Letter to editor

Is Dr. Banya Kailahun’s burden?

13 September 2009 at 05:31 | 951 views

By Abdul B Kamara aka Chief, USA.

If my memory serves me well the name Dr.Sama Banya commonly known as PUAWUI is a classic example of a politician who had miserably failed the people of Kailahun, his home district.

From the above premise I felt compelled to ask myself if Dr. Banya, alias Puawui, was a misfortune to the people of Sierra Leone and his district in particular Kailahun District? Did I hear someone say YES?

I was exactly ten years old in April 1978 when Dr. Sama Banya was first appointed a government minister by the late Dr Siaka Stevens. Since then Dr Banya had served in every important ministry in the country, at some point he served as acting commander –in chief and president of the Republic of Sierra Leone during the Stevens era. Most recently he served as Foreign Affairs Minister and Senior Adviser to President Kabbah, and also he was the chairman and brain behind the disastrous presidential bid of Solomon Berewa.

Theoretically for over thirty years Dr Banya have being in the lime light of Sierra Leone politics-he is presumed to have stock of political achievements under his belt to boast of. Regrettably, for the poor and ailing man despite all the high profile political positions he has held there is nothing tangible he can rest his pride on as a former a statesman. If I may ask again: What has Dr. Sama Banya accomplished or achieved for his SLPP, and the people of Kailahun District both, as a medical doctor and a politician during the past three decades?

Banya’s GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR THE SLPP. Read the extract below from an interview with Alhaji Jalloh in June 2008:

A.J – “What legacy did you leave behind during your tenure as SLPP National Chairman? Do you have any regrets for some of your mistakes in politics”?

Sama Banya: The legacy is the stand I continue to take that candidates for any office should be the free choice of the people. And that once the majority have taken a decision, the rest of us most abide by it. Not everyone has swallowed this to this day. I have no regrets for my actions in politics.


Many of my Kailahun friends that I have spoken with, and asked them about their objective assessment of this politician, Dr. Banya do not have much to say about him. They consider him a failure.

In my humbly opinion, Dr Banya was not born to be a failure but he chose to fit the description simply because he was blessed and had all the opportunities in the country to help the people of Kailahun; nonetheless, he kicked those opportunities into the gutter.

Today he is an out cast living in exile in Freetown thinking every day whether God will have mercy upon him so that he would live to see another day. Ironically, Dr Banya has employed himself to unjustly criticize the APC government of His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma which in less than two years has accomplished more things compared to the SLPP government he served for eleven years as senior adviser.

Where were all these ideas when he had the mantle of power? Was he not a senior adviser to a government that was kicked out of power because of corruption, ineptitude, and incompetence? Was he not the chairman of the SLPP when the party lost woefully? Honestly, all the time he has wasted trying to show policy expertise to the APC government could be better use to serve the people of Kailahun. I would like to remind the old man that age is not on his side, and regardless of his past there is still an opportunity to make up with the people of Kailahun.

Even though the indigenes of Luawa chiefdom would like to know why Dr. Banya did not emulate the late Sir Milton Margai-a man who used his expertise in the medical field to train the untrained in order to help his suffering country men. Was Sama Banya a burden to Kailahun District? The people of Luawa chiefdom in Kailahun would answer this thought provoking question.

Does Dr Banya have another chance to make up for his abysmal failure as a politician and a medical doctor? Yes he can! Like the story of the prodigal son as narrated in Luke 15:11-32 in the Holy Bible “Then the young man finally came to his senses, and remembered his father. In humility, he recognized his foolishness, decided to return to his father and ask for forgiveness and mercy- the father who had been watching and waiting, received his son back with open arms of compassion. He was overjoyed by the return of his lost son- Immediately the father turned to his servants and asked them to prepare a giant feast in celebration.”

If Dr Banya could follow the good judgment of the prodigal son in the Holy Bible, it would be in his best interest to go down to Kailahun and beg for forgiveness for failing the district. Besides, and more importantly, he must dedicate his expertise and serve the people for the rest of his living life on this earth, so that when he dies serenity will come into his grave.

Finally, it is preposterous when a politician like Dr Banya who has nothing tangible to boast of during the last thirty years as a minister, a chairman and a senior advisor, to want to lecture a president- who is a model of success and has a good track record in governance in the history of Sierra Leone.

In two years His Excellency President Koroma has achieved so many medals under his political belt including providing electricity to various part of the city-an accomplishment which Dr Banya himself has given credence.

Read below an extract from an interview of Dr.Banya by Alhaji Jalloh on June 12, 2008:

A.J-.What is your assessment of the APC Government in terms of good governance, the national economy, the energy sector and other relevant indicators for good leadership?

S.B – “The APC Government has done well in providing electricity to various parts of the city at various times.

In conclusion, Dr Banya ought to be ashamed of himself because he epitomizes failure in every shape or form.

Fellow Sierra Leoneans, for over thirty years in politics this is how Dr Banya said he should be remembered:

“On a personal level, I want to be remembered as a family man. On a national level, one who gave and endeavored to promote and maintain the good reputation of his country and finally one who fought his cause without fear or favor.”

Was Dr Sama Banya, alias Puawui a burden to the people of Kailahun? The people of Luawa chiefdom will be the right people to answer this thought provoking question. My last words of wisdom to Dr Banya is that you cannot eat your cake and have it .

Editor’s note: Abdul Kamara is secretary-general of APC-North America.