October 2, 2022

Jacob Jusu Saffa, Chiefe Minister

Julius Maada Bio creates many ministries and foreign embassies resulting into huge government,  Chief Minister indicts his boss. Jacob Jusu Saffa’s claims fell within public domain after a secret communication leaked last year  from a ‘Green Revolution’ WhatsApp group.

The group is formed PAOPA hardliners. Sierra Leoneans already know what PAOPA means. He went on to state that the President’s decision led to his failure. The President created several agencies and ministries into which a great chunk of public money goes.

Several ministries and agencies without clear reason for setting them up. The Ministry of Education used to be a vibrant and effective one, but its separation into two has whittled down its relevance. Instead of one ministry, the education ministry is now two.

Ministry of Tertiary Education is now different from Ministry of Basic and Senior School Education. It is, without doubt, costly to run the two ministries. It is a financially demanding venture.

Much money will be needed to recruit staff, and provide other facilities for the two ministries. Ministry of Lands, Housing and the Environment which was one has been made two. Ministry of Housing is now different from Ministry of Environment. Almost invariably, much public money is going into it to keep it alive although environmental disasters never stop.

Ministry of Energy and Water Resources used to be one before this time, but has been separated into two: there is a Ministry of Energy and a Ministry of Water Resources although water shortage still persists.

Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs which was one ministry is now two. Ministry of Social Welfare is different from Ministry of  Gender and Children’s affairs although sexual violence and social welfare still continue unabated.

No proper justification for the division of the ministry is provided. Girls below 18 are still brothels demanding money for sex,  and other ugly  issues of social welfare still rear their heads everyday. What prompts the separation?

Outside the ministries, several  commissions have also been set up which are of little relevance to national development. The creation of the commissions are mere hypocrisy as they are considerably  undermined by the  government that creates them. Violence still persists despite creation of the Independent peace commission about a year ago.

Problems of patriotism are still present in Sierra Leone although there is a National Civic Education and Development Commission. Other commissions also exist  without much work raising questions about the purpose for their formation.

To set up institutions is one thing but to staff them with the right staff, and strengthening them is another. A government cannot set up new institutions, pour public  money into the venture and later undermine them. By their actions, SLPP has undermined most of the institutions they have set up by not going according to the laws of the land.

At the Bintumani-111 conference, a lawyer of good years, Basita Michael warned SLPP government against undermining institutions of peace. “You cannot preach peace, and undermine institutions that provide peace,” she said.

Little wonder that several opposition political parties particularly the main opposition, APC did not attend the peace conference.

Clear hypocrisy also manifests in the manner in which SLPP deals with state institutions. SLPP government locked down several public offices  created by the past government of President Ernest Bai Koroma on the basis of wastages.

Office of Diaspora Affairs  has been downsized. Attitudinal and Behavioural Change Secretariat is now a thing of the past.  Several institutions created by APC are no more, while SLPP created more. Saffa’s claims yesterday have become real today. After four years, Bio has nothing to point at as there is nothing new. Little wonder that PAOPA government remains the most vilified of all times by grassroot communities and academics.

No government has ever faced heavy criticism than Bio’s. The failure in governance has also cost Bio’s admiration among southeasterners. Saffa made it clear. “Our supporters in the Southeast are angry,” Saffa lamented.

The statement made last year is now real.

No one ever imagines that Kenema, Bo and other towns in South-East regions would shun the registration process under SLPP (Sierra Leone People’s Party)’s watchful eye. Investigation conducted by this press indicates that South-East regions are fed up with SLPP government. They have failed the  people in the face of fabulous promises made over the years.

A 50kg (bag) of rice sold Le200, 000 years past is now Le500, 000. A litre of fuel sold 4, 500, few years ago, now stands at Le18, 000. Transport fare from Freetown to Bo and Kenema which was Le35, 000 and Le45, 000 respectively has ballooned to a record fare of  over Le100, 000. the sharp rise in price has stalled movement from the South-East to Freetown making hardship matters worse.

The fear that prices might further rise in the future remains high as government takes no concrete step to correct the anomalies. The claim that men are sometimes masters of their fate is very prominent here. President Bio is master of his fate, and he blames no one if he loses the elections next year.

The President came up with many policies that creates the economic hardship.

Upon taking over governance in 2018, Bio promised a sound economy by blocking financial leakages. He saw many leakages while in opposition, but he saw none for now while he is in governance despite the creation of many agencies and ministries.