Anthony Abdul Karim Kamara, Jnr: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 June 2018:
Under the New Direction, the National Grand Coalition party promises to tell truth to power and ensure the rule of law from the bedrock of good governance.
Parliamentary Leader of the National Grand Coalition Party (NGC), Hon. Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, yesterday, responded to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s parliamentary address delivered on 10 May 2018, on the occasion of the State Opening of the First Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.
Addressing Members of Parliament at the Tower Hill Chamber in Freetown, the Samu Chiefdom (Constituency 062) Representative commended President Bio’s address for his ambitious vision for Sierra Leone given the enormous challenges he inherited on assumption of office.
President Bio, Hon. Yumkella noted, has in his parliamentary address, “substantiated the need for urgent action by citing credible data from various multilateral institutions; and has used indicators from globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 to clearly illustrate the low level of human development in our country and to elucidate the constraints on economic growth and structural change.”
According to the Kychom-born Member of Parliament, the structural constraints impeding Sierra Leone’s growth and development are the results of bad governance exacerbated by succeeding governments over several decades.
“I wish to hastily say that my intervention is not intended to cast blame, nor will it heap praise; my purpose is to add to the sense of urgency highlighted in the President’s speech and to also provide some reality check to manage our people’s expectations. Since the problems we have inherited were created over decades, there can be no quick fixes and solutions must be pursued persistently over time,” said Hon. Yumkella.
Cognizant that not much time is allotted in parliament for party leaders to fully debate the President’s speech, and in line with his altruistic nature as well as his party’s vision to put “Country First,” Leader Yumkella intimated that “the National Grand Coalition Party(NGC), will send detailed comments and suggestions on the President’s speech, sector by sector, to the Government and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) for their consideration.”
Such contributions, the party hopes, will expand the debate to the public at large and allow the NGC to make clear its position on the record as a responsible and constructive opposition party.
“Do not feel compelled to defend what has not worked well over the past two decades; do not be defensive or become too partisan,” Hon. Yumkella said to Members of Parliament as he encouraged them to “feel free to provide constructive criticism and accept new and innovative ideas for the sake of our nation. “LEH WE PUT SALONE FOS,” he underscored.
A distinguished Development Economist with over twenty-five years of international experience, Hon. Yumkella fully understands that development is an incremental and cumulative process.
“The New Direction must build on past efforts; scaling up what was good and effective, but radically changing that which must be changed,” he stressed as he called on colleagues from all parties to cooperate with the government of the day to ensure that “Paopa Salone For Betteh“.
While the New Direction agenda of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party has, as its mantra, Disciplined Leadership, Integrity, Efficiency, Professionalism and Delivery, Hon. Yumkella noted that the NGC, as one of the new opposition parties in a new parliament where eighty-five percent of Members are new will “tell truth to power, shine a light on vile corruption, and making sure that constitutionality and the rule of law form the bed rock of governance under the New Direction.
Anthony Abdul Karim Kamara, Jnr |@KamaraAnthony1