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By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara( Kamalo)
Sierra Leone’s socioeconomic predicament is not natural but a made-up mess coming from the very hands of the few Sierra Leoneans ganging up as elites and political class.

These people who ought to know better in manning the affairs of the state and are expected to produce results for the common good of their citizens are those who seldom welcome advice not because they don’t want it the most but because they always like it the least.

This brings to mind President Julius Maada Bio’s mode of political administration; how he seems to have defied and thrown to the gutters all advice that would have made him a better leader, choosing to tread on paths that have now turned out to be self-destructive to his government in particular and the nation by extension.

There are beliefs that President Bio presides over the most bloated cabinet in the African continent nay the world, itself a factor largely contributing to the country’s messy economic trend!

While all pieces of advice for him to downsize his ministerial team and other appointments have fallen on deaf ears because of the strong desire to compensate the disciples of his ‘Paopacy’ and SLPP loyalists, the country’s Consolidated Revenue Fund gets dried up every coming month in the name of paying a needlessly over outsized wage bill.

Mr. Bio’s mania to abandon his State Avenue offices on Freetown’s Tower Hill for overseas trips is also being held as another factor that is contributing to the precarious socioeconomic state of Sierra Leone under his watch.

Insinuated as a “president in the air,’ Mr. Bio’s frequent diaspora voyages are said to have had negative impacts not just on the well-being of Sierra Leone but the world in general. Stood accused of lavishing much-needed income that would have been utilised for nation-building, experts say President Bio’s carbon prints may have hugely contributed to the aggravating consequences of global Climate Change that require valuable resources to tackle.

Meanwhile, there is news with yearly data information on display that depicts President Bio as having so far spent on overseas travels a colossal total of 28 million United States dollars ($28_000,000) since he came to power in 2018, excluding the amount already spent on the numerous International voyages in 2024.

Though not official, the displayed data indicates that in 2018 alone, President Bio spent three million four hundred eighty-four thousand dollars ($3,484,000) and four million two hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars ($4,235,000) in 2019. While two million eight hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars ($2,825,000) is said to have been spent on trips in 2020, Bio reportedly incurred two million two hundred one thousand dollars ($2,201,000) in 2021 alone, further lavishing yet six million two hundred and fifty-four thousand dollars ($6,254,000) in 2022, and eight million nine hundred and two thousand dollars ($8,920,000) in 2023.

“When you have a President whose job is to look for one travel trip or another, he reduces himself to a “Teacher on the road,” one of Sierra Leone’s brave journos lambasted in a social media dispatch the other day.

There is a perception that President Bio would spend Sierra Leonean taxpayers’ money to go do in the diaspora what he is known to have severed himself from back home since he took over the presidential office, with a particular reference to his recent USA visit to give public lectures on progressive politics and democracy though he presides over a country that he has markedly diverged on tribal, regional and partisan lines, and is etched as a president with questionable democratic credentials.

Grumblings are also rife about how Bio would travel to butt in the functions of the ambassadors and High Commissioners he appointed, thus barring them from representing the country in many events in their countries of posting, allegedly in the name of earning traveling allowances for himself and acolytes.

Meanwhile, critics say that had Bio downsized his cabinet and avoided excessive International trips when he assumed power, the country’s socioeconomic trend would not have been nastier as it is much to the point of being unable to provide effective electricity supply, education amenities, good health facilities and affordable cost of living under his presidential tutelage.

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