Witnessing the political ‘fall’ of Kukuna
Make no joke, the manner in which supporters of the governing APC are coming out to welcome their leader, each time he visits them is just too great and truly loving. From the day of nomination, to the launching of the APC manifesto by President Koroma at Goderich few days ago, to his tour to the Western Area Rural District together with his political second best, Sam Sumana, the number of people that came out in support of the President and the manner in which they keep coming out even in the provinces is well noted and an indication, that the pending November elections will be won by him and the APC. (Photo: John Pa Baimba Sesay, Author)
Building the foundation:
By 2007, President Koroma was just a businessman that was seeking the political mandate of Sierra Leoneans, as he was well prepared to not just transform the country, but to ensure, that the life of the average Sierra Leonean is improved upon. From the way he has been governing the country in the past couple of months, precisely sixty months, especially in line with what was contained in the Agenda for Change, one could say, he has done a lot to transform the country from one, once being referred to as the least developed to one that is today gaining laurels at the international front for her development strides. From one that was known as the darkest city in the world to one that now provides electricity for her people and one that has given a different meaning to the fight against corruption.
I have been away from Sierra Leone for close to a year now and my return some two weeks ago was greeted with a number of socio-economic but particularly infrastructural developments. From development at the Lungi International airport, to the efforts by President Koroma to fix the country’s road network, plus his efforts to change the country’s image at the international level in, coupled with the fight against corruption, much has been achieved in five years.
Sam Sesay’s trust in media relations:
On the 21st October, I was asked by the Honorable Minister of Agriculture to be part of his entourage to visit Kambia, as part of the presidential campaign team that has been crisscrossing the country in the last couple of hours. From his visit to Makeni, to Kambia, Port Loko, Kenema and Kono, it has been exceptionally superb and exceptional, given the way and manner he is received in each place he visits.
This decision by Sam Sesay to ask for my presence must have come out of his belief in media and public relations which is key in governance. But again, the point must be made, President Koroma, who is Leader and Chairman of the governing party is also a true believer in the essential role of the media. What is also relevant to state is that Dr. Sam Sesay’s Ministry of Agriculture is one of the best Ministers that this government has ever produced. He is not only a professional in his area, but one that has made tremendous success in the last five years. For instance, we all know that by 2007 when President Koroma came into governance, the situation of the country’s agriculture sector was so poor and dismal that, it was in a state that required immediate attention for a country where the sector contributes over 45% of the country’s GDP. Relevant to note also is that the employs over two-thirds of the population and generates about a quarter of the export income. We also witnessed a budgetary allocation increase to the sector a paltry 1.6%; to 10%.
Back to our trip to Kambia; network now enables people to move from one part of the country to another in few hours, unlike what used to happen, prior to the coming into governance of President Koroma. President Koroma’s rousing welcome in Kambia can’t be described. After his visit to Kambia and Port Loko and was heading for the south-east of the country, I, Dr. Sam Sesay and Ambassador Kamara, amongst others were also heading for Kukuna in the Brimaya chiefdom. Our trip to Kukuna was part of efforts to keep bringing people together in line with the dreams of the APC party.
President Koroma’s message to the people of Port Loko, Kambia and Makeni has been consistent and well said. He has kept thanking people for the trust they have build in him since 2007 when he was just in opposition. He also continues talking about his achievements in the Agenda for Change, to the recently launched Agenda for Prosperity and what is contained therein. He keeps pointing to what was achieved in agriculture, in the health sector, in infrastructure and his success in the fight against corruption. He also keeps telling people about what is contained in the Agenda for Prosperity and his plans for national development. Above all, in all the places he has visited, he has been very humble in seeking another political mandate from Sierra Leoneans. He calls for reelection is premised on what has been achieved in the Agenda for Change. He has also been looking at the alternative presented to the people of this country. His message has, as a matter of fact, always been received with thunderous applause whenever he addresses his part supporters.
The Kukuna visit:
The message taken to Kukuna in the Brimaya chiefdom, Kambia district by Ambassador Dauda Kamara and Minister Sam Sesay was one of hope from the President. Forget not, that Kukuna is the homeland of former President Kabba (h) and it was also the opposition party that was representing them in Parliament. So in the words of the two Ministers, their visit to Kukuna was to take a message to the people of that part of the country from President Koroma, which was, in the first place to thank them for having entrusted him with the Presidency in the last five years, given that he was given such leadership at a time that he was not in governance, but was trusted by the people. Also part of the message was to ask them for another five years mandate, given what has been achieved in the country in five years in agriculture, in infrastructure, in the health sector, in the fight against corruption, amongst other successes.
Dr. Sam Sesay and Ambassador Dauda Kamara of Agriculture and Local Government Ministries respectively also informed the people of Kukuna about what was contained in the APC manifesto for the November polls, and how President Koroma has good development plans for not just the people of Kukuna but the country as a whole and that voting the APC was the only solution to national development.
Reaction of the people:
The reaction of the people in constituency 40, just as in constituency 39 was great and well noted. The Paramount Chief of Briamia chiefdom in the Kambia district, Kondeh Kabba Sedu was very emotional in his call for national support to the President’s Agenda for Prosperity but was also quick in calling on the team to embrace community elders. Also emotional and touching was when a community elder, Morlai Kamara in Gberekuweh Section in the Brimaya Chiefdom informed the gathering of how the President Koroma, a man he referred to as “our brother”, disappointed them since he was in power for years but failed to help them. Given that there were few challenges following the award of symbols, one the aspirants for the APC symbol, Mohamed Kamara had to come out in support of Dr Foday Suma.
Indeed, one would say the visit by Dr Sam Sesay and Ambassador Dauda Kamara was timely and fruitful. The people have spoken of their commitment to reelect President Koroma; they have spoken of their desire to come out in their numbers to vote the APC. Similar meeting was also held in Tonko Limba in Madina, where a high powered delegation of APC members arrived to ensure President Koroma is not only reelected, but that all Parliamentary seats in Tonko Limba chiefdom are won by the governing APC.
Overall, it was an interesting visit and good to have witnessed these meetings but of paramount importance was to have also witnessed the political ‘fall’ of Kukuna from SLPP to APC, given that this was once seen as a stronghold of the opposition SLPP. And thanks to Ambassador Dauda Sulaiman Kamara, Dr Sam Sesay, and Saidu Conton Sesay
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