In the dying days of 2015, President Ernest B.
Koroma was not at statehouse or abroad meeting with world leaders, he was
the dusty and rugged back roads of Koinadugu District giving
small speeches while launching new projects and inaugurating completed ones,
attending cultural shows and meeting local citizens. If the president continues
to heed late US House of Representatives Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill's counsel
that all politics is local, the Sierra Leone People's Party would have to
shelve any plans for victory celebrations in 2018.
On Dec 29th, President Koroma with all
the district's political leaders in tow drove 42 miles on one of the most
difficult roads from Kabala to Momoria Badala to launch the Bridging Bintumani
project. Bridging Bintumani, an initiative of Finance Minister Kelfalla Marah,
a native son, is meant to exploit the tourism potential of the Bintumani
Mountains, among the highest in West Africa. The ultimate goal, after the
construction of a road from Kabala is the building of a bridge at the
confluence of the Bagbeh and Baffin Rivers. From Freetown to Kabala and all the
villages the president passed through on his way to Momoria Badala, Sierra Leoneans
can look forward to enormous economic benefits when the project is completed.
He returned to Kabala on the same day.
On the 30th, President Koroma was greeted
with chants of "more time, more time," by local youth activists when he started
the day with an inspection tour of the All People's Congress Party construction
site. Then he was off to pay his personal condolences to the family of John
Kulako Sesay, a party activist who had suddenly collapsed and died the previous
Leaving the funeral, the president traveled three
miles to Yataya, to inaugurate a junior secondary school built with the help of
Peter Bayuku Konteh, a former minister of tourism in his government. Back in
Kabala, he opened the completely refurbished Kabala Central Mosque and unveiled
the new clock tower in the center of town, projects which received the support
of Momoh Konteh, another native son who also played a crucial role in the fight
against the spread of the Ebola virus in Koinadugu District.
The next morning, Dec 31st, President Koroma
traveled to Kanuka village to inaugurate a multi-purpose hall. He capped his
visit to Koinadugu by attending a cultural show at the Yogomaia Field where his
leadership abilities received much praise within earshot of shuttered and
solitary building painted green with a sign outside that said "Sierra Leone
People's Party, Koinadugu District Headquarters."
In Kabala, President Koroma's entourage drove on
newly paved roads around town and stayed at the recently constructed
presidential lodge high on the hill where the residence of the District Officer
(DO) used to be. Citizens of Kabala said the complex looked like a "lantern"
when lit up at night.
Listen to podcasts of the president's visit and
other activities around Kabala as covered by Radio Bintumani, Kabala at
sierraleone365 radio on the tunein app.