January 30, 2018 BY Mohamed Massaquoi from Kono
Presidential candidate for the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has told a mammoth crowd in the diamond rich district of Kono that he was determined to provide quality leadership if elected president and that he would confront lawlessness in the country by ensuring safety and security of the people.
He claimed that lawlessness started at State House where good governance and constitutionality are not respected, apparently aiming a swipe at the Ernest Koroma administration which has presided over a litany of gang related battles over ten years and the controversial sacking of the democratically elected vice president.
Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, while presenting his vice presidential candidate to SLPP supporters at Konomanye Lorry Park in centre Koidu city, Sunday, said it was disheartening that a mere nomination exercise by the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) in Freetown last Friday could result into a ‘bloodbath’ in which members of the same political party attacked each other.
The SLPP presidential hopeful said it was unfortunate that since APC came to power they have been preaching attitudinal and behavioural change, but those in governance have not heeded to the appeal.
Bio further noted that any violence in the country could have a ripple effect, not only on the government but the entire citizenry, adding that Friday’s event by members of the APC was not only shameful but clear indication that the party’s hierarchy lacks the capacity to effectively and efficiently govern the state.
“Nomination should not be a war; we did ours without any blemish. I will not sack my vice president because you are electing us together and it is expected that we collectively work in order to promote good governance, human resource capital, robust economic stability, good international relations and above all promote quality and affordable educational system that will empower the current and future generations,” Bio told the ecstatic crowd.
He added: “It is no secret that the SLPP is the best government for the people of Sierra Leone. Before the SLPP left government some years ago we left Le524 billion cash and when this government came, within three months that money was expended. During our era, the country was debt free. Unfortunately our external debt has increased so dramatically under the leadership of Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC.”
He asserted that the foreign exchange rate has exponentially increased because the country’s currency has depreciated against other currencies, adding that the SLPP will win the election and that the APC knows about it.
“I encourage you all to elect all SLPP councilors, Members of Parliament and elect me as your president,” he said and further noted that he has always provided service to the government and people of Sierra Leone by initiating the peace and ushered in a democracy which every Sierra Leonean is now benefiting from.
“APC must go! This is the end of their era because they are not good for themselves less to talk about the suffering masses. This is not how Kono should be.You deserve better services in the area of education, good health facility, and better environmental protection, above all better living condition. I am here to present a vice presidential candidate who is a member of this district. My wife and other relatives came from Kono district. I will do my best to address these challenges when elected president come March 7th 2018. The party has done its own part by electing me as the standard bearer. I have done my own part by appointing as my running mate a Fullah man that is well established and a true Muslim from Kono. It is now left with you to cast your votes for us for a better Sierra Leone,” he said.
“APC has brought immense suffering to the people of Kono and the country as a whole. APC destroyed our standard of education, destroyed our economy and therefore they must go,” concluded the SLPP presidential candidate.
Mr. Bio is contesting for the second time for the presidency after he went face-to-face with President Ernest Koroma in 2012 and came respectable second.