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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

A President Committed to Consolidating Development
By Titus Boye-Thompson
Dec 7, 2012, 17:06
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Now that the general elections are slowly but surely being put behind the Nation State of Sierra Leone, the focus has shifted to the forthcoming inauguration of the President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and his Vice President, Alhaji Chief Samuel Samsumana. It may be possible also that the inauguration will also usher in a new Cabinet, the Presidents working team as he prepares to consolidate his development credentials and establish his legacy as one of the most dynamic and result driven Presidents that this Country has ever had. As the inauguration draws near, there is also the consideration that must be given to other factions who played their part in the democratic process of moving the Country through its governance cycle and for the imperative to ensure that all actors and stakeholders are given the space and opportunity to discharge their duties and obligations top the people for whom they hold their high offices of State as elected representatives within the Legislature as well as in local council offices across the Country.


In the event, the task ahead is for nation building, an opportunity to institutionalize this fledgling democracy

with a view to moving the Country away from political strife and social unrest.

 

There is an established procedure for contesting election results through the Courts and for all intents and purposes, those aggrieved by the results must take such steps as they deem necessary within the law to exercise their rights to seek redress but in doing so, they ought to be able to reign in their supporters and vuvuzelers to tone down their rhetoric and entrust their case to the level headedness of the judicial system. Such an approach inexorably allows for peace and stability within the polity and should not necessarily obstruct the urgent business of day to day governance or the smooth administration of Government. Since the objective of any challenge would be for an exhaustive analyses of the existence of a legal argument to scrutinize further the actions and activities of the National Electoral Commission, this should be a matter for that institution, the political parties concerned and the Courts to deal with in situ.

 

The plethora of international and local observers have unanimously backed the elections as an exercise in democracy attesting to the fact that these were to all intents and purposes a free fair and transparent process, admittedly infused with operational flaws but not in such a preponderance as to alter significantly the overall result. The elections as they say represent the will and mandate of the voters and for that and that reason alone, it is but expedient that any matter brought before the judicial system be dispensed with in a manner consistent with utmost fiat.

 

In defining the parameters for nation building, President Ernest Bai Koroma ought not to have regard for the opposition parties other than in relation to their constitutional functions to debate and engage his Government in a robust opposition to policies considered inimical to good government, transparency or otherwise probity in the execution of financial management of the economy.

 

Whereas this has been a President who had demonstrated vociferously in his first term to be mindful of the sensibilities of the opposition, it is expected that even though they constitute a minority, the business of legislation and the enactment of appropriate laws crafted for the development of the State will be well considered at all times. In essence, the opposition has nothing to fear but fear itself. This is not a President of the ilk of a Military Junta who would rule by decree and Marshall Law, this will be a President who in all circumstances seek consensus and govern by popular mandate and due consideration for the opinions of minorities.

 

In the main, President Bai Koromas main focus will have to be the creation of a cabinet that reflect the national psyche and sentiments as endorsed by his popular vote and appeal. The APC as a political party has always prided itself to be a welcoming, open and inclusive party where all those with the potential to contribute are given a fair chance to do so. It is significant to note that a cross section of the factions, regions and ethnic combinations within the Country turned out in droves to promote President Bai Koromas bid for a second term.

 

While it may be argued that some who may have had the Presidents confidence during the last Government failed to meet up to the challenge during the campaign, there is consolation that there is now a much broader pool of talent available to the President to choose a cabinet.

 

The emergence of a new electoral dispensation is also considered to be an opportunity to consolidate the APC Partys appeal across the Country so as to enable it to grow and offer the people distinct choices of development against inaction, progress against laxity and sustainable jobs and opportunities for young people as against hopelessness and destitution.

 

The APC has demonstrated in the past to be an action party so when it offers the mantra to let Action for the People Continue as its acronym, Sierra Leoneans must take such a promise to be meaningful. In his campaign speeches to the Nation, President Koroma did promise to do more for Sierra Leone in a way that accords for sustainable livelihoods and a better standard of living for the citizenry.

 

That is the type of promise that translated into jobs, a sound and stable economy, inward investment, an expanding mining industry, improved infrastructure, free healthcare for the most vulnerable in our society and increased productivity and yield from agriculture.

 

The process of Nation building has already started and it is with great anticipation that Sierra Leoneans look forward to another term with a much beloved and revered President as Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has turned out to be.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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