17th March 2019, marks the 20th Anniversary of the passing away of HONORABLE, DR. SHEIKH BATU DARAMY SR, aka, SB Daramy. Dr. Sheikh Batu Daramy, Sr. B.Sc. (Economics from London School of Economics, UK), M.A., Ph. D. from Howard University, was born on 20th September, 1920 in Makeni.
Today we remember one of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) oldest members. In 1948, Hon. Dr. Sheikh Batu Daramy was awarded a Sierra Leone Government scholarship to attend the London School of Economics from where he graduated in 1952 with a B.Sc. in Economics. Afterwards, Dr. Sheikh Batu Daramy returned to Sierra Leone at which point he was promoted to the position of Labour Officer in the Senior Service of the Government of Sierra Leone.
In 1956, Hon. Dr. Sheikh Batu Daramy passed the Intermediate LL. B degree of London University. He was subsequently promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Labour here in Sierra Leone, and he finally became Commissioner of Labour in 1960. To complement all these successes, he was also promoted Deputy Financial Secretary here in Sierra Leone.
In 1963, Sir Milton Margai, the first Prime Minister of Independent Sierra Leone, promoted Daramy to the position of Financial Secretary.
When the first opposition party, the All Peoples Congress (APC) came to power in 1968, Daramy and a host of SLPP members were arrested and sixteen (16) of them were charged with treason and felony. Daramy served 3 years six months in jail while ten (10) others were sentenced to death by hanging. On appeal after 3 years six months Hon. Dr. Sheikh Batu Daramy was released.
He was exiled in the UK and subsequently moved on to the United States where he would go on to work at Howard University and earn in Ph.D. degree in African Studies with distinction. Upon his return to Freetown, he would work at Fourah Bay College as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science for two years. He also moved on to work at the Ministry of Finance as Economic Adviser.
When political dispensation was introduced in 1992, Hon. Dr. Sheikh Batu Daramy left the Ministry of Finance and took part in active politics in the SLPP. He stood for the election as a Presidential candidate. At a point when no one would step forward and register the SLPP, Dr. Sheikh Batu Daramy and his wife, Hadja Hawa Daramy (Khadar), used their personal funds to register the party! Although he did now succeed in his bid, he proved himself as a loyalist and one of the original SLPP members. He would move on to become a Member of Parliament.
Sheikh Batu Daramy published a book in 1993 entitled “Constitutional Developments in the Post-Colonial State of Sierra Leone 1961 – 1984”.
On 29th March 1999 he was laid in the State Hall of Parliament, Parliament Building, Freetown. He was fondly remembered by his fellow Colleagues, Family and Friends.
Today, I pay tribute to a Man who was a great Father, great Sierra Leonean and Great Person.
Love you Papa Always – Mariama Daramy-Lewis. Your Dear Wife, Hadja Hawa who is 96 years old and living with me…LOVES and MISSES YOU DEARLY
[On behalf of the DARAMY FAMILY AND KHADAR FAMILY]