Watch Your Back, President Maada Bio

It goes without saying that the President, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio, is desirous of not only ‘paopa’ making Sierra Leone a better place for all but also fighting the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) that is currently threatening the country, with reported cases in neighbouring Guinea and Liberia.
His efforts and good intentions, according to many concerned citizens, must be well complemented by members of his team if he is to yield any positive dividend. Judging from past experience, people who come close to the presidency are more often than not spoilers, who appear as though they are fixers but at the end of the day, they will throw spanners into the very good work of the President.
To many, the raging pandemic is an opportunity to squander state funds with reckless abandon, much to the detriment of the people and country. Some are currently designing programmes and activities around COVID-19 in order to solicit funds to line their pockets as usual.
President Bio needs to know exactly who to deal with if he is to succeed in this fight. He and others around him must be made to understand that this is not an SLPP fight but a national one. Politicizing this fight would be the biggest mistake the ‘New Direction’ administration would make.
This brings us to the issue of inviting the heroes of the Ebola war in the persons of Rtd. Major Palo Conteh, Mr. Steven Gaugia and Col. David T.O. Taluva to State House. That was a welcome move by the presidency, though, along the line, something ugly happened which must have dampened the President’s spirit to have a rethink. But that is a different story altogether.
This article is not in any way intended to vindicate Rtd. Major Palo Conteh but let justice be seen done in the matter, and let politics be put aside. In the meantime, whilst he is being investigated, the other two actors – Steven Gaugia and Col. DTO Taluva- could be engaged, giving that both have over the years proved to be descent Sierra Leoneans who diligently worked to liberate this country from the dreadful Ebola virus. Their experience in fighting and ending the Ebola war is highly needed as they already know the challenges faced in fighting such a war and how they can be surmounted.
Engaging those two heavyweights would help a great deal in this fight. As a matter of fact, it is a call to national duty and I am sure they are both more than ready to offer their services and expertise to the country.
SLPP members should also not see this fight as an opportunity to grab new jobs. On a similar token, the President should not use this fight as an opportunity to further compensate party members. Coronavirus knows no stranger, it is no respecter of persons, it is colour blind, it is neither knows SLPP nor APC. Therefore, if it ever visits us (we pray it doesn’t) let it be a national fight.
Whatever reservation one may have regarding the proclaimed State of Public Emergency by the President, it is, to a large extent, necessary. However, we fear that it will not be mismanaged or interpreted otherwise. Law enforcers should not use the current situation to, in the process of enforcing the law, abuse the rights of citizens. Citizens too must ensure that they adhere to dictates that go with an emergency situation.
In all of these, President Bio must tread cautiously to ensure that the people’s money is not squandered, their rights are not abused and their security guaranteed.
Meanwhile Parliament, after the said proclamation, yesterday met to debate on the issue, which saw a good number of Members of Parliament (MPs) opposing particularly the duration of the State of Emergency.

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