Sierra Leone: Parliament Ends Debate: Is SLPP Under Heat?

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There is an adage that says, "It's a stubborn fly that follows the cops to the grave."Parliamentary debate on the president's speech delivered during the State Opening of the Fifth Session of the Second Republic has come to an end after four days of intense clash of opinions between MPs of the ruling party and that of the opposition All People's Congress (APC), the Coalition for Change (C4C) and the National Grand Coalition (NGC).

As events unfolded during the parliamentary debate, it was clear that the ruling government can benefit a lot from the propositions and claims of the opposition parties whose MPs have been able to evidently highlight some of the loopholes, inconsistences and concerns that undermines the New Direction Manifesto, the delivery of the president's promises to the nation and the hope for the future of this nation.

It is often required or demanded of the opposition in Parliament to assess, evaluate, analyze and critically critic unsatisfactory activities carried out by the ruling government which enhances and create a balance in the governance systems of the country. Parliament or the legislature, especially the opposition serves as an ambiance to the growth, progress and development of a country through providing guide and serving as checks and balances to the government day.

What went on those few days in Parliament was an indication and manifestation to the fact that the opposition parties in Parliament are awake and are doing their homework well as expected of them in a democratically oriented state like ours. From the start of the debate to the end, they have undoubtedly delivered and raised sensitive concerns and issues that should help the current regime if they are to succeed in making this nation a better one. Well, this is, if the ruling government is willing and courageous enough to humbly look into those realities, swallowing their pride and accepting the responsibility of their commitment to the people of Sierra Leone.

Hon. Saa Francis Bhendu of Constituency 07 and of the C4C in his presentation on the first day of sittings admonished colleague MPs that they should carefully look into the president's speech and make critical analyses of all what is captured in the document and proffer better solutions to the problems envisaged in the paper. He stated that they as MPs are responsible to the day to day administration of the nation and their various constituencies, noting clearly that the electorates are more superior to the MPs.

The fact is, despite what the president and the current government has done, for which they are to be commended, there are areas also that they've not gotten right, thus there is a need for correction and improvement if we are to move forward as a nation. Fortunately for them, the opposition MPs have highlighted key issues in some areas and sectors which they should critically take note of if they are to be considered as a serious government who feel for the people, are accountable and are responsible.

Some of the areas mentioned in during the debate were: The issue of inflation (prices of commodities, fuel and food stuffs especially rice)Agriculture and food security, Health, Electricity and water supply,

Corruption and the issue of the Auditor General's Report, moneys unaccounted for by the ministry of finance.

The state of teachers who are very instrumental to administering the quality in the Free, Quality Education, Awarding of contracts and implementation of projects to undeserving individuals and institutions by this Government (BRAC and the World Bank support fund ), basing national development on the result of the just concluded census. The issue of human rights violation by the government.

These and other areas are a great concern to us as a nation if only we are sincere with ourselves.

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