The National Landowor Loko Union on Wednesday 12th January 2011 paid a courtesy visit to President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House in Freetown in gratification for giving members of the minority Loko tribe high profile positions in the APC led government.
Speaking on behalf of the Union, Paramount Chief Kandeh Finnoh expressed appreciation to the President for receiving their delegation, while commending him for what he has done in few years to transform the country. He said the delegation comprised of Lokos from various chiefdoms and districts across the country who organized themselves to come and thank the President for choosing their sons to serve in his government in senior capacities.
In a rather sentimental intonation, P.C Finnoh told the President that it is only the APC that has recognized the Loko people as in his words ‘several governments have shunned the Lokos in the past for reasons best known to them.’ “We are happy for you for considering us as part of the Sierra Leone population by making our children ministers, ambassadors and MPs in your government,” he told the President. He also revealed that this is the first time in the history of Sierra Leone for Loko people to climb to such heights, and that they were sure of continued success in the near future.
On behalf of Loko appointed ministers, Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Richard Konteh said they have been praying for such opportunity to prove to Sierra Leoneans that the Lokos are not only meant to trade but are also educated to hold responsible positions in governance. He said the Loko people are determined to work in the interest of the President’s Agenda for Change programmes, and to further prove to people that they are not bunch of illiterates as people think. He assured the President of their commitment in delivering in their various positions in governance. “We are dedicated to you and we will support you to get second term.”
In his keynote address, President Koroma commended the delegation for paying him a special visit in such a huge number. He said he was encouraged by the commendation from them, saying he is proud that many Lokos can now boast of being part of governance. “It is my responsibility as President to ensure that every tribe and region is incorporated in governance. It is also my responsibility to take care of my subjects irrespective of their political or religious affiliations,” President Koroma noted, saying no one tribe can run a country as government needs the participation of all tribes. “By incorporating all tribes and cultures in governance, the country will develop faster because of the diverse ideas and cultures,” he furthered, adding that everybody has where he/she belongs and should be proud of where they belong.
He concluded by appealing to the Loko people to continue supporting his government in the Agenda for Change (PRSPII) in order to push the country forward. He assured the Loko of more space in governance as long as they continue to prove themselves.