Sierra Leone Government (Freetown)

7 December 2012

Sierra Leone: 'The Issue of Who Is the President Is Not in Dispute'

His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has on Thursday 6th December 2012 told Paramount Chiefs (PCs) drawn from the one hundred and fourty-nine chiefdoms that the issue of who is the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone was not in dispute at all. "I got a serious mandate this time. It is not like when I went for a run-off in 2007, so there is no dispute over who is the President, he declared, adding that, "we have graduated from what used to be described as a fragile democracy to a matured one".

President Koroma made the reaffirmation while addressing paramount chiefs during a meeting held in the Credentials Hall, at State House, where he admonished the PCs that there are other very serious issues that are affecting the country that need to be confronted and addressed openly rather than ignoring them.

The Chief Executive also said that the just concluded elections have been internationally recorded as the most credible polls ever held in the history of Sierra Leone, pointing out that the entire electoral process has graduated the country to the level of matured democratic nations of the world.

The President noted that the campaign went on peacefully and that there were no incidents of political intimidation and violence, saying that there were a huge number of both local and international election observers who highly praised the process as being free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible. He informed the PCs that the entire electioneering process was undertaken by the Sierra Leone Government which makes it the first elections conducted by the Sierra Leonean Government following the end of the decade old war that almost ripped the country apart.

While encouraging all to take advantage of the closeness of communities as Sierra Leone was a very small country, he called for further cooperation between government and the PCs as traditional leaders have pivotal roles to play in governance, especially at chiefdom levels.

"We need to work very fast. We will continue with the programmes that we have started earlier, and we should be doing the right things and continue to engage ourselves", said President Koroma, and added; "politics for me is over, and I look forward to having a healthy working relationship with the traditional leaders of this country".

The resoundingly re-elected President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma further reiterated that; "I am your President because you all voted me in the election", but however reminded the galaxy of traditional leaders that, "we can't be on politics all the time, and I have made a commitment that I will serve every section of the country and peace should reign everywhere".

Earlier, the Chairman of the National Council of Paramount Chiefs Hon. PC Charles Caulker heartily congratulated the President on his reverberating victory, while describing the performance of President Koroma as one that was no longer in doubt.

"As traditional leaders, we highly admire you, particularly so for your recent dialogue held with the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party leadership, and we are very happy for the peaceful outcome of the electoral exercise", Hon. PC Caulker said.

The chairman of the Council of Paramount Chiefs further stated that they were at State House to pledge their support and loyalty to the astute and visionary leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma and further encouraged President Koroma to remain focused, as the PCs were eager to take the new road as traditional leaders. They also pledged the commitment of all PCs to confront the challenge of governance at chiefdom level all across the country.

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