Even before and after recent events in Sierra Leone, the international image of President Ernest Bai Koroma has always remained impeccable. The President continues to enjoy international goodwill, respect and support because he is perceived as a hard working , development and results-oriented Head of State who had done a commendable job before the Ebola outbreak to transform the face of the nation.
President Koroma’s human rights record is one of the best in the world. During his tenure in power, he has promoted the following ideals –democracy ( with over 50 newspapers flourishing , most of them belonging to the opposition , and very active civil society , women’s and children’s groups ) ; the rule of law ( Sierra Leone being one of the few countries in Africa where there is no prisoner of conscience ) and respect for fundamental human rights. The Government also has a vibrant and proactive Anti-Corruption Commission ( ACC ) in the country –a key component of factors the international community and stakeholders use to rate and determine their goodwill for and engagement with Presidents and their countries.
Additionally, during President Koroma’s reign, Sierra Leone had one of the fastest growing economies in the world., before the outbreak of the ebola virus. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) and other international financial institutions paid glowing tributes to President Ernest Bai Koroma for his handling of the economy . According to the World Bank, .one of the reasons is “.. The reforms undertaken by Sierra Leone to make it easier to do business in 4 areas of regulation: Getting credit, Cross borders trade, Enforcing contracts and Resolving insolvency issues. ” President Koroma had also revived farming, mining and other economic ventures and there were lots of investors flocking in the country to take advantage of the abundant opportunities provided by the government.
If the Sierra Leoneans bent on destroying the image of President Ernest Koroma want to know why they have not been successful in their devious agenda, these are some of the reasons.
Sierra Leoneans determined to sell their country’s integrity down the river to have her blacklisted , marginalized and denied goodwill and assistance, do not still get it. The international community, the White House, DFID, IMF, World Bank etc.etc. cannot be fooled. They have their own teams and representatives on the ground in Sierra Leone. These experts monitor socio-economic and political events from an open and objective trajectory and reach their own conclusions based on benchmarks they scrupulously follow. That was why the former Vice-President, Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana , was denied asylum by the U S because they investigated his claims and found out that they lacked merit. If our people think that the international community does not know about Sam Sumana, they have not grasped yet how technology, intelligence and counter-intelligence have made this whole, wide world a global village.
Therefore, it is not the number of demonstrations held against the government by disgruntled citizens. It is neither the noise and din of dissident rhetoric drummed in these demonstrations. It is what the international community and stakeholders see for themselves . It is the reality of what President Ernest Koroma has achieved for Sierra Leone.
President Koroma is in the United States to attend a high-level meeting on the Ebola crisis during the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United States of America and to meet with U.S. President Barak Obama . We wish to welcome him and pray that the trip will achieve its intended purpose.
The interest of our nation comes first and this is what has brought the President to America. We should rejoice instead of become jealous and start concocting foolish stories and planning useless demonstrations that the Americans or international community will not even notice.