From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Ambassador Bockarie Stevens & the Arc of Hope
By Abdul B Kamara (Chief), USA APCís North America Secretary General
Feb 26, 2009, 17:08

For the ten years that I have lived in the Washington DC metro area, His Excellency Bockarie Kortu Stevens the current Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States, has, in my opinion, done an outstanding and better job as an Ambassador when compared to all three combined previous SLPP Ambassadors.

It is pathetic and painful to the see the good name and image of this noble emissary being tarnished by those who are no friend to development.

Ambassador Stevens is a man of good vision, very progressive, hardworking, honest, sincere and dedicated to service. Above all, he is a result oriented bipartisan leader, unlike his predecessors who were sluggish, lethargic, indolent, corrupt, ineffectual and inadequate in their capacity as Ambassadors, a character defined by them being unable and unwilling to work and unite the people of Sierra Leone residing in North America for the development of our country.

Before Ambassador Stevens took his appointment to the US, the Embassy of Sierra Leone, the symbol of our nation was in dilapidated condition, unfit for human habitation. The toilets and offices were a safe haven for roaches and big mice commonly referred to in Krio (our vernacular) as ďGROUN PIGĒ. The carpet on the floor was abysmal, it had absorbed dirty to the point that you have to tiptoe in order to move around, and otherwise you will end up being glued to the floor. Unfortunately, the SLPP Ambassadors were very comfortable and complacent with the squalid and deplorable state of the embassy, and at the same time siphoning taxpayersí money for themselves.¬†

Furthermore, for the ten years period these SLPP Ambassadors represented the government of Sierra Leone in the US, they neglected the five hundred thousand or more Sierra Leoneans that are residing in the United States. They ignored the fact that we were the individuals serving as the driving force in sustaining the economy of the country during and after the civil war, added to the fact that they were here to serve us.

Moreover, during the tenure of Ambassador Leigh, Kamara and Jalloh, many Sierra Leoneans were ashamed to come and do business in person at the embassy because of the deplorable condition.

Nonetheless, the question that is worth asking these failed Ambassadors is-what were they doing with the Sierra Leonean taxpayers money within the past ten years? 

On the contrary, in less than six months that the dynamic and disciplined Ambassador Bockarie Stevens took his assignment to the US, the building at 1701 19 Street, was renovated in order to bring it to the standard of other embassies from our sub region, and to make it habitable for its occupants.  Furthermore, the lost glory and pride of 1701 19 St. the Embassy of the Republic of Sierra Leone during the Administration of  the SLPP government has now being restored in less than twelve months, thank God for  the good leadership of Bockarie Stevens. Bravo Bockie! You are the Man.

To prove further that Ambassador Stevens was not a selfish, but a capable and effective leader, unlike his predecessor, during his first year in office he was able to established a cordial relationship between the embassy and the neglected Sierra Leonean community.  For instance, during his first 90 days in office, he summoned a meeting of all Sierra Leonean organizations across the US regardless of party affiliations to inform them that he was the peoples Ambassador, and to thank them for the financial support they are giving to the people of Sierra Leone.  It takes only a true patriot with human conscience to appreciate the noble work of his fellow citizens.

Despite his tight schedule with diplomatic affairs, he still attends meeting to support the Sierra Leone Councils of representative, (SALCORE) an umbrella organization he helped form with the vision to bring the numerous Sierra Leonean organizations together for the common purpose of further developing the country.

Furthermore, with his desire to live a legacy worth remembering he has again mobilized committed Sierra Leones to form an organization known as the ARC OF HOPE. As I am writing this article, this organization is working tirelessly to come up with ways and means to raise money to build a state of the art hospital in Sierra Leone to commemorate our 50th Independent Anniversary. Is there any cause more noble and worthy¬† than a man giving his time, resources, energy to help his country men who have being deprived of better health services by some few greedy politicians? My fellow citizens, Ambassador Stevens is fulfilling his own civic obligation as a patriotic Sierra Leonean., So what are the anti progress crew doing to help mother Sierra Leone?¬† As the late, John F. Kennedy rightly coined it ďAsk not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your countryĒ?

This is my suggestion to all you negative critics of Ambassador Stevens, please grow up and stop the Voodoo politics, if you cannot join him do the good work you all admire and envy, please be patriotic and do not beat him out of malice and jealousy. If you cannot do it, do not stand on the way of those who are more than willing to do it.

Also, call this number 214-489-5169 to support ARC OF HOPE.  This is the right moment to receive your conversion. Move from being negative.

Additionally, how many people are aware that when you are living in a foreign land you have to register at your Embassy? How many Sierra Leoneans currently residing in the US have registered with the embassy of Sierra Leone? 

The good news is Ambassador Bockarie Kortu Stevens, the peoples Ambassador is encouraging every Sierra Leonean residing in the US to register at the Embassy in Washington DC.  Fellow kinsmen, the honorable man is playing his part, let us all support him for the benefit of our motherland, his effort to set up a  database is good for both the embassy and the citizens of Sierra Leone. Again, Bravo Kortu! You are the main man.

By and large, itís high time detractors stop writing garbage about a progressively and honorable man like Ambassador Stevens who has proven time and time again that he is more capable and effective than all his three predecessors combined.¬†¬† I do understand they act out of desperation for recognition and readership; however, I believe it is fair to give credit where it is due. Ambassador Stevens deserves credit for what he has done for the Embassy and the Sierra Leone community at large within this shortest period of time he had lived in US. The man has good vision for Sierra Leone and the people of Sierra Leone please do not kill it out of jealousy and covetousness.

Finally, another pertinent question that is worth asking is Ė What did Ambassador John Leigh, Ibrahim Baimba Kamara and Sulaiman Tejan-Jalloh accomplish as Sierra Leone Ambassador to the United States during the ten years all three of them served the Kabbah SLPP administration?

In conclusion, let us learn to appreciate each others effort regardless of political affinity, we are one people, one nation and the only way the land that we love Sierra Leone will progress is when we change our attitude and ¬†come together as one people. Above all Sierra Leone needs progressive men like Ambassador Stevens, and not the likes of some of the earlier ones who have nothing productive to offer Sierra Leone. Ambassador Stevens keep the good work, and donít let any nonsense reporting or name calling distract you. The truth of the matter is no degree of lies about the APC government and its leadership will salvage the crumbling SLPP. Long Live Sierra Leone, Long Live the People of Sierra Leone, and Long Live the All peoples Congress Party.

: The expressed views above are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of this newspaper. The contents of the actual submitted article have been edited to fit in with our editorial standards.

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