Silent majority of Sierra Leoneans do not believe APC and SLPP have the answers – Op ed

Amin Kef Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 October 2022:

As the process of registering voters for the June 2023 general elections comes to a close, The Calabash Newspaper has discerned that many are registering not for the expressed purpose of voting for any of the political parties or candidates but only to acquire their ID card.

Asked why many would not turn out to vote, the general reply was that since the return to democratic elections in 1996 to now, instead of the two parties that have held political power making improvement to the lives of the people, things have only got worse.

“We thought that democracy will bring us socioeconomic benefits,” one University lecturer told The Calabash.

“What we have seen in this country since 1996, is a clan of politicians bamboozling the people with promises of development and prosperity for all,” said the lecturer. He lamented that after five or ten years in power, the only thing the people see is the clan in power acquiring massive unexplained wealth.

Articulating the disillusionment of the people with politics, the University lecturer further narrated that the Executive, Parliament and Local Governments have conspiratorially failed to deliver the fruits of democracy to the masses, pointing to lack of development, high unemployment, lack of social services, inflation, corruption and falling standards of living as key reasons why a silent majority believe that APC and SLPP do not have the answers to the perennial problems of underdevelopment.

Sierra Leone continues to be ranked among the least developed countries in the world with a long way to catch up with the likes of Botswana, Rwanda, Tanzania and the Seychelles that have used democratic governance to improve on their People’s welfare and wellbeing.

 

7 Comments

  1. Well, choosing to register to acquire a voter ID card but then refusing to vote on election day will to my mind be both pointless and absurd. If the two political parties that have held the reins of power for most of the sixty-one years that we have been an independent and sovereign nation have both largely and tragically failed us, we must all rise up and vote for
    the political change we therefore so desperately need. Refusing to vote will simply allow the party in power, the SLPP in this case, to continue doing what it does best – hold the country back, keep it retrogressing in terms of genuine pluralistic political governance and in terms of sustained economic development.

    If the political and economic status quo is by every measure unacceptable, then we must as voters try something new, something different. It will of course still be a risk but one worth taking given that the alternative will be being caught between the SLPP rock and the APC hard place. We need a third way, a third political formation, whose appeal and presence will be national in character, cutting across the ethnic and regional polarities so endemic to the ways of being and of doing of our two major parties. The smaller parties we currently have – NGC, C4C and others – do not have such solid nationwide appeal and presence right now. A much greater coalition needs to emerge and fast. A coalition of political parties, that is, of men and women who are committed first and foremost to our nation’s best interests will be the only way out of the state of utter hopelessness that our country finds itself and which the university lecturer mentioned by the author of this article so accurately and strikingly formulates.

  2. A fool is someone who continues with the same futile course of action but expects different positive outcomes. Apologies for reminding our readers that Sierra Leone is overwhelmingly infested with the dumbest fools of all.

    The fools of Sierra Leone have been voting for their beloved APC and SLPP for over 60 years but expect something different after the next election…..or the other next, next election.

    Why on earth should these two parties change their ways in 2022 when they’ve both had such an easy ride on the backs of fools for so long?

    No gentleman suddenly decides to marry his long-term “rarray gial” because of some eureka moment decades later. My point is that it is un-natural and totally naive to expect either one of these two parties (after 60 years) to suddenly change and somehow ‘do the right thing’!!

    From what I heard, there were at least 15 other political party options in the last elections, but the ‘great’ people of Sierra Leone decided that Maada ‘shira-lone’ Bio was the best person to salvage their sinking ship of nearly 8 million passengers.

    The painful truth is that Sierra Leoneans are generally too stupid and primitive to understand democracy. They vote for their ‘tribal brother’ hoping that their lives will somehow improve even though said ‘brother’ is obviously chronically incompetent, uncivilized and unfit to run a modern republic. They elect and admire those whose only dream is to live in a multi-storey house and make inter-continental flights in first class at the taxpayer’s expense – how else can ‘brother’ acquire such things? Such primitive types will obviously never succeed at governance. No other country on earth deliberately selects from its uncivilized class, seriously hoping for prosperity afterwards – none!!

    This is why the same ‘brother’ people will continue to suffer: high illiteracy rates, high infant mortality, low life expectancy, low property ownership, low household incomes, large unsustainable families, widespread chronic infections, zero diasporic networks, rampant jujuism, female genital castration etc….

    TINK YOU DO ME……?

  3. So what are we going to do about it in practical terms? Who will go to the drawing board and engineer a solution? Our expertise seems to be in diagnosing the ailment of the patient but have no knowledge about prescription medicine.

