By KABS KANU :
As I continue to read the old copies of the Sierra Leone Daily Mail for 1966 and 1967, I am continuing to be convinced that the presidency of H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has no equal and is unmatched in the annals of our country when it comes to the execution of development projects.
I will not sully the name of the then Prime Minister, Sir Albert Margai. In fact, reading these old newspapers is enabling me to appreciate some of the good work Sir Albert himself did for Sierra Leone.
While in our minds , Sir Albert’s rule was defined by what happened in 1967 when he lost the elections and forced the army to interfere, I am beginning to see from these newspapers that he deserves to be remembered for some other good things , including his respect for freedom of the press and the agricultural boom caused by the success of the Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board ( SLPMB) , the setting up of the integrated forest industry, the expansion and modernization of the telecommunications services, urban water supply scheme, the establishment of the University of Sierra Leone etc. etc.
I am not an SLPP analyst like Umaru Fofana who sees nothing good in a government run by the opposite party. I will take my time to highlight some of the good work Sir Albert did, in fairness to my conscience and the truth.I think people do not know about many things that happened in 1964- 1966 and we all only look at the dishonorable manner Margai left power in 1967. Pa Margai deserve some credit for many projects he introduced or accomplished. I will come to that later.
However, by the same token of fairness to my conscience and the truth, let me not hesitate to say here and now that it is by reading these old newspapers that we also see clearly that President Koroma is in a class of his own for the development projects he has accomplished in Sierra Leone. There has been no development-oriented President in Sierra Leone like Dr. Ernest Koroma. Even the opposition knows this.
When you read today’s newspapers, You see that socio- economic and political developments are a perpetual thing under the presidency of Dr. Koroma. Every now and again, when you read about him, President Koroma is either commissioning a new project or initiating one. His reign is defined by the completion and commissioning of one project after the other. Sierra leone now holds the flame as one of the fastest developing countries in Africa.
Also, it is when you read these old newspapers that you appreciate President Koroma for another asset that places him neck and shoulders above all the other leaders we have had: His visionary leadership is unparalleled in the history of our country, as enunciated by his his introduction of the Agenda For Change and the Agenda for Prosperity.
Many of our past leaders did not dare to dream and that is where they failed. The Bible teaches us that where there is no vision, the people perish ( Proverbs 20: 18 ). Even our Lord and Creator dares us to dream for it is from that trajectory that we progress into higher spheres of self- development.
If only the leader who steps in his shoes in 2018 continues to prosecute the Agenda For Prosperity, Sierra Leone will become a great nation. President Koroma needs not complete everything he has started to be a great leader. The vision alone qualifies him to be a successful leader.
The President coming after Dr. Koroma should continue where he stops. That is how great nations are built.
Ghanaians are so full of gratitude today for the late President Kwame Nkrumah because his visionary leadership laid the foundation for the socio- economic and political success of that nation today.
You cannot praise the developments that have taken place in Ghana without extending credit to Nkrumah.
The more I read the 1966/1967 versions of the Sierra Leone Daily Mail, the more I appreciate the fact that the presidency of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has no parallel in the annals of our country in everything that matters : Freedom of the press, respect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law, promotion of female empowerment, encouragement of civil society activism and indeed national development projects.
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