By Amin Kef (Ranger)
During a Press Conference held on Tuesday, 9 January, 2024, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Room on Tower Hill in Freetown, the Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah, introduced a new campaign, called “SALONE BIG PASS WE ALL,” aimed at fostering nationalism and patriotism, emphasizing putting the nation first above all else.
Minister Chernor Bah further addressed concerns about the new airport, citing it as an investment to attract more flights. He acknowledged the temporary increase in taxes but assured the public that the government is actively working to reduce ticket prices.
In a significant announcement, Chief Minister Dr. Moinina Sengeh disclosed that a seven-member delegation is set to visit Washington DC to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and the United States. The delegation, led by Chief Minister Dr. David Sengeh, includes key figures such as Leader of the Opposition Hon. Abdul Kargbo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Timothy Kabba, and Civil Society Representative Abdul M. Fatoma.
Assuring the public, Chief Minister Sengeh reiterated the government’s commitment to implementing all eight resolutions outlined in the Agreement for National Unity. He highlighted the progress of the Feed Salone Project, with a focus on reducing rice importation, aiming for 20% local production for prison and police by the next year and eventually reaching 100%.
Touching on economic initiatives, Chief Minister Sengeh mentioned the World Bank’s $65 million direct budgetary support, emphasizing gains in the energy sector through projects like the MCC compact, Newton power generation, and the Western Area Power Generation Project.
Additionally, Sierra Leone is set to host the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) meetings, with an International WAEC Summit scheduled for March. Chief Minister Sengeh outlined the government’s vision of achieving 100% 3G coverage across the country to enhance connectivity.
Educationist, Dr. Fatu Taqi, urged the government to address economic challenges, emphasizing the importance of civic education. She called for the commemoration of January 6 to enhance citizens’ understanding of historical events in the country.
In a surprising revelation, Colonel Issa Bangura, spokesperson for the Sierra Leone Armed Forces, announced the dismissal of 48 RSLAF personnel involved in activities to overthrow President Julius Maada Bio. The group allegedly operated through a WhatsApp group called “Joint Karamela Peace and Security Network” with the sole purpose of undermining the democratic government.
The developments underscore a multifaceted approach by the Sierra Leonean government to strengthen national unity, economic stability, and civic awareness while addressing internal security concerns.