    The old and new direction of travel is discernible by the clear-eyed without green and red blinkers or rose-tinted glasses. It is a vicious cycle, a deja vu – if you like – as simple as that. Most gullible Sierra Leoneans, the majority obviously, buy readily without coercion into the propaganda of illusory images or mirages of progress being made in the country but the UN Statistics year in and year out tell a different story from the hunky-dory stories past and present Sierra Leonean Government “yelibahs”, paid-up rebranders and spin doctors such as Kabs Kanu, Alpha Kanu ( fondly called by the then SLPP opposition as Alhaji Abuja but now crafted into the new fold to keep telling fibs), Rahman Swaray, Sandi and others of theirs ilk past and present spewed out on social media, online and the print media. Statistics don’t lie, well, perhaps except those concocted by Statistics Sierra Leone who will never touch the computation of Sierra Leone’s unemployment rate with a barge pole. What irks me most is when i hear the words corruption and tribalism from any member of the APC and SLPP. I always wonder who is the pot here and who is the kettle there.

    No one seems to be aware of this: We are presently the least developed country in the world among countries without an ongoing war. https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/hdi-by-country. Apart from Mr Joseph Saidu Momoh, no other Sierra Leonean leader has raised up his hand, owned up to these apalling statistics and admitted that he has been an abject and dismal failure in sheperding and stewarding the country’s economy.

  4. Of course, majority of the elites and top politicians in either of our political parties are nothing but clandestine crooks, who while in opposition, will call out all the economic and societal ills of our nation, devising utopia solutions, with a promise that if given a seat at the helm of affairs, these solutions could be implemented in no time, with the benefits cascading to the general citizenry. However, the minutes they get voted into power, the hidden monster in them takes over.

    The current regime is a case in point that has proven the worst ever. While in opposition, the cries about bad governance, corruption, police brutality, and tribalism were relentless from their quarters. The sooner they are in charge, they double down on the very ailments of out society that they promise to change. Worst of it, they have not only quadruple on corruption and other bad governance behavior, they have been going after citizens who dare to call them out or question their selfish, nation killing actions.

    Our once semi- democratic nation during the past regimes have translated into an authoritarian one. Both the pa Kabbah SLPP and EBK APC while corrupt, were much more tolerant regimes. Media censorship, citizenship censorship, political intimidation, killings of innocents citizens during civil unrest, and a host of other bad governance issues were much more moderate. Under this PAOPA regime, in just 4years, over 50 innocents lives have been slaughter during civil resistance incidents.

    While patriotic career professional like Auditor general Laura Taylor Pierce has been sideline for doing her job, in revealing massive corruption in state instructions, powerless citizens who dare to challenge bad governance have either been sent to early graves or currently languish in jail.

  5. ELECTIONS
    Top Reasons to Vote for a candidate
    To all first time voters, even if you went to a polling location and only voted for one person, it will be counted. By law your vote has to be counted. Your ballot cannot be skipped or ignored otherwise it is unconstitutional. Sometimes elections can come down to a small number of votes which greatly affects how your city, district, Chiefdom and nation are run. Your vote counts, vote

    1. Vote! It’s Your Right.
    A great number of people have died defending this right. Don’t take it for granted! Voting is more than just electing a candidate, it’s choosing the right policies and people who have your best interests in mind when making decisions that will affect our community, district and nation. When you vote, you are taking an active role in deciding issues regarding health care, health, equal opportunity, voting rights, infrastructure, jobs, education, social security, security, safety, taxes, etc.

    2. Vote to Allocate Government Money To your District or Chiefdom
    This money can be used for education, youth programs, healthcare, creating jobs, the environment, etc. In some constituencies 4 out of 10 people vote in a Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. This is not enough! For each district to grow and get government funding, every eligible voter need to vote.

    3. If You Do Not Vote, Someone Else Will.
    Voting only takes a couple of minutes but the ripple effect caused by your vote will last beyond a candidate’s term. Do you want someone else deciding for you the laws that will affect your family and community? Voting gives you the power to choose how your city, constituency and country will be run. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain! Go vote and make the decision before someone else does it for you.

    4. Decide How Your Taxes Will Be Spent.
    Elected officials such as members of parliament, the mayor and President, will decide how to pay for public services with the money collected from our taxes and how to share the tax burden. Take an active role and find out if your candidate shares your views and will spend your money wisely.

