An independent civil society organization, the Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone (EFSL), has reviled President Koroma for appointing a complete northern cabinet.
This is the very first time for an independent body to officially reprimand the All People’s Congress after it was elected to office.
During a press conference held yesterday at their head office at Circular Road in Freetown, the general secretary Aiah Foday Khabenje stated that in as much as ministerial and other public office appointments were the president’s prerogative, the spread among the different regions and ethnicity was an indicator of the cohesiveness, which was vital for a post-war situation.
The organization however commended the “novel” initiative of President Koroma for the just concluded presidential retreat that was held in Bumbuna and that they were happy to learn about the president’s initiative of taking his ministers, deputies, and other senior government officials on the retreat with the objective of sharing his vision for the advancement of the country.
The organization also lauded the strides by the government to give sustained electricity to Freetown.
They also stated that they support the president’s call for attitudinal change.
However, the faith based organization pointed out that, “Sierra Leone is still a very hungry nation.”
The general secretary said, “many of us are still going to bed on empty stomachs”, noting that critical indicators were the high cost of bread, rice, and essential commodities; “cost of living is high compounded with low wages and unemployment”.
EFSL also raised the issue of increasing lawlessness. Mr Khabenje averred that, “the police cannot be a force for good in the circumstance”, whilst pointing out that the leadership of the police was ineffective and that there was no clear determination by the police to enforce law and order.
The deputy minister of Information, Mohamed D. Koroma in reacting to the issues raised by EFSL, stated that his party was voted for massively in the north, so as a result they were making appointments from the north because that was where they had many loyal and committed people to work with.
“People should be questioning us on whether those appointed are unqualified rather than where they are coming from,” the deputy Information minister challenged.
On the issue of the high cost of living, Mr Koroma said the hike in prices especially rice and flour was a regional problem. He pointed out that the problems of climate change had affected many countries that were producing rice and wheat for flour, and as a result these countries in turn had rationed their imports to Africa.
“Now the dynamics of demand and supply is at play, rice is not as much in the market as it used to be so definitely the prices are shooting up,” the deputy minister explained.
Mr Koroma denied that lawlessness is on the increase. “The police is now robust than ever,” he declared.