By State House Communication Unit
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has touted government’s accomplishments, saying APC stalwarts and supporters should be proud of the party’s record since 2007.
Speaking during his farewell message to the people of Kailahun district today Wednesday 20 December, he thanked the people of Kailahun for the massive turn out as well as for the opportunity accorded him to serve as president of the Republic for two consecutive terms. “I am also in Kailahun to present my report card as I did in parliament during my valedictory presidential address,” saying that it was very easy for people to criticize, but if they were to pay for their words, they would reduce the talking.
The president noted that even countries like the US and UK are still grappling with lots of development issues. “What I have done to transform this country is incomparable to no other president and government since independence,” he maintained, adding that the facts are there for all to see.
President Koroma pointed out that when he first contested for the presidency, most people didn’t believe that he could effect the necessary changes. But in 2007, most believed in him and voted resoundingly for him to do the job. He informed of how he promised to rehabilitate the infamous and now famous Kailahun Court Barry when he won the elections in 2007, and the results of 2012 changed dramatically in the district. According to him, it took 33 years since a tarmac road was constructed to Kailahun district and Kailahun has now changed under his administration. “It’s not Banya faykei” it’s “Banya reality” because you can see and feel development in the district.
He informed his audience that government has secured funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to construct the road from Kailahun to Koindu, amid rapturous applause.
He noted that although there are challenges with the Free Health Care initiative, like elsewhere, the number of lives saved is phenomenal. He took a swipe at fake politicians who are promising “new direction” or “change” saying that they do not have the requisite experience to run the country. “With all the cocoa grown in Kailahun, why should Kailahun not have a cocoa factory to manufacture chocolates and other byproducts?”
Government, he said, is not by rotation but based on performance. He believed that those who are claiming to have the right experience in governance are merely faking the people, and challenged any candidates in this election who have more experience than the APC presidential candidate to come forward. He also said the party’s running mate is someone who has excelled himself in his own right as a young man in parliament.
President Koroma further maintained that since he assumed office as president more civil servants, Police officers, military officers, nurses and doctors, teachers, lecturers are all better paid today than ten years ago. He used the opportunity to introduce and present the APC presidential candidate and running mate to the people of Kailahun.
In his brief remarks to the people of Kailahun, Dr Samura Kamara started his speech in Mende with cheers from the people of Kailahun. According to Dr Samura Kamara, it’s not easy to choose a successor except with the help of God Almighty. He noted that the APC came out stronger and more united after the Makeni conference, and went on to describe President Koroma and VP Foh as encyclopedias of the party and therefore would love to see them around after their retirement. He said Kailahun has suffered more than almost all the districts in the country – the war, Ebola etc.
The APC presidential candidate highlighted roads leading to Kailahun and Pujehun, where most of the top politicians from SLPP hail from, are some of the worst roads in the country. “As we celebrate the progress President Koroma has made to move the country forward, we must recommit ourselves to do more,” he stated. Dr Kamara further noted that what has destroyed development in Sierra Leone is politics. “We should learn to put politics aside and develop Sierra Leone. What we need now is politics of development,” he said.
Dr Kamara also noted that had it not been for Ebola, Sierra Leone would have gone far in terms of development. He urged the people to put aside sentiments by repaying President Koroma for his remarkable transformational drive all across Sierra Leone.
“We must take our destiny into our own hands,” he admonished.
While introducing President Koroma as keynote speaker, Vice President Ambassador Dr Victor Bockarie Foh said those who are claiming Dr Samura Kamara is unknown to the people are mere detractors. “Those who are claiming it was President Koroma alone who selected the flag bearer is not true. It was the entire APC that decided on our presidential candidate for the 2018 elections,” VP Foh maintained. He also said that the chiefs are the greatest beneficiaries of President Koroma’s administration.
John Bornoh Sesay, Campaign Chairman for the ruling party said the visit to Kailahun was for three main reasons; mainly to thank the people of Sierra Leone for giving President Koroma the opportunity to serve the nation for two consecutive terms. Secondly, to showcase his likely successors and those he trust to continue to move the country forward. Thirdly, to present the APC as a change agent in Sierra Leone – present the party’s report card over the last ten years as well as engage the youth with a very strong message of progressive change.
Several other speakers including Dauda K. Gbow, APC District Youth Chairman, Ansu Bannard, APC District Youth Leader, Miatta Gbondo, APC Women’s Leader, Alhaji Chief Lamin J.T. Ngobeh (who spoke on behalf of the veterans), Sheku Tejan Koroma, APC District Chairman, and Maya Kaikai, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development all expressed profound appreciation of the tremendous work President Koroma has done for not only Kailahun but the entire country. For this, they pledged to vote solidly for the party come March 2018.
From Kailahun town, President Koroma also made several stop overs at Pendembu, Daru, Segbwema, Ngelehun and Kenema city where he took the same message of appreciation for the opportunity accorded him to serve as their president for two consecutive terms and also presented his likely successors for the forthcoming elections.