President Koroma ends final leg of ‘thank you’ tour in Samu and Magbema chiefdoms in Kambia District
By State House Communication Unit
On Friday 23rd February, 2018, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma arrived in Kambia district enroute to Kassire to continue his nationwide ‘thank you’ tour. He took the presidential salute and inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).
Upon arrival in Kassire, Samu Chiefdom, the President and entourage including the APC running mate Hon. Chernoh Ramadan Maju Bah, were treated to a rapturous welcome with traditional dancers and jubilant youths and women in that part of the country.
Addressing a mammoth crowd in Kassire, President Koroma said his government has laid the basis for sustainable development of the country.
Immediately following his address in Kassire, President Koroma and entourage left via boat ride across the estuary of the great scarcies for Yeliboya Island. It is worthy to note that President Koroma is the second president (after Dr Siaka Stevens) to ever visit this island of approximately 20,000 inhabitants. Yeliboya is a predominantly fishing community.
Delivering his ‘thank you’ message, the president assured them that government will fix the only community center which was constructed by the APC government but is now in dire need of rehabilitation. He also promised to provide more toilet facilities for the community. “APC believes in action not intention,” he said, and disclosed that the Contractor will receive the funds to complete these works, including the health center before he leaves office. He also assured of the installation of solar lights on the island amid rapturous applause. “I have arrested the devil that is preventing development on this island,” he declared, and informed that the APC is not campaigning in Yeliboya because the island is the stronghold of the APC.
President Koroma used the occasion to introduce the APC running mate as the flag bearer was out of the country. “My face won’t be on the ballot. Dr Samura Kamara’s face would be on the ballot. If you don’t know his face, look for the RED sun – the APC symbol.”
President Koroma also took his “thank you” message to Kychom where he thanked the people for giving him the unique opportunity to serve as president for two consecutive terms of five years each. The President said Kychom was his area due to the fact that his mother-in-law (First Lady’s mother) comes from Kychom.
Regarding one of the presidential candidates for the forthcoming elections, President Koroma had this to say; “I like Kandeh Yumkella and he’s my relative. In fact, there was a time when people within the APC thought I was grooming Kandeh to succeed me. But when it comes to choosing leaders, it’s serious business. It’s not about friendship or relations. It’s about the future of this country. I like Kandeh but he is unfit to be president at this time. After March, we will find something for him to do,” saying that the people cannot entrust the future of this country in the hands of a first time voter; someone who doesn’t know what governance entails. “I love Kandeh, but I love Sierra Leone more,” he said.
The head of state went on to state that since independence, no other party has done more to develop Sierra Leone than the APC. “We have not achieved everything as there are still challenges but we are on the right path. Any sudden change given all the efforts we have made will take this country backwards,” he reemphasized.
He pointed out that the APC has a team that is far more experienced than any other team put forward for the March 7th polls. “Our presidential candidate is not around but you all know him and the APC must win here in Kychom because this is our area.”
Paramount Chief Bai Sebora Yek of Samu Chiefdom in his welcome remarks said that after Almighty Allah in Sierra Leone, the president is next. He described President Koroma as their in-law, saying that the mother of the First Lady hailed from Samu Chiefdom, preferably Kychom. According to Chief Sebora Yek, President Koroma’s visit is like a homecoming for them. He urged all for peace to prevail and also described the APC running mate Hon. Chernoh Ramadan Maju Bah as his brother.
President Koroma also took his farewell message to Rokupr town, Magbema chiefdom, Kambia district, saying that his remarkable efforts to transform the country could be seen all over the district. “Yes there are still challenges in the health care sector but the free health care initiative has saved more lives, and more health centers have been constructed more than ever before. He also spoke of the recently launched health insurance scheme to boost the free health care initiative. He informed the gathering of the national emergency medical services – national ambulance service which was commissioned couple of days ago to add value to the health care delivery system across the country.
President Koroma reminded the mammoth crowd of the massive road and infrastructural projects unleashed in Kambia district and beyond, saying that roads help to open up the country. He said that although government had provided water supply for their community, he learnt that some pipes were destroyed due to the road construction project. He promised to fix the problem without further delay. Travel by water has also improved due to the changes made in that sector. “This is the message we should all take to those who are not APC. We do not engage in empty talk. If there is any other government that has performed more than APC since independence, let them come forward with the evidence. He spoke of a number of hospitals that are currently being constructed even as the county is moving towards elections.
Paramount Chief Bai Farama Bubu Angbak IV of Magbema Chiefdom said the President has done a lot for them including the road from Bamoi Loma to Rokupr Wharf. This, he said, has enhanced economic activities in their locality.
He requested that water supply be improved for them and thanked President Koroma for his remarkable achievements. He also pleaded for the construction of a perimeter fence around the research station to discourage encroachers. There are Approximately over 30,000 population in the township of Rukupr.
According to Dr Alpha Sahid Kanu, Minister of Information and Communication who introduced President Koroma, Proverbs chapter 24 verse 21 of the King James Version of the Holy Bible, clearly warns against sudden change as it is cataclysmic to the ongoing transformation of the country. He stated that the President’s vision and plans to move the country forward over the past ten years have actually gained traction.
The president and entourage arrived in Makeni after midnight for an overnight rest.