President Koroma makes no empty promises

25 September 2008 at 11:20 | 902 views

By Essa Thaim-Kurugba, Maryland, USA.

The auditorium at the Rutgers University Technology Center, New Brunswick in New Jersey was jam-packed and chock-a-block that evening.

The cross section of Sierra Leoneans in the North East region will always remember that presidential visit. Street corners, work places, markets and Metro stations were full of news about the event among Sierra Leoneans in New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York.

His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was cool and calm. Security was air-tight in the auditorium when he arrived.

In his speech, he reiterated that one of the most challenging things about starting a new government is that it’s easy. The president emphasized that the APC government took office when the country’s coffers were partially empty, ghost teachers were marauding and prowling the corridors of the Ministry of Education. The goal or task to rehabilitate or create a new constitutional government usually isn’t the planning, the thinking and the mapping that are the main tasks. It is the doing!

Actually taking the first step is often the most difficult part of any new endeavor.

"We were looking at the area project of the Bumbuna Hydro electric , the self sufficiency in food, and we found it interesting to rejuvenate these projects. One of the reasons why some of these projects fail in the past government was the lack of implementation. In others words, not using the funds for the project was a major cause of its failure. Such is with life; the nation can have the best intentions and plans, but if we never start, nothing will happen. The Bunbuna project is now our priority," the president said.

President Koroma emphasized that when he orders the start of new projects, procrastination will never set in. He remembered when he was putting his plan of action he noticed that the SLPP ministries were never in good shape.

My guess is that, for many people, one of the biggest problems in the way of starting things is the fear of the unknown. All the doubts and uncertainty can be overwhelming. Also, fear of not doing it right, or even not knowing what to do. The cure for all of these fears is action. Action is the enemy of fear. The best thing to do when fear sets in is to take action, and the secret is - any action will do. Just get moving and fear will move aside so that the beginning can start. We love our country and our nation.

If getting started has you stunned with fear in any government institution, take a deep breath and take one small action, either do something, or anything. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you take action. Getting started is challenging, but once you do, you will build momentum that will keep you going. The president asked members of the diaspora to start thinking big.

Another trick that might help our nation is to emphasize accountability and transparency. The President told his audience that some minters report to him from time to time on their progress. It sounds banal, but you are more likely to start and stick with what you promise someone else, rather than just promising yourself. It is so easy to break a promise you make to yourself, but not as easy to do so when you have committed to a friend, a mentor or a coach.

The APC -NA executive members were present at this historic event. They are: Chairman Osman T. Conteh, Deputy Chairman Leslie Allen, Mohamed S. Fornah - Treasurer, National Sec. Gen. Abdul B. Kamara, Banister Koroma - Org. Sec., Compliance Officer - Sidique Kamara, Chapter Presidents; Sulaiman Sesay - GA, Sallieu S. Conteh-New England, Col. Idrissa Kamara - Washington DC. Members were Ms, Abie Banghali Mansaray, Mohamed F. Bangura, Prof. Turay (PA), Abu B. Bangura, Jesmed Suma and Ishmael Hedd.

Photo: President Koroma speaking at Rutgers University, New Jersey.