By KABS KANU :
In only FIVE YEARS, he has moved Sierra Leone from a stone age country to one of the most progressive nations in Africa and the model and success story of the United Nations ( UN ) for post-conflict national development and peace consolidation. In five years, he has transformed Sierra Leone from the poorest nation on earth to one of the most promising ones with the second fastest growing economy. This is the man that the nation needs for continuation of the outstanding leadership that has changed the face of Sierra Leone for the better and revived hopes in the hearts of all Sierra Leoneans.
The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) would want you to believe that they have some one better to offer you, but history and the facts do not support their contention. Their Presidential candidate , Retired Brigadier Maada Bio was one of the bandit soldiers who seized power by the gun from a constitutionally-elected government in Sierra Leone in 1992 and he took part in the extrajudicial killings of 29 innocent Sierra Leoneans , defrauded the nation by engaging in racketeering with internal and external criminals for our country’s passports and helicopter parts. In addition, he wanted to cling on to power and destroy the evolution of multi-party democracy in the country. The former women’s Leader, Mrs. Zainab Bangura and some bold citizens had to brave the soldiers’ bullets by going out into the streets to demonstrate against the military junta, spurring intervention from the international community after weeks of protests , with the soldiers asked to quit or face international economic sanctions or even arrests . Mr. Bio took refuge in the United States where he was expelled for brutalizing his wife and chewing off the ears of her lover . A testimony of Mr. Bio’s terrible human rights records is that he was denied a U.S. entry visa and he cannot come to America. He made desperate attempts to come to the U.S. between last year and this year , but despite frantic preparations by loyalists in America, he failed to get an entry visa. What business does Bio have ruling a country that is presently dependent on the U.S. and the international community for much-needed socio-economic and political assistance to continue consolidating peace and rebuild and reconstruct. Sierra Leone cannot afford the slur of having a leader who is not accepted in the U.S. We need the continued support and goodwill of the U.S. We will become the laughing stock of other nations IF WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO IS BARRED FROM ENTERING THE U.S. The devastating effect on our economy will reverse all the country’s post-conflict gains.
The very SLPP that ill-advisedly put up Maada Bio as presidential candidate spent 11 years in power from 1995-2007 AND ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. You cannot point fingers at any infrastructural development undertaken by the SLPP and under them all our social and educational institutions crumbled. We had the worst and the most dangerous road network in Africa and our capital, Freetown, was described as the darkest city in the world because there was no electricity. The city itself was an eyesore with mountains of garbage piled on her streets. With these shameful and disturbing records in governance, most Sierra Leoneans know that the SLPP and Maada Bio do not deserve their vote or encouragement to interrupt the extraordinary socio-economic and political developments President Koroma has been undertaking in the nation. This is why the whole nation should turn out in full colours to vote President Ernest Bai Koroma and the All People’s Congress ( APC) Government to a deserved second term on November 17, 2012.
Last Thursday, President Koroma launched his election platform., which is also known as THE AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY IN SIERRA LEONE ; READ the President’s statement to the nation during the launching program.
THIS IS INDEED THE MAN, PRESIDENT ERNEST BAI KOROMA : PHOTO CREDIT-JARRAH KAWUSU-KONTE
Five years ago, we inherited a country where the government no longer respected the people; where those who the people sweated to educate threw rice at the people. We stopped that tide of disrespect for ordinary people; we allowed the people to come near us; now the people know that we are a government for them and that is why wherever we go, they applaud us; even very little kids see us as their friends, and that is why kids everywhere call me Ernest, Ernest. That is why the youth call me ‘world best.’ For I am always with them, they see us as they see their favourite football players. They see us as they see a caring brother because we have shown to them that we care. They do not want a return to the disrespect and violence of yesterday. In us they see a brighter future and in the opposition they see a broken past in which guns and bullets were the currency of exchange. Ours is a new Sierra Leone ready to take its rightful place on the world stage; we cannot afford the luxury of going back to a past with leaders who betrayed soldiers, who betrayed colleagues; who disrespected elders and chiefs; who disrespected the police order to respect the movement of the President of this country; who jailed journalists; who do not even have the support of the majority of the people of their party.
