August 26, 2019
The Media in modern democracy should be a vehicle for development, and should play the premodial role to effectively educating the masses, averting insecurity, and a conduit to the enjoyment of peace. The Media in Sierra Leone today is expected to give quality education, and information considering the gullibility of our impoverished society. Impoverished because it is no secret that majority of Sierra Leoneans are inept in digesting what is positive, a reality that has held progress hostage. This is so because the current SLPP government under President Bio is undergoing a total overhauling from business as usual, a situation that was deliberately deployed by the outgone APC government. It is the case for the Media now to set the agenda for a prosperous Salone taken into consideration the very patriotic and nationalistic drive the New Direction has taken since President Bio was elected in 2018. As an entity in national growth, the negative use of this very important arm of governance has sprinkled disaster in some countries world over. We hope the Media in Sierra Leone should move far away from such stances, considering our checkered history, recognising the need and desperation to repair the institutions of good governance and democratic values.
President Bio and his government inherited a country that was mismanaged by corrupt APC administrators. And in laying the bricks straight, the Media should be a tool in telling the truth, and clearly laying bare how much effort the SLPP government is doing to make Sierra Leone a better place again for all of us, and generations to come. The poor and neglected people did not vote in the New Direction government by mistake, the people expected a disciplined system of governance, restoring their dignity, and full enjoyment of human rights. Our country had lost respect in the international system under the corrupt Ernest Koroma regime, the economy in total shambles, with little or no pity for who struggles the most. As a true Sierra Leonean with hindsight in leadership, President Bio told the people that the journey to success was going to be tough, but that he has measures that will refurbish and provide abundance for all Sierra Leoneans. Therefore, his election slogan- *Paopa Salone for Betteh*
Today, the gangrene that retarded growth and equality has been adequately addressed. There is not a sincere Sierra Leonean that is not aware that President Bio and his SLPP are extremely serious about fighting corruption. This should be sifterd to the people of this country, and the appropriate vehicle in doing so should be the Media, the most trusted means the people rely on as laid down in the articles of our constitution. The suffering of the masses is packaged in the hampers of unscrupulous and unpatriotic people that had a field day especially in the last ten years of the Ernest Koroma APC regime. The ACC has clearly proven that the lives of the people would have been better had APC decided to be honest, instead of feasting with their cronies on what should make the country proud. And the Media should direct attention to the revelations at the Commissions of Inquiry, a broad daylight dream that APC and their actors wrecked the nation, and therefore disregard the political gimmicks for a prosperous Sierra Leone.
It is a folly for anyone to really think the dept of destruction heaped on the economy by APC Ernest Bai Koroma regime would be repaired by a 16 months old government. But the assiduous effort applied by the current SLPP government should translate hope, and by all indications, President Bio and his government are on the right trajectory to save the sinking nation. The economy was tattered, shunned by our international financial partners, undermining the peace, security and stability of our country. All democratic institutions were weakened, without an iota of resurrection until President Bio came and put in place stringent measures to correct the deliberate anomalies. To ameliorate the fasad system, President Bio has employed plausible agendas that will certainly enhance economic prosperity again. With a debt free nation by 2007 when Ernest Koroma became President, the country we have now is in a robe of total break down, and only a Marshall- like-plan is envisaged to get the economy from its knees. The I.M.F, World Bank, DfID, and other financial institutions had to write off the A PC Ernest Bai Koroma regime as any sensitive and sober government with sincere feelings for the pro poor people of this nation.
When President Bio told the people that he has the ability to manage the nation’s respect if voted in 2018, he has delivered on that promise. All efforts were exploited to show the international community that his government will deviate from business as usual perpetuated by the Ernest Koroma APC. President Bio stood his ground to implementing policies that have brought back the support of the IMF, and the World Bank to a point of amazement that huge international capital has been pumped into the economy. And with internal fiscal control, the economy is moving from the life support machine APC administration permanently kept the nation.
The challenges to revamp our economy are enormous. Sadly, our hungry uneducated people are yet to digest the frantic efforts, a major reason why the Media should look at the yardstick put forward by SLPP so far and inject into the populace that there is light at the end of the tunnel. No magic other than discipline has risen the sleeping economy we had before SLPP took governance. This effort has been translated by the actions of the Ministry of Finance by cleverly and prudently ensuring that the needs of the people are responded to. It takes tactfulness to manage the economy we have now.
