By Sorie Fofana.
It is exactly three weeks today since His Excellency President Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio was sworn-in as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Since his election as President, Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio has been busy, addressing some serious issues that have to do with the survival of the state.
Truth to be told, President Bio inherited from the failed APC government a crumbling economy. The former government, for the past three years, relied solely on bank overdrafts to even pay workers’ monthly salaries. The national treasury was comprehensively looted by the former government through the award of bogus and overpriced contracts to family members and party cronies.
For the past three weeks, President Bio and his new Finance Minister and Financial Secretary have been busy fixing the moribund economy left behind by the APC. The economy needs a quick fix, if this government wants to implement all of their programs in record time. There is no two-way to it!
The issue of national security is of paramount concern to the new President. Being a man who, at one time was head of the national Army, President Bio knows what is required of him if he wants to continue to govern the country in peace and tranquility.
Many people are blaming the President for undertaking a week-long overseas trip to the United Kingdom and Qatar, when he was just two weeks old in office.
The purpose of the visit to the United Kingdom was to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). This year’s CHOGM was significant in the sense that, it was the last meeting of CHOGM chaired by Her Majesty the Queen of England.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly, it gave the new President the opportunity to meet and hold face-to-face meetings with the movers and shakers of British politics including the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.
The trip to Qatar gave the opportunity to President Bio to explain his government’s programs to bilateral partners. The Qatari Government, at the highest level, has made significant commitments that will help bring direct foreign investment to Sierra Leone. The President’s free education flagship project is also expected to receive a big boost from the Qatari Government.
Many people continue to blame President Bio, for delaying the replacement of certain APC cronies in key positions in the government. President Bio should ensure that, remnants of the APC in key positions in government are replaced with immediate effect. There are those in key positions that have never concealed their loyalty to the APC party. Those people have to be replaced with immediate effect. Remnants of the APC could be seen in key positions around the country. These are the people responsible for undermining the new President and his government.
Whenever there is a change of government in the United States of America (say for instance from the Democrats to Republicans) even the lead Chef at the White House is replaced.
The SLPP was in opposition for ten years. During those ten difficult years, loyal and faithful SLPP supporters suffered greatly. Now that, their party has won the elections, party supporters and party faithful must be brought back and given key positions in the new government.
President Bio must understand that, his party supporters genuinely stood by him, through thick and thin. Now that he has come to power, he must ensure that, all those who stood by him and believed in his leadership are adequately compensated.
We hope that President Bio will move swiftly and complete the naming of members of his Cabinet and the replacement of some key APC cronies in important government positions around the country.
The bottom line is that, this is an SLPP victory and SLPP loyalists and faithful must enjoy the fruit of their labor now that their party is in power after ten years in opposition.
A new government requires new faces! Period!