But ‘democracy’ is not breathing in Sierra Leone 

Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 June 2020:

At times I laugh my sides to restrained archness at the hypocrisy exhibited by thousands of Sierra Leoneans who belong to the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). Just after the black man George Floyd was asphyxiated to death, on 25 May 2020, by a white policeman in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States of America, the First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone – Fatima Bio, was so upset that she allegedly, and undiplomatically so, used the F-word on her Facebook page.

And as expected of the “Falamakata” syndrome which is very much associated with low self-esteemed Sierra Leoneans, many SLPP supporters and apologists have suddenly become human rights activists overnight. They are so distraught about the death of George Floyd that they have now set up little shrines on, and in, their cell phones – all in honour of a man they had never seen, or heard of, before that tragedy enveloped that bastion of Democracy.

And just like the acolyte who wants, or pretends, to be more Catholic than Pope Francis; so are thousands of SLPP supporters and apologists who are now over-interested in human rights issues and racism in faraway United States of America. They have now weapon-ized social media to such a nuclearized proportion that imageries of centuries-old racial slurs and injustices are now being splashed on our cell phones in graphic palpability.

But charity, the adage goes, begins at home. If those Sierra Leoneans who are now carving for themselves the statures of being the modern day Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks (often referred to as “the mother of the Civil Rights movement) are interested in the evils of racism and the protection of democratic tenets; then why are they not looking inwardly at home?

Are there no perpetrations of many ills and negative “isms” currently in Sierra Leone that should have, or could have, prompted them to bring down the heavens?

Hatred for injustices anywhere should be the same for injustices everywhere. But since the April of 2018 to date, there appears to be professional pogrom in the Civil Service; Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in which only citizens from a particular region (or regions) are systematically dismissed arbitrarily from their tenured jobs and replaced with citizens from a particular tribe.

But those SLPP supporters and apologists who are now saddened by the racial injustices in the United States of America are still hoarsened by the fact that those Sierra Leoneans who have been, and still, facing social and economic injustices are not their tribesmen (or tribeswomen).

And is it not an injustice to majority of the electorate who elected their representatives to the House of Parliament only for those Members of Parliament to be dragged out of the well of parliament like common criminals; whilst others were removed as MPs by judicial sleights of hand?

What did those SLPP supporters and apologists who are now protesting the injustice meted out on the late George Floyd, in faraway USA, do about those parliamentary injustices? Many showed their pink gums in laughter, to paraphrase Achebe.

Since the SLPP came to power in 2018, Democracy in Sierra Leone has received so many conspiratorial stabs that will make those on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar look like chicken poxes! For the sake of political correctness; I won’t mention how the current Speaker of Parliament has his being in that House least it provokes nature’s call that will give me the reason to use the toilet!

Also, I won’t even reference the countless bastardizations of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone by the SLPP government, which might make Russia’s Vladimir Putin looks like the chief rapporteur at the First Council of Nicaea (a council of Christian bishops convened by Emperor Constantine in AD 325, which resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine called the “Nicene Creed”).

Simply put: Democracy in Sierra Leone is now in handcuffs. And it is being coerced to prostrate on the ground with State House’s knee on its throat, trying to force it to vomit all the fundamental Rights and Freedoms on the forecourt of the Law Courts Building while Parliament stands with hands akimbo – as if unconcerned.

Yet, hundreds of SLPP supporters and apologists are still upset with President Donald Trump after protesters were tear-gassed to make way for him to visit a church. But when supporters of the APC were tear-gassed at their Brookfields National Headquarters in Freetown, in scenes that were reminiscent of Jews being gassed at Auschwitz in Nazi occupied Poland, those very SLPP supporters and apologists watched with gleeful conspiratorial acquiescence! As I always write, what is good for the cow should also be good for the heifer.

By hating injustices in other people’s façades and condoning it in their own backyards; SLPP supporters and apologists are behaving like the Chichidodo in Ayi Kwei Armah’s novel, “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born”. The Chichidodo is the fabled bird which hates excrement with all its soul but feeds on worms that breed in faeces.

If you want to stand up against injustices and racism, whose younger brother is tribalism, it should be all-inclusive. There should be no cherry-picking. So, what is good for south-easterners should also be good for north-westerners.

Democracy, in Sierra Leone, isn’t breathing because it appears as if the lives, dignities, Rights, and Freedoms of Sierra Leoneans who belong to the APC do not matter anymore.

But I’m not surprised at this seemingly supremacist agenda because one female higher-up is reported to have allegedly said that, “Only those who are SLPP supporters are true Sierra Leoneans.”

