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President Koroma – the leader that listens to his people

President Koroma – the leader that listens to his people

A good leader always takes steps to meet the needs of his or her people. A good leader works hard to deliver on the needs of his or her people. The people in turn, stand firm behind him/her through thick and thin in mutual understanding that respect is reciprocal. In a nutshell, a good leader should be a person that listens to the people he/she leads.

That is exactly what His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma had been doing and is still doing to satisfy his people. He believes that he was elected to power because of the confidence and trust the people have reposed in him.

He again demonstrated his concern for the people yesterday when he reduced the price of fuel and food. In his nationwide radio and television broadcast on Friday night, the no-nonsense President had this to say to his people: “Fellow Citizens, in the past two weeks, I have listened to you expressing concerns over the rising prices of commodities, especially fuel and essential food stuff. You are no doubt aware that the current problems are not homemade, but are problems imposed upon us by external factors beyond our control.”

In his announcement, the country’s Chief Executive requested oil marketing companies and dealers to ensure that prices of pumps are adjusted to reflect the new price of Le 4,500.00 a litre. And his Government also suspended the 10% duty on imported rice.

The new prices are with effect from midnight, 27th May, 2011. All those concerned have been requested to adjust all prices accordingly with immediate effect.

I was touched when the soft -spoken and God-fearing President said in his address that: “Let me assure you, fellow citizens, that I also feel the pain.” That shows the interest and love Mr. President have for his fellow citizens.

According to news monitored from Freetown shortly after the announcement, a good number of Sierra Leoneans took to the streets peacefully and rejoiced over the announcement saying: “This is the President we have been looking for – a President who is always concerned about our welfare.”

I also admired the President when he set up committees to look into the hike in the prices of our staple food and fuel. He made sure that all stakeholders were involved –  Oil Marketing companies, Petroleum Dealers Association, the Youth Coalition, Civil Society,  Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Petty Traders Associations, Sierra Leone Police, Consumers Associations as well as government Ministers and Officials.

Like the President said, every well- meaning Sierra Leonean will feel the pain when there is a price hike in the country. It’s also an indisputable fact that: “The cost of living escalated not only in Sierra Leone but all over the world, even in advanced and industrialized countries like Britain and the US,” this was according to one of Sierra Leone’s online news portals in its Saturday, 28th May, 2011 publication.

For the fact that the President further assured his people that his government will leave no stone unturned in seeking the best outcome for their welfare, regarding social and economic development even under the most difficult of circumstances, this means we are very hopeful as a nation and we are very confident that Mr. President is here to deliver – these are the expectations of a good leader.

I always tell people that our President is a visionary leader because he listens to his people, and is always ready to address issues affecting their well-being. He always finds solutions to complex problems by soliciting the views of other team members.

He is a role model and a true leader with distinction. He enjoys working in teams and wants nothing more than giving his people pride and making them stand on their own as leaders in their own right.

In this courteous manner, I think it’s high time to forget about political and social differences and exercise patience to work hands in glove with our President for a better Sierra Leone. He’s there for every Sierra Leonean, regardless of political or regional affiliation. With Ernest Koroma as leader, there will always be accountability, true leadership and excellent team building.

Alhaji Ben Jalloh, Saudi Arabia

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