The Chief Census Officer, who doubles as the Statistician-General, of Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats-SL) Professor Osman Sankoh says Stats-SL now has a reliable sampling frame to support all important socio-economic surveys for local and national development planning purposes, adding that henceforth they will be able to provide Locality, Ward, Section, Chiefdom, District and Regional level population data that can be generated in a timely manner.
He made this statement, at the official announcement ceremony of the provisional result for the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census (MTPHC), which is the first ever digital Census in Sierra Leone.
“We wish to emphasise that before the Mid-Term Census was conducted, Stats SL was most of the time unable to provide data to development partners and other institutions requesting specific area-based population data…
“Today, the results of our digital cartography and digital enumeration will provide answers”, says Prof. Sankoh.
He said the results would assist government to identify the social and economic status of the citizens in the country,
“This will help government to devise interventions necessary to leapfrog the vulnerable in our society from their current socio-economic status”, he said.
-The Statistician General stressed that everyone in Sierra Leone was counted where he or she slept on the Census Night of December 9th, adding that the population reported was the “census night population”, where people slept on that night, whether or not those were their usual places of residence.
“It is an established fact that for various reasons, people move to their home towns and villages to be counted there. We call this phenomenon the influential one night in-country census migration”, he explained.
Professor Sankoh announced the provisional results providing the total population figures by sex at the District and Regional levels, stating that the population of Sierra Leone from the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census was 7,541,641 with 3,716,263 males and 3,825,378 making a sex ratio of 0.97 in favour of females.
He said the result also shows a total increase in the population from 2015 to 2021 of 449,528 which is 6% more than the 2015 population.
On his part, the Development Secretary, Mr. Peter Sam-Kpakra explained the role of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, particularly the Current Minister, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai and his predecessor, Mrs. Nabeela Tunis for their exceptional support provided to Stats- SL during the period the census lasted.
He said the census would provide a baseline data that would continue to serve as a reference point for Sierra Leone’s development trajectories.
Ms. Mona Korsgard, Chief of Evidence, Policy and Social Protection for UNICEF Sierra Leone, in her statement, said UNICEF was pleased to support the Census process, noting that it would be important for all to use the data for policy making, planning and programming to better reach the population with social services such as health, education, and sustainable jobs for young people who enter the labour market.
The Executive Director of Accountability Sierra Leone, William Sao-Lamin said as civil society they believed that, any development activity should be informed by a credible and reliable data that would help to hold duty bearers accountable if there are any defaults.
He appealed to all development partners, Ministries Department and Agencies to always call on Stats-SL for reliable data of any development activity they may want to carry out in any community in the country.
The 2021 MTPHC is Sierra Leone’s first fully digital census which used technology to capture data at real-time; the process also ensures quality data monitoring, facilitates faster data processing and faster release of the census data.
The Census is in line with His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s aspiration to position Sierra Leone firmly for digitization, which is an essential preparation for the fourth industrial revolution.
MUSA TOMBO’s MESSAGE TO SUPER EAGLES OF NIGERIA
By Musa Bockarie
As the Sierra Leone Premier League ends today Sunday 29/05/2022 with Bo Rangers being Crowned Champions, Sierra Leone’s most sensational and Prolific Striker, Musa Noah Kamara alias Musa Tombo has assured Sierra Leoneans of surprising Nigeria’s Super Eagles on 09/06/2022 Nations Cup first match qualifier away to Nigeria.
Musa Tombo who got the highest number of goals of 19 in the just concluded Sierra Leone 2021/2022 Premier League for Champions Bo Rangers, is currently in good form to break any defense of any Team in and out of Sierra Leone.
Musa Tombo represented Sierra Leone in this year’s Nations Cup in Cameroon where he got an early equaliser against The Elephants of Ivory Coast in the second half of Play at Japoma Stadium in Douala Cameroon.
Musa Tombo also became the Best Player for 2021/2022 Sierra Leone Premier League season and today was so exceptional after scoring a hat trick in front of his own fans against Central Parade at the Bo Mini Stadium.
As he has already been selected by Sierras Leone’s National Head Coach John Kiester for their first away match in Nigeria,Musa Tombo has vowed not only to score against Super Eagles of Nigeria but to grab their first three Points away from them.
MMTU ends annual inter hall track & field sports meet
Milton Margai Technical University has on Saturday, 28 May, 2022, had the grand finale of the two days Annual Inter-Hall Track and Field Athletics Sports Meet at the university field, Goderich Campus.
The event marked the end of eight long years of Inter-House sports famine on campus since the institution held its last sports meet in 2014.
Weeks leading to the heat and grand finale had seen high tension among the respective halls displaying a great optimism for the outcome of the competition. And those weeks of hard work came down to the final day, which was seen as one of the most anticipated events in the institution’s sporting calendar.
