Sheik Daboh powerful inaugural address, April 6, 2014
April 12, 2014: Texas U.S.A: Your Excellency the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States Mr. Bockari Stevens, the Interim Chairman APCUSA, APCUSA Chapter Presidents, Dallas SLPP Chapter President, APCUSA stakeholders, our Patrons, ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight humbled by the challenges ahead of me and grateful for the trust bestowed upon me by the Dallas APC Chapter. I must first of all express my thanks and appreciation to my predecessors namely: Honorable ShekuKoroma (former Minister of Health) who is also the founder of this great chapter; Mr. Paul Koroma; Ms. Nannette Thomas (current Second-in-Command and National Coordinator of the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (ABC) in Sierra Leone); Mr. MambuKoroma and Mr. Cornelius Macarthy. They all rendered their selfless service for the sustenance and progress of APC Dallas Chapter which has actuated this celebration tonight.
As we are the governing party of our thriving democracy, we wish to identify with the numerous accomplishments of the government under the astute and visionary leadership of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. As Sierra Leoneans both at home and in the diaspora, we are proud to witness this government’s monumental strides in lifting our country from the doldrums of infrastructural decadence and fiscal irresponsibility to an era of accountability, transparency and infrastructural transformation. When the APC took the reign of government in 2007, our President, in line with the APC manifesto packaged the hopes and aspirations of Sierra Leoneans into the “Agenda for Change” and then the “Agenda for Prosperity”. Indeed, in the very first term of the APC in power, Sierra Leone moved from dismal positions of negative national and international indexes to enviable positions. We moved upwards by about a dozen countries from being the most corrupt nation and several positions from being the poorest country in the world. Today, Sierra Leone has been identified as one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa with business friendly environment. Recently, the UN Secretary-General acclaimed Sierra Leone as a textbook example of post-war developing economy.
Unlike most political wish lists that never get off the drawing board, the positive impact of the government’s agendas are felt throughout the country irrespective of political or regional support base. From Kailahun to Kabala; and from Pujehun to Pamalap; the ripples of infrastructural development are felt by all. The President has embarked on the biggest road construction projects in the history of Sierra Leone, thereby creating more jobs for the youths in addition to the booming mining and agro-based sectors. Today, the country has shed its title as the darkest in the world to one that is brightening up with hydroelectric and solar power not only in the capital city, Freetown, but in all provincial headquarter towns. Lungi International Airport is fast catching up with other international airports in the world while the government is embarking on the building of a brand new international airport that will meet global standards.
Ladies and gentlemen, fellow citizens, it is a delight that various statistical reports in and out of the country point to a drastic decline in infant and maternal mortality rates: thanks to the government’s health initiative of free healthcare for pregnant and lactating mothers. There is an ongoing decentralization and expansion of healthcare facilities throughout the provinces. Even the life-expectancy of the average Sierra Leone has improved drastically within this short period of time.
It is exciting to note that in all of its more than fifty years of existence as an independent nation, the country and her people are relishing in unprecedented political tolerance. Since the APC government came to power in 2007, there have been neither political prisoners nor political intimidation of any kind. This government prides itself as the only blood-free government since independence. The media landscape is a free-for-all; with journalists from all levels of professionalism practicing their trade without fear of reprisal or intimidation.
Tonight for the first time in the history of Dallas chapter our inauguration is witnessed by his Excellency the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the United States, who is also a super delegate of the All Peoples Congress, the Interim Chairman of APCUSA, other chapter presidents and their members, APCUSA stakeholders including aspirants for the next chairmanship election. This is phenomenal, thanks to the communiqué crafted by the National Advisory Committee, which we signed in Washington DC , end of last year.One of the key clauses of that communiqué states “ only a united branch can bring the best possible results for a progressive party that will continue to be a pioneer in the politics of our country”. Indeed we have seen tonite this message unfolding.We the Dallas Chapter under my leadership will uphold this doctrine and will support the branch chairman in carrying out the tenets of that communiqué.
On our front, fellow comrades of the Dallas chapter, in the face of our own challenges, with your cooperation we will not falter to address them appropriately.We will redouble our efforts in the area of membership drive as one cannot emphasize the importance of membership in politics enough. We will embark on different strategies to raise fund for the Party. We belong to the family of organizations in the Dallas metroplex and therefore we should continue to meet our corporate responsibility in our community. Above all, we will engage in civil political dialogue with our strong opposition.
As for the Dallas Fort Worth community I appeal and encourage you to come join us in the APC. The All Peoples Party is a national party with membership from all regions of Sierra Leone. We need more hands on deck to work with the government of Sierra Leone to lift our country from malaise and disrepair to that of responsibility, accountability and development in line with our motto: ACTION PROGRESS and COMMITMENT.
Thank you. God bless Sierra Leone and God bless the United States of America.
By Sanpha Sesay, The Texas Chief
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