By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :
The momentum will not, should not and must never die. We have fought the good fight and the Lord God has crowned our efforts with success. President Ernest Bai Koroma has deservedly won his expected Second term and the All People’s Congress ( APC ) will reign in Sierra Leone for another five years , with the attendant socio-economic and political developments embodied in President Ernest Koroma’a Agenda For Prosperity.
VICTORIOUS PRESIDENT KOROMA : OUR NEXT GOAL SHOULD BE TO PRESERVE HIS LEGACY
Sierra Leone has never had it so good since Independence in 1961. Another five years of President Koroma means more megawatts of electricity, more water supply, more modern highways, more schools and better-trained teachers , more health care reforms , more accelerated agricultural and mining activities, more jobs for the youths and general population, and if we become an oil-producing country, the transformation of our country from an aid-dependent nation to one of the most prosperous in the continent.
The momentum is now with us , but we must never let it die. There is still more work to be done . After President Ernest Koroma would have served his second term, then comes the even more taxing preoccupation —PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF THE BEST PRESIDENT TO HAVE EVER WALKED THE CORRIDORS OF POLITICAL POWER IN SIERRA LEONE. It would be imperative to preserve President Koroma’s legacy so that it will not be distorted by the contaminated and evil propagandists who tried to rewrite the glorious history of our nation during the electioneering campaign with bold-faced lies, distortions, exaggeration , and that deviant twist that is often the trademark of people who only think of tribe, regions or partisan political influence when they recount the past.
One of the most brilliant manners to preserve President Koroma’s legacy is to give the APC another comprehensive and resounding victory in 2017. The APC must win again in 2017. The post-Ernest Koroma era must see another progressive and productive APC Government in power continuing the President’s outstanding work for yet another 5 years. It is not an impossible task as the people of Sierra Leone now know that it is during an APC era that their nation gets developed. It took President Siaka P. Stevens for Sierra Leone to have her own first-class highways, with luxurious air-conditioned buses plying the routes; modern bridges like the Congo Cross Bridge; an ultra-modern national sports stadium; state-of-the-art ministerial, national bank and law courts buildings ; a college scholarship program that was so liberal that it is the reason that Sierra Leone now stands her own among other nations of the world in academia; a resurgence of agricultural projects and activities that at one time saw Sierra Leone almost becoming self-sufficient in food production.
President Stevens may have made mistakes (And who does not ?) but it is now apparent that he was one of the progressive leaders of post-Independence Sierra Leone .We did not enjoy the kinds of fundamental human rights and freedom of the press we have today.He may not have been successful in nipping corruption in the bud, but President Stevens left a long list of achievements that the best Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) President has never matched. What was President Stevens’ problem was bad publicity and failure to create the kind of sound and accomplished media network that is one of the hallmarks of President Koroma’s successful leadership today. Even honest SLPP fanatics have conceded after the elections that one of the reasons the SLPP lost was that they failed to match the pro-APC media for excellent journalism in showcasing President Koroma’s achievements and amplifying Maada Bio’s foibles. The pro-Ernest Koroma media demolished Maada Bio from the word go and threw him on the ropes and he never recovered from the deadly blows rained on him since the SLPP unveiled him as their presidential candidate. If it had been a boxing contest, the umpire would have called off the fight well before time to save Bio from further punishment. The Presidential press corps was on top of its game during the electioneering campaigns. There were lapses , of course , as no institution or performance is ever perfect but on the whole every journalist that supported President Koroma did a magnificent job and deserve a pat on the back.
If only the late President Siaka Stevens had the same kind of efficient, effective and proactive media. His legacy would not have been tarnished . That was one area that the late President neglected. He did a lot of great things for the nation , but all were buried under the rubble of blames for economic collapse that did not hit Sierra Leone alone but was prevalent in neighboring Liberia, Guinea and even Nigeria and Ghana. In fact, during the 1980s, Ghana experienced the worst economic crisis in West Africa , with famine and long lines even for simple things like toothbrushes. If President Stevens had a good media, his journalists would have successfully laundered his image as he did not deserve a lot of blames he has been receiving. The other big mistake President Stevens made was turning over power to the late Brigadier Joseph Saidu Momoh, who did not replicate the President’s development projects. . Imagine, if a more productive person with the drive, determination , vision and heart for progress of the quality of President Koroma had replaced the late Pa.Sheki. He could have turned things around in Sierra Leone in such a way that he could have compensated for the mistakes of the past government. THIS IS WHY THE APC MUST FIGHT TO HAVE ANOTHER ERNEST KOROMA AT STATE HOUSE IN 2017 ! ! !
We all came down hard on President Stevens because we all tended to flow with the tide of the vicious propaganda against him , but after we saw the NPRC rule for 3 years and the SLPP in power for 11 years –with nothing to match Shaki’s development projects–some of us began changing our stance and believed that whatever his faults, President Stevens was at least a better leader than Valentine Strasser/Maada Bio ( NPRC ) and Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah ( SLPP ), if we rated them based on the development projects they initiated and completed in Sierra Leone.
APC partisans must not hesitate to celebrate their victory. In fact, we at New Jersey are planning a massive victory celebration .But after all the jubilation would have died down, it would be time to start preparing for 2017.
SEE PART 2 TOMORROW