A COCORIOKO SPECIAL FEATURE
BY KABS KANU :
Some officials and supporters of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government have told COCORIOKO that President Ernest Koroma’s main focus at the moment is continuing the development projects under the Agenda For Prosperity , designed to improve the welfare of the Sierra Leonean people.
Many of them have said that they are actually not bothered by what people say or sing about the government. According to them, that is part of life and in a democratic society like ours’ in Sierra Leone , it should be expected of journalists and musicians to express their views in art, song, article and whatever form they desire.
The officials and supporters made the remarks in response to questions asked by this newspaper about posts in the social media about a new song by musician, Emerson Bockarie , of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ). People who have listened to the song claimed that Mr. Bockarie made scathing insinuations about the government.
Most of the officials disclosed that they were so busy with their jobs that they had not heard any song yet from Emerson. However, they said that they were not concerned if it was true that Emerson had attacked the ruling APC once again in a song.
As a matter of fact, this government relishes the fact that it is the most democratic to have ruled Sierra Leone. The degree of freedom of expression is unprecedented in the annals of the country . Therefore , people are free to express their views about events , whether in song or article and the government has no problems with that, according to the officials.
The officials further said that another thing they know is that every Sierra Leonean relishes the fact that whatever anybody says about this Government , the fact remains that President Ernest Koroma has done far more than any other President has ever accomplished for the country–and many of them said they were very proud about that achievement . President Koroma has carried development projects as far afield as even the strongholds of the opposition SLPP —Emerson’s backyard.
When the APC came to power in 2007, Sierra Leone was the most backward and the poorest country in the world by the standards of the UN Development index. There was no electricity and Sierra Leone was the darkest country in the world .Yet , through the inspiring leadership of President Koroma , Sierra Leone is far better today in the area of availability of electricity supply than it was during the opposition SLPP era.
THE POLITICAL PELE OF SIERRA LEONE, PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA, WITH THE BALL . HIS FOCUS IS HOW TO SCORE MORE GOALS , DEVELOP THE COUNTRY AND IMPROVE THE WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE.
When the APC won democratic elections in 2007 and handled the reins of this country, Sierra Leone had very bad and dangerous roads and antidulivian architecture , for which foreigners mocked us as a stone age country. But in only eight years, President Koroma has transformed the whole country with beautiful roads and impressive architecture.
The President has been busy improving the quality of life of the Sierra Leone an people by providing solar lights for towns and villages and building schools, hospitals and clinics. The Government has also been working strenuously to make Sierra Leone self-sufficient in food production .
Sierra Leone had one of the fastest growing economies in the world , according to the World Bank and the IMF, before Ebola struck the country , two years ago.
The officials and party stalwarts therefore said that they were very proud of the achievements of President Ernest Bai Koroma and will continue to concentrate on how best the government will continue its development agenda to improve the welfare of the people.
APC officials and stalwarts are also convinced that given the momentum of the government’s development drive, the APC will always win elections in Sierra Leone because the people now know that it is only when the APC is in power in Sierra Leone that they see socio-economic and political progress .
In 2012, Emerson released a song , YESTERDAY BETTEH PASS TIDAY , before crucial Presidential and Legislative Elections, but the APC still went on to win the elections by a landslide. “All people want to see is development in the country. Once that is done, they know what to do during elections,” one official remarked.
The officials admitted that there were still daunting challenges in Sierra Leone but the good thing is that the government is not resting on its oars and is doing everything within its power and resources to address these challenges.
The fact that people buy newspapers and songs about government does not necessarily mean they will listen to them when elections come. During the 2012 elections, satiric songs were released against the Government but the APC still triumphed . And the party is certain to win again in 2018 because they know that only the APC has the capacity to develop Sierra Leone.
About claims that about 1,000 people have already bought the song, one official quipped : “Of course, people will buy satiric songs. Don’t we all love seeing a naked, mad man dancing in the market place ? “, the official asked .”We in the APC are more concerned about development , not buying and listening to songs like the SLPP. We are too busy working for the people. ”