Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 March 2015
I joined the protest because to my mind the removal of an elected Vice President from office, as Sam Sumana was, poses grave consequence for the future development of our fledgling democracy and institutions.
However, the protest revealed the level of apathy and indifference among Sierra Leoneans here in the UK to the political turmoil in Sierra Leone.
The protest in Central London and only a stone’s throw away from the Boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth, which have strong Sierra Leonean population, did not attract more than 60 people.
It is reasonable to suggest that if the level of patriotism was sufficiently high, this protest should have attracted a lot more people, even if we allowed for participation or non-participation based on political party affiliation and sympathy.
There are significant numbers of qualified and practicing Sierra Leonean lawyers in the UK, who should have been at the demonstration today, to show common cause with their brave Sierra Leonean counterparts who have denounced the President’s action.
The constitutional issues that President Koroma’s actions give rise to are legal issues, and it is reasonable to expect that if this professional group were sufficiently interested and, or engaged, that they would also have been at the helm of the protest today.
As the protest got under way, I could not help thinking that President Koroma and his cabal would easily form the view that they can continue to chip away at bits of the constitution that are at odds with their political agenda, safe in the knowledge that the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans will acquiesce, if they are not fully in support of their actions.
We have been here before. During the 1970s and the 1980s, the foundation of our current state of under-development was constructed by the APC.
We looked the other way as the APC systematically destroyed the rule of law, democracy, civic and political institutions – including local government, trade unions, press, political parties, chieftaincy, military, police, private sector, university institutions, etc., either through being co-opted into a corrupt political process or through our collective acquiescence.
Evil prevails where good men and women are silent.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph understands that the event was very poorly publicised, and that not sufficient time was given to allow people to make plans and arrangements to be at the event. The editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph was in London on Friday, 27th March, and heard nothing about plans to hold this event.