Published on September 27, 2010 by Cocorioko News · 1 Comment
The ever-eloquent and politically-savvy President Ernest Bai Koroma had a very strong and pertinent question for the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) during Saturday’s jampacked Open Government Initiative ( OGI ) Town Meeting held at the Riverside Church Conference Centre in Harlem, New York. Telling the capacity crowd how much the All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government had to do in terms of commitment, planning and provision of resources to be able to revive and complete the projects that the SLPP had abandoned during their 11 year rule in Sierra Leone, the President posed this question that will reverberate beyond the walls of the ancient and historic church : “How do you call something you had abandoned an inherited project ? “.
The whole hall shook with laughter as the President seemed to ridicule the SLPP for what seems to every reasonable and right-thinking Sierra Leone an asanine and ridiculous excuse by the SLPP for failing the Sierra Leonean people during their 11 years in power. The President , who appeared to be au fait with every relevant statistics and facst about the projects his government has launched or completed, wasted no time last Saturday to let the world know that when the APC Government took over power from the SLPP in 2007, there were in fact no projects in the pipeline. Every conceivable project the Government had completed were either initiated by the President Koroma administration or they were projects that the SLPP had abandoned and were lying dormant without any hope whatsoever of being completed. According to President Koroma, donors had even cut funding to some of the projects because of lack of commitment or accountability from the SLPP. President Koroma, his rapt audience laughing its sides off , explained the lengths his government had to go to have the projects revived, before you even talk about completing them.
It is now obvious to every Sierra Leonean that the SLPP had all the time been rationalizing its failure to deliver the goods , using a worn-out propaganda strategy to repeat an untruth until it begins to look like the truth to unsuspecting or gullible people.
There is also no doubt at this time that in only three years of being in power, the Ernest Koroma Government has proved itself far more committed, far more competent and far more progressive than the Ahmad Tejan Kabbah SLPP Government. In so short a time, the APC Government has brought back electricity, completed the Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Project , provided first -class highways , set modalities in place to make Sierra Leone self-sufficient in food production in the nearest future, revolutionized the educational system, revived mining activities and created an enabling climate for the return of business, investments and tourism to Sierra Leone.
The lesson the SLPP should learn from the way the APC had outdone and outshone them is that in politics there is no such thing as “Could-have-been” or” Could-have-done ” .When you are in power and you have the opportunity, you have to deliver the goods . There is no excuse for failure of the magnitude the SLPP floundered in Sierra Leone. No footballer worth his salt will argue that his opponents completed the finishing touches to goals his team could have scored. The question that would obviously arise is : “Why didn’t you score when you had these opportunities ? ” .
If these were indeed inherited projects as the SLPP is claiming , it even does not give any good picture about the former government’s ability to deliver. The SLPP had 11 good years to perform what the APC had accomplished in only 3 years .That was time enough for them to have completed all the projects they are now claiming were started by them. If the APC can finish them in 3 years, assuming that the opposition assertion has merit, what possible credible excuse can the SLPP ever give ,apart from the lame one about inherited projects ?
What Sierra Leoneans now see as the obvious fact is the dichotomy between a government that lacked the vision, capacity, ability and commitment to deliver ( SLPP ) and one that is up to it and capable of delivering ( APC ). The SLPP has to accept the truth. It is a very bitter one, but in the interest of honesty and credibility , the SLPP has to concede and accept that the APC has won the contest. That is, the contest about who really delivered.
We hope the SLPP will learn that the next time they find themselves in power , they try to deliver , instead of depending on excuses that their opponents completed their projects.