Five Councilors from the Kenema City Council on Friday 15 April, 2016 paid a courtesy call on President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House, Freetown. This visit was to acknowledge the President’s development strides in Kenema district and to apologise for the Kenema City Council’s leadership poor relations with the central authority.
The visiting opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party Councillors who were accompanied by the APC Deputy Publicity Secretary 2 Hon. Robin Fallay include Councilor Amidu B. Bah in charge of Education, Youth and Sport, Councilor Joseph Alpha in charge of Fire Force and Disaster Management, Councilor Alimamy Rogers for Budget and Finance, Councilor Mohamed Seventy-Sesay for Agriculture, and Councilor Aminata Koroma, Deputy Chair for the Social Welfare Committee.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Councilor Amidu B. Bah said seven out of the twelve councilors in Kenema City Council have seen reasons to come and say thanks to President Koroma for his untiring efforts at national development. Councillor Amidu Bah stated that ”President Koroma’s enviable legacies are such that even we in the opposition are proud of and happy to take credit for them.”
The Councillor spoke about the many development projects implemented and ongoing in the district. He highlighted the reconstruction of four main roads in the township of Kenema, the Kenema water project, the government hard push in the fight against Ebola in the district, the strides in energy and the unprecedented nationwide increase in councilors’ sitting fees from Le250, 000 to Le830, 000.
For these laudable strides and in the interest of development, Councillor Bah went on to state that, on behalf of his delegation, they were henceforth dissociating themselves from the leadership of the the Kenema City Council.
Addressing the councilors, President Koroma informed that even though he campaigned under the ticket of the All People’s Congress (APC) he was sworn in as President of Sierra Leone adding that “this is why my programmes cut across”. He also said that ”even though we belong to different political institutions, we should not be oblivious of the fact that after elections, we should put politics aside and work together for national development”.
The President recalled the politically orchestrated protest by some sections of the people of Kenema city during one of his visits. ”That was an unfortunate incident which we had to be handle with maturity,’‘ he said.
The President went further to remind the Councillors that the road construction arrangement which might have been used as an excuse for the outrage is not coming from the central government rather; it’s the decision of the local council. President Koroma put it to the Councillors that ‘the central government only acts on the lists received from Local Councils.”
President Koroma however commended the thoughtfulness of the councilors to try and thaw up the frosty relations between the Kenema City and Central government which was created by partisan overzealousness on the part of the leadership of the council. He assured the delegation of government’s continued support to the Kenema district as a whole. In the end, the Councillors made the following passionate appeal.
”We would appreciate if you could spare time again to visit us in Kenema so that you could see how ready we have become to work in support of the agenda for prosperity”, Councillor Amidu said.