It is on that note that I will end today’s One Dropian dropping with a quote from the Preface of Wole Soyinka’s book, “The Man Died.” That “the will of our people cannot be broken. The current phase of despondency is understandable; one does not see the tentative foundations of one’s nation smashed repeatedly by juggernauts out of control without an acute sense of futility. Yet the alternative, to abandon one’s goal is such a negation of existence that one can only view it as worse than physical annihilation…”

10 Comments

  1. Eh? No one, his family and friends, knew who George Floyd was until he subsequently died by police officers who sworn to uphold and protect the law and citizens in an age of video and social media. To feel for someone who was publicly stripped of his rights in the “land of the free” is perfectly normal as a human being. It shows that all over the world people expect and respect human decency and should be taken as a lesson, not vilified. A lesson that political parties in Sierra Leone should learn from, human decency. Instead over scrabbling over the party has the most dirt, when both parties are equally dirty, leave the past behind and work together on making this nation great again.

  2. In my personal opinion, I believe that this type of article belongs to the Cocorioko Newspaper, because most readers of this respected newspaper are interested in reading about development in our country which is regarded as one of the least developed countries in the world. I hope we will just give the government a chance to govern, especially the fight against corruption, illiteracy, lawlessness and to restore our economy from the austerity that they inherited. If they are unsuccessful, then the voters will decide, just like what happened two years ago.

    America can handle most of their problems, because they are still the richest and most powerful country in the world and their journalists are always factual and constructive because of the possibility of a costly lawsuit. Government should be a continuity for positive development for our people and country; journalism should be constructive criticism and not destructive propaganda, because the peace in our country is still very fragile.

  3. If you can criticize even your Almighty God that created you, disobeying to worship Him either, who else among His creators can’t you criticize then?
    We have Democracy, what we lack at this time, is(DEMOCRAZY) that’s one party state and will never be. I personally can understand your frustration because, China touch you one party communist state classes for years, but unfortunately after taking the entrance exams, none of you succeeded to pass the exams. I am so happy that Bio is not a lunatic president I like that, and one thing I wanted to remind you of is this, Bio is a no nonsense president.
    You can compare USA to Sierra Leone if that’s your wish. APC is the only party I see, encouraging foreign nationals to interfere in their election openly, like encouraging Chinese nationals on national TV, shame on you. If you also want to try it, my friend go to China and try to mess with their politics, you will have pepper in your two naked eyes fool. To be frank with you, APC not a good party for this country period. May God bless Mama Sa/Lone

  4. Mohamed Sankoh has always been a great writer. He never disappoints with his One Drop. He is one of those who entertains whilst unravelling the bare facts. He should be a regular writer on this platform. Seriously.

  5. This bellyaching from a well known APC operative is nothing short political grandstanding to the highest degree. As I see it, the problem with most APC supporters is that they are still burdened with the same ole propaganda and lies traded by their leadership to keep them ignorant of the corruption and the wheeling and dealing that goes on in their own party. And to continue to ignore the very many precedents President Ernest Bai set during his years in power just reinforces the believe that they are all brainwashed into becoming Zombies with a singular focus.

    Ernest was not only adept at firing all political appointees of the former SLPP government of Late Tejan Kabba, but he took it to all Civil Servants, heads of our security forces, parastatals and our most revered and eminent Bank Governor, whose crimes were having Mende sounding names. I will not be joking if I say it was a sort of ethnic cleansing. And in order to replace these professionals with his boastful and empty headed mouthpieces such as the infamous Adebayo, he created the office of the Diaspora. It will be interesting for this writer to tell us how many people from abroad with Southeastern sounding names were offered employment even though they were better qualified.

    And while you are at it please tell me why the SLPP party continues to be derided as a tribal entity when they have a good number of northerners in executive positions, when we can only count just one Southeaster in the person of Victor Foe, who has finally found reason to resign from this tribal and regional outfit because of the many instances of disrespect and distrust, even though he is seasoned APC supporter and kingmaker? As for the support for George Floyd, our country is not alone so to criticize the administration for that is nonsensical.

  6. Mr. Sankoh flexing his usual artistic writing skills here; calling out the overt double standards and hypocrisy being displayed by POAPA extremists in the midsts of George Floyd saga. I am not sure if some of these extremists have any iota of credibility left in them or even care if anyone is taking their utterances serious anymore. I mean who in their right mind will expend their energy in fighting and calling for social justice in a foreign land, while at the same time advocating for the stifling of citizens rights to express themselves along with the lynching of anyone who dares demand accountability in our nation?

    Frankly, I was expecting these ‘green toads’ to label the widespread rioting and vandalization across the United States as TERRORISTS, or have they suddenly encountered an epiphany?