To most people, the economy has survived by miracle, but truly, much sense has been exhibited by the Finance Minister to sustain all the shocks, so much so that the Ministry is enjoying accolades especially from international partners, and recently from the Ministry of Education for pushing hard so that the SLPP government has successfully delivered on its flagship programme– the Free and Quality Education, making sure prompt responses are made to make our people of tomorrow adequately and sincerely attended to. And the bread and butter struggle is key, a reason for the employment of more teachers and nurses, and other essential services addressed.
The outgoing IMF boss was on 98.0 FM, showering hope on the current economy, confident that indeed President Bio’s government is a very serious government, reliable, and determined to exhaust best practices to better nation. This should not be any politics as usual, and the Media should direct these information to the people that though the SLPP government is yet to land, but that the turbulence has been cleverly weathered, with prospect of more productive caveats. In the same vein, an independent Economist Jacob Macaulay, a Sierra Leonean of Trust Alliance opined most recently that the economy was suffering from paralysis by the time President Bio took over the reins of governance. Jacob Macaulay was straight to have said the country under APC Ernest Koroma was mismanaged, wrong mining contracts signed to benefit just a few. That was how the mining sector was, toying with the back bone of our economy. And by the Ebola break, and fall in Ore prices, the economy went into commatoze. So resuscitation of such an economy needs time. Clearly, the government is serious about making sure the mining sector benefit the people now more than ever. Job creation will be accelerated in the mines. It is never a choice of the SLPP government that the US $ should throw such a challenge on the economy but because the APC government under Ernest Bai Koroma did not choose the right business partners to help exonerate the economic pains we had suffered as a nation.
Many comfortable strides have been proffered by the President Bio government. The outgoing IMF boss restored the hope of young people in this country that the economy has expanded shortly under President Bio, and very soon, the bread and butter situation would be a happy end. She anticipated a boom in the agricultural sector, as diversification is key on the agenda of the New Direction. For the IMF boss, she believes what has been put in place by the SLPP government will propelled job creation soon, with all indicators in production in the agricultural sector. Hon. Joe Ndanema of the agriculture ministry informed the sceptics recently that his ministry has imported live seedlings for productivity, not what Monty Jones and his cohorts did when contractors brought back dead seeds for our farmers, wrong fertilizers supplied, and on wrong farming seasons. The Commission of Inquiry will tell you Monty Jones, a man that should deserve respect but on a contrary, took open signed cheques meant to have augmented our poor farmers but was siphoned into private pockets. Such inhuman behaviour will never surface under the SLPP President Bio regime. SLPP is truly here to deliver, and on purpose. Jobs will be available very soon once the economic agendas starts bearing fruits. The prospect is really huge for a better and respected Sierra Leone. All that is expected of the Media in development is to continue allaying the fears of the people without political connotations. The signs are clear that President Bio and his political actors are serious to turnaround the appalling situations they assumed upon getting to governance.
The innovation the Ministry of Information has adjusted is a sine qua non. Soon, our schools will enjoy perfect ICT facilities, a component that will aid the quality flow of education. Hon. Rado Swaray has not exhibited himself like any of the jokers like Alpha Kanu and Mohamed Bangura when in charge of that very important sector. It was nauseating when Alpha Kanu likened national issues to mere football entertainment. The Media should perfectly recall that the Information Ministry under Alpha Kanu was either Old Trafford or Wusum Stadium. That was very irritating. Hon. Swaray averted the tribal conflict that Osman Foday Yansaneh amplified. The young articulate Minister vehemently implored on the poor people that SLPP government is never a government of individuals but the country. Those were terrible times in this country but Hon. Swaray made a hard and fast attempt to let the people know the country does not belong to President Bio, but the people right across the country, and of all tribes. That is how serious the current SLPP actors are. And it is on record that Hon. Rado Swaray gave corrupt people up in his Ministry without compromise, as the case was with APC Ernest Koroma who preferred recycling corrupt individuals to the anger of civilized people.
In the quest of diversifying the economy, President Bio has given political support to the Tourism Ministry, a dead stock in the last APC regime. And as it is, the country will soon witness an inflow of tourists, and fortunately, the market is poised to bringing in the needed foreign exchange to boost the economy. These are not just mere lip service but Dr. Memunatu Pratt is shedding the light and the prospects are visible.
The Media in development should stand in the gap of the negative propaganda by the opposition APC, determined to impede better lives for the people as long as they are not in power. Quite agreed but we are not in election frenzy, and people should allow good things to rest.
The insincerity exhibited by APC is unfathomable.
The people must enjoy their bread and butter in peace very soon. It is like the fox and grapes story. The people believe in President Bio, and his agenda to ensure people realise their full capacity is glaring. The people should be kept abreast with their prosperity. And the Media in development should play this pivotal role, and prepare the score sheet before 2023.
Be proud Sierra Leonean.