President Bio leads national cleaning programme by example

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 June 2018:

President Julius Maada Bio, yesterday, Saturday 2nd June 2018, joined thousands of people across Sierra Leone who came out in pouring rain to help clean their neighbourhoods and street corners.

The National Cleaning Programme was initiated in April by the president, as one of his Executive Directives aimed at improving sanitation in the country.

At the launch of the National Cleaning Programme last month, President Bio was out of country on international trip. But on this occasion – the second National Cleaning Day, the President was very determined to lead by example.

He was out and about with gloves and spade, helping to clear rubbish across the capital Freetown, as he thanked Sierra Leoneans for supporting the National Cleaning Programme.

The first stop of the President was at the Lumley market where he spoke to traders and many enthusiastic young people who had come out to clean.

President Bio thanked them for participating in the National Cleaning Exercise, adding that, the willingness of the people has shown that people are prepared for change.

From Lumley, the President was driven through Congo Cross, St John, Sanders Street, Siaka Stevens Street to East End Police. At each area where he met people cleaning, he thanked them for participating in the exercise especially in the rain.

At Siaka Stevens Street, President Bio met one of the garbage collection trucks. He put on his gloves, took a shovel and get on with the task of clearing garbage from street corners.

The most populated area was at East End Police where the President was received by the Mayor of Freetown and several Ministers who were supervising the cleaning.

Again, leading by example, President Bio put on his gloves, took a shovel and helped in the process of clearing the garbage. From East End Police, President Bio walked through Abacha Street – thanking traders and young people who came out in huge numbers.

According to State House Media report, people were very delighted as they praised the President for showing exemplary leadership by coming out to participate in the exercise, rather than give direction and orders from above.

Also impressive was the huge number of military personnel participating in the cleaning process to provide supervision. Despite the rain, the President was very determined to show that if the ordinary people could come out to clean in the rain, then he will be out with them.

The President was accompanied by his wife – the First Lady Mrs Fatima Bio, the Chief Minister Professor David Francis, Mrs Melrose Kargbo – Deputy Minister of Works and Public Assets, and the Inspector General of Police – Dr Richard Moigbe.

You can watch a video of Bio leading his New Direction by example:

3 Comments

  1. Kudos to the President. In poverty-stricken situations, self-help becomes a dirty term (no pun intended). Clearing their own neighborhood dirt has now become a labour of shame, which feeling then supersedes any diseases disease which they and their children might suffer because of this attitude.

    To help people in such situations, you have to use the carrot-and-big stick approach: cajole and threat of punishment. I think the president understands this psychology very well. That’s why he came down his pedestal to demonstrate that he is human, too.

    I think his military training has served him well, which in turn will serve the nation well. Let’s keep this humility in service to the nation!

  2. I am NGC ,but I have repeatedly stated that I would only be critical of President Bio if and when , in my opinion , he did something wrong in executing his duties.

    I don’t know what the President’s training in the army was but he surely demonstrates the notion of a commander not leading from the rear but from the forefront , ready to be the first to be taken in the event of encountering a formidable enemy.

    By being at the head of cleaning up his capital city , shovel in hand ,the President is demonstrating that he is first of all a Sierra Leonean ready to rub shoulders with his people and hear their comments directly. He has not put himself on a high horse while his capital city looks and smells more like a rubbish heap , inviting diseases and shortening people’s lives.

    When in our recent history has a head of state been so mindful of the way his capital city smells ?

    This subject deserves more attention but the demands of Ramadan make it impossible for me to continue. I hope to pick it up again in two weeks.

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