By Keikura S. Moisa
As the campaign for the election of a President, Parliament and Councilors in November 2012 to man the affairs of the state gets under way, it is good that all we well-meaning and clear-thinking Sierra Leoneans that do not want to see a repeat of the political mistakes of the past that rendered us in the last thirty-five years as one of the poorest and unprogressive countries in the world, take a long pause and reflect wisely and critically on the quality of the people we shall be voting for.
We make this cautionary statement to the nation, particularly in the case of the person we shall vote for to become the President.
Given the history of the recent political past before we elected Ernest Bai Koroma to that high office, there is a clear reason why we need an honest, reliable, dependable and patriotic son of the land (there is no female Presidential candidate) who has proved that he is worth his salt to take this country progressively through the next five years.
Let no sweet talking politician or Presidential aspirant from the opposition tell you that things are going to get easier by just a change of regime and the bringing in of a former Brigadier General who all available evidence disclose that when he was head of the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) junta, the best thing he did for this country was to open wide conduits to secret offshore bank accounts into which he siphoned illegally millions of dollars from questionable arms deals that involved his late elder brother.
We shall come to that when we examine the Maada Boi-Abass Bundu passport deal.
Except we say we don’t love our country, who can say that potentially Maada Bio who we have proven to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing would make a better leader than Ernest Bai Koroma, who at home and abroad, has in the last four years proved that he is a capable, visionary and sympathetic leader whose Government’s economic and infrastructural development programmes are all geared towards achieving the PRSP 1Q1 otherwise known as the Agenda for Change? Where is Maada Bio’s development ideology and programmes for developing the country?
There are many reasons why this country, if it has its head sitting properly on its shoulders, should not even think twice about reelecting Ernest Bai Koroma as its President.
One, minus the myriad inherited bad governance and poor macro-economic management problems of building up the nation’s economy that confront us, which everybody with eyes wide open can see, this President and Government are working everyday assiduously towards ameliorating through appropriate policies, programmes and strategies. We should not forget that we are in an international financial and economic climate that does not promise easiness-given that the specter of oil and food price increases always hang over developing countries.
Many very uninformed people who like the noisy SLLP crowd have been going about with their arms and feet folded and waiting for manna to fall into their mouths from heaven and saying that under Ernest Bai Koroma the price of goods have gone up do not have an inkling of the consummate political savvy and skillful state financial management and administration to ensure that we don’t descend into the kind of unclimbable internal and external debt pit that a reckless spending SLPP administration threw this country into in the eleven years they ruled from 1996 to their exit through the ballot box in 2007.
Debate should not rage over between Ernest Koroma and Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio who loves this country better and who has done much lately under very difficult external financial conditions to ensure that he puts the country’s ugly inglorious past behind it through doing the right things-like continuous reform of the civil service outlook and improvement of its work culture; restructuring of the country’s financial management structure to ensure better transparency, accountability and responsibility in the use of funds and resources.
All these good state governance strategies have paid economic dividends to the nation that can be seen by all in new roads; over 50 government buses on the roads; refurbished hospitals; a better health system; the free health care which has greatly helped to reduce maternal and child mortality; better paid health staff and a country that has won the confidence of international financial institutions like the World Bank, the African Development Bank (ADB), Arab Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Now in arguing that Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio is not the right choice to lead this country, at a time when we are preaching and living transparency, accountability and the fight against corruption, let us come to the Brigadier Maada Bio-Dr. Abass Bundu passport saga.
But more about this and that about a very deceptive and deceitful man who wants to head this country in the next publication.