Her Excellency Fatima Maada Bio, on Wednesday 28th October 2020 paid a visit to the Njala Mokonda campus to render support on behalf of the president of the Republic of Sierra Leone. in response to the recent fire outbreak which destroyed a one-storey building and left 88 male students of the University homeless.
Welcoming the First Lady, the principal of Milton Margai College of Education, Dr. Philip Kanu said they are grateful to have the First Lady visiting the campus to sympathise with them, stating that it is the first time they are having such response from a First lady and they want to thank the president and First Lady for answering the call from students in distress. He asked the First lady to convey their appreciation to the president who is the champion of human capital development.
The Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Sankoh, said he and his administration held an emergency meeting to develop a sustainable disaster response plan to address the plight confronting the students who suffered from the inferno. He added that the Administration agreed to provide subsistence allowances for the eighty-eight affected students and their visitors till November, 28th, 2020 which is the end of the second semester examinations. He also disclosed that the Director of Physical Plant Services is working with the Regional Office of the National Fire Force to work towards ascertaining the cause of the fire and the possibility of installing a mini fire force station for Njala University and its surroundings.
He also went on to state that all Examinations are deferred to 16th November 2020 for all categories of students to allow them to get more time to prepare.He assured them of the support of his Administration to address their plights and sent messages of support to their parents assuring them that his Administration is firmly behind the affected students.
Before donating food items and 3 million to each affected student The First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone Madam Fatima Maada Bio in her address said that she is not visiting the university to celebrate them but to sympathize with them. She said all victims of the fire outbreak would be given one 50kg bag of rice, toiletries, 1 gallon of vegetable oil, a washing bucket and a sum of three million leones (3,000,0000) each.
First Lady Fatima Bio went on to state that she is there representing His Excellency the president as she serves the agenda of the president and as such she is a messenger for the president. “What happened at Njala is unfortunate, the moment the president learned about the incident he knew he had to do something, so that is why I’m here” she expressed.
First Lady Fatima Bio said they will not be able to replace everything that has been lost, but they are there to let them know that the government cares and believes in the ability of the university to emerge from this crisis much stronger.
She urged the students to pick up with their study again as Education is the president’s number one priority, of the 32 promises the president made to them during the election campaign he has achieved 28 of them. Wherein hands off our girls were not part of the 32 promises but after it was launched by the President in 2018, it is now a major force for change in protecting and educating our girls in Sierra Leone, and it is recognised internationally.
Strategic Communication Division
Office of The First Lady