When President Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio was addressing Heads of States from West Africa, diplomats from ECOWAS, EU/AU, the United States of America, party supporters and other well meaning Sierra Leoneans at a well organized inauguration ceremony in Freetown, he vowed to wage war on corruption, poverty and indiscipline in Sierra Leone.
Delivering his inaugural speech, just after former President Ernest Koroma had symbolically handed over the staff of office to him, Bio disclosed that 22 years ago he organized the first democratic elections in nearly thirty (30) years and handed over political power to the elected Sierra Leone People’s Party Government.
“This day is momentous and historic. I have every reason to thank the Almighty God for making this day happen,” Bio said to the mammoth crowd.
The President reaffirmed his commitment as set out in the New Direction which, according to him, would principally address issues on the economy, agriculture, marine resources, tourism, minerals resources, the manufacturing sector, fiscal prudence and domestic revenue mobilization, among others.
He disclosed that the theme for the national development plan for the next 5 years is ‘Education for Development.’ According to him, this is the first step to lay the foundation to reclaim the historic educational reputation of Sierra Leone as the ‘Athens’ of West Africa.
He called on Sierra Leoneans to join him in making the necessary change to rebuild the country, noting that it is not business as usual in terms of how the country is governed.
With the New Direction, he would provide a disciplined leadership, effective and efficient management of Sierra Leone’s finances and natural resources for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans.
The inauguration ceremony marks the official handing over of power from one civilian government to another and ends the ten years rule of the Ernest Bai Koroma led All People’s Congress Party, which have ruled Sierra Leone for over three decades since independence.