Freetown — The Themne Development Community has registered its appreciation for the impressive developmental efforts of His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma as well as pledged unflinching support for him to continue the good work he was doing to develop and transform the country.
Addressing the Themne Community, President Koroma being a national President, expressed appreciation for the show of support by the community for his efforts in transforming the country and thanked the Paramount Chiefs and organizers of the occasion for the initiative. He commended their courage as an ethnic group for standing to the trials of the rain, which manifested their sincerity of purpose and appreciation of government's efforts. The President expressed satisfaction that they had followed the footsteps of the other ethnic groups in thanking him for the development and transformation that is taking place in the country, and that they were not at State House to pledge their support along tribal lines..
President Koroma explained that his government has ensured the restoration of electricity supply in the capital city and some parts of the country for the first time in many years, constructed roads, initiated the free health care programme, improved on the education system and expanded agricultural activities with a view to commercialization. The President reassured them that his government would ensure that the country was developed to an enviable stage, adding that governments in all countries have the responsibility to develop their countries and citizens. He reiterated that as a government, it has kept to the promises of its party's Manifesto, and it was now left with Sierra Leoneans to transform themselves by changing their attitudes to enable them make good use of the opportunities already available in the country.
Dilating on the educational sector, President Koroma said the money his government had spent in the sector has never been spent by any government in the country, such as, increasing subventions and salaries of teacher. He mentioned that all what his government has done was to ensure that the educational sector regains its past standards, saying government has also started the implementation of the Gbamanja Commission of Inquiry Report to reinforce the process.
Speaking on agriculture, President Koroma said government will continue to encourage Sierra Leoneans to take up the challenges that are faced with agricultural activities and would continue to provide the enabling environment for private sector intervention, especially now that Sierra Leone is placed on the sixth position for doing business in Africa. The President also noted that the presence of direct foreign investment in the country was a manifestation of the stability of the country, while noting that with the absence of peace and security, no country will grow or develop economically.
On the area of human rights, President Koroma said being a believer of democracy that ensures that his people enjoy democracy under his leadership he does not need to stand on any international platform to try to convince people about his regard for democratic principles. The President emphasized that it is based on the good name the country has earned itself in democracy and tolerance that was encouraging people to come to Sierra Leone, saying it is his stainless record in respecting people's human rights and good governance that has gained him a lot of international accolades and recognition. He made it clear that in the process of respecting people's human rights, one needs to have an enormous amount of courage, which sometimes people misunderstand to be weakness. He added that he was not respecting the rights of people under any duress or influence but based on his conviction that people deserve nothing less.
The father of the nation said a lot has been said about the economy, but as a government they were proud of their record as government has endeavoured to ensure that the country is once more recognized and returned to the World map for all the good reasons.
President Koroma reiterated government's commitment to promote and strengthen peace and quiet in the country. He added that government has a commitment to ensure that the forthcoming elections are free, fair and violent free and called on all Sierra Leoneans to desist from violent activities as any defaulter will face the full penalty of the law. The President made it clear that he would be judged by his efforts during the campaign period and as such he will continue with his vision, commitment and determination to develop and transform Sierra Leone, saying tribe is of no essence when it comes to national issues.
Special Assistant to the President on Social Affairs, Sheka Kamara who chaired the occasion, said the Themnes were at State House to express their appreciation and solidarity for the laudable efforts of the government since President Koroma became leader of Sierra Leone. He added that President Koroma is also internationally recognized and respected by his colleague Presidents for which Sierra Leoneans are very proud, while disclosing that the visit was also to pledge their unwavering support to the President for the forthcoming elections.
Themne Development Community President, Alhaji Abubakarr Sankoh said that even though President Koroma was faced with a lot of challenges when he assumed office, he was able to restore electricity to the country. He commended him for the introduction of the free health care programme, the infrastructural development, improving agricultural activities in the country, and for giving premium to the education sector. Alhaji Abubakarr Sankoh cautioned all to take cognizance of the fact that there are detractors out there that are bent on disrupting the unity and peace that exists between them. The President of the Themne Development Community implored the Themnes to be steadfast in their support of development over tribalism.
Deputy Minister, Information and Communications, Sheka Tarawally said President Koroma has no tribal restrictions in administering the affairs of the country as demonstrated by his cabinet.
Honourable Hassan Gbessay Kanu registered gratitude to the President for liberating the Themne tribe from the description of being trouble makers, adding that Sierra Leone is a blessed country. He pointed out that from personal experience he had gained in serving in government in the past, President Koroma is exceptional and has the country and people at heart more than any President that has ruled Sierra Leone since independence.
IAMTECH Proprietor, Professor Kamara informed the President that he has ensured that scholarships are secured for students that are mostly of Themne origin and as such they are now making immense progress in the area of education adding that the United States of America had accepted their certificate as number one.
Alhaji Issa Catco maintained that there was absolutely no doubt that President Koroma has contributed immensely to the development of the country, and implored members of the Themne Development Community to continue to give the President the support and solidarity he needs in turning around the country for the better.
Paramount Chief Bai Shebora Kasangha urged the Themnes to continue to embrace themselves and all the other tribes in the country as they are all one nation. He also said that they should endeavour to source new converts into the community. He praised them for the initiative of forming the group as it would now serve as a platform for addressing the challenges facing the community.
Southern Province Themne Tribal Head Chief Tholley prayed that God continues to give President Koroma the strength and protection so that he will continue with the execution of his vision for the country.
Western Area Themne Tribal Head King Kandeh Kamara expressed profound gratitude to the President for the strides taken to develop the country and also pledged their support to him for the forthcoming elections in November 2012. He also commended President Koroma for the free health care programme vital to the existence of women and children, for encouraging religious tolerance and for making the pilgrimage to Mecca now very comfortable and enjoyable. The Themne Tribal Head registered appreciation for the return of Alhaji Yayah Deen Kamara and Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara to the APC Party as it will further ensure the President's and Party's victory without any run-off.
Paramount Chief Bai Kurr Kanagbaro Sanka urged the Themne Development Community to continue the good work and to find solutions on how they could bring their children out of the atrocities they are engaged in at the moment, and reaffirmed the need to come together especially now that they have a leader that is humble, God fearing and caring.
Honourable Alhaji Buya Kamara, Chairman Port Loko District Council thanked God for providing them with the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma in the country saying from all implications he is God chosen. He maintained that the President has indeed relieved them from many challenges faced by them praying that God grants him travelling mercies as he travels around for the development of the country.
State House Communications Unit