Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 May 2018:
Sierra Leone’s newly elected president Julius Maada Bio is facing monumental challenges in rising to the task of rebuilding the country’s crippling economy, after years of mismanagement by the Koroma led APC government.
Bio won the presidential election held in March 2018 by a slim margin of almost 4%, and is now looking to ensure he can deliver on his New Direction agenda, which the majority of Sierra Leoneans endorsed as the blueprint for taking Sierra Leone out of poverty.
But with the opposition APC holding no punches in its determination to see that the Bio led SLPP government does not last more than five years in office, some senior SLPP officials believe that the APC leadership are planting proverbial ‘booby traps’ at every turn of state governance, for the Bio government to collapse under its own weight.
Already, there are calls by the APC for the Bio government to account for monies spent in organising last Saturday’s presidential inauguration ceremony, as well as the inauguration extravaganza event, held at the luxurious Lumley Beach Bintumani Hotel. They are demanding the publication of all sources of funding.
Although SLPP officials say they will take no lessons from a chronically corrupt and despotic APC that has bankrupted the country, president Bio appears to be taking the weight of the opposition and his manifesto promise to the people seriously.
Yesterday, Tuesday 15th May, president Bio held an induction meeting at State House with his cabinet ministers, where he told them to brace themselves for the challenges ahead. He read out the Riot Act.
According to State House report, president Bio said that his government has inherited one of the worse economic situations the country has ever experienced since independence.
But he warned his ministers to take heed of the enormous expectations of the people, for his government to do well.
‘I cannot afford to fail the people of this country,’ said president Bio.
He said that the task ahead will be difficult, but with the collective efforts of ministers, Sierra Leone will rise again.
The president told ministers that choosing them for the job was a difficult task, but he is confident they can deliver the change he has promised the people of Sierra Leone.
He called on the ministers to conduct themselves professionally in delivering the nation from its present state of decline. He said that to deliver on his government’s promises, there must be collective effort on the part of ministers in transforming his policies into action.
The president called on ministers to be disciplined in the management of public funds and time, and to have the interest of the country in mind in the discharge of their various duties.
Both Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and Secretary to Cabinet – Dr Julius Sandi, were also present at the meeting.