State of Affairs in Sierra Leone …CITIZENS IN PENURY, BIO IN LUXURY

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State of Affairs in Sierra Leone …

By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara (Kamalo)
As it is, the nation of Sierra Leone wallows in a dire socioeconomic situation. While Sierra Leoneans are toiling and confronting the difficulty of earning their daily living as a bag of the staple food rice has hit one million old Leones and more, depending on the distance from the city of Freetown, the lack of electricity supply permeates everywhere in the face of very poor medical amenities at the health facilities across the country.

Already, the Sierra Leonean youthful population is under the spell of drug addiction with Kush being the kingpin greedily consuming the precious lives of many youngsters, thus, putting the country’s future in jeopardy.

Observers say even the national state of emergency on drug substance and abuse that has been declared by the president would remain a weapon instrumental to attracting external funds if the dealers of the drug substance within and close to the corridors of power are not exposed, named, and shamed!

Also, while the people are confronted with the lack of pipe-borne water, they are constrained to move freely as a result of the acute lack of money to meet the high costs of transportation in the dearth of other basic social services. Salaries of public workers are not also paid timely, and businesses make no considerable yields, thus unleashing bankruptcy among the majority of the people.

While the country’s universities and colleges are said to be in a complete mess leading to strikes, a lawmaker on the opposition side has raised a great concern that about 160,000 to 170,000 candidates for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), notably, from the North, Northwest and the Western Area will not write the exams this year if the questionable internal arrangements at the West African Examination Council (WAEC) are not reversed, or if the government fails to honour its financial obligation to the public exams institution for the said candidates.

At the time of going to press last evening, we learned from sources, alleging that even the contractors that render services to the government for the smooth running of the country’s day-to-day affairs are in a dire state and can no longer provide services because the government has failed to reimburse them for over six months now after honouring their contractual terms of pre-financing their activities.

Sierra Leone is stagnated as nothing seems moving, and such a trend has ensnared the country in a state of political and socio-economic devastation. But while all of this remains the true picture of things in the country, President Julius Maada Bio stands accused by many of his subjects of paying lip service to their plight and detaching from them completely.

The citizens say seemingly not interested in the poor state of affairs in his country’s universities and colleges, the president lacked the passion and consideration to do some positive things about it but rather chose to undertake an international trip, spending several thousands of dollars of Sierra Leoneans’ tax proceeds to do a lecture in a US university!

At a time when Sierra Leonean youths yearn for job opportunities and the authorities should be restless about providing the same, a blind eye is being turned to their suffering, seemingly sacrificing their lives at the altar of political expediency! Would the resources so far lavished on international trips not have gone a long way to cushioning the situation of the youths if better utilized towards their well-being?

In a period when our youths perish like flies and are buried in mass graves like paupers, coming from the Kush pandemic; a period when Sierra Leoneans wallow in abject poverty and squalor, the time when the academic future of several hundreds of thousands of President Bio’s citizens is at stake, a time when his Sierra Leonean people need him most to tackle their sinking socioeconomic situation, and a time he should be pacifying them with a commitment to the restoration of their democracy, peace, security, and hard work to fire them up to the path of steady growth and development, are the people not left to be disappointed in their President for flaunting a flamboyant lifestyle much to their chagrin, leaving them to wonder if he is truly the beacon of hope for progress?

Recently in Bo during the 118th Speech Day and Prize-Giving Ceremony of OBBA (Old Bo School Boys Association), President Bio, flanged by his wife, was glaringly seen displaying with ostentation the new 2023 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600. The cost of this highly luxurious car has even left controversy and many guesses. While some say it is worth over $175,500, others estimate it to cost over $300,000. But whatever its cost does not matter, the concern is the timing of its acquisition by the president, especially, when news is going around that it was specially designed for the president.

Sources inside the car manufacturing realm describe the new 2023 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 as a car that boasts of lap-of-luxury interior, an impossibly smooth ride with an eye-catching two-tone exterior. It exemplifies luxury and rendition in the realm of SUVs, seamlessly blending opulence with cutting-edge technology.

The sources say the car’s commanding presence oozes refinement alongside its extended body and carefully crafted details. The signature Maybach grille, festooned with chrome accents and the iconic insignia sets it apart as a symbol of prestige.

According to the sources, stepping inside the car will overwhelm you with an interior oasis of convenience and grace, as the plush leather upholstery, exquisite wood trim, and soft ambient lighting create an atmosphere of tranquility and elegance. The cabin is spacious for both driver and passengers, ensuring a first-class travel experience.

“Under the hood, the GLS 600 boasts formidable power, courtesy of a potent V8 engine paired with EQ Boost technology, delivering exhilarating performance while maintaining impressive efficiency. Whether navigating city streets or conquering off-road terrain, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 effortlessly combines dynamic driving dynamics with serene comfort,” the sources averred and concluded “Technological innovation is seamlessly integrated throughout the vehicle, with state-of-the-art infotainment systems, advanced driver assistance features, and customizable ambient lighting settings, ensuring a personalized and connected journey for every occupant.”

Meanwhile, before the paper went to bed, we received another piece of information, alleging that the car was not bought by President Bio but was a gift given to him following the public lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

But observers say even if that was the case, it was not wise for the president to have shown it off at this time when the country’s economy was bleeding and going down the drain under his very watch because it would depict him as a leader who doesn’t care about the appalling socioeconomic trend confronted by his people.

According to the observers, there is also no wisdom in spending hundreds of thousands of tax money only for a special car to be designed for you as a gift in return at the peril of the taxpayers.

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