By State House Communications Unit
In a 45-minute address to members of the Extraordinary Delegates Conference hosted at the Bintumani International Conference Center, Aberdeen, Chairman and Leader of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma made a strong pitch yet again in the fight to attain and sustain zero Ebola infections for 42 days and kickstart post-Ebola socio-economic recovery programmes.
Addressing a throng of party stalwarts and execs at the conference on Thursday 30 April, 2015, the president highlighted the initial period of the outbreak and its challenges in relation to Sierra Leone’s pre-Ebola development trajectory. He said government responded rapidly amid a ravaging epidemic by building its capacity to handle the disease. He also recognised and praised the efforts of Sierra Leoneans, especially doctors and other health workers in the fight against the receding virus.
Having shown resilience to bounce back as an example of post-war recovery, President Koroma expressed optimism that the country will bounce back from the current situation, adding that Sierra Leoneans will see more development than what obtained even before Ebola struck.
According to the APC leader, the national recovery plan was in sync with the regional recovery strategy that will look at strengthening education and health sectors, social protection, revitalizing the economy among others.
He lauded the party’s contribution in the fight to defeat what had been severally termed by world leaders as a “horrific virus”, and emphasized government’s commitment to transparency and accountability, particularly in the management of Ebola funds; a decision that was sanctioned by him long ago.
“We want to see Sierra Leone bounce back as a stronger nation after Ebola as development and transformative packages will be enormous coming out of the outbreak,” the president pointed out.
In getting to zero, President Koroma urged all to remain focused and vigilant in the final lap to end the fight against Ebola.
NERC CEO Major (Rtd) Alfred Paolo Conteh called for unity of efforts in ending the outbreak and cited the districts that have clocked more than 42 days with no new infection.
Regional party chairmen gave a synopsis of Ebola situation in their regions as well as representatives of party stalwarts in the diaspora and ambassadors in the foreign services expressed commitment to continue to support the fight against the receding virus.