Still Celebrating with the mighty APC
Today I would like my readers to join me to continue the celebrations of the ruling APC party’s two years in office. I will begin by congratulating the His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma for switching Bumbuna on last Thursday evening, 17 September, which was the day Christiana Thorpe announced her cooked (Olu Gordon is sick with the word DOCTORED and I respect his human rights!) run-off results which she was quick to remove from the NEC website before you could ask “How come!”
The party assumed office with great fanfare, living up to its old reputation with a spontaneous assault on the headquarters of the now opposition SLPP, vandalizing and looting it as only APC thugs are capable of doing. As might have been expected there were similar visits to SLPP party premises in Yele and elsewhere. The Police and the soldiers danced in uniform. Well, HE did say he was going to run the country much as Skekie and Momoh had done. The action of the thugs was followed by the composition of the cabinet but with much emphasis on being northern biased. There was a slight difference with the Momoh regime because the Bombali factor was not as prominent. As with the cabinet so with the chairmanship of the parastatals, only a little worse as readers would have noticed in the last Puawui column. The OSD may be just a shade different from the notorious ISU because it was not specifically constituted for the personal use of the head of state. But all the objectionable and brutal actions of the Police as well as elements of the military have never been condemned by the government. As for the current Inspector-General of the Police he unashamedly informed the world through the BBC that the September attack was carried out by elements of the SLPP for services rendered to the party. At least the recent actions of his men on March 13 and 16 at the SLPP headquarters have come for some bashing by the Bankole-Thompson Commission.
HE had assured the nation; including us who did not vote APC, of zero tolerance on corruption and that there would be no sacred cows. All could see how effectively these have been carried out in the award of contract to Income Electric as well as the way the rice arrangement has been handled. Yes, this was rice that was allegedly given to the country by the ever generous government of India at the height of the global food crisis. (By the way is the crisis over now or worse with rice selling at Le800 per cup?) The Indian government had expected that the rice would be sold well below the then market price. On the contrary, even though the sole agent (name withheld) received an unprecedented duty waver on the consignment, there was very little if any difference between the selling price and that of other importers. Of course we are only running the country as a business and ours is a free market economy.
The Students’ Unions, both at College and at National levels, have always been independent and vibrant with the members free to elect their representatives. What we have witnessed is testimony to the APC’s insatiable desire for hegemony. The story is no different with the motor drivers’ union and similar institutions. Emanuel Gaiima was running the Decentralization Secretariat very efficiently; he was on top of his job. Lawrence Kamara was heading Statistics Sierra Leone; Emanuel Alie was Director-General of Agriculture; Arthur Williams was Chief Medical Officer; Jack Lansana was the Secretary of the Pharmacy Board with considerable experience and efficiency. Brima Rogers was the Permanent Secretary at Lands. They’ve all been sent away and replaced by……. Readers will have a comprehensive list next week.
Last word on Bumbuna; we know it has taken 35 years to complete; I was involved in the early beginnings. In fact it was I who signed the first loan for the project with the then Italian Foreign minister, Emilio Colombo if I remember his name right. We had been waiting for Bumbuna since March this year when it was going to be commissioned. Last Thursday morning our Minister of Information was on UN radio when he bellowed. “His Excellency will commission Bumbuna tonight from Kingtom at 7’oclock sharp”.. HE did switch on an hour later and we all thought, “Hurrah, this is it” and now, I don’t know what is happening except that we have had no NPA after that night, but that’s part of our celebration, meeting deadlines.
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