Sierra Leone president Maada Bio’s first big decision

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 April 2018:

Since his swearing-in two days ago as the new president of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio is faced with the enormous task of safeguarding the peace and security of all of the people of Sierra Leone, irrespective of tribe and regional origin, after rampaging mobs took to the streets of the capital Freetown and Kenema.

The urgency with which president Bio must deal with the public disorder and violence which erupted yesterday and the previous night, cannot be overstated.

But most importantly also, is the priority that the president must now give to protecting the national and international public assets – including finances, of which the outgoing APC government has been the custodian.

Already, there are reports of senior officials and ministers in the outgoing Koroma government, having looted and carted away huge amounts of public property, including vehicles, furniture and cash – running into millions of dollars.

It is very important that this illegal behaviour is stopped immediately, and those caught made to face justice for their crimes.

But in order to achieve this, the SLPP government has a big task of taking stock of all the public assets that the Koroma government has been managing on behalf of the people, to ensure accountability and transparency during this transition phase.

To ensure that the transition process is smooth and effective, president Julius Maada Bio has today appointed a Governance Transition Team chaired by professor David J. Francis from (Photo) Bradford University, UK.

In 2007, when president Koroma won the elections, he formed a transition committee with sweeping powers to carry out an audit of all government assets.

But the difference this time is that president Maada Bio has not ordered any government minister or official to hand in their passport until such time that the audit is completed, as Koroma authorised in 2007.

According to a statement from State House, the terms of reference of the transition team is to “serve as focal point for the interface with the outgoing APC Government of former President Ernest Koroma and in-coming Government of President Julius Maada Bio

“Conduct an immediate stock taking exercise of the state of affairs of Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs)

“Submit an overview of the current state of affairs of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)

“Submit a comprehensive Report to the President and Vice President for immediate consideration

“Composition: Professor David J. Francis: Chair of Transition Team; Dr. Abass Bundu; Dr. Morie Manyeh; Mrs. Kona Koroma; Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa; Alhaji Kanja Sesay; Dr. Alie Kabbah (Photo); PC Charles Caulker; Mrs. Melrose Kargbo; Hon. Suahilo Koroma; Mr. Umaru Napoleon Koroma; and Dr. Denis Sandy: Secretary to Governance Transition Team.”

It is not certain how long the transition team have been given by the president to complete their task, but it may not be unreasonable for their report to be published in the next four weeks, if not sooner, assuming that the outgoing ministers and senior officials will efficiently and promptly comply with this State House directive.

7 Comments

  1. A step in the right direction for the new President. Sierra Leoneans from all sides will support the new government to turn the country around.

    Mr President in your appointments, consider people with the right experience and in the real world hard-working and committed, to making a difference wherever they are appointed to serve.

    Running a government is not an academic exercise and we expect academics to be teaching the next generation of leaders and not in government. As you have stressed about disciplined leadership, let your appointees also be disciplined.

    We have nothing against PhD holders, but we have had many in governments and that took us nowhere. Instead, they were part of the problem. We will be observing your leadership and will robustly highlight issues we think are not in the interest of the Country.

  2. The best president in the Republic of Sierra Leone is rtd brig Julius Maada Bio. I hope everything goes well in his office of work, through the power of the Almighty Allah.

  3. May Allah Help His Excellency Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio To Complete All His Promises Made To Wonderful Sierra Leoneans During His Campaign, And My Question Now Is,” What About University Fees”? Because Most Of Us Are Concerned.

  4. Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hope in you. And all our people, regardless of party, should hope for enduring prosperity and security during your tenure. This is a unique office without a clear blueprint, so I do not know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. But still, I would like to share my thoughts.

    You now face a new set of problems and opportunities in your position. As a progressive young man, I believe we share similar principles, and I hope you know the possibilities are limitless.

    The decisions you make are going to be some of the most important things on your plate. Policy is personal. If you pick staff who genuinely share similar priorities, you will likely strive to achieve the same goals. If not, I feel that you will not be able to accomplish your tasks at hand.

    The people you hire may not necessarily make the best decisions. But, if you made all the decisions for them, what’s the point of hiring them? As my mother often said, “why keep a dog if you’re to bark yourself?”.

    Instructing people who do not share your beliefs to make decisions based on your beliefs will not work very well and it may even end in catastrophe.

    As a subordinate, principles without competence can be dangerous and ineffective. Competence without principles can be deadly. Hire people whose loyalty are based on your principles, not based on the opportunity for career advancement. I hope my words of advice help you. May God watch over you, throughout your new journey.

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