President Julius Maada Bio has been the only sitting president to have visited and slept in Kamakwie town for the past 15 years.
This was according to the Chiefdom Speaker of Sella Limba chiefdom in the Karene district, Alimamy Balaba Bangura who further described the visit of President Bio as historic.
“Your Excellency Sir, the people of Kamakwie and Karene district, in particular, appreciate your government for the moves they continue to take to develop Sierra Leone. We thank you for the Free Quality Education and the healthcare service to women and girls in Karene and other parts of the country. The people of Sella Limba will like to see you here, regularly, and to see you bring more development projects for them,” he noted.
President Bio was at the district for the installation of 4 Paramount Chiefs in the Karene district and the unveiling of a brand-new Toyota Land Cruiser for the supervision of the Free Quality Education in the district.
The new chiefdom authorities were PC Kandeh Kargbo Kafoir III of Mafoda Makerembay chiefdom in the Karene district, PC Kandeh Momoh Samba Sulaiman Dephoreh II of Bramaia chiefdom of Kambia district and PC Sheku Sieh Mansaray II of Tamiso chiefdom in the Koinadugu district.
District Council Chairman, John Dito Kamara, thanked the President for accepting Karene as a stand-alone district, which he said had 13 chiefdoms. He added that with support from the central government all sectors were in full gear in the new district.
“Your Excellency, it was only during your presidency that mayors and chairpersons of the various councils started receiving monthly salaries. For your move towards education and other development in the country, the various councils will forever be grateful,” he assured.
In his statement in Krio, President Bio said that he was happy to be with the people of Karene district and congratulated the new chiefs on their election by the people to lead them at local levels, saying that his government would work toward dignifying and protecting traditional leaders.
He noted that that was why he said plans to provide new vehicles for all Paramount Chiefs across the country were near completion.
He told Kamakwie that his visit to the district was primarily to congratulate them for being part of the governance system and to see things firsthand. He thanked Karene district, particularly Kamakwie for being the most progressive in the north in terms of education, saying that education was the tool that could break barriers and foster development.
“Government grants full tuition waivers for all 70,964 pupils at the Basic and Senior Secondary education level for all approved schools in Karene that benefit from GOSL financial support. Tuition fees for First and Second terms fully paid. Since I came to power, my government has approved 364 schools in Karene with financial assistance. School feeding is ongoing in all 8 chiefdoms.
“I made a campaign promise that I will establish and fully equip at least 1 library in every district. I am pleased to announce that we are not only establishing one, but we will ensure that it is fully equipped with ICT facilities, computers, and books,” he said.
He emphasised that the construction of a district Library in Kamakwie was a testament to his continued support to the education sector and pleaded with parents to monitor school-going pupils so that they could get an education, grow up and look after their parents at old age.
“The Deputy Director of Education had indicated that he was struggling to travel in the district to supervise education. I am pleased to announce that I am providing him with a brand new vehicle to ensure that Karene continues to perform excellently.
“Class 6 pupils preparing to take the NPSE struggle to study at night especially those from poor homes. I am going to provide every Class 6 with a durable solar light they can use for studying. 6,000 will be distributed just in Karene alone,” he said.