We have often heard people say that ethnic groups are the property of some political parties. No way, no tribe is the property of any political party. The APC does not believe in that. People are free to belong to any political party; we will protect that right; we will prevent people from intimidating people. We are campaigning with zeal everywhere. We are attracting people of every ethnic group into our party.
THIS IS THE WINNING TEAM–PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA AND HIS RUNNING MATE, VICE-PRESIDENT SAMUEL SAM SUMANA : PHOTO CREDIT- JARRAH KAWUSU-KONTE
Yes we face challenges; but this country knows that we do not run away from challenges; we are a government of action; we still have some problems to solve; but we are on the right path. The transformation has begun, and by God’s grace, we will continue with it. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for letting me serve you in the last five years. I thank you for nominating me again to continue the journey to prosperity.
Thank you, thank you, and thank you
Fellow Sierra Leoneans;
We are here today because you trusted me then and I delivered.
I promised an agenda for change and I delivered on it. Now, I am promising an agenda for prosperity, and by God Almighty I will deliver. I am here to ask for your votes for a second term to continue the journey to prosperity. I am here to make a promise to you in form of the Manifesto for Prosperity. Vote for me again because I will bring more development, more jobs, more roads, improved free health care, more prosperity and more of the actions that are better than the intentions of yesterday.
Like I have kept the promise of change and development in 2007, I will continue to keep my promise and do more for the people of this country.
We are asking for your votes so that we can consolidate our gains; vote for me and APC so that we will do more of the great things of the last five years.
In my second term I will do more to change our collective dreams to a national reality. My second term will bring improved health care, better roads, more electricity and improved water services for our people. Vote for us again so that we will deliver quality education for all Sierra Leoneans. Vote for me because I have the will and ability to do more for our business women, from Abacha Street to Koindu. I will do more for our fishermen, from Goderich to Shenge. I will do more for our teachers, engineers, nurses, doctors, artists and drivers all over the country.
Vote for me, for we have a record of doing more for bringing investments and jobs to this country; I will do more to bring more investments and jobs; I will do more for democracy and I will do more for human rights and freedom; vote for me, I will do more for the youth by creating jobs; vote for me, we will do more to improve education; I need more of your votes to enable me do more for all of us.
This is what is in our Agenda for Prosperity. We will emphasize giving skills to our people; creating jobs; attracting more investments; more support to agriculture so that farmers can diversify what they grow and make money out of their farms; we will establish more banks in our communities and ensure that the ordinary man and woman gets access to ‘capital’ to start and develop their businesses. My record in the last five years is visible and my plans for the next five years are here in this manifesto; above all, I have a track record of keeping promises. Vote for me I will do more to keep my promise of the agenda for prosperity as I have kept the promise of change I made in 2007.
I am asking for re-election to consolidate the gains we have made in just five years and to map the road to prosperity for all Sierra Leoneans.
Together we have achieved a lot in the last five years, but there is still a lot more to do. I want us to continue to do more for Sierra Leone. I am asking you to do more, I will do more and we will do more to build a better country.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, vote for me again to ensure continuity of the march from inaction of intentions which had paralyzed this nation in the past to the forward thinking actions-better-than-intentions philosophy that is bringing change we can see.
Re-elect me to ensure that those who mortgaged the integrity of this nation and used the bullet to force their will on the people will never be rewarded with the highest post in the land. Vote for me to stop those who think that road networks and free health care are a waste; they should not be given a chance to take us back to the broken past of broken roads, of broken health care and of broken hopes. Vote for me for I will do more to bring hope and pride to this nation.
Re-elect me because the alternative belongs to the broken nation of the past and not the new Sierra Leone we are building.
Vote for me again because we are so much better than the alternative it would be a national tragedy to let them squander our gains.
Vote for me, I will do more, you will do more and we will all do more to make Sierra Leone the World’s Best. Action for the People Continues.
It is now my honor to launch the APC 2012 Elections Campaign and our Elections Manifesto here in Western Area rural district.