August 1, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura
Aspirant for the position of standard bearer of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Pastor Yonku Kanu, has criticised the government and Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA) over the controversial Toll Road agreement, stating that it was untimely because of the economic difficulties the country is grappling with.
He was speaking to journalists Wednesday, 26 July, 2017 at his office in Freetown.
The pastor-cum-politician claimed that the government has ‘wrecked’ and ‘ruined’ the country’s economy through the toll road project and failed to make public the contract agreement signed between the Chinese construction company and the people of Sierra Leone.
“Sierra Leoneans are not happy about the manner in which this contract was signed. There are problems in the arrangement which government should make clear to the public,” he said.
Pastor Kanu further claimed that there was ‘fraudulent deal’ in the contract, the reason according to him government has been reluctant to make the content known to the public, although he failed to substantiate his claim.
The UDM standard bearer aspirant opined that government should have given opportunity to other companies to bid to construct the highway linking Freetown by land to the rest of the country for a minimum amount, instead of awarding it to a Chinese company.
“Why the preferential treatment for this company? Our current leaders have no respect for the citizenry. That is why we’ve decided to step in the ring to change the narratives of politics in Sierra Leone,” he said.
The young firebrand politician also called on the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the University of Sierra Leone, for among other things, the ‘skyrocketed’ amount for their entrance form.
He described the said increment as an ‘exploitation of the poor’ and that authorities involved should raise their voice against the alleged exploitation.
“I can understand the dynamics. Most of them have taken their children abroad for better education; so they care less about poor Sierra Leoneans,” he said.
He accused President Koroma’s administration of downgrading the standard of education in what was once known as the “Athens of Africa”, thus calling on students overcome the challenges and bottlenecks confronting them in the pursuit of attaining higher education.
“They are frustrating you because they want their linage to lead us in the future,” he claimed.
He also recommended that ACC should investigate university administrators who charge fees for facilities that students do not access, adding that the University of Sierra Leone has been ‘extorting’ monies from students without rendering the expected services.
Meanwhile, we couldn’t get a response from either the government or university officials as we went to press.