On Thursday 8th April 2021 Hon. Manso Abu Dumbuya who doubles as the Western Region Chairman of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) was one of the few awardees recognised by the All Political Parties Association (APPA) for their outstanding and exemplary political leadership and commitment to national peace, cohesion and development.
The Chairman of APPA, Prince Coker and his immediate predecessor, Madam Augusta James Teima; the Minister of Public and Political Affairs, Amb. Foday Yumkella; the Chairman of Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), Abdullai Masiyambay Bangura Esq; the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Mr. Mohamed Konneh, one of the awardees, Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) and many political stakeholders showered eulogies on Hon. Dumbuya describing him as someone who has dedicated his entire life to public service, peace and societal growth.
This did not come as a surprise to thousands of Sierra Leoneans and even aliens who have been following the political surgeon of the heavyweight for the past decades. Notwithstanding his great influence in the political arena, he has never bullied or disadvantaged anyone neither has he influenced any violence. Even those who hurt him usually testify of his compassion and magnanimity.
The right Hon. Dumbuya hails from Kambia District, northern Sierra Leone and was raised by one of the founding fathers of the SLPP, Alhaji Mohamed Sanusi Buski of blessed memory. He attended the episcopal Methodist Boys High School.
In his service to the country, in 1966 he was appointed Assistant Registration Officer of the National Electoral Commission and in 1972 the dynamic political heavyweight was appointed Youth Leader of the Tonko Limba Youths Association. His leadership facilitated and supported many developmental undertakings in that part of the country including sports, entertainment, construction of the Government Madina Secondary School and the Madina Town Hall.
The illustrious political guru was not only interested in politics as he was also hugely interested in sport and due such sporting enthusiasm he was elected as President of the East End Lions Supporters Club in 1980 and in the 1980s he was the Secretary General and subsequently the President of the Young Men Muslim Association. This shows his passion in serving the Almighty and humanity.
From 1983 to 1985, he served at the Sierra Leone National Shipping Company as Deputy Crew and Labour Manager; and from 1984 to 1987 he was Board Member of the Government Madina Secondary School in his native home of Tonko Limba. Remember that this is a learning institution he contributed immensely in building. Similarly, from1986 to 2002, he was a Board Member at the Ansarul Islamic Secondary School in Freetown. This again shows his passion for education and human capital development.
In 1998 he was appointed Director of Operations of Civil Defence Unit (CDU) in the Western Area. In such capacity, he contributed tremendously together with the West African military group (ECOMOG) to flush out the rebels from Freetown. This means Hon. Dumbuya is one of the national heroes that gave their entirety, amidst the looming danger of the civil war, to restore peace in Sierra Leone.
On the same peace trajectory, from 1999 to 2002 he was Commissioner of the National Commission for the Consolidation of Peace in Sierra Leone. He did not only contribute in enhancing peace in the country, but was also enthusiastically and passionately involved in consolidating the regained peace to avoid the reoccurrence of any similar interregnum. He has ever since been actively involved unification, reconciliation and other peace building mechanisms.
While in parliament from 2002 to2007, he diligently served as a member of the following committees in Parliament: Presidential Affairs, Defence and National Security, Trade and Industry, and Energy and Power. He was popularly known for his nationalistic and cogent debating submissions on policies, bills, approvals and ratification.
With an impressive performance in Parliament laced with his quest for a peaceful and cohesive society, he was appointed International Ambassador of Peace in Seoul, the capital of South Korea by the Interreligious and International Federation for Peace. In the same year, he was Chairman for Peace and Mediating Committee charged with the responsibility to peacefully mediate the contentious paramount chieftaincy issue in Tonko Limba, his hometown. Through his skills and expertise in peace and cohesion, the issue was perfectly resolved.
Since 2013, Honourable Manso Abu Dumbuya is the Chairman of the Board of Directors – Sierra Leone Port Authority (SLPA). It is no secret that his leadership at SLPA has brought several positive changes at the country’s port with regard transparency, accountability and revenue generation for the smooth running of the State.
Aside his exemplary leadership he has been displaying in politics, education, religion, community and national development, the development oriented Hon. Dumbuya has been undertaking and facilitating beneficial development strives such as supporting government in fighting Covid-19, rehabilitation of roads in Tonko Limba, donation of sporting gears to both the male and female teams of Tonko Limba.
Hon. Dumbuya is one of the outstanding and longest serving members in the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party and has been playing enormous sacrificial roles in strengthening and stabilizing the party. The charismatic Hon. Manso Abu Dumbuya officially joined the SLPP in 1961 and in the 1962 elections he served his party as a polling agent. As of this year, he has been serving his party for sixty (60) years with excellence, commitment and dedication.
During the 24-year one-party undemocratic system (1968-1992) under the current main opposition All Peoples Congress Party, Hon. Dumbuya and others were vehemently vocal in opposing such undemocratic system thereby advancing and popularizing the course of the SLPP nationwide. In line with aforementioned and other political reasons, he was imprisoned six times: five times at the Pademba Prison and once at the Mafanta Prison. Such a continued sacrifice is recognised and resonates very well in the grassroots to the highest echelons of the SLPP. Even none SLPP individuals and groupings still recognize his inestimable contribution to national service.
He has contested and won several elections for his party and has also championed the electoral success of the SLPP in many areas. Under his leadership, the party in the 2018 national elections was able to win an appreciable number of parliamentary and local council seats in the Western Area.
He has been remarkably serving his party as Regional Chairman for Western Area since 2013. He was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2017 for the same position. Party stalwarts re-elected him for his exceptional stewardship to the party. His leadership has not only been attracting victory for the SLPP but has also made the party reside comfortably in the minds and heart of above half of the voting population in the Western Area.
As an addendum to his developmental strives, he is facilitating the ongoing construction of Mina Islamic Junior Secondary School in Kambia, Matindeneh Primary School, Unity Ataya Base in Madina, Unity Ataya Base Mile 14, SLPP party office in Madina, construction of a 20-bed hospital in Madina, rehabilitation of the Madina Court Barray, installation of solar light system in Madina, construction of a borehole supplying 30 towns in Madina, supported the construction of the Kamabala Village Health Centre, construction of a technical training centre in Madina with 6 classrooms, 3 office space and four workshops, provision of several infection prevention and control (IPC) materials to facilitate the health system in Madina. He also supports women and youth in agriculture projects with many other philanthropic gestures.
Just as the All Political Parties Association (APPA) deemed it prudently necessary to award him for his enviable political leadership in promoting peace, cohesion and development in the country for decades now, similarly in 2002, he was awarded National Achievement Award for Parliamentarian of the Year by All Walks of Life (AWOL) – a highly reputable institution known for awarding Sierra Leoneans who are exemplary in serving their country and humanity. The accommodating and philanthropic Hon. Dumbuya has bagged many awards for his patriotism, kindness, philanthropy and development undertakings.
According to many political analysts and pundits, Hon. Manso Abu Dumbuya is still an essential political instrument that is capable of winning the Western Area for the SLPP with significant margin. As he still expresses interest, a good number of Sierra Leoneans (SLPP and non-SLPP) are of the informed view that Hon. Dumbuya is still fit for purpose especially for his political and administrative experience, intermingling skills, charismatic leadership and long standing sacrifices for the party.
The nation awaits if the SLPP is going to make the right choice re-electing him Chairman for Western Area.