Pres. Bio under the Microscope

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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio marked the first year anniversary of his presidency with a visit to an orphanage in the capital Freetown, setting off a debate about the performance of his administration since April 2018.Bio on Thursday visited the Network for Children in Need Orphanage at Allen Town, a community situated in the extreme end of the capital, Freetown.
He used the platform to commit his government to ensuring no Sierra Leonean is left behind in his quest for development.
“Every child is important to this government. We are here to show you all that we love and value you,” Bio said.
He added: “We want to let you know that we recognise what you do and we are ready to support you. We know the challenges you face but we want you all to know that there is a brighter future ahead of you. I encourage you all to focus on your studies as with education you can achieve your full potentials.”
As always, Sierra Leoneans have been divided about the performance of President Bio who campaigned on the platform of uprooting corruption and indiscipline in governance.
While he seems to be doing good in that, with the arrest and trial of many former
government officials accused of corruption, his critics say he has failed in handling the bread and butter issues of the country.
The cost of living has gone up, amidst a weakening local currency, the Leone, against the US Dollar.
On April 4, 2018, Bio became president just hours after he was declared winner of a bitterly contested presidential elections.
His campaign promises had hinged on returning sanity to officialdom by battling corruption, improving the economy and setting Sierra Leone down the road to prosperity.
However, reining graft has left him at odds with social activists who say the human rights record of his administration is nothing to wirte home.
One of the leading civil society organizations in the country, Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), issued a statement in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of Bio’s ascendancy, raising concerns about civil liberties inspite of its good work over the past 12 months.
As expected, his supporters are sprinting top his defense, saying whatever hardship Sierra Leoneans have been going through since April 2018 has been the effect of the bad governance system of Bio’s predecessor, Ernest Bai Koroma.
Among other issues, CGG urged the government to use ongoing anti-corruption crusade to institute institutional reforms. It frowned at the overreliance on Executive Orders in addressing genuine concerns like the rise in sexual violence, as well as the unequitable distribution of national resources.
“In a multiparty environment, concentrating resources in specific areas invariably disadvantages opposition party strongholds, building synergy with local councils for better service delivery is therefore of essence. We call on government to ensure a fairer distribution of state resources,” the organization said in its statement.

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