Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 August 2022:
President Dr Julius Maada Bio, this week met with tribal heads in the Western Area of the country’s capital Freetown to discuss their role in government’s efforts at consolidating peace and democracy and seeking justice, following the August 10 violence that claimed innocent lives.
According to State House report, President Julius Maada Bio said he was pleased to meet the tribal heads at State House to engage them on various issues, including the 10 August 2022 violence which he described as an insurrection.
He said the insurrection was an unfortunate event, in which a group of people had organised young people to cause mayhem in some parts of the country including the Western Area.
He added that notwithstanding the economic difficulties around the world, his government has made great efforts to cushion the pressure on citizens, noting that he is also working on a long-lasting solution such as government’s Human Capital Development programme.
“In the last four years, my government has succeeded in cleaning the image of this country. That is why we are being invited severally to chair and co-chair many meetings of development that will benefit the country,” he said.
The President also said that his government has reviewed and changed many of the country’s laws to ensure that society is safe, progressive and free for all citizens irrespective of where they are.
He however assured the tribal heads that his government will investigate all those who were involved in the August 10 insurrection.
Speaking on behalf of the Tribal Heads – Chief S.O Gbekie, thanked the President for the invite, adding that one of their roles is to help the police to maintain law and order in their various localities.
He said they totally condemned the violent acts and urged the government to launch an investigation into the matter so as to bring all those involved to face the law.
He spoke about the various gains so far made by the president and his government to help bring development to the country.
Where was Maada Bio and his team when there was talk of an impending demonstration? Meeting tribal heads after the social upheaval reveals a distorted way of thinking, otherwise a meeting with tribal heads would have preceded the demonstration in an effort to either stop it or mitigate its consequences. Bio’s Government is supposed to have a strategic communication team – where were they? They carry a fanciful name for nothing, henceforth they they should be referred to as the strategists for reinforcing government propaganda.
Knowing the mentally of the typical Sierra Leonean when dealing with officialdom at such a level, does anyone think any of the tribal heads would have had the nerve to say anything critical to Bio? Their presence at State House was designed to present Bio as a hero for peace and national unity, rather than a cynical way to appease a restless population who constantly question why they are alive, given their everyday predicament to hold on to life.
In another piece, I held the view that Bio abolished the death penalty because the process of applying it takes too long – why not just get soldiers loyal to the government to do it in the streets?
Now Evangelist Samson is no more, so many others have gone ahead of him in a similar fashion. May the Almighty
Allah/God save mother Sierra Leone from descending into a tribal or regional war.
In the present state we found ourselves ,anything that promotes unity , peace and justice in Sierra Leone is welcomed. Bio might have come to his senses and realized a top-down approach to the problems facing our country is neither workable nor sustainable for our long term strategic goals we except from his government that have shown little appetite to extend the hand of peace to those he deemed as trouble makers and in his own words wants to make the country ungovernable . The words ungovernable were used by the ANC against Mandela’s sturrugle against the Aparthied regime .The words terrotist and insurrectionist was used against the Trump supporters .So Bio knows why he is using those words to described the bloody Wednesday rioters as such .Is to gain western support .Because he knows those words are emotive and familiar with the Biden administration , the African union and our western partners in general . Any chance of any government condemning his government for heavy handedness has been factored .Aportioning blame and inflammatory rhetoric from both sides of divide needs to stop . Especially the Lahia Leemas and the Adebayos .We want peace in our country .
The meeting of the local chiefs in the western areas , is a recognition by Bio , they are the eyes and ears of the central government .The local chiefs and the elders are more in tune with the masses than any other elected member of parliament .In terms of elected public officials Mayor Akin Sawyer is the only person that have the right to claim the mantle of people’s person that feel their pains and understands what is really going on in this disadvantage communities .Now if Bio is really serious about addressing some of the core issues raised , and work towards bringing people together , he can’t afford to ignore the elephant that us looming large in the room .For it is this elephant that he keeps blaming for all the ills in our county . You can ignore a fly or a mosquito that is bugging you , but you can’ afford to ignore a larger than life animal.And just in case you are wondering the elephant is the leadership of the all peoples congress party and those faith leaders that wants to work with him and all other stakeholders that needed to be engaged and draw up a roadmap that is signposted to get us where we all want our country to be and not how the politicians that want to divide us want us to be , that is to be on each others throat .
Failing to meet with the leaders of the All People’s Congress and figure out the way forward for our country will be tantamount to dereliction of duty by this out of touch president .We want peace in our country .Bloody Wednesday was a test of the foundation stone of our peace dividend that we laid down at the end of the RUF civil war .Maybe the President and the leaders of all the opposition groups in the country should travel the length and breadth of the country on what we call the SIERRA LEONE PEACE AND UNITY ROAD SHOW”. Led by Bio or his vice president Juldeh Jalloh .Organising peace conferences in Freetown alone will not cut the peace mustard we want for our country .May God bless Sierra leone
Those involved and support this unapproved, unofficial and unpatriotic demonstrations should be brought to book and face justice for their evil act. A lot of us the patriotic youths especially from deprived, poor communities and uneducated families need total peace in our beloved nation for the benefit of all.
This was not a discussion,rather an instruction. Confirmation bias is wjen we look for communication that synthesis with our perspectives.
The president should realise that A.P.C supporters voted for him, what we would call swing voters and demonising the party is simply turning away potential voters. Furthermore, I realise that he comes from a chieftancy house, thus,maybe he feels he is too superior to speak to common people.