Should Sierra Leoneans be pawns on the SLPP-APC political chessboard? – A Rejoinder

James Juana: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 May 2020:

I don’t like responding to comments on forum. The moment a comment is made, whether you are saying the right thing or not, some readers look at it from a tribal or political point of view.

We are taking ourselves back to the prehistoric or tribal war days, while other African countries are progressing steadily towards their development goals.

Sierra Leone is the only country in which when the ruling party implements good development policies, the opposition cries foul because they are in opposition, or when the ruling party embezzles or signs unscrupulous deals it is applauded by its supporters.

The only country where people dance when the first case of coronavirus is reported.

Where are we heading?

What moral lessons are we teaching the future generations? What hope do we have for the future? Are we ever going to take bold strides towards modern civilization?

As an independent country, we started far ahead of others in the sub-region or the continent as a whole. Why are we at the ebb of global development?

These are issues as Sierra Leoneans we should be pondering on and brainstorming on the way forward. I read on the News how Botswana (which gained independence in 1966 and asked Sierra Leone for assistance to set up viable judiciary and educational systems), put aside P8.2 (US$700 Million) Billion as fund to respond to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Where are we?

Ruling party and opposition alike pledged support to the president’s proposition. When making the policy of transforming the economy from resource based to knowledge-based, all the parliamentarians overwhelmingly supported the policy.

If Sierra Leone becomes a better place to live, those suffering in the diaspora will not hesitate to return. It will not be an Ernest Bai Koroma or Julius Mada Bio issue, but all of us will be proud of our country. Why are we not looking forward to that? But we look forward to APC or SLPP ruling the country.

When a Sierra Leonean breaks the law, we want him/her to be set free because he is from our political party.

When Fiscal policies are not working, we ask for the removal of Finance Minister because he was the brain behind the success of the president.

When the Financial Secretary is earning above Le 80 million, we cry foul, despite the fact that this is the amount the former earned.

When individuals smuggle everything that makes Sierra Leone a better, we keep quiet and blame everything on the ruling government. We should all wake up from our nightmares.

What we are saying and doing will not enhance the better future that we want for our future generations Wake-up. Make meaningful contributions.

4 Comments

  1. The hypocrisy of CSOs, journalists and some educated Sierra Leoneans is what’s hurting excruciatingly a larger percentage of the nation. Nothing right is going right presently under the Maada Bio led administration. Sad!

  2. Thank you James Joana, I personally embraced your comment that ran tears in my eyes. The days mentioned are far gone. In order to achieve social, political and economic development in any Third World country especially Sierra Leone, we need the following: National Unity, do not tribalise a political party and that the winner wins, stop police bribery, stop embezzlement by politicians, help small or big businesses to progress, encourage integrative relationships amongst tribes, develop agriculture and infrstucture including educational institutions. All of these are like the Coronavirus – capable of killing Tribalism to embrace development.

  3. Thanks James Juana for adding your voice to the dialogue. As you have alluded, the open secret to our retrogressive development and instability can be simply tied to the broken down JUSTICE system. A society or community that does not upheld the rule of law is simply bound to fail with anarchy being the end product. For a long time now in our nation, the executive branch has taken over all 3 branches of government leaving the checks and balances formulated by our founding fathers decapitated.

    Our nation today has 2 sets of justice systems — one for ordinary citizens and opposition parties, and one for the ruling elites/politically connected. If we are serious in the fight against corruption, we cannot pick and choose who should be prosecuted or not. The ACC laws must be applied squarely and fairly across the board with no political consideration. The public order act relating to civi disobedience and violent acts must be applied squarely and fairly across the board. Prosecuting and arresting only a certain class of citizens will only inflame tensions, and expand the political and tribal sentiments.

    By all indications, our parliamentarians are known to always show bi-partisanship when it comes to the passage of bills and laws. This high degree of success cannot be unconnected to lack of oversight and the tendency for them to receive brown envelopes. So clearly, our issues are less to do with policies and laws establishment but mainly with the implementation of those polices and laws. The minute we have leadership who champion the implementation of the RULE OF LAW fairly and squarely, our nation is bound to RISE.

  4. what is the meaning of this article? Stop tribalism? Stop nepotism? Stop corruption? Yes that’s a part of the problem in the country. But the main problem is the extreme inequality of income. A small elite like a minister earns $8000, the ordinary majority of the people earn only $80 a month. And this has nothing to do which of the 2 parties SLPP or APC is ruling.

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