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President Koroma is God-sent

President Koroma is God-sent

Journalist Alusine Nfa Turay talks to Sorie Sudan Sesay, Information Attaché at the Sierra Leone High Commission in London, who is currently in Freetown. In this interview, the London-based diplomat speaks on a number of issues that include life in the diplomatic field, the government, as well as the President himself. Please read on…

What is it like working as a diplomat in the United Kingdom?

It’s quite an interesting and challenging job and considering the strategic importance of a country like the United Kingdom, one has to be highly focused and steadfast to be able to achieve your goals and objectives

As a former journalist, how do you find your new role?

First, I am still a journalist – it’s just that I am no longer the independent journalist I used to be – I’m now working in a diplomatic field which makes you involve in lots of protocols. I wouldn’t say the job is difficult because I had been a journalist with quite a good number of years of experience which to a large extent is helping me out carry out my duties effectively. On a whole it’s quite an interesting job – I learn a lot and the job is exposing me to high-profiled people who make decisions around the world

What’s your mission in Sierra Leone – I mean why are you here?

Sierra Leone is part of my duty area – I am inter-connecting Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. You see the issue of rebranding Sierra Leone is a difficult thing that requires a robust media approach especially from us appointed as Information Attaché. All this while, I have been moving around the country from the city to some parts of the provinces to see what the government have been doing to be able to take back to the United Kingdom to convince the rest of the world. And indeed, I’ve not been disappointed because the government of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is doing a marvellous job

Do you think the government is on the right track in terms of fulfilling its electioneering promises?

Yes of course – as you can see the writings are clear on the wall for everyone to see. President Koroma promised strategic infrastructural development for Sierra Leone and he has been marching his words with actions.

Take for example the area of power supply. The government inherited seven megawatts when it took over government. Within a period of 90 days as promised, the President provided light for the people of Freetown. Look also at the rapid development in our road network system; we are seeing a robust approach in the fight against corruption with public servants being forced to be accountable to the people. The government is also on a verge of launching the free medical project later this month

With these developments do you think President Koroma will have a second term?

I don’t want to make political statements, but one thing I’m certain about is the fact that the people of Sierra Leone know exactly what is good for them – already they have come to realised that they now have a leader who is very much committed to the plight of the people. And if I should answer your question without any strings attached, I will give you an emphatic YES

Are you saying President Koroma is the best man for Sierra Leone at the moment?

No doubt about it. In England the people refer to President Koroma as God Sent – the messiah who can only take Sierra Leone from its current mess. Of course, you can see from current developments that the government is doing great work within this short period of time in a desperate bid to change Sierra Leone to a better country for us all

Talking about the President, how do Sierra Leoneans in the United Kingdom see him?

Like I told you earlier, they call him God Sent. That beside, the respect President Koroma enjoys not only from Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora, but the rest of the International Community is just too great. In fact, the President himself is an Image-brander because the world now sees him as a model of emulation. Tony Blair described him as Generation Leader; the Queen of Britain says he is a remarkable leader. Honestly, these are comments we must be proud of as Sierra Leoneans.

In your personal opinion, what kind of a man is President Koroma?

President Koroma is a God-fearing, sincere and committed leader who cares so much about the welfare of his people. To me, it is a blessing to have him as our leader. We have to embrace that God-given opportunity at all cost and give him the support and encouragement he so needed to take Sierra Leone forward

What is your impression about the performances of government ministers so far?

I think they are doing well. Of course, the President is keeping a close eye on each and every one of them and I’m sure anyone falls below expectation; the President will take his action. Let us don’t forget there are no sacred cows in the Ernest Koroma government and the President will not allow anybody to take him for a ride at the detriment of the nation

You were part of the delegation that met the Queen of Britain, what kind of experience was it for you personally?

It was a historic experience meeting the Queen for the first time. You can imagine, I dreamt of it all night prior to that day. It was one big opportunity in my life time and I am very much grateful to God for giving me that opportunity

What are the protocols involved meeting Her Majesty?

Before you meet the Queen, an introductory letter is sent to your mission telling you what to do and what not to do. On entering the Royal Palace, you bow two steps on entering as a form of greeting, then walk straight to the Queen and bow again while extending a hand shake at the same time. The Queen will then talk to you may be ask you few question before you leave – its quite interesting though

Mr. Sudan, you seem to be doing a great job out there in promoting the image of the country

(Smiles)…Hope you are not just flattering me…anyway, thanks for the compliment – I consider this to be a motivation. However, the fact remains that I’m used to working hard since I started my career as a journalist with Concord Times.

That beside, you will agree with me that our appointments as Information Attaches by the President through the Ministry of Information and Communications were very controversial. People including some section of the press see it as a waste of money by the government, so it is imperative that we work very hard to prove those critics wrong.

Do you think you guys (Information Attaches) are making the required impact in the international scene?

You be the judge to that, but as far as I know, I think we are doing our best and if you think otherwise you please let us know. The rebuilding of Sierra Leone’s image is a collective responsibility of us all – we have to put all hands on deck to achieve that – afterwards we can never succeed without your support and cooperation. At this point, let me take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for the support. They are just too great to us.

Tell me about your new magazine SIERRA Update

SIERRA Update was published as an editorial goodwill to help promote government’s achievement to the rest of the world. I am concerned that the western press have deliberately turned blind eyes on the positive things in Sierra Leone – they only concentrate on the negative aspect of our country; this is why I decided to come up with that magazine.

You see the issue of re-branding Sierra Leone should not only be limited onto press release about what our High Commissioners and Ambassador do – we have to showcase to the rest of the world what they don’t know about Sierra Leone – our lovely beaches, warm and conducive climate, improved infrastructural developments and above all our hospitality as a people

How is your magazine being distributed?

SIERRA Update is being distributed to all diplomatic missions and Sierra Leonean organisations within the United Kingdom. I am technically forcing them to know more about Sierra Leone. In fact, the magazine can also be accessible online on www.sierraupdate.com

The last edition was put on sale in Freetown for a minimal amount – the aim is to reach out President Koroma’s government’s achievements to the people

So what next?

Like what?

In your tasks of promoting Sierra Leone’s image

I’m working on a documentary – three years of the Presidency which should be out by first week June.

Stay with Sierra Express Media, for your trusted place in news!

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