Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 February 2021:
Speaking in the southern provincial district of Pujehun last Friday, President Dr Julius Maada Bio said that in the next eighteen months his government will build and furnish a Junior and Senior Secondary School of Excellence exclusively for girls.
“It will cater for 300 pupils…It will be a full boarding school with state-of-the-art facilities. As it is a new secondary boarding school, we will plan for its future growth and expansion… We are building in a green zone to enhance the landscape, support the teaching of biology through maintaining the natural vegetation at the location, and keeping a land bank for future development,” he said.
The President noted that his government has so far granted full tuition waivers for all pupils at the Basic and Senior Secondary education level for all 326 approved schools that benefit from government financial support.
He added that 18,318 pupils are benefitting from school feeding, 415,866 students have received free teaching and learning materials and core textbooks; and two School buses have been provided to serve thousands of students in the district.
President Bio further stated that his government would continue to provide support for agriculture in all chiefdoms throughout the district. He said they are making available 200 hectares of new cocoa variety farms for 200 farmers in Galiness, Barry and Sorogbema chiefdoms in the 2020/2021 farming season.
“We are also developing 109 hectares of Inland Valley Swamp for rice cultivation in Dama, Gaura, Koya and Tonkia chiefdoms for 211 households in 2020/2021 farming season. The developed swamps will promote double-cropping per year with expected yield of three to four metric tons per hectare with improved seed rice variety,” he said.
Regarding infrastructure, the President said in addition to ongoing work, government would tar 3 km of township roads in Bandajuma Sowa and throughout the district. He said his government has funded 100 solar-powered boreholes with 15 standposts for each town to serve about 12,000 people in Pujehun Kanga Chiefdom, Masam Kpaka Potoru Barri and Zimmi Makpele chiefdoms.
The President was also taken on a conducted tour of the Socfin Agricultural Company’s oil palm plantation in Malen Chiefdom, where in 2019 a refinery was commissioned to process over 100 tons of crude palm oil per day, that is producing cooking oil, soap and margarine for the local market.
“Our continuing relationship with SOCFIN demonstrates our recognition that agro-based production and industries are critical to economic development and supportive of our core commitment to improving food security. I am also informed that SOCFIN supplies two local refineries in Freetown, and Sierra Leone has become a net exporter of palm oil. I am, therefore, happy to commission this important production factory,” he said.
Samuel marconi Kamara says —“ To justify my claim, you have ensured that Kambia district in the northern part of Sierra Leone gets electricity which was not there since independence, likewise Masiaka Town, the midway to Freetown linking the north and south of Sierra Leone had been without electricity, yet under your leadership, you have made it possible for the people living in that community to have electricity supply.” Hey Samuel, obviously you are new to this platform, however, here we challenge forumites to substantiate certain claims. Now, when it comes to your above posting, I am not really sure what electrification that has actually taken place at Masiaka. For your information, I happen to be best of friends with a relative of the late Paramount chief Kanu of Masiaka, who passed away towards the end of last year, 2020.
Three months ago while I was in the country, on one of my numerous trip up country, my friend convinced me to make a quick stop at Masiaka in order for him to show me his inherited share of land from the Paramount Chief. The land in question is located by Bo road just after the Lorry park. One of the reasons he cherish his own share of land was the installed SOLAR poles, a few of which are erected right inside his land. He told me this was a project left by the former regime, and he was glad the new regime is working on implementing it.
Other than these proposed SOLAR power which are yet to be fully implemented, there is absolutely no existence of government run electricity in Masiaka as we speak. In regards to Kambia, I just got off the phone with one of my best friends here in America, a descendant of Kambia district. In fact he just came back from Salone after spending a month there including visiting his hometown Kambia, where he participated in a PEACE marathon organized by the Gbokomaria folks. When I asked him about the electricity situation in Kambia township, he told me there is none, other than some SOLAR poles left by the previous regime that work intermittently. However, he informed me that the current regime has promised to electrify the township, and there has been shipment of poles and cables, but nothing has been physically done. So Samuel, I am sorry to tell you that you are actually peddling LIES in this glorious intellectual platform.
My president,your president, our president Dr. Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio, I salute you for breaking the silence and making history in Sierra Leone. You have actually told the people you are governing Sierra Leoneans and that the capital city is not just Freetown. You have showcased to the nation that people lives matter even in the remote village in Sierra Leone. Your visit to the remote town in Tonkolili the north of Sierra Leone, and in Pujehun the south shows that you really care for the poorest of the poor. Everybody’s life matters to you, that is what you have demonstrated in your leadership since you took over.
To justify my claim, you have ensured that Kambia district in the northern part of Sierra Leone gets electricity which was not there since independence, likewise Masiaka Town, the midway to Freetown linking the north and south of Sierra Leone had been without electricity, yet under your leadership, you have made it possible for the people living in that community to have electricity supply. Come to talk about Moyamba in the South and more.
Your developmental stride has cut across each district in Sierra Leone. You are truly God sent. May God continue to protect you and make his grace to shine upon you. May God continue to give you the wisdom to rule your people. To end this note I say my president,your president and our president Dr. Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio is truly manifesting the things he said in his manifesto during his campaign.
