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STATEMENT BY THE LEADER, HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT ON THE EBOLA OUTBREAK

EBOLA, to borrow the words of HE the President, is real. EBOLA is a natural menace and a natural disaster and NOT a political gimmick as alluded by some people who do not understand the extremely poisonous and bitterly hostile nature of this virus. And may the Almighty have mercy on us, especially those who have paid the ultimate cost and fallen victim to this natural disaster.

Every country in the world has had its fair share of natural disasters; from Tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan to floods and hurricanes in the USA and elsewhere, fire disasters in Australia and even recently, the mysterious disappearance of flight 370 from Malaysia with over 200 passengers. We’ve had the sad incidents of civil wars and rebellion in places like Iran and Iraq, not to talk of the unfortunate Boko Haram rebellion in Nigeria…we can go on and on.

But we are very much saddened by this EBOLAattack in the South-Eastern part of Sierra Leone – Kailahun and Kenema in the East and other districts in the South. Those who have died are Sierra Leoneans; those who are languishing sick in hospitals are Sierra Leoneans. Let’s for once put aside our colours, our tribes and regions and pray for our vulnerable brothers and sisters and let us demonstrate the nationalism we saw when Nine-Eleven hit the USA.

Mr. Speaker, Hon. Members, our parliamentary seats have been empty for some weeks now because our colleagues are standing by their constituents to give them solace and succor as the people’s  representatives.

As a Parliament, we have had consultations and stood firmly by our people, engaging the Minister of Health and her officials so as to avail the public of adequate information on EBOLA. On Fri. 27th June, Parliamentarians joined Airtel in the EBOLA Fund Raising Dinner. Even now, many are still out there doing frantic sensitization of their populations in the most vulnerable areas.

The parliamentary Leadership has pledged ten million leones and we are still in consultation with the rest of our Membership and staff to make more pledges in addition to what we have already done.

This Parliament will stand by the people of Sierra Leone in good times and in bad times. So help us God!