Alhaji Kallon: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 September 2012:
During the inauguration of President Koroma in late 2007, the organisers of the show and the newly elected president Koroma, did not allow President Kabba to read his handing over notes.
Was this action of the APC due to the fact that they had misinformed the international community that the Kabba led SLPP government did not initiate or undertake any infrastructural development project?
Since the APC assumed power in 2007, it has been a case of denial that the erstwhile Kabba SLPP government left nothing in place in terms of development. This has been the bone of contention between the APC operatives and the opposition SLPP.
In the Thursday, 06 September, 2012, edition of one of President Koroma’s government mouthpiece – the Torchlight, a paper owned and operated by the Deputy Minister of Information who is also a closed confidant and family member of Koroma, admitted indirectly that the SLPP initiated but did not finish any of the projects.
If it is true that the SLPP started most of the projects that the APC has completed, I will commend both parties for that. However, the APC and its operatives should know that many projects cannot be completed in a year or two.
This could be as a result of funding and the nature and type of projects initiated. Also, the climatic conditions under which work on such projects like road constructions, which cannot be carried out in torrential rainy months of July, August and part of September, can affect or delay completion.
The war in Sierra Leone was officially declared over in the second half of 2002. At that time, Sierra Leone was like a ghost country.
Resettlement, disarmament and demobilization that were the main focus of the post war regime, were carried out successfully before mid 2004.
Meaningful development projects only started in mid 2004. All of these projects were donor funded, as the country’s internal revenue generation was almost zero.
It is therefore, expected that infrastructural development projects like road construction, building large office complex, etc., could spill over into mid 2007 – an election year.
This explains why the CID Headquarters at Pademba Road, the Vice President’s Office at Tower Hill, the NEC building at Tower Hill, the Kenema Plaza, the Bo/Masiaka highway and other projects started by the Kabba led SLPP government could only be completed by the Koroma led APC that came to power after the mid year elections in 2007.
Since governance is continuity, it is expected that meaningful projects started by one government should be continued and completed by the succeeding government.
We saw that in Ghana, where the Kufuor government started a four lane road project that they did not complete. The road was finally commissioned this year (2012) by the late President Mills.
President Mills being the democrat he was, invited former President Kufuor to the opening ceremony and both men held the scissors to cut the tape while many Ghanaians watched on television.
That singular action helped and boosted the country’s stability and image, regardless of who is in power or who started what project.
The governance of continuity also explains why the Bumbuna project that was initiated by the APC led government of Stevens was commissioned by Koroma one year into his presidency, because other governments after Stevens had worked on its development.
It is surprising to many of us independent minds as to why Koroma and his media handlers would claim the success of the Bumbuna project solely as theirs.
As liberal democracy is about continuity, I urge the Koroma government to expedite and complete all projects started by the SLPP before the end of this their first term, because if he fails, history will not be favourable to him, as this period has been the most peaceful and secure period in Sierra Leone since 1991.
Also, whoever wins the Presidency; all projects started by Koroma, should be a priority on his list of activities and should be completed expeditiously. Opportunities for development should be in tandem with the country’s sources of income, which have been boosted by our new found mineral resources.
See: “SIERRA LEONE WAS FULL OF UNFINISHED PROJECTS BEFORE 2007” at http://www.thetorchlight.com