By SulaimanJuldeh Bah
After having gone into a long “Tolongbo” sleep since appointed as the presidential standard bearer of the governing APC party, Samura Kamara has finally broken his silence by starting to engage the Sierra Leone media.
It could be recalled that after his appointment by President Koroma late last year, there has been murmuring all over the place even from within APC quarters as to why Dr. Samura Kamara remains silence even in the face of grave accusations of being an academic fraudster and a rapist.
In the midst of all this, Dr. Kamara started the new year with what many political pundits referred to as a media stunt by making himself avail for media interviews to showcase his potential.
Speaking yesterday morning on FM 98.1, Dr. Samura Kamara disclosed that after his appointment he could not come out of his shell to grant interviews because the APC is an institution and needs to put mechanism in place like campaign and media teams, funding and other strategies before he as the presidential candidate goes public to make any pronouncement.
Speaking on the status of the economy, he said as a civil servant and later political appointee who has served in several government, he has helped in various ways in introducing economic reforms and establishment of strong financial institutions like NASSIT and NRA.
Dilating on his stewardship under the President Koroma led APC government, he said many people may not have known him prior to now, but that some of the policies he helped to champion like the Agenda for Change and Agenda for Prosperity has impacted on them positively.
Campaigning on the legacies of President Koroma, he said with his support Ernest introduced the Free Health Care delivery services for lactating mothers, pregnant women and children under five and promised to further improve on it to reduce infant and maternal mortality.
Under the Agenda for Change, Dr. Kamara said he helped to implement prudent fiscal policies leading to a boom in the mining sector to a point that Sierra Leone was once referred to as the third fastest growing economy in the world.
He also spoke on the need to continue the legacies of President Koroma in road infrastructure, energy, security, rule of law fight against corruption, agriculture, legal reform, health and education.
He however acknowledged that in spite of the aforementioned successes there were some challenges in the health, education and energy sectors, but maintained that the country under the leadership of President Koroma has come a long way as compared to 2007 when Freetown was referred to as the darkest city in the world with a hall mark of poor road infrastructure all over the place even in the capital city.
On the educational front, Dr. Kamara maintained that despite the challenges, there has been tremendous improvement in this sector and promised to priorities it if he wins the coming presidential election.
He further spoke about the development he took back home at Kamalo where he hails from, adding that what he did there is a typical example of what is expected of him nationwide if he becomes the next president of Sierra Leone.
On the issue of his failed attempt to get the ADB presidency, he explained that he missed out not because of incompetence but due to the low shares of Sierra Leone in the Bank and failure to secure support from member states, especially from the MRU countries.
On his stint as Minister of Foreign Affairs, the APC presidential candidate disclosed that he negotiated many multilateral and bilateral agreements between Sierra Leone and other countries in the world.
This, he said led to the establishment of the country’s embassies abroad including Iran and plans to establish or reestablish others in Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, France, the Pacific Ocean states of New Zealand and Australia.
He concluded by saying that if elected he would mainstream gender, children, disable and youth issues with the hope of continuing from where President Koroma left.