From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Presidentís Spontaneous Visit to Lumley Demolition
By Our Correspondent
Jul 19, 2010, 12:32

President Koroma has last Saturday July 17tth 2010 paid an on-the-spot visit to the densely populated Lumley environs in the West of the capital city in order to get a first hand experience of the demolition exercises that were taking place along the highways. The demolition has been much more extensive than initially envisaged because the President now wants the road to no longer be the regular 2-Laned traffic but for it to be a wider, modern 4-Lane Highway. Additionally, there are plans to also extend Wilkinson Road and the Lumley Beach Roads into 4 Laned Highways thus necessitating even larger swathes of demolitions.


Arriving at Lumley, driving himself in a solitary Jeep and with not a single bodyguard in sight, the President mingled with the crowds and monitored the extent of the demolition before he moved over to the Lumley Car Wash boys and chatted with them and with other affected persons before he drove off, again all by himself without a single bodyguard in sight.


It should be noted that the demolition exercise, whilst warmly welcomed as a means of bringing development to the capital city with 4-Laned Highways, did not pass without some bitter comments as some of the affected property owners expressed various negative opinions about the manner in which their lands and houses have been confiscated. It was right into the middle of this mix-bag of emotions that the residents suddenly saw their President appear in person right in their midst intermingling with them.


It is not uncommon for President Koroma to walk the streets of Freetown unaccompanied by bodyguards but this is the first time he is actually walking into a potentially unsafe scene all on his own without bodyguards.


ďErnest Koroma na man pikin. We dey for am steady,Ē one of the Car Wash boys told Awareness Times shortly after the President drove off from Lumley which loosely translated means that the Car Wash lads consider President Koroma to be a brave man with guts and so the Lumley youths of the Car Wash environs were solidly backing his Presidency. However, other youths told this writer that they had wanted an opportunity to meet the President to ďblow mindĒ to him.


ďMan dem nor glady oh but we nor bin get luck for meet Papay for blow-mind,Ē said one of the Poda-poda Drivers Apprentice which translated means that those other sets of youths making up driversí assistants were not happy with the current state of the country but they missed on the chance to say what was on their minds to the President as Father of the Nation as they were not around when he visited Lumley.


All in all, the general feelings at Lumley are one of appreciation that the President actually drove down to see for himself the ongoing demolition exercise. The photos of some of the demolished structures follow below:

 

Anti Riot Police were seen milling around to ensure no lawlessness during the demolition

 

Persons moving their properties out of shops as the bulldozers rushed in to demolish rapidly

 

Demolished houses along the highway

 

Demolished houses along the highway

 

Demolished houses along the highway

 

Demolished houses along the highway

 

Picking up materials from remnants of frontage of Lumley Market which frontage all came down.

 

Demolished houses along the highway

 

The Bulldozers that brought the houses down



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