By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Chief Minister, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, on the 26th August, 2023, paid a surprised and an unprecedented visit to the Ataya Base located at the crossroads of Regent Street and Sackville Street within the Central Business District during which he actively engaged the youths.
Dr. Sengeh immersed himself in discussions at what he referred to as the “Original Ataya Base” which comprises university lecturers, school teachers, entrepreneurs, and young individuals, serving as a melting pot of diverse perspectives.
Discussions held spanned from security and drug-related issues to employment opportunities and gender concerns. The Chief Minister revealed appreciation for the Base’s motto, “Na We All Get Salone,” which in his view underscores collective ownership and pride in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Sengeh dilated on President Bio’s pivotal five-point agenda, often referred to as the Big Five particularly highlighting forthcoming advancements in youth empowerment and food security over the next few years.
Elated by the unexpected visit, members of the Ataya Base expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister Sengeh for reaching out to their community with some of them exhibiting total astonishment especially for the simple fact that no senior political figure had engaged with them outside the context of election campaigns.
They pledged to be law abiding and peaceful, expressing hope for more harmonious interactions with the Government in the future.
Dr. Sengeh applauded their resilience and peaceful conduct during the June 24th elections. He underscored the shift from political activities to the pursuit of collective progress. Urging the youth to join hands with the President in national development, Dr. Sengeh extended gratitude for their warm reception during his impromptu visit.
Concluding his visit, Dr. Sengeh cautioned against substance abuse, notably emphasizing the dangers of Kush, a prevalent issue among the nation’s youth. He reiterated that a drug-free younger generation would pave the way for prosperity.
This unannounced visit by Chief Minister Sengeh underscores a new era of direct engagement between the Government and the youth, with potential implications for the nation’s development trajectory.