COMPILED BY: MOHAMED AMARA GANDO
AFTER 3 YEARS IN POWER: WOULD YOU GIVE A PASSING MARK TO PRESIDENT BIO?
Hannah Mansaray (Lecturer)
Generally, yes, I can give him a passing mark. Why? Because he has done some tremendous job for the past three years. Since he assumed office in April 2018, he promised us so many things. He has achieved some. He promised to give us free quality education, electricity, fight corruption, ensure accountability, and many other things. Let’s look at free quality education. He has done tremendously well. Accountability? Of course has been accountable. In the fight against corruption, Sierra Leone used to be at the bottom of all indices in the fight against corruption in the world. If I am to give him a passing mark for his work in the last three years, I can definitely give him 70%. Even though there are other challenges in the country, to be honest, these challenges did not start today and President Bio did not bring them. The problem with us in this country is that we have been failing to hold our leaders accountable.
Ibrahim Bundu (Politician)
If I am to assess President Bio and his administration, I will give him 40%. I think he has done a few good things which is why I am giving him that mark. Some of us started assessing his leadership through his democratic actions. We all saw what happened after the 2018 elections when the people of this country voted for the President and also the majority of the people voted for the APC party to take over the leadership of Parliament, so that there will be a check and balance in our governance system. But we saw the installation of the speaker where APC MPs were manhandled by the police. Since that incident, I started questioning President Bio’s administration. The problem of Sierra Leone should only be solved when a leader starts looking at everyone as his people if not from that angle, you are bound to fail. As a leader, you have to put on a national lens to address issues of national concern. So for me, my assessment of the President Bio administration in the last three years is that he has been more political than national.
Reginald Cole Johnson (Lawyer)
I will give him 30-40 % because he has done some good job in some areas and there are other areas which he still needs to add more effort to address. The problem of this country cannot be addressed within three years. The other day, I was listening to one government official who was saying that for Sierra Leone to develop, we need a leadership with a selfless mind and a leader who does not think of his tribe, region, and immediate family. The problem of this country did not start today and I am not even expecting the problem to be solved today. We only need someone who can think beyond tribe and focus on things that can develop this country. President Bio needs to be firm. As we speak, there are a lot of issues happening currently under his watch which he has failed to address. After three years, one of the areas where I think the President has failed is the area of lawlessness. Thinking of his background as a former military officer, I think he has failed in that area. When he assumed office in 2018, we saw him take some robust measures to address lawlessness, but as we speak now, the President has not lived up to expectation.
Mohamed Conteh (Civil Society Activist)
President Bio has made some efforts to change the narrative of this country. Efforts like the fight against corruption, introducing free quality education, increasing the salaries of government workers, especially teachers to 30% since 2018 and other areas. I think he has done some good job work since he took over from his predecessor even though some will say that was why he was voted. If I am to assess his administration in 2018, I will give him around 45-50%. As we speak, there are a lot of young people out there who are jobless. All the lawlessness we are talking about is because people don’t have jobs. If you have a good job I don’t think you will be involved in lawless activities. The President promised us in his manifesto before he assumed office in 2018 that if we were to elect him as a president, he will declare war against three major things; firstly, he said he will wage war on corruption. Secondly, he said he will wage war on lawlessness, which for me he has failed. Lastly, he said he will wage on poverty, which is unachievable for now.