Amidst the pomp and pageantry of his inauguration at the National stadium President Ernest Bai Koroma has called for change of attitude among Sierra Leoneans
In his address before five African Presidents and two Prime Ministers, President Koroma said “We must all be ready now to embrace change, change in our attitude towards one another change in our attitude to our work and responsibilities change in our attitude towards our nation all of these changes should translate positively into progress and development for our country.”
The President reiterated his stance on corruption emphasizing that “unless we change our attitude my determination to stamp out corruption form our land will be fruitless and we will not achieve our goal of a developed and prosperous Sierra Leone that we collectively wish for I emphasize this point because corruption is not only a matter for the leaders and heads of government institutions it is equally a matter for everybody.”
Talking of his reform programs the President said “We will reform the judiciary to ensure the rule of law is respected and enforced in our country …We will reform our civil service to ensure that it is better able to deliver service to our citizens and putting out inefficiency eliminating renting seeking and reward top performance … We will reform in order to reduce the barriers to investment in our country that are limiting our ability to accelerate our economic growth …We will reform and strengthen our democratic institutions to ensure increased access to justice for all.”
President Koroma called on Sierra Leoneans abroad who have “the requisite skills resources and experience to come home and join us in building a better Sierra Leone” promising that “we as a government in return promise to make Sierra Leone an easier place to do business, to eliminate corruption, to further strengthen the application of the rule of law and finally to use government revenues effectively to deliver public service efficiently.”
He maintained that this should not be taken to mean that Sierra Leoneans have not been honest or diligently in their endeavours.
He recalled that exploits of the military in Burma and the Fourah Bay College where the first crop of educated elites in Nigeria Ghana and Gambia were educated.
The President mentioned prominent Sierra Leoneans like Dr Monty Jones who developed the award winning NERICA rice
“The elections are over” he said “and the nation is striving to be united once more as one.”
“It is now time to desist from those actions that threatened to divide our country and to mar the successful conclusion of our highly acclaimed elections”
“We should all be working now as a united body for the good of our nation by safeguarding our republic strengthening our government and building new institutions” he said.
“I have no doubt that like a phoenix we shall rise from the ashes of war and become once again the proud nation that we are the Athens of West Africa” the President ended.