By Ragan M. Conteh
One of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) stalwarts, who also double as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Solomon Sengepoh, has admitted that “Sierra Leone is among the poorest nations in the world.”
Hon. Sengepoh made this disclosure in the Well of Parliament during the approval of the presidential declaration of a State of Emergency.
According to the Deputy Speaker, most of the nations that have standards and improved health care systems are struggling with the dreadful COVID-19.
He informed that Sierra Leone, as a country, should learn from the Ebola lessons and put corrective measures in place this time round.
Hon. Sengehpoh, who made this statement amidst round of applause by colleague MPs, cautioned that the proposed State of Emergency should not be used as a tool to oppress political opponents but should be used primarily to prevent the entry of the COVID-19 into the country.
According to Hon. Sengepoh, Sierra Leoneans blamed former President Koroma in 2014 for the late declaration of a State of Emergency, at a time when the Ebola disease had killed many. Such experience, he said, should not repeat itself in the fight against COVID-19.
Hon. Billoh Saw of the SLPP also informed MPs that, “extraordinary problems require extraordinary measures.”
He said the presence of health officials is needed in the border communities. He disclosed that the porous nature of the country’s borders, especially in his Constituency in Koinadugu District, is a serious concern.
Hon. Saw urged the Ministry of Health to improve on health facilities in that border community, because health workers are needed to ensure that all those coming in and out of those communities are well checked.
In his submission, Hon. Francis Bhendu stated that the best thing to do, as a country, is to prevent COVID-19 entry than to cure it.
Many MPs, especially from the opposition side have, times without number, criticized the SLPP led Government for the manner in which they handled the economy for the past two years.
“The prices of essential commodities continue to skyrocket without a solution even before COVID-19. Our constituents are suffering extreme poverty,” Hon. Abdul Karim Koroma of Constituency 059 said.
By Ragan M. Conteh