A cry for true representation: Reflecting on Sierra Leone’s institutions – Op ed

Alpha Amadu Jalloh – The Fox: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 02 April 2024:

As the sun rises over the hills of Sierra Leone, casting its golden hue upon the land, the shadows of injustice and neglect loom large over our nation. Today, I raise my pen not in celebration, but in solemn contemplation of the state of our beloved country.

Are the esteemed members of our Parliament, the guardians of justice in our Judiciary, the defenders of our sovereignty in the Armed Forces, the custodians of law and order in the Sierra Leone Police, and the vanguards of truth in our media truly embodying the spirit of Sierra Leonean identity?

In the tapestry of Sierra Leonean life, woven with threads of hardship and resilience, the ordinary citizen finds themselves entangled in a web of difficulties. While some bask in opulence and power, a vast majority grapple with the harsh realities of poverty and despair.

Our Parliamentarians, entrusted with the sacred duty of representing the voices of the people, have regrettably become bystanders in the theatre of governance. Instead of fulfilling their oath to serve the nation, they stand aloof, watching from the ivory tower of Tower Hill, while their constituents languish in deprivation.

The Judiciary, meant to be the bastion of justice and the guardian of the rule of law, appears to have lost its moral compass. Rather than upholding the principles of fairness and impartiality, it bends to the whims of the powerful, betraying the trust bestowed upon it by the people.

Our Armed Forces, sworn to defend the nation and its citizens, have strayed from their noble purpose. Partisanship has tainted their ranks, turning them into instruments of oppression rather than protectors of freedom. The sight of the military meddling in governance sends shivers down the spine of every true patriot.

The Sierra Leone Police, entrusted with maintaining law and order, have become perpetrators of tyranny. Tribal and regional affiliations dictate their actions, as they unleash violence upon their own people with impunity. The cries of the oppressed fall on deaf ears, drowned out by the sirens of injustice.

Even the guardians of truth in our media landscape have fallen prey to corruption and coercion. Instead of being beacons of impartiality, they serve as mouthpieces for the powerful, silencing dissent and undermining democracy.

But amidst the darkness, there is still hope. The people of Sierra Leone, resilient and unwavering, demand accountability and transparency from those in power. It is time for our institutions to heed their call, to relinquish their stranglehold on governance, and to fulfil their duties as prescribed by the sacred constitution of our republic.

Let Parliamentarians remember that they are servants of the people, not masters unto themselves. Let the Judiciary reclaim its integrity and serve as a bulwark against injustice.

Let the Armed Forces and the Police honour their oath to protect and defend, without fear or favour. And let the media rediscover its purpose as the watchdog of society, holding the powerful to account.

Sierra Leoneans, both within and beyond our borders, yearn for a brighter future, where justice reigns supreme and every voice is heard. It is time for our institutions to rise to the occasion, to cast aside the shackles of corruption and indifference, and to embrace their true calling as defenders of the Sierra Leonean spirit.

Let them, for just a day, stay off and let the people exercise their rights to come out and voice out their feeling and anger on this government without violence – a peaceful day to cry out our anger and feelings about how we are governed by President Julius Maada Bio, and  for the people to remind him and his government that the people are the sovereign and not subjects.

In unity and resolve, let us strive towards a Sierra Leone where the promise of prosperity and progress is not just a distant dream, but a tangible reality for all.

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