Sierra Leone – a nation scared of change

Alpha Amadu Jalloh: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 March 2024:

In the sub region of West Africa, Sierra Leone stands at a crossroads, teetering between the inertia of the past and the beckoning call of a brighter future. It’s a nation rich in potential, yet crippled by a fear of change, a fear that has become entrenched in the very fabric of its political and social systems.

As we look across the region, we see examples of countries embracing change, pushing the boundaries of democracy, and striving for progress. Senegal, for instance, has captured international attention with figures like Bassirou Diomaye Faye, hailed as the Mandela of our times.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone languishes under a political regime that prioritizes loyalty to individuals and ideologies over the principles of democracy.

At the heart of this stagnation lies a pervasive culture of allegiance to political godfathers, to party affiliations, to familial ties that stifles dissent and discourages innovation. Generations have been conditioned to accept the status quo, to pledge unwavering allegiance to the ruling elite, regardless of their actions or motives.

But it’s time for Sierra Leoneans to awaken from this slumber of complacency, to shed the shackles of fear, and to reclaim their sovereignty as citizens of a nation with boundless potential.

Our political landscape is littered with familiar names like Dr. Abass Bundu, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray, President Julius Maada Bio, Former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, Victor Foe, Alhaji Musa Tarawally, Dr. Prince Harding, Alhaji Ibrahim Kanja Sesay, Alhaji Foday Yansaneh, Dr Samura Kamara, Chief Sumano Karpen, Alhaji Alpha Kanu and many others in their category who have dominated the scene for decades. Yet, their tenure has not ushered in the promised era of prosperity and progress. Instead, they have presided over a system rife with corruption, nepotism, and division.

But amidst the chaos, there are voices of reason, voices of hope, individuals like Dr. Abdulai Bayaraytay, Mayor Aki Sawyer, Solomon Jamiru, Emanuel Saffa Abdulai, some I will not name for fear of reprisal from President Julius Maada Bio as they are in the current government and countless others who embody the spirit of true leadership. They understand that leadership is not a birthright bestowed upon a privileged few, but a responsibility to serve the collective interests of the nation.

It’s time for a paradigm shift, a seismic upheaval that shakes the foundations of our political establishment and ushers in a new era of accountability, transparency, and inclusivity. We cannot afford to remain mired in the quagmire of the past, shackled by the chains of fear and apathy.

Sierra Leone belongs to all its citizens, irrespective of tribe, region, or political affiliation. We must rise above the narrow confines of tribalism and regionalism and unite under the banner of a common identity – Sierra Leonean.

The time for change is now. Let us heed the lessons of our neighbours, let us emulate the courage of those who have dared to defy the status quo, and let us forge a path towards a brighter future for Sierra Leone.

The journey ahead will be fraught with challenges, but the destination – a Sierra Leone that fulfils its promise as the “Athens of West Africa” – is worth every sacrifice.

It’s time to be bold. It’s time to be brave. It’s time for Sierra Leone to embrace change.


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