Ernest Bai Koroma – A Real People’s President
By Jacob Conteh in Sierra Leone :
Magburaka Sierra Leone, December 26: After spending a fun filled Christmas with my family in the Gbonkolenken Chiefdom, I was heading back to Freetown on Monday, December 26 After a brief stop at Matotoka for gas, we headed to Maguraka on the Kono-Freetown highway. Suddenly, a female police officer stopped us and asked us to park our car on the roadside. Soon I saw flashing police cars and bikes. With quick thinking, I jumped out of the car, took my Ipad and ran to the direction of the crowd. Then it happened.
President Koroma and his wife First Lady Sia Koroma walked out of a car and started walking with the jubilation crowd. After shouting to the police that I was from Cocoriioko, they let me go to the front where I joined other reporters to take a video of the president. For more than twenty minutes, the president and his wife walked side by side with ordinary Sierra Leoneans who sang and danced behind him.With his signature smile, the president and his wife walked all the way to a hall where more people waited to welcome him.
As I ran back to my car, I was full of admiration for President Koroma. In all my life here in Sierra Leone, I have never seen a president who is so loved and honored by his people. You can see that not only in Magburaka but in Freetown where the other day people danced in the street when they saw him pass by. In a world where many heads of states ride in armored tainted cars that speed in the street, President Koroma is one president that still enjoys overwhelming support from his people that allow him to mingle freely with them.
For a nation that has been ruled by both military usurpers and terrorized by ruthless rebel gangs for years, Presient Koroma has been a unifying force who has allowed this country to be totally transformed from a war-torn country to a blossoming democracy whose economy is booming with a housing market that is hot and lucrative. He is.able to mobilize the country to positive action by simply meeting the people where they are without much fanfare and pomp. That is why I still respect and admire this president.
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