From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Politics
APC Akibo-Betts Fires back on solar lights
By Augustine Samba
Jul 24, 2013, 17:22

Akibo-Betts: The Agenda will succeed
Eldest son of late popular APC politician and former Mayor of Freetown has broken his silence yesterday July 23rd 2013 in a hard-hitting interview he gave to this writer. Arnold Akibo-Betts walked into our office to react very strongly to our lead story covering comments of the opposition SLPP’s Spokesman, Musa Tamba Sam. Yesterday, Sam lamented that nationwide street lights project was “electricity for decoration purposes and not for development”.


“These are the comments that make people determined to stop the SLPP from ever coming back to govern this country. Idiotic comments from an idiot party. Transforming streets in all the major towns into brightly lit areas is decoration? You see how SLPP is shortsighted and foolish?” Akibo-Betts fired.

“First of all economic benefits are many. Businesses can now remain open for longer in an atmosphere of brightness as they will feel safer. Even seller of parched groundnut can now stay out for much later feeling safe in the street. All this means more profit on a daily business and more economic growth. Solar lights helps to grow the economy,” Akibo Betts said.


“Secondly, it reduces accidents and helps to secure road users. Then it makes the towns to be safer in the night and this reduces the activities of criminals like robbers. Solar street lights bring improvement for human safety and development,” he continued.“Even for educational purposes, street lights now serve as a source for children to study in public areas; Even in one paramount chief’s court barray I visited recently in the provinces, many children gather every night to study in the chief’s compound using the solar light poles installed there,” Akibo-Betts revealed.

 

“What SLPP calls decoration is a means of drawing visitors and tourists to those areas as beauty of the towns increase. So that is also development as the towns are now more up to international standards.Even Koindu and the road to Yenga now have solar lights transforming them,” Akibo-Betts said ending with “I can give SLPP more lectures on why solar lights on streets is equal to development but I hope with these few examples they will now learn the positive multiplier effect of solar lights is very high and is not just cosmetic decoration”.

Arnold Akibo-Betts had worked very closely with the likes of Idrissa Leatherboot Kamara and other key APC operatives for several months until his late father’s APC party swept into office in September 2007.


However, in 2009, he had abandoned his father’s party because of disgruntlement over the direction the APC party had been heading. Faced with the unsavoury choice of presidential material presented by the opposition in 2011, he had used the pages of SENATOR newspaper, which he edits, to help outline the reasons why the opposition candidate would be a disaster and why President Koroma was the best choice. He has yesterday expressed plans to soon resume producing the SENATOR newspaper He says SENATOR will take a strong line in support of APC and the President’s Agenda for Prosperity.


“With people like my mentor Dr. Sylvia Blyden now at State House, I am ready to put all hands on deck to support the APC again. The Agenda for Prosperity should succeed,” Akibo-Betts ended.



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