As Controversy mounts over Renamed Bridge…….
Lumley Residents label it ‘Two-Sim’
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio on Thursday 25thApril, 2019 formally commissioned the twin funded bridge linking Lumley and Juba Communities, west of the capital, Freetown.
The 1.8 meters bridge which was renamed by the President as the ‘Sengeh Pieh Memorial bridge’ sparked unhealthy debate and reactions from both the citizenry and the Freetown City Council which issued a press release that speaks to it mandate in naming and renaming streets and infrastructures like bridges.
During his speech at the opening, Pres. Bio said the project was a demonstration of his government capacity to build bridges and roads that meet international standards faster, better and for far less money, and that his government could do infrastructural development without officials stealing millions of dollars meant for the project.
The opposition said it initiated the project and attracted it funding.
Beyond the rhetoric of who takes the capital for the new bridge is the decision by government to rename the bridge from what is was known to what they want it to be called.
Residents of Lumley that spoke to this medium said they cannot allow themselves to be caught up in middle of the heightening stakes as to which name should hold or not, rather they will prefer to label the new bridge as two-sim.
Whilst the opposition claimed the President decision was a deliberate plan to mock the krios by removing the name of the Krio Pan-Africanist ITA Wallace Johnson to the Mende/Shebro, A hero Sengeh Pieh, government said it had only named the extended bridge after the Amistad hero and not re-named the entire bridge as claimed.
By John Malimba Kanu
Provincial Times Newspaper