The Sierra Leone president, Ernest Bai Koroma, has made one of his finest and most popular cabinet appointments to date in naming Balogun ‘Logus’ Koroma, as his new Minister of Transport and Aviation. As i wrote in an article when Balogun Koroma was appointed again by President Ernest Bai Koroma to co-ordinate the implementation of the country’s 50th Independence anniversary celebrations, Logus Koroma is a no-nonsense hard-hitter, with a reputation to get things right and done on time.
A man who has challenged the consequence of the tragedies of life and has not succumbed to the pain of losing his loved one. A man who has stood tall in times of adversities and has maintained his dignity even when vilified by those who spend time engaging in rancour. A man whose love for country is testimony of his unwavering determination to give back selflessly to his human kind.
‘Logus’ as he is popularly known, is no stranger to most Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad. He brings into his new office a determined and professional aura, reminiscent of a diligent public servant whose call to duty is not only timely, but an important one for government. His wealth of experience can only be matched by his outstanding public service record, which time and again had been the focus of those who tried albeit in vain, to taint his impeccable and distinguished public service to Sierra Leone. Balogun Koroma stands out as one of Sierra Leone’s finest, and an important choice by the president as Sierra Leone prepares for the challenges ahead in moving from a country dependent on foreign assistance to one where its dynamic leadership has mapped out a future with self-sufficiency at the heart of a new Agenda for Prosperity.
Leonard Balogun Albert Koroma was born on the 18th of May 1951, in Sierra Leone, and attended the Yengema Secondary School and the St. Edwards Secondary school from 1962-1976. He entered the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, in 1973 where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma in Public Administration in 1976. He has served in various capacities in the Civil Service holding senior administrative positions in different ministerial departments. Until recently he was appointed Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President by president Koroma but later lost his position through a mini cabinet reshuffle only to be called again by His Excellency to serve his country as the National Coordinator of the 50th Independence Anniversary Committee.
I want to personally applaud His Excellency the President, for demonstrating such immense gratitude to a man who simply deserve to be where he is now: contribution selflessly to our nation building. This is how to show gratitude to someone who stood by you at the most trying of times.
In his own words, here is Balogun ‘Logus’ Koroma expressing his deep appreciation to the President Ernest Bai Koroma during his swearing-in ceremony at State House:
I thank God for this great day in my life and after God Almighty, I thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, for making this day possible by appointing me to the coveted position of Minister of Transport and Aviation as we go into the critical implementation phase of his Agenda for Prosperity.
Mr. President Sir, I accept this position with all humility and promise to serve you, my party, my country and my people as a servant and not a master.
My President Sir, I am happy, proud, elated, and thank you from the very bottom of my heart for this vote of confidence in me, and for making me a cabinet Minister for the very first time after long years of service to you my party, and country.
I pledge my loyalty to you, and to you alone, and promise to again make you proud like I did for the 50thIndependence Anniversary Celebration and the 2012 Multi Tier Elections in which you emerged victorious in the first round.
Your Excellency, before reaching this point, it has been a long and arduous journey, it has been a test; the President Ernest Bai Koroma test for patience, loyalty, steadfastness and belief in your leader. The first test came when it pleased His Excellency to relieve me of my duties as Minister of State in the Office of the Vice President. In true party discipline, I accepted the decision with open arms and vowed to work for the party, and yourself even more than before. I continued to participate in party activities and accompanied you on provincial trips.
Test two (2) came after the first cabinet announcement following the 2012 Elections.
The third President Ernest Bai Koroma test came after the final announcement of the remaining four (4) cabinet positions; the name Logus Koroma, winning coordinator for the 2012 elections was not mentioned anywhere. Some people advised me to abandon my office at We Yone House and go back to private life. On the contrary, I again continued to work for the party even more, and continued to follow my President whom I have always believed in, everywhere he went.
The last and final test came when President Koroma called me at about 7 pm on Friday 7th June, 2013 to tell me that he had lost confidence in me and would never sit on the same table with me ever. I tried to get him to explain what I had done and then to listen to my own side of the story. His response was that he will again call me at 8 pm and present irrefutable evidence. That 1 hour wait was the longest and most difficult hour in all my life; I almost had a heart attack. I told a close friend, Ernest Jordan that I was finished.
At 8 pm, my appointment as Cabinet Minister was announced. There was joyful pandemonium at the party office. Immediately after, the President again called to find out if I had had a heart attack before hearing the announcement. What a rigorous final test?
Today, the result of the President Ernest Koroma test is out, and I think I have passed the test subject to confirmation of the result by the Chief Examiner, President Ernest Bai Koroma, the world best, the political Messi.
I dedicate this appointment to my wife and family who stood firmly by me through all the difficult tests, and to my comrades of the APC Party; also to my late Mother and Son. This appointment is a lesson to all, that in the face of difficulties and testing times you must continue to be patient, loyal, steadfast, humble and committed to the cause you believe in; that you must stand by your party and your leader. This is not only a test; it is also victory of patience, loyalty and steadfastness.
I want to assure all of you and H.E the President that the confidence he has reposed in me will never, never be misplaced. I want to assure His Excellency that with the necessary support my ministry will revolutionize transportation by land, sea and air in Sierra Leone. From the German Auto Band, to the American Beltway, to the Motor Way in the UK, to railway networks, seaports and efficient air transportation in the developed world; no country in the world has developed without a robust transportation system.
We need to introduce rush hour service between 7 am to 11am for our school children going to school and workers going to work. After work, we need to introduce rush hour service to take them back home.
The students and workers queuing every morning at Model Junction and Lumley roundabout in the west, and Calaba Town junction in the east need rush hour bus service, morning and evening. Public private sector partnership and collaboration is needed to achieve this.
Mr. President, we need a revolution in Transport and Aviation in our country. You have started the revolution in road construction all over the country; you have also started the revolution in air transportation by the soon to commence construction of the new Mamamah / Ernest Bai Koroma initiated International Airport; you have also started a revolution in sea and land transportation by the proposed construction of a deep sea marine port and railway.
Mr. President, our airports and seaports must be safe and secure; Sierra Leoneans must be able to obtain their licenses and register their vehicles in a free, and timely manner, free of middlemen; our okada’s must be regulated; maritime and reverain transportation must be safe.
Finally, let me thank the numerous well wishers from all over Sierra Leone and parts of the APC Diaspora who have been calling since Friday to profusely thank H.E the President and to congratulate me; everybody is talking about it positively.
Mr. President, as your Minister of Transport and Aviation, I will not rest until your Transport and Aviation revolution is fully implemented.
I thank you all and God bless you
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