Franklyn Davies: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 February 2018
So according to Julius Maada Bio, speaking at the presidential debate on Thursday, Samura Kamara and his ruling APC have been spending money like they are ‘drunken sailors’. This accusation went down quite well, until Dr Kamara responded back.
Samura said that with Bio’s track record, Bio is unfit to criticise, because in the three months of Bio’s reign as Head of State under the NPRC military dictatorship, when Dr Kamara himself was Financial Secretary, $18M disappeared from the government of Sierra Leone coffers and was paid into the private accounts of the NPRC Leadership.
Now this revelation is alarming, because back then as is today, the government of Sierra Leone was in near collapse and needed a loan from the IMF to prop-up the government. It is also alarming because of the amount of money that went missing. $18M in 1996 is $29M in today’s value.
It is alarming because, even the current APC government has not demonstrated such a rapacious appetite to capture and embezzle state funds.
However, this comes as no surprise to those who have always had very serious concerns about Sierra Leone being governed once more by Julius Maada Bio. Bio has many skeletons in his closet.
It is a well-known fact that Bio is financially broke. It is believed that he has been living on the charity of his supporters in the UK.
Both he and his UK support base are said to be desperate to get control of the country’s coffers.
Most of these henchmen of Bio have prominent roles in the SLPP or have been selected to contest parliamentary elections. Hence, the bloodletting within the SLPP during the party’s nomination process.
Evidently, the APC and by implication – Samura Kamara, is not the only drunken sailor in this Presidential race. Bio, also is. So, what should the people of Sierra Leone do about the drunken sailors, representing both APC and SLPP.
Well, the song suggests that the drunken sailor should be put in a long boat till he’s sober. A long boat, means that the voters should not reward either APC or SLPP with another 5 years of governance.
Another vote for APC or SLPP will only serve to compound the long years of misery, poverty and hunger in the country, with another five miserable years, during which the economy will completely collapse.
Sierra Leone is now on its knees. Five more years, with drunken sailors of either APC or SLPP at the helm will result in economic catastrophe.
Therefore, the people of Sierra Leone must resolve on 7th March 2018, to put both Samura Kamara and Julius Maada Bio, in a long boat until both the APC and SLPP sober up from their drunken stupor, and realise that public resources belong to all Sierra Leoneans, including future generations; and not to be squandered by public officials.
As such, the people must demand that all Presidential Candidates publicly disclose their Assets in Cash and Fixed Assets, including their liabilities, 10 days before the Presidential Elections.
Do not vote for any Presidential Candidate who fails to publicly disclose their assets and liabilities. All Parliamentarians, Mayors and District Chairs must fully declare their assets as part of their swearing into Parliament and Offices; and this must be made public, through the media.
Listen to Dr Yumkella putting spotlight on APC government corruption and inefficiencies: