By Sorie Fofana.
The three Commissions of Inquiry commenced sittings yesterday. The sittings were broadcast live by SLBC (Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation).
President Julius Maada Bio has put his political credibility on the line, by stating publicly that the war against corruption “is a war we must win”. This is a very serious political commitment made by the President. People should not underestimate the determination of President Bio to tackle corruption root and branch.
In his keynote address during the launch of the Commissions of Inquiry on Tuesday 29th January 2019, President Bio remarked, “Let me make this solemn promise to the nation that anyone found wanton of corruption in my administration will be promptly removed from public office and subjected to the full force of the law”.
The decision -makers in the main opposition APC Party must begin to have a rethink about the party’s position on cooperating with the Commissions of Inquiry. As a matter of fact, the Commissions of Inquiry will be very transparent and fair.
The Commissions of Inquiry, in our view, are simply about accountability. Those who stole monies meant for providing free health care facilities for our people will be brought before the Commissions of Inquiry and made to account for those stolen monies. This is what President Bio said, “We must be very clear that when people who occupy public offices steal public monies or engage in other forms of corruption, they do not do so on behalf of their tribe, their region or their political party. Rather, they do so as individuals or a group of individuals and they must be held accountable”.
Those who are trying to politicize corruption are doing a disfavor to the country. Those who looted the resources of the state did so for the good of themselves and their extended family members. Their stolen monies are hoarded safely in bank accounts in Europe, Africa, Asia and America. Those stolen monies are what President Bio is fighting to recover from those who stole them. How can one man build six houses in less than five years just because he held an influential position in the government? This is both inexcusable and unacceptable!
We call on the APC Party and those members of the APC Party who mean well for this country to cooperate fully with the investigations of the Commissions of Inquiry. This will give them the opportunity to clear their names and continue to participate in the governance of the state. The APC Party’s best bet is to support the work of the Commissions of Inquiry, by encouraging all their supporters and members to cooperate fully with the investigations of the Commissions of Inquiry. After all, not all those who served in the Koroma administration between 2007 and 2018 are corrupt. There are good public servants who gave their best in the interests of the country. Those people must be given the opportunity to face the Commissions of Inquiry and clear their family names.
Once again, the Commissions of Inquiry are not a witch-hunt. They are a perfect forum to entrench accountability in the governance system of our country by ending the culture of impunity and curtailing monumental corruption.
Never underestimate the determination of President Bio to curtail or end corruption in Sierra Leone. He is on a personal crusade to kill corruption in Sierra Leone. Let us all support him to succeed in his determination to transform this country.