President Bio Extols Sir Albert Margai and Calls for Personal Sacrifices
President Julius Maada Bio has addressed Sierra Leoneans as we marked 58 years of Independence. The President during his address cited the clarion call made by the country first leader Sir Milton Margai who in his independence speech in 1961 called on Sierra Leoneans to “face up squarely to the problems which will confront them’’
The President expressed the belief that Sierra Leone would only succeed with the collective efforts of all Sierra Leoneans
The ultimate aim then, as now, was to “make our country a land worth living in” and “a land worth serving” with “wholehearted service and hard work,” the president noted.
He continued that he will refuse to make budgetary allocations to independence celebrations until his government is able to hit the 20% local revenue mobilization emphasizing that his government has inherited what he referred to as a battered economy that badly needs recovery.
‘’Am urging all of you to each reflect deeply and ask ourselves as individuals and collectively as a nation what we have done to make our country a land worth living in,’’ the president noted.
President Bio singled out corruption, theft, fraud, waste, bad deals as factors responsible for the current state of the country embroiled with huge debts.He also connivance to sell off the country’s mineral resources to predators as having hugely defeated our collective determination to build a productive nation.
The President expressed dissatisfaction that as a people we have failed to manage our environment and wildlife, protect our beaches and seas, and keep our living spaces clean and healthy at all times.
‘’Lawlessness, nepotism, discrimination, greed, crass opulence, mismanagement, and bad governance at all levels have not made our country a land worth living in,’’ the president stated.
He furthered that our disregard for our traditional values of deep faith and religiosity, respect, tolerance, justice, good neighbourliness and peaceful coexistence has not always made our country a land worth living in.
The President concluded by urging Sierra Leoneans to make a Solemn pledge or prayer to do all they can to make the country a land worth living in again by embracing those values and attitudes that make us patriotic while also espousing areas where we have made tremendous progress as a country such as peaceful transition of power,youth involvement in national development and politics of the country and the rebranding of the country at the international scene in the face of the withdrawal of various financial institutions.
The climax of the independence celebrations was a session with school children and other well meaning Sierra Leoneans at the Siaka Stevens Stadium and an Insignia awards ceremony where distinguished Sierra Leoneans that have excelled in their various fields of endeavor will be decorated with the various national awards.