hero’s welcome. The catchphrase for every other speaker was ‘Or foff ti, Or yourti’ – meaning ‘he said it, he does it’. A simpler interpretation is that the Member of Parliament has fulfilled a promise he earlier made to the Community. Each Community turned out with cultural dances and there were jubilations all over the Place. Both the drummers and dancers went wild in a delightful disbelief, when they saw Paramount Chief Koblow Queen and Hon. OKC shook hands and embraced themselves in the full view of the general public.
It would appear the two men have been at logger heads in the past several years. According to Pa Foday Mange Koroma who chaired the deliberations, the bottleneck between Hon. Osman Karankay Conteh and Paramount Chief Koblow Queen immensely dampened the development of their beloved Chiefdom. He therefore expressed optimism that there is bound to be rapid development now that the impasse was over especially when both men are ready to complement the efforts of each other. The Chairman noted that Hon. OKC is the 4th. Member of Parliament since Koblow Queen was elected Paramount Chief of Marampa Chiefdom. He said even though Hon. OKC has not served up to a year, yet he has performed far better than any of his predecessors. Pa Foday Mange Koroma therefore thanked the two men for putting the past behind their back adding that the people of Marampa are confident that Pc Queen shall be the next Paramount Chief’s representative Member of Parliament for Port Loko District.
Hon. Osman Karankay Conteh based his statement on the purpose of his visit to Masethleh whose theme was to commence the process of upgrading that Community to a hearty section of Lunsar Town from the rankings of a neglected village. The Member of Parliament said he would kick-start with the construction of a total of 4 Bridges including the Magbeku and Malake Crossing points which ought to be complete within a month. He said that will be followed by the construction of the Mange Bridge in the Marampa Chiefdom together with the Central Market in Lunsar. The Member of Parliament explained how he intends to convert these structures to a model. He said the last set of projects would be climaxed with the construction of a Recreational Centre for the Youths as some of these current structures are too small to accommodate the growing population of Lunsar which is gearing towards the status of a District Headquarter Town. Hon. OKC concluded with a gentle reminder for them to collect their Voter ID Cards as he urged for the cooperation of all.
Dilating on the importance of the bridges, Hon. OKC observed that there are several villages with thousands of voters in those localities. He said there are also a lot of agricultural products which have been perishing out there due to poor roads. He said even though it is not mandatory for Members of Parliament to undertake such development projects, he would not afford to see his people in such deplorable conditions without intervening. He therefore appealed for the cooperation of all- especially the Youths, Friends of OKC and every able bodied body person so that the work shall be done in record time. The actual plight of the inhabitants was spotlighted by a few speakers chosen by the respective Communities to speak on their behalf. All of them including Mohamed Lamin Bah, Ibrahim Sallieu Bah from Masethleh, Makindo and Cemetery Area, agreed in their separate contributions that, they have been a set of deprived Communities.
They explained how their Communities have not benefited from the Solar Street Poles Project in addition to the safe drinking water and good road networks. The various speakers gave a scenario in which they have had cause to wonder if they are actually a part of the Marampa Chiefdom and the need to continue paying their Local Taxes or even cast their votes in general elections. They however praised the initiative of the Member of Parliament for his timely intervention. Hon. OKC was therefore regarded as the most appropriate Member of Parliament for them. This was buttressed by onlookers who said Hon. OKC deserves another term in Parliament for him to do more for them.
Paramount Chief Koblow Queen was the last to address the gathering. He described OKC as an action oriented person who has both the ability and capability to deliver which is the more reason he has special regards for him. He recalled the role OKC played in his Paramount Chieftaincy elections and how closed they were to each other until their impasse. The Paramount Chief said he was thankful it has become a thing of the past and were now ready to work together for the development of the Chiefdom. He received a round of applause when he embraced the MP with the statement that he was willing to do all within his powers in ensuring that Hon. OKC continues to represent them in Parliament. Pc Koblow Queen went further to admonish Parents to send their children to School for quality education as it is the key to success. Profound thanks and appreciation were levied on Professor Paul Kamara and his wife who graced the occasion, for extending IAMTEC to the doorstep of the people of Lunsar.
Attached are some of the photos obtained on the occasion of the official commissioning of the chain of projects to be implemented by Hon. OKC .