‘No more stronghold’ Kenema, Sierra Leone
They shouted, ‘no more stronghold… Kenema city is for President Koroma…the President has done well…”. Yes, they were sure of these words and they are the voters, those who know what development means and what it takes to have a President like Ernest Bai Koroma. Kenema has been captured, it has fall and witnessing the political ‘downfall’ of this great city from the main opposition SLPP to the ruling APC could not have come at the right time as it happened today when the President came to the city to not just ask for another mandate but to also thank them for electing him in 2007. (Photo: John Pa Baimba Sesay, author)
The SLPP have always taken Kenema, just as in the case with Bo, as their stronghold, but from the definition given today by President for the term stronghold, my fear is that this great city has fallen to the APC and President Koroma. According to President, a stronghold is somewhere that one has done so much for the people. But given what he has achieved in the country in five years, it could be interpreted to mean, the entire country is his stronghold, including Kenema. The huge turnout by the people of Kenema to receive the President and his team from Freetown speaks volume of how they appreciate the work of this government. From Bombali, Port Loko, Kambia and Lunsar in the north, to Bo in the south and now Kenema in the east of Sierra Leone, the reception given to the President has always been great and beyond expectation especially for places in the south-east of the country, once perceived as the stronghold of the opposition SLPP.
Since the start of the campaign, we have been moving across the country in a bid to ask Sierra Leoneans for another mandate for the President, given that he has achieved a lot in five years. The President keeps thanking the people of Sierra Leone for voting him in 2007 and also using the opportunity to ask them for another five years political mandate. The turnout of people in the Kenema city field just shows that the President is a liked person and one that is appreciated for having taken development to every corner of the country, which therefore makes him a national leader, since his development programs are not centralized to one region. When you talk about the achievements made in agriculture, it now can be felt in every corner of the country, through the establishment of the Agricultural Business Centres and the construction of Agriculture Banks in not just Kambia but even Kenema in the east. Today, through the effectiveness of this government, a new meaning has been given to agriculture, under the political leadership of Sam Sesay with overall supervision provided by the President.
There was a brilliant message from the President to the people of Kenema; vote me in for another five years and see more development. The reaction was also sound and encouraging, with a big ‘yes’ from those present. He was frank in appreciating the confidence that the people of Kenema had given him since 2007. He was also quick to point at the infrastructural development that is taking place in Sierra Leone today and that, what is happening in other parts of the country is also happening in Kenema, which means, his government is one that believes in decentralizing development. He catalogued the development strides of his government in the country and especially in Kenema, including the shopping mall constructed by government, by referring to the roads constructed, the shopping mall, among.
He therefore believes ‘Kenema is under our control” and was also quick in thanking the people of Kenema for making the city his ‘area’. The people of Kenema have waited for years, for over forty years to get the development they have always asked for, and it is only under his government that they have today started seeing development.
He was ‘crowned’ the world’s best by the people of Sierra Leone because he has scored several goals in the country as could be seen in infrastructure. For instance, the government of President Koroma has worked towards the erection of about 50 street lights in 3 wards in Bo City, rehabilitated the Bo City Hall on Coronation Field Road, constructed a funeral home at Samie layout, Koribondo Highway- Bo City, rehabilitated the Presidential Pavilion and roofed the open pavilions at Coronation Field, Bo, among others.
In Bonthe there has been the construction two Mini Markets on York Island, ensured the reconstruction of former ADO’S quarters into a guest house on Heddle Road, and embanked and constructed the Victoria Road Bridge in Bonthe Town. The construction and furnishing of the Moyamba Town Mini Stadium has been done in Moyamba, in Pujehun 48 Lockable stores in Ward 307, Kpanga Kabonde chiefdom, was undertaken, in Kailahun, we have seen the construction of a Multipurpose Hall in Bundumbu and Jojoima, Kailahun District, completed the construction of the Kenema City Clock Tower on Hanga Road, constructed a market store with WATSAN facilities, Ngombu section, WARDS 30 and 31, among other social infrastructure. This has also been the case in Kono, Kambia and Makeni where we have seen the construction of market stores building with 6 compartment toilets and two water wells with hand pump and submersible machine and fence in Ward 91, Rogbaneh Road. These developments in these parts of the country could also be seen in Kenema.
But hear this: Musa Tarawallie, as Minister of State Security and a man from the south-east was also bold in assuring the President of a landslide victory in November. He assured that with what the south-easterners have invested in the APC they will keep working towards returning the SAPC sand President to power. The level at which democracy is working today in Sierra Leone is exceptional encouraging. And so when Musa Tarawallie encouraged the people not to have fear in supporting the APC, it was more than an encouraging statement and one that will keep building on the solid foundation that the President has laid in the last five years when in governance. So as the President prepares to make another triumphant entry into Kabala, Makeni and some other places to campaign, please note, that the notion of Kenema being a stronghold of the opposition is no more, for the people want development and it is only President Koroma that has delivered such to them and with his reelection in November, the people of Kenema are sure of getting more.
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