By KABS KANU
When the APC came to power in 2007, we learnt a daunting lesson. The West and their aid and donor organizations do not always deliver promptly. Waiting for them to fulfill pledges or commitments to help are at times very much like waiting for Godot.
Britain deserves a lot of commendation for their commitment in providing budget support through DFID. However, it is a lesson any new government will learn that speed and expediency do not always accompany international pledges and commitments.
The public out there reads screaming headlines in the newspapers that a donor country or organization has promised to give the government x millions of dollars and they get very excited and expectant. They think that the money is immediately deposited in government coffers. Well, international aid does not work like that . Most times, it takes very long for the money to come, if at all. And at times even if it does, it has to go through many experts , red tapes , bureaucracies and bottlenecks on the ground to the extent that by the time it lands in the hands of government much of it is gone.
The SLPP never learn. They had been in governance on three different occasions –Under Prime Ministers Sir Milton and Sir Albert Margai and President Tejan Kabbah–and they should have understood some of these constraints but whenever they are in opposition, they lambast the APC unfairly for the handling of international donor or loan assistance .
To hear that President Bio or an SLPP leader has gone to China is stunning, laughable and stupefying. I thought the SLPP gave the impression and it was an SLPP elections campaign sing-song that dealing with China was wrong , unethical and inimical to the national and international interests of the nation.The SLPP made it look like dealing with China was akin to supping with the devil. How come that after just few months in power, the SLPP is going to China ?
As time goes on, we will see the SLPP eat more humble pies. We will find that SLPP rule in many things and even in the area of international relations and choice of development and aid partners is an extension of APC rule.
Sierra Leoneans are beginning to see that many things the APC did that the SLPP vehemently condemned and opposed were manifestly good and were done in the interest of the nation. Sierra Leoneans are beginning to become amused about how the SLPP is steadily becoming copycats of the APC. I will not be surprised if the SLPP returns from China with the Mammamah International Airport project of the APC firmly clasped in their portfolios of future projects deserving of implementation.
SLPP officials, acolytes, supporters, apologists and sycophants who have been hailing President Bio’s trip to China are indirectly eating their own words raw and acknowledging that the APC was not bad at all in governance after all as they had been foolishly propagating . Maybe, President Bio needs to call for President Koroma’s vintage roadmap for socio-economic and political renaissance—THE AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY–and admit that the best way to go is to blend it with the NEW DIRECTION in a humble and chastening spirit of acknowledgement that governance , after all, is CONTINUITY .