Freetown goes ‘green’ as president Bio boosts national cleaning campaign

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 November 2019:

Freetown the capital of Sierra Leone, one of the two most important ‘swing regions’ in the country’s political and electoral landscape, is believed to be increasingly going ‘green’ – the colour of the ruling SLPP party, as well as becoming more ecologically conscious, since the introduction of the monthly national cleaning day by president Julius Maada Bio.

According to some policy analysts, president Bio is gradually making significant political inroads in Freetown, winning hearts and minds of the city’s majority opposition APC supporters.

With the president’s numerous governance reforms, coupled with his human capital development programme, many opposition supporters in Freetown who did not vote SLPP in 2018, are now said to be rethinking their voting behaviour come 2023, when general and presidential elections will be held.

President Bio needs to win Freetown and Kono, if he is to comfortably assert his control of the country’s parliament, which he currently controversially controls with a small majority, after election petitions ruling by the High Court overturned APC’s overall majority.

The growing perception of many opposition supporters in the capital is that, “President Bio is a serious president who seems to be stopping at nothing to make Sierra Leone a better nation”.

Despite difficult economic challenges facing most households – rising costs of living, it is thought that the president may now be enjoying as much as 50% support across the capital – an increase of more than 10% since the 2018 elections which saw Bio’s SLPP winning 40% of the votes.

Two key factors that led to the implosion of the APC at the 2018 national polls, were the success of the SLPP in stopping APC from amassing a massive majority in Freetown, and APC’s inability to win Kono district.

And, should president Bio’s popularity continue to grow into 2023, the APC party is set to face a far more excruciating defeat at the polls.

Some pollsters are now even suggesting that APC would need to garner more than 75% of votes in Freetown (western region), if it is to succeed in toppling the SLPP at the next elections, thereby denying president Bio from enjoying a second term in office.

But with the APC party locked into a constitutional and leadership crisis, this could be an uphill task for the APC to surmount.

Many believe that Bio’s popularity and success in winning hearts and minds of voters in the capital is because of his pragmatic approach to governance, especially his fight against corruption and other initiatives, such as his free education and national street cleaning programmes. He has been dubbed – “the talk and do president”.

Today, the president has brought in dozens of motorcycle-powered rubbish collection and disposal wagons to ensure that rubbish collected on streets across the city are not left uncollected causing serious sanitation problems.

Traders, pedestrians and shoppers along the central business district of Freetown this morning watched, as the motorcycle-powered rubbish collection and disposal wagons were rolled out.

Watch the video:

 

2 Comments

  1. Mr. Kaye,

    You can only speak for yourself and not for the rest of the great Western Area voters. You come across as an angry and ungrateful voter who is not ready to appreciate the good fortunes that the SLPP government has exposed Sierra Leone to in just 18 months of governance.

    The arguments in the article are sound and cogent. If the SLPP won 40% of the Western Area votes amidst widespread APC rigging in 2018, then with all the good deeds of the present government and in the absence of any APC rigging in 2023, it is very plausible that the SLPP will blow away the APC in the Western Area.

    Remember that the SLPP won the Western Area in 2002 and only lost it in 2007 and 2012 due to mass APC rigging. My prediction is that the APC will remain in the wilderness of opposition for over twenty years.

    It is imperative that the APC cleans its soiled and crooked image before it makes any attempt at a comeback. Sierra Leone’s current trajectory of progress and development cannot be interrupted by a desperate, errant, and do nothing political outfit named APC.

  2. This article does not represent the actual truth on the ground in Freetown. I am challenging whoever that Freetown will never, I repeat, never go green while some of us are still alive. The SLPP came with divisive agendas which are very much alive in the eyes of the residents of Freetown.

    I want to draw your attention that Freetown is harboring a majority of northerners. As far as tribalism is the sermon the SLPP is preaching nationwide, the north-westerners will not see themselves going that wrong direction. I don’t want to comment too much but will like to give you an example of what I am making abundantly clear to you.

    The minister of education wrote to the university authorities during the elections of the university students union, threatening that if their candidate lost the election, the person responsible for that event, will be kicked out of his/her job. They are taking politics even to educational institutions across the country. The pace has been set. We are preparing to payback and with iron fists.

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