John Hoover, United States outgoing Ambassador to Sierra Leone yesterday discredited APC’s regime change claims.
Amb. Hoover made understandable America’s position on change of government by saying that, “we (US) don’t have regime change in our agenda. The only way a government can be changed is through a democratic election.”
He has said the above statement as he responds to questions from cross section of individuals including the press, civil society and university students at a round table discussion held at the Africell American Corner at Bathurst Street Freetown as he for the second time address the public on bilateral issues between Sierra Leone and the US, possibly a leave-taking meeting.
He said he is confident the March 2018 elections will be healthy, peaceful and prosperous.
“We have already begun work to support free, fear, peaceful and on time elections in March 2018, an event which we view as vital step in the country’s evolution. We are providing 4.4 million dollars in indirect support for the elections in areas of civic education, public order management and conflict early warning and prevention,” Amb. Hoover maintained.
He claimed the US has always had stronger relationships with China, but did not confirm whether they are unhappy with the close bond Sierra Leone is now having with China.
However, he said the US, as a country, can help Sierra Leone in certain ways, just as China can also equally do.
He claimed his country (the US) is gratified with the kind of preparations being by the Sierra Leone government ahead of the 2018 elections, notwithstanding a tight up time frame.
Amb. Hoover has served as the US Ambassador to Sierra Leone for three years, but has been recalled to take up office in Pakistan anytime from now.
“I will be missing Sierra Leone because I believe it is the nicest and finest of a country I have worked and that the US as a country intends support Sierra Leone on range of issues including agriculture, economic development, health, maritime, justice, others, etc.
That the US will also help in the improvement of the private sector, which he said, is an easy way to boost the economy of a nation.
Although he admits there has been a deep cut in the budget of the US under President Trump, Amb. John made certain that he is confident his country still has a strong relationship with Sierra Leone.