Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 August 2018:
After several days of frenzied and childish rants and rumours about the health of Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio and his performance in office by the opposition APC, the Catholic Bishops of the country yesterday told him – you are doing just fine and we are happy with your performance.
Yesterday, Monday 6th August 2018, the Catholic Bishops of Sierra Leone met president Bio at State House where they discussed the measures he is taking to transform Sierra Leone.
Commending his resolve to fight corruption in society, the President of the Catholic Bishop Council – Bishop Charles Campbell, said that in the past few months, they have been following the efforts being made by the Bio led government to develop the country for the benefit of citizens.
He described the government’s plan to provide free and quality education as a laudable venture, noting that the Catholic Church would be willing to complement government’s efforts through their numerous schools across the country.
He praised the fight against corruption, adding that collective and decisive action must be taken to curb the menace.
“Our Holy Father Pope Francis has said that corruption infects the world like a cancer and that the church must combat it by working with society. There is always the possibility that those who seek to fight corruption will be undermined, misunderstood or even be misinterpreted.
“It is our wish that the scourge of corruption and its attendant practices will be faced with vigilant truth and justice.
“We pray that you exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in the care for the most vulnerable in society. We encourage you, sir, to uphold the values of the Gospel and bring the social teachings of the Church in the execution of your duties.
“For our part as religious leaders, we will continue to offer prayers for you, your government and the people of Sierra Leone,” said Fr. Campbell.
The clergyman also added that as a church their greatest concern was the need for moral and ethical considerations in governance, stating that collectively everyone should come onboard to build a country based on democratic values, justice and fundamental rights.
President Bio thanked the priests for their visit and kind words. He said that on countless occasions he had made clear his government’s commitment to fighting corruption, calling it a destructive element in society that should not be encouraged.
The president noted that the scourge was choking the development process of the country, which is why his administration has declared corruption as a national security threat.
He mentioned that with the priority his government has placed on fighting corruption, the country is now raising more public funds to help tackle poverty, than any other time since independence.
“My administration will pursue the fight against corruption, because we know it is in the best interest of the nation.
“I know those who got enriched through corruption will fight back. But we will pursue it because we must cater for the less privileged in society. Within this short period, we have raised more resources and closed the expenditure gap.
“We want to make sure we serve society. When I took the challenge to fight corruption I knew it was not an easy task, but with collective support we will combat it,” said the president.
Whilst the Bishops’ visit to State House and their appreciation of the work and effort of president Bio is welcomed by many Sierra Leoneans across the country, senior officials of the opposition APC are pouring scorn and insult at the Bishops.
It seems the opposition APc are yet to recover emotionally, from their stunning defeat at the polls by the SLPP last March.