Maurice Ferenkeh Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 March 2018:
D-Day is finally here for Sierra Leoneans to vote for a new president to shape the future of our country. “The campaign has been passionate by all parties and clearly it has exposed how divided our country is”.
Make no mistake, “this election has divided our country. Whoever wins has to immediately forget about Party and become the Father/Mother of the Nation and bring in everyone by truly congratulating the others and efforts made in a democratic playing field”.
As is always the case with elections all over the world, “people on the losing camps are going to be very downcast and disappointed”.
But please act civilised, and do not let this lead you to act out of character or cause you to suffer mental breakdown.
I know most of you have spent a lot of money on this elections, your candidates and your political parties.
The election results are going to separate the men from the boys, and the women from the girls. Boys and girls are going to howl all sorts of petty things about how the other won or they will find an excuse (even where none exists) to cry foul to justify their unruly behaviour.
It is fact which some of us have always been saying is inevitable (because when we analyse politics in our country, we divorce emotions and apply appropriate tools. We have all said what we wanted to say about those politically opposed to us.
Some of the things we said about others were below the belt and not so pleasant. It is understandable; such is the nature of highly contested and heated elections. Campaign is over and today is elections day. The insults and flippant raps must cease. But No it won’t!
When election results starts coming in, and the writing starts becoming clearer to some, Boys and girls will start insulting each other on the ground, on Facebook and WhatsApp groups. They will behave like primary school kids who dangle sweets in the faces of their peers. They will mock dissenting views and unleash arrogance. They will behave like hooligans.
Men and Women on the other hand are going to acknowledge the newly elected President and immediately begin to engage in a process of introspection.
They are going to first introspect the very rough road to the victory or loss and thereafter, interrogate the question of WHY has the election been so passionate that it has divided our nation.
They are going to ask HOW we can move from “a government for some” to “a government for all”, they are going to interrogate HOW we can create a level playing field for us all and what part we can all play, regardless of social, political or economic class.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, no matter how it severely hurts to hear the results or how elated you would be that your candidate has been elected or not been elected, please behave like a man or a woman.
Boys and girls understand politics of noise, howling, chaos, insults, disorderly behaviour and destruction of property and lives.
Men and women on the other hand understand politics of what President Thabo Mbeki once meant when he said: “…We should never become despondent when the weather is bad nor shall we turn triumphalist because the sun shines…”
Whatever, the outcome of today’s election, I am comforted in the thought that more and more Sierra Leoneans understand the issues affecting the country and are talking about them more than they did before.
Before I retreat to my little corner and start reading updates that separate the wheat from the chaff, I would like to wish all Sierra Leoneans a smooth, free, fair and peaceful election.
Moreover, may Unity, love, Justice and prosperity reigns in the land that we all profess to love, after the election results have been announced.