Sierra Leoneans have been deprived of the opportunity to have a presidential election with a formidable opposition contender that has the credibility to take on the incumbent president Ernest Bai Koroma. The country’s oldest political party, the SLPP, having lost faith in its own ability to win an election, decided to choose a mass-murderer as its flag-bearer for the all-important vote tomorrow. Election time should be an exciting moment when the electorate gets to either keep the incumbent in office, because of a job well done, or choose an alternative because they want change. But this time round, the electorate in Sierra Leone will not be voting for change, as the alternative presented by the main opposition party is not anything close to presidential material.
Even if the SLPP had presented a candidate with character, it would have been an uphill task to dethrone an incumbent who has risen up to the challenge of turning things round with an economy he inherited that was on its knees begging to be salvaged from the clutches of inept governance, with the most vile politicians presiding over the worst economic period in the country’s history. Sierra Leone needs continuity through the path it has taken to rehabilitate its battered structures. Having never experienced such amazing commitment from its leadership since independence, the electorate should have no difficulty in keeping the status qou intact. The country is not in need of a change in leadership or governance – it is now time for consolidating the economic and democratic gains that have been realized through an incredible agenda for change piloted by the vision of the current head of state, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma.
A country can only decide to change its leadership if it lacks the drive to deliver on vital services and economic prosperity. But the government of Ernest Bai Koroma can never be accused of complacency. Since assuming office,. there has been a relentless push to revive the economy that was abused by the SLPP government, when only promissory notes was all that could be relied upon for the survival of a nation with abundant natural resources. The exploitation of the country’s resources was presided over by those lining up as contenders to grab power once again.
The voters should not even be reminded of the abysmal performance of the SLPP cabal, all of whom are expert embezzlers who will relish another chance to dip their hands in the country’s coffers one more time. Voters are urged to exercise their rights with caution, and not allow a ‘totapak’ inspired turn-out in the streets, to mislead their common sense of choice. The outcome of these elections will define the future of the country, and voting APC will pay tribute to the man whose initiative to pick up the pieces after the people were left to suffer and abandoned by the very SLPP who are now asking for another shot at power again, has paid off.
The people should not take the changes they are experiencing around them for granted at all. Five years ago, the country had no electricity and free health care; no proper safe-drinking water facilities; salaries were not paid on time, and what was on the table was insufficient to sustain any family. All these are at risk as stakeholders and government partners only got involved in the projects that made way for all these remarkable services, because they have faith in the current APC leadership of president Koroma, and there is no guarantee that they will be preserved or available under an SLPP government, because of its past record in power.
The remarkable achievements of President Ernest Bai Koroma are well documented and there for all to see, and to quote the BBC West Africa correspondent, Mark Doyle, in his recent report: “In 15 years I’ve never seen the place so busy.These are not inconsiderable. In the past five years there has been a wave of foreign investment and many infrastructure projects – including hundreds of miles of roads and improved electricity supply – are either completed or on the way”. Doyle, a seasoned reporter/journalist, known for his uncompromising reporting, is acknowledging change and improvement in a country that has only known poverty for most of its recent history. Sierra Leoneans should vote wisely to keep things the way they are.
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