Sierra Leone's President, Doctor Siaka Stevens, received an enthusiastic welcome from local crowds last week (10 December) when he arrived at Port Loko to begin a three day visit to the district.
GTV President Stevens arrives in car through crowded streets
SV Welcome sign across road
GV ZOOM to crowd waiting to greet President
SV Guard of honour
SV President Stevens walks towards crowd
SV Guard of honour
SV President meeting the people
SCU President talking to crowd as Vice-President Koroma listens beside him (right)
GV PAN crowd clapping
Initials OS/1430 OS/1445
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Background: Sierra Leone's President, Doctor Siaka Stevens, received an enthusiastic welcome from local crowds last week (10 December) when he arrived at Port Loko to begin a three day visit to the district.
President Stevens was accompanied by Vice-President Sore Koroma during his visit, staged primarily to reassure the local people that they would be benefiting from mineral wealth exploited from the district.
SYNOPSIS: Sierra Leone's President, Doctor siaka Stevens, received a rousing welcome from crowds of local townspeople when he arrived at Port Loko last week to begin a three-day visit. Port Loko is one of the country's most important towns and is recognised an the gateway to the northern areas, and a prominent trade route for isolated towns.
Although protocol was observed, the visit was to be largely informal, with President Stevens talking frequently to members of the crowd. He made constant reference to the potential mineral development in the area, and promised the people would benefit from the exploitation.
During his tour, the President also made frequent references to the relationships between local chiefs and the people. He said the progress of the country depended on every Sierra Leonean. But he lashed out at native administration of funds, saying that corruption had become rife.
President Stevens congratulated the farmers on their rice crops, saying the current yield was very favourable and that next year's crop showed signs of being even higher. He emphasised his party's policy of "helping the people to help themselves" and announced that the Government was thinking of reducing the number of public holidays as an economy measure.