Bio Spits Fire

 

In what was clearly a furious mood, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, who is very passionate about putting the lid on corruption and its corrosive effects on the country and its growth prospects, fumed that nothing would stand in the way of his government’s Commissions of Inquiry.

Speaking to the people at the Koidu Community Field last Friday afternoon after the Juma prayers, President Bio vowed that, “Anyone who stands in the progress of the Commissions of Inquiry will receive the stiffest resistance from me.”

He added: “There were no enough reason why the country suffered from the civil war but if fighting is the last resort for the COIs to progress and stop corruption in the country, then it is a rightful fight that we must do to ensure we eradicate thieving and embezzlement from politics.”

That said, President Bio in a compromising tone stated that those who do not want to face the COIs have an option: “Pay the people’s money that you stole and the matter is over. If not be prepared to face the law.”

He rebuffed the main opposition APC party’s claim that he is on a witch-hunt against their former government officials based on their ethnicity, region and political belonging. “I am hunting for the people’s money,” Bio reiterated, noting that when people were dying from Ebola, some people were chopping the money meant to be used to save the dying; why now if they are called upon to be investigated they should think of fighting. We are ready for the fight; we will fight the fight,” President Bio said determinedly. “The COIs,” he added, “will go on, no negotiation.”

President Bio emphasized that he wants the money stolen to be returned so that he can spend it on our schools and their supplies, hospitals, roads, among other expenditures. “Bring back the people’s money and you will not face the COIs,” he assured.

APC in 2008, the President recalled, set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the late former President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah led SLPP Government though only the ‘Sababu Education’ project under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) came under the spotlight. He therefore appealed to the main opposition APC to respect the rule of law and be compliant with the COIs.

President Bio, Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and a bevy of government ministers and officials were in Kono at the weekend as part of his nationwide thank-you tour of his victory in the 31st March, 2018 presidential runoff election, which he described as a victory of the common man.

He bemoaned the current state of Kono district headquarters, Koidu, stating that it does not deserve the status of a city as it has no pipe-borne water, constant electricity and modern amenities typical of a city.

During his thank-you tour of Kono, President Bio turned the sod for a University of Science and Technology whose compound would be situated in Gbense Chiefdom, eight miles from the chiefdom or district headquarters. He told the residents that diamonds will one day finish but with education and the skills and knowledge that come with it, the people of Kono can look forward to employment or be self-employed. The University, the President said, will be funded by the Government of India and ECOWAS.

Paramount Chief Mbriwa of Fiama Chiefdom, who spoke on behalf of the Kono people, appreciated the government’s approval of 17 schools in the district and called for more schools and teachers to be approved. He appealed to the President for Koidu to get pipe-borne water, constant electricity supply and more ambulances for the government hospital. PC Mbriwa lamented that currently, the hospital has only one ambulance.

He also appealed for more road works in the district as well as a review of the mining laws to enable them benefit more from the resources in their district.