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr. Philip John Kanu, (Associate Professor), noted that the combination of sports and education could be used as a viable tool in ensuring that students were well developed.
According to him, sports competition creates the opportunity for talent hunting, thus promoting discipline and academic brilliance, as well as providing a chance for students to interact with one another, which was manifested during the event.
For an effective and inclusive sports meet, the institution decided to revert to the old names of the different houses on the basis that, it would increase student participation, without any sentiment, and also make the community people to be fully involved.
“The institution is known for producing national record holders in athletics and other activities relating to sports.
Since I took over as Principal; I noticed that the institution had not been occupying that space any longer. It was for that reason my administration decided to resuscitate it so as to regain the lead in terms of sports at the national level.
Over the years, Milton Margai Technical University has been training Physical Health Education teachers in the country in the country and many other sporting instructors,” the Vice-Chancellor affirmed.
He furthered that, he felt satisfied because everyone was involved actively to achieve a successful outcome of the event.
“Within two weeks, we are able to organise the sport after several years, and we are also planning to go into Inter-Hall Soccer, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, and lawn tennis for both females and males in a bid to bring the staff and students together in all the three campuses,” he noted.
He ended by acknowledging the hard of the Head of Department, PHED and team, Alumni, and Hall Masters, for such an organised event, he thanked all the staff who worked beyond the call of duty in support of the University Annual Inter-Hall Track and Field Athletics Sports Meet and expressed appreciation to guests who took time off their busy schedules to honour the invitation.
Students of the university, staff, spectators and observers hailed the Vice-Chancellor and Principal for organising such a colourful and successful Inter -Hall Track and Field Athletics Sports Meet.
On the first day, Wednesday 25th May 2022, which was the heats, the result of the various Halls were as follows:
Juba-Blue…….1st position with 70 points
Lakka-Red…… 2nd. with 57 points
Lumley-Green…… 3rd. with 55 points and
Adonkia- Yellow…… 4th. with 48 points.
On the grand finale, Juba-Blue was crowned as victors of the competition with a total point of 204, Lakka-Red 2nd, with 202 points, Adonkia- Yellow which came 4th on the heat secured 3rd position with 188 points and Lumley-Green which came 3rd on the heat came 4th with 174 points.
Trophies were won by the different halls. The overall championship was won by Juba-Blue; Runners Up by Laka, Red. Men’s championship was won by Lumley-Green; women’s championship by Juba-Blue. All Hall Relay by Juba-Blue, Tug of War Men was won by Laka-Red, Tug of War Women won by Laka-Red, medley(women) was won by Juba-Blue, medley(men) Lumley-Green, 5000m men was won by Juba-Blue and the best behaved Hall went to Lumley-Green.
Certificates were also presented to Athletes who performed excellently in all the various events.
The event was honoured by dignitaries from home and abroad, including the Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Mr. Sarjoh Aziz-Kamara, MDA’s, and many more.
The event was declared open by the Chancellor of the Milton Margai Technical University Dr. Victor Ekundayo Alexandra Kabia, noting that, it felt good to come together again in athletics, stating that, the institution had always been doing well and implored all to continue to do well.
The Inter-Hall Track and Field Athletics Sports Meet was fully funded and organized by the University.
The occasion was climaxed by the presentation of trophies to the various Halls.
Simply Call It ‘SLPP-cide’
By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)
Before now, I knew of matricide; patricide; fratricide; regicide; tyrannicide; deicide; genocide, and suicide. But quite recently, while watching a documentary on the BBC television channel, I came across a new “cide”. It’s called “Femicide”, which is the killing of a girl or a woman because of their gender.
And if you have noticed already, there is one thread that runs through all those “cides”. And that is: “they [are] all concern [with] death, destruction, extermination and deliberate killing. The–cide ending originates from the Latin word caedere meaning to kill.” So with that in mind, let me now explore my newfound One Dropian coinage: “SLPP-cide”.
In today’s One Dropian dropping, I’m going back to the killings that took place in Makeni; in Lunsar; at Mile-91; at Tonko Limba; at Tombo, and at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre in Freetown. All these killings took place in places which are officially, or unofficially, known to be the strongholds of the main opposition: the All People’s Congress (APC). These killings will, forever, remain in the collective conscience of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) because they are still unresolved as those who shot those helpless civilians, in cold blood, are yet to be brought to justice.
And the reason why I’m bringing up this issue today, which seems to have been swept under the red carpets at State House in Freetown, is the fact that from the time when those killings occurred to date, President Julius Maada Bio has not offered a public apology in the spirit of collective responsibility. It is as if the lives of Sierra Leoneans in the north-western parts of the country do not matter!
