May 9, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Founding member and an aspiring flagbearer of the United National People’s Party (UNPP), Dr. Benedict Kargbo, has said his party has prioritized five pillars as their development agenda, if elected to power in the forthcoming 2018 elections.
Dr. Benedict Kargbo made the above statement in an exclusive interview with Concord Times in Batkanu town, Libiesaygahun Chiefdom in the Bombali district, northern Sierra Leone.
With the vision of bringing all Sierra Leoneans together and ensuring peace was returned during the war years, the UNPP was founded in 1995 and contested the 1996 general elections.
“We were successful with Dr. John Kerifa Smart, the then Chairman and Leader of the party, because we won the 1996 presidential election with a landslide victory but it was rigged. We did not fight because we wanted sanity to return to the country,” he recalled.
He disclosed that UNPP’s five pillars include agriculture, health, education, housing, transport and communication, adding, “We will ensure that each and every region in Sierra Leone is able to feed itself.”
“The transportation system is very poor. The governing All People’s Party (APC) party is making roads but that’s not enough. We need to have improved roads in every village,” he said.
Dr. Kargbo cited the road leading to Batkanu town as the worst he has ever seen. “We have two major areas in Libiesaygahun Chiefdom that cannot be accessed using a ferry. The government should have constructed bridges, but UNPP will do so as soon as we assume power in 2018,” he said.
He said UNPP would ensure that they construct railways for trains to ply, adding that there were currently no school buses to convey pupils in rural communities.
“They trek 10 or more miles on daily basis to access their various schools.”
The UNPP aspiring flagbearer said his party was on the ground during the just concluded voter registration exercise in order to mobilize people to register.
“We are in the country and we have been doing lots of things underground in order to contribute to national development. We don’t need to be singing our praises always but we are moving. We have offices in all the regions of Sierra Leone,” he boasted.
Asked how the UNPP will be able to achieve its priority areas, Dr. Kargbo said his party will bring in the necessary Sierra Leonean expatriates to help in the delivery of the party’s mandates.
“Those expatriates will advise the government on what they should do to enhance success in these areas. We have so many Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora that have the technical know-how to achieve big things for national development but they are not given the chance to do so,” he said.
Dr. Kargbo noted that the UNPP was yet to go into convention, but noted that plans were underway to do so as soon as possible.