President Koroma has reechoed that, this is not the time for ‘politics, but development,’ stressing that the latter does not choose a face, party or a surname.
When it comes, he emphasized “everybody will enjoy, when it’s absent, everybody suffers”, stressing that, “development means we should get new things done. If we manage the fishing business properly, this alone can get this country developed.”
He made these assessments while addressing the people of Shenge in the Moyamba District and Bonthe Island that their predominant occupation, fishing, has the potential of lifting Sierra Leone from the doldrums to prosperity.
Launching the construction of jetties and other ancillary facilities in order to give the fishing profession the attention it deserved, President Koroma noted that, “no one can finish talking about fishing in Sierra Leone without making mention of Shenge, and Bonthe the fishing basket of this Country”.
The Head of State reminded the people that his government is taking a tough stance on poaching trawlers from other countries through greater surveillance activities by the Naval Wing of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).
He also advised the people to avoid bad fishing methods, like the use of explosives and monofilaments, in order to preserve the fish for future generations; and how culprits would be apprehended.
He said the fishing facilities to be provided would be owned and managed by the community, while urging them, through the local oversight committee, to have an eye on the contractors, so that the infrastructure would reflect value for money and completed within the approximated one-year time-frame.
Touching on other matters relating to the development of Shenge, the President said a mini-hydro project would soon take-off for the whole Moyamba district, and that before the end of his Presidency he would drive to Shenge (which has virtually been cut off from the rest of the country due to a terrible road) on a first-class highway.
The ADB representative Solomon Saybana Kamara, in very brief remarks, said he was there to assure the people that his organization would provide the funds and that the work would commence soon.
The Member of Parliament of the area, the SLPP’s Veronica Kadie Sesay, said she admires the President and his attitudinal change campaign, and even joked that she might have voted for him in the last Presidential elections.
President Koroma took a similar message to the people of Bonthe, stating that he was waiting to come with something positive to thank them for their support during the elections.
He intimated that his relationship with PMDC Leader Charles Margai, together with that of the APC and the PMDC as a party, “is solid and growing from strength to strength.” But he said now is not a time to talk about politics, but development, as there would be no elections again until 2012.
“Development can only come when we fight against our common enemy, as can be seen in poverty, illiteracy and disease. Poverty knows no party symbol, no colour, and no political party,” he reaffirmed. President Koroma lamented that it’s a shame that Sierra Leone is in the category of poor countries when it has a great potential in fishing, mining, and agriculture. “We should rise to the challenge and say enough is enough. We have done it before. If we did it before, we can do it again,” he maintained. The Deputy Mayor of the Municipality Rebecca John, while welcoming the President and entourage, said the last time Bonthe had a taste of development was during the era of late President Siaka Stevens