By Moses Kay Fembeh
Since His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio was declared the presidential winner on Wednesday 4th April 2018, with a total of 1,319,406, making it 51.8% from the total number of votes casted, that led to the defeat of his main opponent Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara of the APC with a total of 1,227,171, making it 48.2% from the total number of votes casted, there have been a huge number of challenges facing his administration and some of these challenges could be misappropriation and reckless spending of public funds by both the past and present governments officials which has led to inflation in commodities, increase in unemployment rate, especially among youths and constant increase in the cost of living.
In the market environment, importers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers continue to murmur about the accelerated increase in the prices of goods. The consumers lament no the total lack of price control across the country, the wholesalers lament on the goods they do buy from the general merchandisers which are too expensive and find it difficult to sell at cheaper prices to the potential retailers. If you interview the importers they usually complain about the fall of ‘Leones’ to ‘Dollars’ and the taxation levied on them by the custom officers at the Queen Elizabeth Quay. “Imagine you have used five hundred thousand new Leones (500,000) or five hundred million old Leones to purchase goods abroad and you have to pay shipment for any container and the prices are vary depending on the kind of goods that your container contains. So you cannot expect to sell them at a cheaper rate, remember you’re doing it with a desire to maximize and make profits”, said one of the importers in an interview with this media.
Another concerned person by the name of Yufufu Sesay also said that the All People’s Congress Party is not serious, to come back to power because His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio has given so many chances to the APC to win the 2023 national elections. “If I’m an Executive member of the All People’s Congress Party, one of the things I will do that Bio and his government have already failed to do is to provide sustainable food that will last for a long time and that is provided if the current government gives me the platform to do so. We appreciate the free education, I cannot call it Free Quality Education because the teachers that are supposed to add the quality or standard to it are not properly paid,” he said.
Mohamed Kamara, not his real name, also said that the APC party is reckless and not serious to take over governance comes 2023. “Imagine a well-recognized political party that has headed Sierra Leone twice could not account for three thousand new Leones or three million old Leones. I wonder what some of their naive youths and intelligent ones are doing in the party. If I’m a member of the APC, I will definitely tender my resignation of membership letter to them and just quit, he retreated.
Mrs. Mabinty Bendu is a businesswoman at Abacha Street, she expressed her dissatisfaction over the security sector’s decision to demolish their tables. She said that some of them have kids and external families to take care of. She identified herself to be a single parent with four children, her eldest child attends Njala University and the others are in secondary school. She furthered that she as well takes care of two of her relative’s kids. As a supporter of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, according to her, on behalf of other business women, she is appealing the President to pardon them and allow them sell their businesses at the said street, especially at the time they expect high sales as schools are set to reopen on Monday 5th September 2022.”Imagine with the guardrail where my table used to be, opposite Pee Cee and Sons shop at 10 Abacha Street, and the shop owners are not even giving us chances to sell. Please, papa government, help us,” she lamented.
It could also be recalled that when President Julius Maada Bio took over office he promised to wage war against corruption in both the past and present governments and this bought about the set-up of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate the past government but some set of people said that was the wrong decision Bio took, when asked they said that he was not the president during the past government. Therefore, whosoever that will be helped to give witnessed against any minister he/she must be compensated to provide information and that is corruption and because you have already corrupted the mind of that person to tell lies against another person, false documents could be provided. They further said that H. E. Bio’s overseas contracts with investors in the countries he has visited since he came into office as the president had been undermined by the past government officials because he did not succumb to the building or establishment of a second Airport at Mammah this could have made Ernest Bai Koroma and cohorts to become happy and HE Bio would not have faced opposition like what he is facing now.
Meanwhile, some people are still praising the president for his good work and some even appreciate the closure of Abacha Street by whosoever, the government or the police.
Heroes Media Newspaper can confirm that Sani Abacha Street was demolished by the Sierra Leone Police. Acting Director of Operations Brima Jah said that they as security personnel did that because anytime they patrol around Abacha Street some disgruntle boys will threaten them or make ill comments.
A senior staff from the Ministry of Trade and Industry said the ministry is powerless when it comes to regulating price controls in the country. According to the person, he said it is difficult for a ministry to determine how much a private businessman should sell his goods. He further said that the Ministry of Trade and Industry does not produce, export and import goods and services to the nation though they regulate policy for a better livelihood for all Sierra Leoneans residing in the country.
On the other hand, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio visited Looking Town community on the 31st August 2022. During his visit, he said that he is aware of the cry of the people and even cited the Pakistan flooding that claimed the lives of one thousand people (1000) and that their disaster was more terrible that the one at looking Town community. He further said that the people should be courageous enough to accept their fates as a nation and added that the toughness of things is a global concern and Sierra Leoneans should be proactive as his government is steadily making progress.
More so, it’s clear that after August 10 insurrection, his Excellency has been engaging different stakeholders, including his recent meeting with civil society organizations, the press, inter-religious council and others. During his meeting with them, he mentioned that he met bankrupt Treasury accounts as he said his predecessor didn’t leave enough money to continue running the country. Therefore, he has to travel overseas to his colleagues’ presidents to beg them for help so that his country could be sustainable. “I can understand your pain and discouragement of my leadership but I can assure you of a better tomorrow and that is why I’m investing in human capital so even the uneducated youths and adults can learn skills training that will help them to live a better life with their families,” he said.
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