  7. Someone once said: “The only vice that cannot be forgiven is Hypocrisy; Totally agree! One thing you cannot deny and have to give the notorious SLPP credit for is that their Criminal cabal, since our Nation’s Independence has always been overcrowded, like ants in an anthill with nothing but eerie-minded, dysfunctional, totally unbalanced hypocrites. You wanna see a group of freeloaders, braggarts, tricksters and Con-men, in their large numbers, whose actions do not match their words, then find some time and go to any SLPP gathering closest to you and it is there, you will find small armies of men chanting their usual, repulsive, tribalistic, sickening SLPP Slogans and mantras.

    With all due respect to the writer…I beg to differ – Democracy in Sierra Leone is totally non-existent. They have systematically destroyed it – brutally and cruelly bisected and dissected it like an unanesthetized rabbit on a contaminated laboratory table, gasping for mercy and air; And worse, they have counted everyone with a different tongue, as their enemies; I mean, everyone who is not from the dirty South, since they took over power. True! Oh well! It is what it is; so to also return their favor and be even-handed, many people have also declared all-out war on them and all they believe, cherish and stand for now and forever, until they find the courage,and good sense to change their arrogant, erratic, repugnant, deplorable, pathetic ways.

    Someone tell me – how does this inadequate group of self-conceited individuals holding on to power now expect peace to ever prevail in our beloved nation, when they are tirelessly hunting down the opposition and other innocent citizens who strongly disagree with their outdated, archaic, backward ideas and viewpoints. I say to hell with these tobacco-chewing, snuff-snorting, poorly educated Bo school Totalitarians.

  8. Interesting thoughts. Was democracy breathing in Sierra Leone when Ernest Koroma’s first order of duty in 2007 was to send APC thugs led by the notorious Leatherboot to rape SLPP women at the SLPP headquarters in Freetown? Was democracy breathing in Sierra Leone when Ernest Koroma purged the civil service and other governmental institutions of folks that did not have northern-sounding last names? Was democracy breathing in Sierra Leone when Ernest Koroma resolved to govern with a cabinet that was 95 percent from the North?

    Also, was democracy breathing in Sierra Leone when Ernest Koroma bastardized the constitution by sacking his legally elected Vice President? Moreover, was democracy breathing in Sierra Leone when Ernest Koroma passed over his Mende Vice President, Victor Foh, to impose his tribesman, Samura Kamara, on the APC as flagbearer in 2018?

    And last but not the least, was democracy breathing in Sierra Leone when Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop) decided to ignore all the atrocities and excesses of Ernest Koroma to publicly declare himself a Koromaist? Indeed, democracy is yet to evolve in our beloved Sierra Leone. But at least the current president is trying hard to lead the country away from its state of abject poverty and deprivation that the APC left it.

  9. The last time I visited Sierra Leone, I was horrified to see well meaning Sierra Leoneans that have spent considerable amount of time overseas, with all the expat knowledge, returned to help develop our country, only to be disappointed and retuning back to their host country. The one refrain they had in common is, that our country, or government, is unashamedly engaged in purging members of their own ethnic groups in favour of other ethnic groups, who’s only qualifications to those jobs are due to accident of birth. The murder of George Floyd, is unspeakable barbarity and it should be roundly condemned. What I cannot accept is us Sierra Leoneans ignoring our own horrors. We are pointing our fingers to other people’s problems whilst we have our problems.

    The disease we Sierra Leoneans have is that we tend to respect foreigners in our Country more than our own indigenous populations. If a foreigner and a Sierra Leonean start the same business, there is every chance of the foreigner succeeding in that enterprise than your fellow Sierra Leonean. So democracy or not, we as a country have a long way to go. We must over come tribal politics, or only people from outside will take advantage of our country because, they are not subject to the same discrimination we endured in our own country.

  10. Yeah. One Drop Indeed. Thank you very much Mr Mohammed Sankoh for your straight talk. See and hear them pretending to support “Black Lives Matter”, whilst Sierra Leonean Lives and especially the lives of our prisoners and prison officers slaughtered by President Bio’s presidential guards and some unscrupulous politicians at Pademba Road Prisons don’t matter. The Police Officers responsible for the death of George Floyd have been arrested, charged and facing justice. Why has President Bio and the Bio SLPP not yet arrested, charged and prosecute those members of President Bio’s presidential guards and some unscrupulous politicians responsible for such barbarity on our prisoners and prison officers at Pademba Road Prisons on the 29th of April 2020?

    Until they arrest, charge and prosecute all those responsible for the death of our prisoners and prison officers at Pademba Road Prisons on the 29th of April 2020, we will see their support for what happened in America as shedding crocodile’s tears or hypocritical. Please clear up the injustice mess back home in “Sierra Leonean Lives Matter”, before pretending to be in support of “Black Lives Matter”. May the soul of George Floyd and all those killed by police brutality in and out of America, Rest in Peace. God bless Mr Mohammed Sankoh, the real One Drop.

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