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The stoic silence of the APC government

The stoic silence of the APC government

This government is renowned for its very effective propaganda machine and how it hoodwinks the public, particularly its gullible supporters. There was my friend Alpha Kanu in a radio discussion on the recent increase in fuel price and its non availability to the ordinary motorist. Listening to him, one would wonder why anyone should be talking about a fuel shortage or an increase in the pump price. But even as he spoke at the time there were long queues at every filling station. As I type this column fuel when available, is being sold in Kailahun at Le10,000 per litre; in Buedu in the Kissi Tongi chiefdom, constituency 04, in Kailahun district motorists and bike riders are being charged at least Le 15,000 per litre when they are lucky  to find fuel.  (Photo: Dr. Sama Banya)

I have listened to both the minister for Presidential affairs and government spokesman as well as to the minister of trade. They both have used a lot of words, but my question, and I am sure the question of many is this, “If there is an abundance of fuel in the country then where is it? Is it with the oil importers, with the dealers or with whom? How much fuel can be siphoned into containers for sale later on the black market? Surely the government has the facilities to FIND OUT WHERE THE FUEL IS, release it and end the inconvenience and suffering of the people.

The minister of trade justifies the hike in price from Le 17,500 to Le 22,500 on the grounds that it has been subsidizing mining companies like African Minerals, London Mining and others. I find his excuse absurd. Without holding any brief for those companies, would the honourable minister tell us how much each of them pays into government coffers? There is the corporation tax, the PAYE tax as well as the contributions to NASSIT. However accepting that it has a case,
will it let 4 million Sierra Leoneans, its own people, to suffer in order to withhold a subsidy to mining companies? In other words it is prepared to cut its nose simply to spite its face;  HUH!

Would it surprise the apologist for the APC who write loosely associating the SLPP with political violence, to learn that the chairman of the same constituency 04 Augustine Fungor and his family were recently attacked IN THEIR HOME by Falla Sewa and his supporters and given such a merciless beating that the poor man had to be taken to Kailahun government hospital for emergency treatment and medical report. Sewa’s thugs damaged the windows at the poor man’s house. This is the man who was thrown out of the army for reasons that he will never disclose to his people, except that he was retired at the time of the SLPP government. He has accused the Buedu police of being pro SLPP. We are waiting to see the reaction of the police, of NEC and of the PPRC to the unwarranted aggression. I believe Falla Sewa is gradually coming to reality, which is that he is NOT the favourite of the people, in spite of the blatant interference of the Paramount chief whose son Victor Sengu is also the APC Kailahun district chairman.

On an equally important note, which is the subject matter of today’s Puawui column, I and several  members of the SLPP opposition, the public, as well as some members of civil society have in the past raised pertinent issues relating to governance and about which the government has kept a stoic silence. For example, why has the supply of electricity to the people of this city become so erratic? What is NPA doing to his Excellency’s clean and uninterrupted electricity supply to the city and why has there been NO STATEMENT either from the authority or from the supervisory ministry of energy and water resources? What is the fate of the NASSIT board as a whole and especially those held responsible for the unjustified waste of the people’s resources in the purchase of two useless ferries? Who has picked up the tag for the massive repair that is reported to have been carried out on them? What is the final outcome of the scandal involving the extravagant printing of GST receipt books in Ghana by the NRA?

Would one of my favorite friends among EBK’s team, i.e., the Presidential spokesman come out with a statement on these matters as well as on the strange statement from the Kenema-Pendembu road contractors about going back to the drawing board with the project? Has SLRA not informed the honourable of works, housing and maintenance about this? This government has a well greased publicity outfit, aided and abetted by most of the press that I find the silence disturbing.

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