“We are better today than we were five years ago and I have to thank you for that. We still have challenges; but our will to overcome these challenges is greater than ever before. This action for the people must continue. The free healthcare must continue; the building of roads must continue; the transformation of agriculture must continue; the creation of jobs must continue There is no turning back. “
That is the battle cry of a hero, a statement of intent from a man who knows where he is going and who has committed his whole life and essence to the improvement of the welfare of the Sierra Leonean people . When President Ernest Koroma made these profound statements in the preface of the APC Manifesto for the 2012 Presidential elections, which he won overwhelmingly, he knew what he was saying and meant what he said. President Koroma has always meant what he says , a fact demonstrated by the many visible socio-economic and political achievements his Government can proudly lay claims to in the 7 years he has ruled Sierra Leone so far.
The President did not know that two years into his second term, Sierra Leone and the West African subregion would have been hit by the deadly Ebola virus , which would threaten to reverse the gains of his government and hinder the smooth flow of the Agenda For Prosperity. However, the true worth of a good leader is not determined by the absence of challenges during his rule. Challenges are part of life . They are the flip side of the same coin . But what the leader does when the challenges come is what determines the governance potentials and sagacity of the leader.
President Koroma’s leadership potentials have been defined by the Ebola scourge. The determined and never-say-die attitude with which he approached one of the greatest challenges to have hit our nation clearly showed that President Koroma , a battle-prepared and battle-hardened leader , is worth his salt and he deserves the confidence reposed on him by the Sierra Leonean people. We unfortunately lost many of our valued and precious citizens ; the very core of our existence as a nation was badly struck, but thanks be to God, we did not go down as a nation.
With God on his side, President Koroma summoned all his father’s might and will and successfully mobilized international support and resources to help Sierra Leone overcome the scourge. It was not an easy fight , but President Koroma and the nation are eventually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. With victory in sight, there is no doubt that President Koroma is a quintessential hero —A true hero who sacrificed rest, sleep and convenience in the cause of the nation and today victory is about to crown his efforts.
It must also be borne in mind that despite all the damaging manners that Ebola ravaged our country, it did not kill the dream of President Koroma. Adversity never kills the dreams of a hero. The Agenda For Prosperity continued , though not at full steam. The reconstruction of our health care system continued; magnificent road and infrastructural projects, especially in the heartland of the opposition in Pujehun, Kailahun and Moyamba continued; the plan to flood the nation with 100 buses continued and they will be delivered to the nation next week to improve the quality of life of the people; the government ensured that food lines were not disrupted and though Ebola brought hardship to our people, it would have been worse if we had a lackadaisical leader. Salaries continued to be paid and as a matter of fact, public sector employees will enjoy a 15 % increase in their salaries this month. Therefore, when you look at the challenges and what they did not do our nation and how President Koroma has surmounted the doom that was predicted, there is no doubt that he is a quintessential hero.
It is therefore a fitting tribute to President Korooma that he will be given a hero’s welcome when he steps foot in the U.S. this week. The All People’s Congress ( APC), the Sierra Leoneans For Peace standing with the President and grateful Sierra Leoneans have planned a massive welcoming ceremony and rally for the President when he comes to attend the International Post-Ebola Recovery Conference at the UN .
We call on all Sierra Leoneans to come out in full to welcome President Koroma and demonstrate support to him as he continues his valiant battle to rid our nation of Ebola , with the help of the international community.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.