Mohamed Kutubu Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 September 2021:
As the 2023 electioneering campaigns slowly begin in Sierra Leone, there is need to reflect on the campaign promises made by Mr. Julius Maada Bio when he sought the presidency, as well as particular focus on Mrs. Fatima Bio’s insatiable money chasing for a purported project “hands off our girls” to see what benefits if any, the people on whose behalf she has received huge funding, have gained.
Does president Julius Maada Bio deserve a second term or simply become another John Mahama of Ghana whose presidency ended after just one term?
We must sensitize the voters to the fact that Mr. Bio’s re-election should be tied to Mrs Fatima Bio’s contributions or lack thereof in the governance of the nation which for all intent and purposes is nothing to write home about.
Mr. Bio has just presented his address at the 76th session of the annual General assembly of the United Nations in New York to virtually an empty chamber.
Having closely perused his speech, it amounts to a compendium of misinformation that can simply not pass the litmus test of truth, especially most of what he claimed the administration has accomplished.
He was at the magnificent setting in Harvard Yard where he delivered one of those rosy speeches which is expected to produce nothing tangible.
In the interim though, Mrs. Fatima Bio’s appetite for money raising for her nebulous project went into overdrive in the Washington community with rivers of cash raised for her much touted “HANDS OFF OUR GIRLS” project, which is nothing more than a deceptive scheme to fool gullible and unsuspecting people.
There is no empirical evidence to suggest women or girls in Sierra Leone have benefited from the unaccounted monies she has raised on their behalf, except handing out sanitary pads.
The national Treasury is at her beck and call – thanks to Jacob Jusu Saffa and a very impotent national legislature that has never been able to muster the courage of conviction and moral fortitude to hold public officials accountable for Mrs. Bio’s profligate spending at the expense of the suffering masses.
Mr. Bio never ceases to talk about transparency and accountability. But the actions of his administration point to something entirely different from his pious pronouncements.
Does president Bio deserve a second term mandate?
The fact of the matter simply is this. It is not the international community that will be heading for the polling stations in 2023 to reaffirm their abiding faith in the validity of the sanctity of the ballot box. It is the ordinary people of Sierra Leone whose lives are condemned to abject poverty and unspeakable misery, while president Bio and members of his administration wallow in opulence and extravagance of untold dimensions, who will make that decision.
Needless to say, the days when leaders manipulate elections through political violence as we saw in Guinea and elsewhere are now things of the past.
The African spring is alive and well ready to deal with any leader who wants to bulldoze his or her way into office through political chicanery.