Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah over the weekend held a Press Conference that featured the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Julius Mattai, Attorney General, Mohamed-Lamin Tarawalley and Minister of Transport and Aviation Alhaji Fanday Turay with aim to explain reasons why the Government of Sierra Leone decides to mortgage the Rail and Port to Chinese Kingho (Leone Rock).
Amidst many people saying that the ministers were serving more as public relations officers for Kingho in the press conference, others say they were openly ridiculing their boss, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the Government of Sierra Leone with very uncomposed tales.
Many people say the press conference which was moderated by Minister of Information and Civic Education, not in the very comfortable conference room of the ministry, but a hired room at the Radisson Blu Hotel, was one of the worst press conferences ever conducted by any government in Sierra Leone.
Former Senior Cabinet Minister and Special Executive Assistant to the President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden said the four very senior Cabinet ministers went to make a mockery of themselves and the Government of Sierra Leone at the press conference.
Dr. Blyden said: “It was nothing but a gross immaturity for the Attorney General, Mohamed Lamin Tarawalley to sit at that press conference, in front of local and international media and tell the world that President Bio’s Cabinet in January this year signed an official Agreement for the management of the country’s Rail and Port, with an entity that do not even know how to run a Toy Train on a table.
“What immaturity is this? What can be worst of a self-mockery than this? When I look at the contract signed with ARISE IIP and how it should have dovetail into the Special Investment Zone, it makes a lot of sense to me. For these ministers to now tell us that the same contract their government signed in January that saw the white-coloured investors coming to Sierra Leone and in the presence of the President of Sierra Leone, international bankers, financiers and a galaxy of Port Loko people, that this Special Investment Zone will work only if it dovetail into the railway.
“If these ministers now call a press conference and make those disgraceful statements, do they want us to believe that they were not aware of what they are saying now back then in January when their boss, President Bio and government put pen to paper?
“The press conference was a total embarrassment and an outright ridicule of President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and the Government of Sierra Leone, because no one pointed a gun at their heads in January to sign the contract with an entity that does not know how to run a toy train on the table.
“You invited the people voluntarily to Sierra Leone and you signed the contract voluntarily with ARISE IIP. How now all of a sudden you want us the citizens to believe that the contract you signed was with an entity that does not know how to run a toy train on the table? But you signed contract with them to come and manage the country’s trail railway assets? This is nothing but a total mess.”