Hold those in power to account but let’s keep away from tribalism

Abdul R Kabia

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 April 2016

SLPP prepares for constituency 107 bye election 5

Challenging the APC government’s 2015 flawed census process and its incredible result, is an obligation for every conscious and non-conformist Sierra Leonean, who refuses to buy into the ruling APC political trickery.

Dr Alie Kabba as an opposition presidential hopeful, is quite rightly responding to his responsibility and obligation, by speaking up for the Sierra Leonean people. His call for an independent review of the 2015 census process is laudable.

The pressing question that follows however, is this: Where are the other SLPP opposition candidates that are vying for the presidential flagbearership, and what is their position on this thorny issue?

At a time like this, Sierra Leoneans need strong opposition leaders to publicly raise concerns about the government’s handling of the 2015 census process, and other burning national issues.

This is the least Sierra Leoneans would expect of them – challenging the government’s continuous breach of the rule of law. Such sincerity of approach to issues that matter most to the people, will reflect on the support they are able to garner across the country.

But I disagree with some of the commentators posting here in the Sierra Leone Telegraph, who seem to be taking issues personally, with statements that could result in opening further the regional and tribal divide in the country.

We must desist from such political approach, and the editor is quite right to firmly nip this in the bud.

I know some issues might be nerve wracking, but we need to act with cool heads and avoid falling into the temptation of offending tribal feelings.

electionOur common challenge is bad governance in Sierra Leone, especially the attitudes of our governing class, the massive corruption, abuse of power, impunity, and the failure of government officials to deliver on their duties.

What we are portraying here is the exercise of our inherent right to safeguard our democratic system. This is our common concern, irrespective of tribal lineage and regional origin. We must all forge ahead together politically in opposing bad governance.

We must have confidence in our ability and capacity to bring about the democratic change we desire in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leoneans may all agree on one thing, that the veteran politicians of the traditional parties and the generation after them – in both the APC and SLPP have failed the people woefully, and the people are losing trust in them.

Both parties need regeneration, reform and rebranding. Their party elites must give way to more duty conscious, progressive, competent and service delivery individuals, but not treasure seekers for personal enrichment.

President Koroma greeted by Traditional LeadersA change of mentality in the way politics is practiced in this country today is needed.

We are now in the twenty-first century – a modern age of global human development.

Sierra Leone must not miss this opportunity for human development, by embracing technological innovation, education and industrial development.

Furthermore, it is time we stop labelling political parties after their leader’s tribal origin, as a prerequisite for identifying oneself with them.

Such mentality is one of the main reasons for our backwardness today. We should focus our attention on leadership qualities, shy away from regional and tribal divisions.

We need to sensitize the masses to make them understand that regional and tribal considerations are not legitimate factors for supporting politicians.

5 Comments

  1. I totally agree. What are the other opposition leaders saying about this cooked censors result, especially Yumkella?

    We need your voice sir, as we need the western world to know about koroma’s world of democracy. Thanks for participating.

  2. This is one of the most balanced, if not the most balance articles I have read for a long time. At least I now know we still have level headed individuals in our country.

    Sometimes some people have a valid reason and points to put across, but in the middle of the article you will see their true colours, and this will just invalidate all the gold given contribution they are trying to make.

    Sometimes even the editor of this paper, whose writing skills I do admire fall short. People reading these articles are not stupid. They can tell made up facts from authentic facts.

    I am not in anyway in alignment with the current administration line of thinking. But when in the process of making your valid criticism, you dangled tribal and regional sentiments in the midst of your criticism, you are just helping the government and those who may share tribal or regional ties with the president, but not share his ideology and his government will find it difficult to understand why things are sometimes portrayed that way.

    • I.M. Sesay, you said: “when in the process of making your valid criticism, you dangled tribal and regional sentiments in the midst of your criticism….” We just want to point out that the editor of the Sierra Leone does not and has never peddled tribalism in any of his articles, as you suggest.

      Indeed it was the editorial decision of the editor to publish this well written article by Abdul R Kabia, which was originally submitted as a comment, so as to encourage readers to promote and embrace tribal and regional harmony.

      Our ideological values are based on equality, civil liberty, fairness and social justice. Our continuous criticism of the Koroma government is driven by the nauseating fact that it falls woefully short of meeting all standards of good governance. For this we do not apologise.

      Every Newspaper and media house in the world has its ideological values, and we do not apologise for ours.

      By the way, there is no such thing as “made up facts or authentic facts.” A fact is a fact, is a fact. But thanks for your comments though.

      The Editorial Team.

  3. Abdul Kabia, there is no better way of expressing your concerns regarding the politics of our country. Indeed we are slowly moving past the 21st Century and we are locked in the backwardness of the stone age.

    As a people we need to to cross all tribal, regional and colour barriers that are hindering the entire fabric of our nation. Politics should no longer be looked at as a regional property. It should be viewed from a wider perspective and from the view of policies; what makes us tick as a nation.

    It is most times disheartening when Sierra Leonean electorates see politics from their toes rather than beyond the LION MOUNTAIN. Our nation is fast crumbling, leaving few men like Alie Kabba who dare speak about the failings of this government and those before.

    The opposition is not fit for purpose and their greatest weakness is the continuous infighting and slating of each other.

    When are we as a nation going to move beyond the pennies and start thinking big? I hope your piece will appeal to many who read your articles.

  4. Abdul Kabia, I can’t agree with you more. This rough charade of labelling a party, based on its flagbearer’s ethnicity is not only shameful but retarding.

    But again as Ade had earlier brilliantly inferred, its all part of the Pa Sheki residual politics of tribes. And no party is better at this than the APC.

    Even Kandeh Yumkella will soon be defined as a south-eastern in northern clothing. I thought people should vote for the best, rather than the candidate’s origin. I have always preferred James Jonah.

    But well done man.

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