And President Bio cannot be boasting of his human rights record and still feigning forgetfulness that extra-judicial killings took place in Makeni; in Lunsar; at Mile-91; at Tonko Limba; at Tombo, and at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre in Freetown. And one thing that is very striking, or which might have caught the eyes of the International Criminal Court (ICC), is the fact that President Bio’s speech of 8 May 2020 appeared to have justified those killings.
In that 8 May 2020 national address, our Commander-in-Chief accused the APC leadership of being silent “on the active participation of their members and executive members in these acts of terrorist violence.” He twisted the dagger savagely (figuratively, of course) when he said that, “For each of the attacks at Lunsar, Foredugu, Tombo, and the prison breakout at Pademba Road Correctional Centre, known agents and associates of the All People’s Congress party have publicly predicted the precise date, target, and nature of the attacks. There is an obvious pattern. These attacks are therefore premeditated, orchestrated, and executed with a clear objective– to make the state ungovernable”. So, to put it in disrobed language: President Bio and his SLPP believe that APC supporters are “terrorists” whose cardinal aim is “to make the state ungovernable”.
From the above, it seems to me that when the security forces were sent to Makeni, Lunsar, Mile-91, Tonko Limba, Tombo, and the Pademba Road Correctional Centre they had one thing in mind: they were sent to flush out “terrorists”! So, they appeared to have just shot on, and out of, sight every moving thing; flushing out the “terrorists” who had been recording “their acts with telephone cameras, run self-valorising commentaries on their acts of extreme violence and killings, and share those synchronously in WhatsApp forums”(in President Bio’s own words). This surmises that for the Bio-led administration, those killed in those killings were not peaceful citizens but “terrorists”.
We can now appreciate why the security forces entered those places like the far-right death squads in El Salvador of old. But President Bio cannot convince me that at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre, the alleged “jail breakers” were recording “their acts with telephone cameras, run[ing] self-valorising commentaries on their acts of extreme violence and killings, and share [their acts of terrorism on] WhatsApp forums”. No, they were not! Reports claim that the prisoners were right inside the correctional centre when the “peacekeepers” entered and started their peaceful “peacekeeping” which resulted in countless deaths and gunshot wounds!
As I see it, these are simply crimes against humanity that should be of interest to the International Criminal Court. According to Geoffrey Robertson QC in the Preface of his influential book, “Crimes Against Humanity, The Struggle For Global Justice,” the logic of the “crime against humanity, first defined in Article 6(c) of the Nuremberg Charter, was that future state agents who authorized torture or genocide against their own populations were criminally responsible, in international law, and might be punished by any court capable of catching them.” My point here is: those trigger-happy security personnel who committed flagrant violations in Makeni; in Lunsar; at Mile-91; at Tonko Limba; at Tombo, and at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre in Freetown, causing the seemingly exterminations and deliberate killings of peaceful citizens, should be brought to justice. And those who authorized those trigger-happy security personnel to go on those “peacekeeping missions” should also bear the greatest responsibility for the killings.
As Wole Soyinka notes, in his prison memoir The Man Died, “Even in totalitarian states, the time comes when past ‘errors’ are admitted, high-placed criminals unmasked and victims rehabilitated, mostly alas, posthumously!” This fact is not lost on the Bombali Human Rights Committee whose April 2021 Report, titled “Study On Youth Disenfranchisement And Protest In Sierra Leone: Response And Recommendation”, recommends that, “independent investigations must be conducted on allegations of deaths by gunshot wounds [in Makeni, Lunsar, Mile-91, Tonko Limba, Tombo, and the Pademba Road Correctional Centre], report published and officers penalized if found wanting.”
But this is what the Bio-led administration is yet to do. And what is mockingly shocking is the fact that some of the victims of those “peacekeeping missions” were “either being held on criminal charges or being investigated for criminal violence and terrorism-related offences” (to quote President Bio for the last time) for what seems to be their unspeakable crime of not being killed during those “peacekeeping missions”! It is for that reason that I will, for now, refer to those killings as an “SLPP-cide”.
It is on that note that I will end today’s One Dropian dropping with a quote from the Epilogue of Geoffrey Robertson’s book, quoted above, that: “Punishment cannot be left to history (which depends, after all, on who writes it) or to hell fire (even the Pope now doubts the availability of this sanction). There is a legal duty on all states to investigate and (if the evidence is available) to prosecute persons suspected of…systematic murder or persecution…of innocent civilians pursuant to a political policy. Individuals who commit such crimes must have no hiding-place….” But those who carried out the killings in Makeni; in Lunsar; at Mile-91; at Tonko Limba; at Tombo, and at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre in Freetown appear to have sanctuaries!