I am a bit lost regarding the proposed ‘school for girls’ to be constructed by the president. Will this school be built in Pujehun district for those underprivileged girls in that part of the nation or the location will be in Freetown or some other place? As for girls schools, if I am not mistakenly, we already have more than a dozen across the nation. So why not resuscitate those schools by revamping the curriculums and lay emphasis on success for the thousands of girls around the nation?
Like most patriotic Sierra Leoneans, I applauded some of the nuances being introduced by the regime to our educational system. When it comes to the so called FREE EDUCATION however, I highly believe such pronouncement is deceptive and has a political undertone. Every parent who send kids to any of our public schools will categorically tell you, there is no such thing as free education in our nation. To start, the school fees that the government pay per student all year is around 75,000 leones ($7.50). This is less than one percent that parents spend to send their kids on a monthly basis.
Besides the unending school charges by the schools, some of which include the marking of homeworks, taking exams or extra lessons, books, school uniforms and a host of other nonsensical charges, most parent spend on average 25,000 leones ($2.50) each week on school lunch. If you are one of those parents whose kids attend school from a distant, you have to factor in transportation to and from. I personally have a few nephews that need 100,000 leones ($10) each week for their transportation and lunch. So while the regime must be given credit for introducing a few changes here and there, we must avoid to politicize this issue if our educational sector is to improve.
Election promises made by politicians like Bio, should be treated with a pinch of salt. As the president visits the South, making all sorts of recycled promises and promising pet projects that we know will never come to fruition, my only interpretation of his visit is like he is firing the first salvos of the 2023 presidential campaign. This is another way of Bio, tactically admitting that he hasn’t delivered the goods he promised his voters back in 2018.
After three years in office, and judging by his performance so far, its only right he goes to the political heartland of the SLPP to explain the lack of progress and the promises he made when he was seeking office. More than anyone, Bio knows his lack of delivery of his political promises and the never ending corruption cases under his watch, have for all intents and purposes weaken the spirit of his democratic credentials, for which his most avid supporters hold him to.
The people that trusted Bio with their votes are now feeling completely disorientated, and in their judgement a complete let down. Their standard of living is worse than when he took the oath of office. A wasted vote of the highest order. Although, people say politicians can’t be trusted with their promises. The reality of course, majority of campaign pledges are delivered by politicians that are determined to see them through. We live in an age of political cynicism by the average voter. Bio’s action reinforces that belief.
President Bio has a mandate to transform our nation from the bottom – up and nothing will get him distracted. By 2023 most of the District Headquarters will have basic necessities. My only concern is, the EDSA company responsible for the distribution of Electricity are faced with serious challenges because members and supporters of the destructive APC party are destroying transformers and cables in their strongholds. They are enemies of progress and they are even stealing granite stones from some of the ongoing road construction in their strongholds. May the Almighty continue to bless President Bio.
President Bio has missed another opportunity at a moment when he had the nation’s attention to kill and bury all the allegations and rumours swirling around his administration over unrefined corruption. Does the President know how to milk an opportunity to the fullest? He only needed to digress from the main theme of his address (building fully equipped schools) to touch on the alleged corruption involving himself, his wife, David Francis ,and other key members of his government. Speaking off script, and from the heart, the President was in an unbeatable position to cut the ground from underneath the Africanist Press and Chernor Bar to force us to regain confidence in him? Or is it a case of being defenseless – guilty as charged?
A picture tells a thousand words – just look at those incompetent Potbelly criminals wearing masks pretending that they know exactly what they are talking about.(lol) This President is a war criminal that has now killed 40 innocent unarmed prisoners and countless youths in Makeni since he took over power. He has promoted discord and stoked the fires of hatred and here he is shamelessly talking about his governments success. What success? Is a shoddily implemented Poor quality Education program something even worth debating about? Whats all the bragging and brouhaha about? Are you not even slightly ashamed Mr President to even boast about feeding 18,000 hungry school children from government revenues that they are entitled to as citizens of this poor nation of ours? Shoe shine boys that used to shine boots until they reflected like spanking new mirrors, criminals that crawl along like snails because of their huge oxygen-sized potbellies are out there again fooling the struggling masses that are forever languishing in abject poverty with deceits and their lies – we are developing this,…and that…and this – Ignoramuses without a plan or a conscience, that’s who they are.
I just cannot understand how anyone can support this President that was among the architects of anarchy in our beloved Sierra Leone;Yep,this President participated in the overthrow of legitimate power in Sierra Leone that forced the gates of hell to open and unleashed all its frightening demons onto our beloved nation.How can any sane person support a vain madman that promotes tribalism through and through? This President and his cronies do not have a credible,sustainable vision for this nation;Answer – where are the sprawling,life-changing affordable housing projects for millions of people without a place to call their home?When will these dummies understand that the best ways to enhance the standards of living of poor people is to first give them a place to call their home,and everything else will easily fall in their rightful places.Goodness gracious!
What have these greedy imposters that call themselves Professors that are gobbling huge salaries achieved thus far in the interest of our beloved Sierra Leone?Give those positions they are holding to prudent,industrious and discerning King Jimmy Market women and i bet you my last penny in the bank that our lovely nation will be in reliable,good hands and much better off than it is now.Word.