PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA
WRITTEN BY ALHAJI M.B. JALLOH
Our utmost priority as Sierra Leoneans at present is fighting to eradicate the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). But Wednesday 17th September, 2014, should not go unnoticed; as it will be another important milestone in the political history of His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, when he will be celebrating his seventh year in office as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone’s Press Attaché in Saudi Arabia, M.B. Jalloh, takes a brief look at how it all happened in seven years.
It is expected to be a joyous moment not only for the President, but also members of the governing All People’s Congress (APC) and the country at large, for having a patriotic and selfless leader who has worked exemplarily well for the country and his people.
Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was declared for the first time President of the Republic of Sierra Leone by the outgoing Chairperson and Chief Electoral Commissioner of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Dr. Christiana Thorpe on Monday 17th September, 2007, when the APC bounced back to power after fifteen years in political liberation.
Koroma deserves commendation
His Excellency the President, more than any other Sierra Leonean, deserves special congratulations on his seventh year in power (you like it or not) for the achievements his government has made in seven years. The development strides his government has made are in their legions and have positively affected every sector of society, ranging from improvement in the energy sector, infrastructure development, more investment in agriculture, education, the health sector to several others one can imagine.
President Koroma’s virtue of humility, his respect for democracy, good governance, his political inclusiveness and political tolerance, are clear manifestation of his avowed commitment and determination to take ‘Mama Salone’ to an unprecedented level.
President Koroma is the leader who has given every Sierra Leonean hope that good leadership can bring about a turnaround no matter how wretched the situation is. The President promised to give us electricity supply, he fulfilled it, he promised to give us good roads, and he did, he vowed to deal with corruption that almost ate into the fabrics of both the public and private sectors prior to his leadership, and he gave more teeth to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to bite.
Do I need to highlight all the achievements President Koroma has made in seven years? I need not, because even the layman in the village knows the efforts the President has made in taking the country to a different level in the last seven years. So why should he not deserve warm congratulations on celebrating that historic day?
Koroma- the innovator
One thing Sierra Leoneans have learnt about their President is that he is a quintessential gentleman with great ideas and he has demonstrated that for all to see. Let us take the health sector, for instance, which was nothing to write home about before the President came to power. Sierra Leone at the time had the highest infant and maternal mortality in the world. So when President Koroma acceded to power, one of his challenges was how to tackle the health menace in the country.
Together with our development partners and donors, President Koroma on 27th April, 2010 successfully introduced the Free Healthcare Initiative for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under-five. The program has helped considerably in lowering the infant and maternal mortality, though there are still many challenges in the implementation of the program. Hundreds of thousands of women and children under that category have benefited immensely from the Free Healthcare Initiative being implemented across the country.
Many changes have also taken place in most of the public institutions as a result of the innovative administration of the President. These are all part of the vehicle that is moving development in our country. With time, I believe that more innovations will take place in our public institutions and even in the private sector before President Koroma leaves office.
Let’s support President Koroma
Every Sierra Leonean must have known by now that our country is blessed with a tolerant and selfless leader in the person of President Koroma, whose efforts to move the country forward have not only been commended by fellow compatriots, but also the wider international community. His commitment and determination to move Sierra Leone forward is very much visible in the successful implementation of his ‘Agenda for Change’ and the ongoing implementation of his ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.
He has created opportunities for the youth to empower themselves through the establishment of a Youth Empowerment Ministry and the National Youth Commission (NYC). He has created job opportunities for them in his administration and the private sector especially in the mining and agricultural sectors. Thanks to his business-friendly policy that has attracted many multinational companies to the country. President Koroma’s achievements over the last seven years are many, including the rebranding of Sierra Leone to the outside world. That’s why we should put partisanship, tribal and regional sentiments behind us and wholeheartedly supports him to succeed in his commitment and determination to make Sierra Leone a better place for all of us.
The Ebola fight must be intensified
Though celebrating his seventh year in office, President Koroma wouldn’t be as happy as he used to. The Ebola outbreak and how to get rid of the endemic has become his greatest headache. The Ebola Virus Disease is an extraordinary case and the President has resorted to using extraordinary measures to ensure the scourge is kicked out of our country. And with the concerted efforts of all Sierra Leoneans and our development partners, let us hope that we shall get rid of it within the shortest possible time. Let us intensify the fight against Ebola, the greatest enemy in our midst.
Prayer for the President
Having served the country successfully for seven years, Sierra Leoneans should continue to pray for President Koroma to do more for ‘Mama Salone’ in the next few years to come. Indeed, he has proved to the world that he is a selfless leader always ready to serve his people with dedication and probity. We should not wish bad for him like detractors do; let us pray that the Almighty Allah gives him more wisdom to solve the problems of our country as they are enormous. Let us pray for him and congratulate him on celebrating his seventh year at State House as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.