Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to be here to meet with you, members of NUAS, in one of our major institutions of Higher Learning, the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, Goderich.
I should have made this journey much earlier as I myself live in the neighbourhood of the College. But, as the saying goes, “God’s time is the best.” I believe as well that no time could be better than now, only 62 days to the August 11, election appointment.
Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Party had difficulties – we worked within the democratic process and channels. Eventually, compelling public interest ushered in a political solution.
What is remarkable is that no body left the APC for another Party.
– It is now peace time. We are together. We will stay together and we will fight together and win the August 11, 2007 elections as a united party.
– The people of Sierra Leone wanted peace and we have given them that peace.
– This peace has permitted us to build on the strengths of the party and muster the necessary resources, human and financial, to render the APC, the only electable party in August this year.
Chairman, you have all witnessed, participated in or heard of the very successful peace marches we have staged in Freetown, Makeni, Kenema, Sefadu and Kailahun. The unprecedented crowds that turned out were remarkable in their orderliness and there was an absence of any incident injuries to persons and property.
For that, and on behalf of the entire membership of the party, I express my profound appreciation to you all, for this exemplary conduct.
This is indeed, a true manifestation of the APC spirit. During these occasions, our detractors were disappointed to see all of the APC Leadership processing in unity to demonstrate the camaraderie existing within the APC family. It is said “If there are cracks in the walls, lizards will enter the house”.
The peace accord has now sealed these cracks. No more LIZARDS are allowed to enter. Those already inside cannot get out. They will be annihilated by the intensity of the energy radiating from a re-invigorated APC Leadership.
Mr. Chairman, I will not tire of saying once again that the APC is now a united party and the executive members are all working assiduously towards one goal and one goal only. The resounding first round victory in the Presidential elections on August11, 2007.
This leads me, to the much trumpeted question of ‘experience’
EXPERIENCE: Solomon Berewa has been constantly bragging about his vast experience.
Let me use the opportunity to ask Mr. Berewa, what experience he is claiming to have that Sierra Leoneans desire enough to vote for him.
Mr. Chairman, let me say that there is no school or college you will attend to learn how to be President.
A good President is made, not born. If one is lucky to have a good pupil master, the chances are that he will make a good President.
Unfortunately for Solomon Berewa, his pupil master H.E. Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabba is the worst performing President this country has ever had. He has woefully failed the nation and Solomon Berewa, being his running mate cannot be absolved of any complicity in the conspiracy to misdirect, misinform, misrule and mislead this nation.
This is the experience Solomon Berewa has acquired in his five-year internship under President Kabba.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, you must have learnt that the government declared itself bankrupt last month. It is incapable of servicing its budgetary allocations because DFID withheld budgetary support funding totaling Le85billon until after the elections.
The IMF through the debt relief exercise brought in Le524 billion, with a lid over it. Again, this money, although it is lodged with the Bank of Sierra Leone, will not be disbursed until September. Again, only after the elections.
The IMF has also threatened to pull out of Sierra Leone. The International Donor Community has totally lost faith in the government of Tejan Kabba and Solomon Berewa.
This infact has prompted one Member of Parliament of the S.L.P.P supported by the Minister of Finance to say that the International Community is seeking a regime change. This, I find naïve although I know that regime change in Sierra Leone is inevitable. The SLPP, in looking for a scapegoat to blame for their expected poor showing in the coming elections, may anger some of our development partners with such baseless utterances. I cannot guess at the intentions of the donors. However, the facts on the ground are that billions of Leones have been made available to the SLPP government since 2001. Indeed, Britain has spent over £232m in the past six years. The European Union, the IMF, the World Bank, the ADB, IDB, etc have all poured large amounts of money into Sierra Leone.
Disappointingly, International financial experts say and I quote
“Sierra Leone is making little progress in tackling corruption and is squandering foreign aid, leaving its most vulnerable citizens as destitute as they were before the civil war.
“Since the guns fell silent after more than a decade of conflict, our country of less than 5 million people, rich in diamonds, iron and gold remains the poorest nation on earth. Britain alone has spent $180 million on non-military aid in the last two years and a further $80 million will be spent this year. But endemic corruption has gone largely unchecked.
“Things are as bad, if not worse, today than they were when the war started in 1991.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, the MMCET students can attest, the FBC students can testify, the Njala students can confirm, students of COMAHS, and IPAM, will affirm that the conditions under which they are living on campus are sub-standard and fall far short of conditions that existed in the years preceding the APC overthrow in 1992.
The statement of the International Community has vindicated the APC. It has confirmed that any APC government is better than the best SLPP Government.
Solomon Berewa boasts of experience
The experience that has grounded the economy with
– No electricity, no water, poor health and education facilities?
– Highest maternal and infant mortality rate in the world?
– Growing youth unemployment currently about 60%?
– Transforming criminals into saints?
Or is it
– The experience of somnolence?
– The experience of somnambulism?
– The sleepy eyed experience of an aspirant who
can hardly stay awake during crucial meetings?
– The experience of endemic corruption?
– The experience of giving contracts and jobs only
to SLPP card holders?
– The experience of politicizing micro credit?
– The experience of embezzling public funds?
No, indeed the donors have resolved not to release a single cent more until a full and proper account of the funds doled out to the Tejan Kabbah/Berewa led government is given.
And you know what, the International Community is right. Any more funds released to the SLPP will be squandered and stashed away especially now that “SLPP dae pack for go”.
As we say goodbye to Mr. Sleepy experience. I Invite you all to join the APC team, fresh, dynamic with a clear vision to take Sierra Leone to the next level.
We bring you our usual FLASHBACK SERIES by reproducing from the Cocorioko archives an important campaign speech made at the Milton Margai College of Education on Saturday June 9, 2007 by the then Presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress (APC ) , the then Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma ( Now President of the Republic of Sierra Leone ). Apart from ridiculing his opponent, the then Presidential candate for the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Mr. Koroma highlights the remarkable failure in governance of the SLPP Government under Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah . The statement is useful for students of History and patriotic Sierra Leoneans as it reminds them about the reasons why the Sierra Leonean people rejected the SLPP in 2007 . Significantly, President Koroma has gone a long way to correct all the problems of deliverance of good government he criticized and in the process the International press of East Africa has adjudged him the 9th best African leader going by his performance in all the indexes . President Koroma’s ratings in the UN and with the international community and Sierra Leone’s development partners and international donor agencies remain at an all-time high ,far more than the SLPP President Tejan-Kabbah would have ever dreamt of achieving.
READ and add to your dosier of vintage flashbacks from your ever-popular COCORIOKO.