MINISTRY OF YOUTH AFFAIRS 2ND FLOOR, STADIUM HOSTELS BROOKFIELDS
Unsubstantiated Claims by Former Youth Affairs Minister Bai Mahmoud Bangura on AYV Television
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, Wednesday, 19th December, 2018: The attention of the Ministry of Youth Affairs has been drawn to unsubstantiated and hateful claims made by the former Minister of Youth Affairs, Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura, on Monday 17th December, 2018 during a live simulcast radio and television show titled ‘This Day’ on Africa Young Voices Media Empire.
The Ministry recognizes the freedom of expression of every citizen as enshrined in Chapter III Section 15 (1), Act No. 6 of the 1991 Sierra Leone Constitution and article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). However, we were stunned to hear Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura state that during his tenure as Minister he was able to “…to employ 2,400 young people…but today more people including disables have been dismissed under the new dispensation.”
He went further to claim that 18,000 youths were laid off and were currently without jobs. These unfortunate statements are not only unpatriotic and prejudicial, but they are very premature ways to win public sympathy and undermine the current efforts of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and the Minister, Hon. Mohamed O. Bangura.
The Ministry wants to reassure the general public that no staff was laid off. Serving volunteers, at the time, who were aligned to the previous ruling party willingly left the Project stating that they were not ready to work with the current Government.
The Ministry wants it to be known that there are unanswered questions relating to the operations of the Youth in Drainage Project under the erstwhile Minister that has attracted the interest of the Anti-Corruption Commission to launch an investigation. As investigations are ongoing, the Ministry will refrain from making statements that will undermine the work of the Commission.
However, it should be noted that a major accusation against Mr. Bai Mahmoud Bangura was that management of the Youth In Fisheries and Youth in Drainage projects were shrouded in corruption related charges.
Let it further be known that a lot of accountable reforms and effective structural management of programmes have taken place in the last seven months. Today, because of the effective management transformation under the current leadership, the Ministry has enjoyed confidence from its partners and youths across the country as demonstrated by their consistent involvement in all projects/programmes.
Whilst we commend AYV Media Empire for striving hard to promote ethical journalism, we would like to encourage them to refer such outlandish claims to the Ministry for clarification.
The Ministry remains unperturbed by distractions of this nature and continues to work hard to promote the New Direction’s agenda for youth development and empowerment without reference to political party affiliation.
As a credible government institution we will continue with sustainable policies and discard failed legacies.
For enquiry or further clarification/s contact the Communications Department, Ministry of Youth Affairs.
A.L. Sorie Permanent Secretary