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HomeFeaturedOver $101 Million of Contracts – Ernest Koroma Snubs Kono People

Over $101 Million of Contracts – Ernest Koroma Snubs Kono People

Over $101 Million of Contracts – Ernest Koroma Snubs Kono People

Investigations carried out by Sierra Express Media reveal that Kono District has not been considered for any development project from a recently released US $101 million funding for the whole country. Sources allege no project for Kono has been considered and even Kono contractors and companies owned by Kono indigenes were not awarded contracts from the windfall. (Photo Koidu street)

Although no reason by the Ernest Koroma administration was given, it is highly believed the head of state has no plans for Kono, and that his vice president is being seriously marginalized when it comes to issues affecting the district.

There is a growing consensus in the Kono district that President Ernest Bai Koroma is snubbing them and that under the present government there are no development plans for that part of the country.

In a district-wide interview conducted with a cross section of residents and indigenes of the district, the generally accepted belief is that Ernest Koroma has no interest in Kono’s development and that he holds the people of Kono in contempt for reasons they cannot determine.

“It is clear that Ernest Koroma has little or no respect for the land where his wife comes from as seen in the manner in which he has marginalized us since he came to power,” said Mr. Sahr, a teacher in Tombodu, the town where First Lady Sia Koroma also hails from.

The speech which the president made during the final phase of Bumbuna in which he made mention of several development plans in the country but no mention of Kono has already become a matter for speculation as to Mr. Koroma’s intentions. “He talked about a road for Kailahun, electricity for Moyamba, and more hydro electricity for the North but not a single statement about Kono even though his vice president is a Kono and his wife who has borne him such beautiful and intelligent kids comes from there,” said Sahr Ansu, a student fumed. 

Augusta, a nurse also made a similar observation when she said Ernest Koroma as an in-law is a big disappointment for Kono District. “He got married to one of the great Kono families and I believe he received great respect and moral as well as financial assistance from the late Abu Aiah Koroma, his Father-in-law but today as president look at the way he is treating the people of Kono?” she queried and said the people of Kono were only brought in during the campaigning by the APC because the district plays a major role in determining who wins in government. “It is now clear that Ernest Koroma was using the name of his wife and that of Sam-Sumana for his own political interest and for the betterment of his people in Makeni and not in the betterment of any part of Kono district.”

On more formidable front, Emmanuel Ngauja a youth leader opined that Ernest Koroma’s Government could afford to tap the resources of the district but never consider it in the much talked about agenda for change. There’s no tap borne water, no roads, health care is a doom and youth employment is in total mess in this most war affected district in the country” Ngauja concluded. 

Konos are also accusing President Koroma of only showing concern for the North and in promoting and putting Northerners in important jobs as well as in awarding them contracts. Investigations carried out by Sierra Express Media reveal there might be some truth in the concern raised by the Konos. Already, sources reveal the $101 million contract money for various infrastructural projects in various parts of the country is being awarded with no mention of Kono.

Also, most , if not all of those who are being awarded contracts, are from the North, with close people from Makeni gaining the lion’s share. “It is open corruption and we all know how huge sums of money are being squandered through these Northern contracts and we believe that all this will one day come to light,” said a civil servant who asked not to be named, adding: “Hastily created road construction companies are being created by northerners with close affinity to the president on a daily basis in the office of the Administrator General at Roxy building.”

A newly formed group, Kono Progressive Movement, first established by legendary Kono leader Sahr Songu Mbriwa during the pre-independence days, has in no uncertain terms said President Ernest Bai Koroma has no interest in Kono District even though his wife hails from the district and have said the head of state has repeatedly snubbed Kono interest in nation building.

Meanwhile, members of the Kono Progressive Movement have said they will convene a mass meeting of Kono indigenes and people who residing in Kono to address the issue of lack of government interest in the district. “We are ready to go on a full fledged district wide sensitization effort to convince our people not to support the present government if it comes to that,” said one angry youth.

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