“We must not run away from problems”


…Says President Koroma

December 14, 2015 By Jariatu S. Bangura

While addressing Parliament last Friday, President Ernest Bai Koroma called on Sierra Leoneans not to run away from problems, as they should find ways to fix them, to create a culture of convergence to excellence.

He noted that if it worked for Ebola, it would for infant and maternal healthcare as well as the drive to improve quality education and efforts to improve the agricultural sector as a leading contributor to export growth.

“Defeating Ebola was also about paying attention to details. As I moved around the country visiting treatment centres, I saw how attention to detail and procedures was the difference between life and death, success and failure. We need to move forward with greater precision in our planning and implementation, therefore we must not run away from problems, he urged.

President Koroma maintained that the new approach to success should not be limited to the Ebola outbreak alone, as everyone needs to embrace it in all areas of policy making and auditing decisions to see if they have worked and where else the same approach could be applied. “If it worked for Ebola it can work for the many far lesser problems we will have to contend with now. As we look forward to recovery and getting back to our pre-Ebola development path, these principles cannot be left behind,” he said.

He insisted that the battle to build a better country is the responsibility of all Sierra Leoneans and should be fought together as he alone cannot fight, neither lawmakers or the ruling All Peoples Congress nor the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party. Rather, he said, everyone is needed to join the fight to move the country forward, including Paramount Chiefs, communities, motor drivers, youths, petty traders, etc, adding that dedication to truth and verification, such as that used to defeat Ebola, should be the arsenal for the battle ahead.

“We will definitely make great progress if we stay true to the better principles we adhered to during the fight against Ebola, we have it in us to do that. We have it in us to turn the tide of death away from our pregnant women, children and mothers, we have it in us to prevent any future case of Ebola from overwhelming even the smallest of communities; we have it in us to achieve the goals we have set forth in the two phases of our post Ebola recovery programme,” he stated.

He called on citizens to stand firm and not relent as “We have it in us to defeat the Ebola of backwardness, the Ebola of corruption, the Ebola of ‘how for do’ and all other Ebola holding down this country from realising the fullness of its yearnings for development and ideals embedded in our motto: Unity, freedom and justice.”

President Koroma was speaking at the state opening of the fourth session of the fourth parliament of the second republic. His speech was intermittently interrupted by rival lawmakers who shouted ‘more time’ or ‘time don don’ (time is finished) of the ruling and opposition parties respectively, in allusion to whether he should continue as president or not beyond his mandatory second and last term in 2018.