By Amin Kef (Ranger)
During a well attended event held on the 19th May, 2023 in Dogoloyia Town, Koinadugu district, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio commissioned a 261-kilometer road linking Koinadugu with Falaba and Kono Districts with a view to reducing travel time and cost, improving service delivery time and promoting the health condition of residents in that part of the country. While commissioning the 261km Kabala-Krobola-Kono road President Bio told those in attendance that the road is not about Politics but about improving people’s livelihoods.
Pavi Fort Road Construction Company, a renowned civil engineering entity, that has etched its name in the sand of times as the leading indigenous road construction company in Sierra Leone that many have copiously commended for always delivering qualitative road construction works, was the company that was awarded the contract of constructing the road during the tenure of the erstwhile APC Government under the leadership of former President Ernest Bai Koroma but work came to a halt when there was a change of Government and funds not forthcoming despite the fact that the contractor has pre-financed the project.
However, due to the persistent reminders forwarded to the Ministry of Finance by the astute, result oriented and charismatic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pavi Fort Road Construction Company, Alimu Sanu Barrie, Government, under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio, decided that Pavi Fort should be given the opportunity to continue construction work on road contracts he had started in the last dispensation.
He noted that when a good and forgiving leader like President Bio is in control of the affairs of the country all the people who are beneficiaries of his policies and actions need only to re-elect such a leader.
He also used the opportunity to prevail on the people of the three districts to support President Bio because he not does only care for them but because he is consciously taking development to every nook and cranny of Sierra Leone.
In his statement during the programme, Alimu Sanu Barrie, thanked President Bio, the First Lady, Fatima Bio and all those present for gracing the occasion maintaining that it is indeed a remarkable day for the Kabala Township.
He lamented that one thing that is lacking within the governance structure or architecture of the country is continuity. The CEO revealed that construction work was around 40% to 50% when the halt took place as a result of a change of Government. According to him, he was initially having fears that the money he has used in pre-financing the project has gone in vain.
However, he expressed gratitude to President Bio for allaying that fear when he gave the green light for Pavi Fort to continue with the remaining 60% left and to release payments of funds. Alimu Barrie profusely commended President Bio for that singular decision as well as the Resident Minister, Abu Abu and the Deputy Minister of Justice, Umaru Napoleon Koroma for helping to facilitate the process.
Alimu Barrie then asked the residents a rhetorical question bordering around what should they do for President Bio in return for what he has done for them vis-à-vis the June 24 Elections.
The Pavi Fort boss then committed himself that if the road is not completed within the stipulated timeframe then residents should not blame President Bio but rather him, an assurance which he reiterated.
Host Paramount Chief Sorie Konko Jawara of Dembelia Musaia Chiefdom thanked President Bio for his intervention saying since he was born this is the first time that he will witness such a development. He said he is happy that he is welcoming the President and First Lady to see what the SLPP has done in that part of the country.
He commended the Free Quality Education Initiative saying for the first time the district emerged with the best BECE result and expressed appreciation for providing them with a medical clinic with personnel disclosing that such has saved them from the hassle of traversing nine miles to access a medical facility.
The Paramount Chief disclosed that Dembelia Musaia Chiefdom is a productive settlement that offers employment opportunities and is agriculturally resourceful but their biggest challenge was the road.
He said when the road should have been completed the benefits will be huge further expressing the conviction that the chiefdom will serve as an international market as it is close to Mali. He said all these are coming into fruition because of good thinking and astute leadership on the part of the President.
Paramount Chief Sorie Konko ended up praising descendants of the Chiefdom who were appointed by the President saying they are really working in their interest. In a subtle way he asked the President to appoint more soldiers maintaining that starting with him the President who is a retired Brigadier, he said he believes because of discipline, people with military backgrounds are adept to rule or do things better. He especially commended one Dr Abdulai Jalloh for his tremendous support to the chiefdom.
He urged his people to support President Bio for a second term and further called on them to ensure that they own the road project and discourage saboteurs.
Earlier when commissioning the ongoing road works, President Julius Maada Bio stated:
“I am here because I want to ensure that my Government is able to link you and the rest of the country upon completion of the construction of this road. This infrastructure, when it is completed, will benefit your districts and other users in such a way that it will ensure that life is easy for you in this part of the country. We don’t have the money readily available for use, but I believe we can search for and secure funds for such a laudable investment.
“With you in this part of the country alone, we don’t need to import onions from other countries because that which you have been producing is by far better than what we have been importing since independence to date.
“Let us ignore bad politics and concentrate on the development of Sierra Leone. I am making this road because we should not be limited to traveling across the country because of limited resources. With tangible infrastructural development, we can travel freely at any time.
“As the President, I believe that you don’t need to divide the people for political scores, but rather, I believe in working for the people, which is why we are here today to formally commission this very important infrastructure construction work to link our people,” the President said.
First Lady, Fatima Maada Bio, thanked the Paramount Chiefs and other stakeholders in the district for supporting President Bio’s agenda to transform the country, pointing out the fact that they were able to monitor the ongoing work for the construction of the road which demonstrated how development-oriented they were.
She thanked the President for considering Koinadugu and Falaba Districts as part of Sierra Leone, as the two districts are among the highest producers of agricultural products in the country.
“My husband is more concerned with taking tangible development to Koinadugu and Falaba Districts, including this road, which prompted him to come for the commissioning of the commencement of active work of the 261 km road. I want to join my parents and the people of Koinadugu and Falaba to say thank you to His Excellency for addressing the neglect and social injustice these two districts have suffered,” the First Lady said.