Mahmud Tim Kargbo: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 June 2022:
President Bio may have some very harsh words for alleged corrupt contract deals from the previous government, but his actions show that his system is currently benefiting from the same alleged corrupt deals of the past regime.
On scores of occasions when he was in the opposition, it was reported that Bio’s SLPP “Paopa” team is against the very exploitative toll road contract, mining contracts, well-inflated procurement contracts, and actively campaigned against them.
To right-minded nationals, this is, of course, nothing short of insincerity because what was bad yesterday is still bad today. If you really thought a contract was so bad, you’d probably make sure your government revisit the terms or terminate it.
If you really thought well-inflated procurement contracts were a problem when you were in opposition, you probably wouldn’t give that problem a green light when you’re President.
What’s more, if you were really concerned about the plight of the suffering majority, you might give them some good contracts to move the country forward tangibly, instead of giving your government support to the very companies and well-inflated procurement contracts you had criticised when in opposition.
What we have with this revelation is just another example of how Bio’s time in the spotlight has made an argument against corruption, instead of for it. The heavily regulated exploitative toll road, mining and procurement contracts were bad, he said, but his actions say that he prefers them now as President — a shift that is only possible because of the thing he stands most opposed to. Corruption!
Now, this is not the first time that something like this has happened. As citizens note, Bio seemed to make an argument against himself again during his campaign when he expressed his sadness over the huge wage bill burden on the state purse and the politicisation of state institutions.
Then there is, of course, the repeated and complete breakdown of his positions whenever they are evaluated through the lens of reality and facts. Immediately after he became President of Sierra Leone, he stated flatly that the “elections showed sharp divide in our country and he will work and ensure that does not exist anymore in Sierra Leone” — undoubtedly an argument for an inclusive -style redistribution of national wealth — when the reality is that the division class has actually grown under his “Paopa” presidency system within the past four years.
Many people might be tempted to see the rise of Bio, and particularly his initial popularity in the media, to be some sort of sign that his version of presidency might actually be viable in this country. Anyone who is actually paying attention, however, would see that the opposite is true.
At almost every turn, the spotlight on Bio’s presidency ideals has shown how completely unfeasible they are, and how often they are rooted in false information and misunderstanding. No one should know this better than Bio himself.
After all, if you look at his actions instead of his words, it seems that even he understands the benefits of narrowing the political landscape to make himself bigger at the expense of the country and its people — and his terrible ideas to violate our laws and concentrate powers in his hands has his direct destabilisation of the Civil Service to prove it.