From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Hon. Bernadette Lahai Warns Ernest Koroma to Talk Straight
By Bampia Bundu & Dauda Koroma
Oct 21, 2010, 17:10

As debates on the president speech heightens in parliament, the SLPP Member of Parliament Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai yesterday 20th October revealed that in 2006-7 the former SLPP government was faced with serious economic recession, but as a responsible government they tried hard to ensure that they maintained the standard of living in the country. She said President Koroma was in opposition, he challenged the SLPP by saying that “economic recession or not they need results from the government.”

“But the president is now using the same economic recession as a shield forgetting that he once challenged it in this Parliament, demanding for results,” she jeered.

Dr. Lahai continued by saying that the economic turnaround that the president is talking about is not visible as things are getting from bad to worse  with the cost of living now increased drastically. “Where is the turn around? Are we turning back or where?” she rhetorically asked.

On Freedom of Speech, the MP quoted page 22, Sections 26 (1) of the Constitution that protects that fundamental right for which she said the SLPP has right, and will continue to hold its monthly press briefings. “When Ernest Koroma was in opposition, he used to hold press conferences after parliamentary debates and the SLPP never stopped him or opposed him as it was his right he was exercising by then,” she observed.

She unequivocally condemned the act by the APC of condoning or encouraging paramount chiefs and other local authorities into involving in partisan politics. Chiefs should be independent but what we see now is that most paramount chiefs are becoming politicians,” she said.

In the area of agriculture, Dr. Lahai highlighted that there were so many inconsistencies in the president’s speech.  “The three years turn around in agriculture a completely baffling as food remains a concern  with people crying for food everyday,” she went on, adding that there is noting the president has done that expresses the people in this country as far as agriculture is concerned. “Where is the turn around? If there is a turn around it is clockwise so there is nothing in this 36 months that the president has turned around,” she challenged, while cautioning the president as a leader to be careful of what he says.

On energy, the SLPP MP said all is fake as it is not the Bumbuna Hydro Power that we are using, but yet the APC government is boasting of it.  “But we are waiting to see the completion of Bumbuna which the SLPP nearly completed, she added.

Dr. Bernadette also dilated on other issues such as infrastructure and education among others

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