Going for another Ernest Koroma Presidency!
I have continued to follow the political landscape of Sierra Leone over the past 36 months of President Koroma’s Presidency. I must inform all and sundry, that my view about the type of leadership we have at the moment still remains the same-i.e., it was no mistake that President Koroma was, in the first place, chosen by his party-the APC to lead and also it was no mistake, that he was elected by Sierra Leoneans to serve as President for the republic. (Photo: John Baimba Sesay)
This conclusion is based on the premise, that under his Presidency, a lot has happened in Sierra Leone, especially within the last 36 months of his stay in political power. Prior to his election in 2007, he was able to feel with the people. He travelled/visited all the four corners of the country to see for himself the life people were living. He saw it all himself and so when he assumed power, it was nothing new-he was able to tackle the existing problems head-on.
I am attempting to look at his Presidency from few perspectives – starting with his first against corruption, to infrastructural development and to the aspect of providing us with power supply. No need denying the fact, that ex-President Kabba did his best, especially in creating institutional reforms like the ACC, NRA, Nassit, IMC et al, although he had his own weakness at the time. But also the fact, that President Koroma has added more values to these institutions lends credence to calls for him to be allowed for a second term. This is my view.
Primarily, a given government is expected to perform in accordance to its political/election promises. This is what is expected but when viewed from present day reality, it is but a truism that most often than not, politicians will make promises but in the end not meeting such promises. Today, things have taken a different dimension, and it is a different story. I think President Koroma is almost meeting every aspect of his election campaign promise-electricity in the city; fight against corruption; creation of youth commission, making public communication a government policy, by creating the Open Government Initiative, allowing an independent state broadcaster, roads infrastructure, establishing more bilateral cooperation with countries like Brazil, etc
He promised to ensure Bumbuna works within a reasonable period of time and today, Sierra Leoneans are enjoying the fruit of Bumbuna. The fight against corruption has gained momentum, with the arrest and prosecution of senior government officials. And also with more powers given to the commission responsible to fight against corruption-the ACC, there has been some amount of independence insofar as the operations of the ACC could go.
The three years of the Koroma Presidency has also seen a turnaround in the country’s economy, with the National Revenue Authority generating hundreds of billions of Leone for the government. By 2003 when the NRA was just created, there was something like Le 314,896 as compared to over 600,000 billion Leone collected between January and September this year. Also, compare this amount in 2003 to the over 600 billion collected in 2008 and the over 700,000 billion in 2009. Notwithstanding, much is expected from not only the NRA but Sierra Leoneans, who definitely should support state institutions.
The roads leading to Bo and Kambia have been given a facelift, with plans underway to start the Kailahun road. Youth unemployment has been a major challenge for this government. President Koroma has himself said such words. But he is set to address such-how? The Youth Commission is, in my view one of several ways of addressing the perennial youth problem. The Commissioners have been appointed-they should now go to work proper…there has been the political will and support from the government.
I am not campaigning for him, but from a realistic point of view, I think there are reasons for Ernest Koroma to be allowed for another term. Yes, I hold such a view. Now, when President Kabbah was ending his first term in office, Sierra Leoneans came to the realization, that he was only to complete most of his plans when allowed to rule for another term. In fact, from the traditional African politics, it is often the case, that leaders go for another term.
So there we go again for another Ernest Koroma rule, but in this case without the PMDC factor? Almost a year ago, I wrote an opinion on signs at the time that the PMDC was going to literally and perpetually collapse. My good friend-then Party Chairman, Mr Mohamed Bangura, rang me to state his disagreement to my view. We met and had a lengthy discussion. Almost a year after, here we are. But can the PMDC play the crucial role it played in 2007, come 2012? Look out for an answer some other time my dear.
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