    5. Voting Affects Your Job.
    When you vote for a member of Parliament, the President, the Member of Parliament, they make decisions that affect minimum wage, fairness in hiring, job security, education and health
    6. Vote to Improve Your Child’s Education
    Members of Parliament and President who you elect will make decisions on policies and budgets that will affect how well prepared your children will be for their future. Your Members of Parliament and the President also make decisions that affect the cost and quality of public schools and higher learning institutions. Vote to place yourself, your children and grandchildren in good hands.

    7. Healthcare is Affected by Your Vote.
    Your vote grants the President and Members of Parliament the right to take action and pass or reject laws that will determine your access to health care. Vote and elect people who have your best interest in mind. Do it for your love ones, so they can have access to a Healthcare that represents your views.

    8. Social Security is Affected by Your Vote
    Whomever you elect for president and MP will decide how much payroll tax you pay and what Medical services you receive and share payment for. They also make decisions on several other amenities that are built in your constituency.

    9. Vote to Improve the Safety of Your Community, City and Country.
    Elected MPs, Police Commissioner and Law Officers appointed make day to day decisions on laws that will affect your community, law enforcement, crime prevention, traffic patterns, and where to build schools, and recreational places.

    10. Vote to Improve Your Highways.
    Have you ever wondered why we have so many roads with potholes and no one seems to be doing anything about it? The people you elect like President, Mayor and Members of Parliament take an active role deciding what highways are needed, what public transit to support and how the bill will be paid. Vote to elect people who will do something to fix the problems we face.
    11. Electing public officials essentially has very little to do with Party Colors, Ethnicity, Tribe. When you elect incompetent leaders and they fail miserably to manage the economy of the country, everything is affected. Business owners in the market don’t ask who you voted for before charging you for a product. Prices of goods and cost services are equally paid for by everyone irrespective of your political affiliation. Vote wisely! Let your single vote has a positive impact in your country.

  6. Sierra leone for all it’s natural and human resources and abundance of sun shine and rain fall , our country and it’s people continue to wallow in abject poverty . Why ?The trouble is , even when Bio was in opposition he used to ask the same question . And every Sierra Leonean living and dead have asked the same question from cradle to grave with no clear answers to this question .Even some countries in the middle of civil wars in the African continent are better placed in the world human development index than our country that have come out of a nasty and barbaric civil war all those years ago but still feels like in the middle of an apocalyptic civil war .Sierra leone looks like a setting for the “MAD MAX MOVIE ” .We have never figured out how to develope this tiny country with a population that you can fit in to an NLF stadium or three stadiums to accommodate the spanking SUVS of our corrupt politicians and their hangers on .Ethiopia and Mozambique are prime examples that illustrate , depite the on going civil wars , their national strategic long-term development goals were not compromised.Because the political leadership of those countries knows exactly what development of their people meant .More economics opportunities for their young people to thrives .

    Hunger and poverty is gradually reduced to net zero .The development of the offshore gas terminals in Northern Mozambique that came under attack by IS Islamist terrorist was only temporary paused until the help of the Rwandan army that have now completely neutralized that threat so the oil wells development can once again resume .The Ethiopian government have managed to complete one of Africa, largest hydro electric dam in the Nile despite the fact opposition from it’s construction was coming from the countries boardring Ethiopia , such as Egypt, and the Sudan and at the same time fighting the separates of the Tigray of the TPLF ,in the north of the country .Compare that to Bumbonah hydro electric dam development , you got the ziest .

    So where is the political will for development is always a way. What is happening in Sierra Leone is not only the absence of the political will to marshall, all we have in our disposal for the common good , but an entrenched corrupt cabal that see themselves more like hip-hop stars than electeted representative of the people that has done nothing but to steal from the state to butressed their overblown self-esteem and canny enough to maintain their privilege positions by sowing seeds of division along tribal and regional lines .This is a government for corrupt politicians , led by corrupt politicians and for corrupt politicians .You just have to look at the primary development projects needed for development , like good roads, schools and colleges , hospitals , housing ,electricity , protection of our waterways and rainforest , then you come to the firm conclusion that the Bio government is not working for the people that sacrificed their freedoms and entrusted him with the power .

    Corruption breeds corruption.And no country will. develop without fighting the root causes of corruption .International investors will always shy away ,where states instutions are weak .The respect of the rule of law and free press are the primary driving factors investors are looking for before they come to invest in a country .But when you hear the president’s wife Mrs Fatima Bio telling her American audiences that her husband has a “PHD”in organizing coups , you realised how our country is led by Buffons.America of all places , the world largest economy ,where you have potential investors looking for secure countries to invest .What was she thinking ?

  7. And am also one of those Sierra Leoneans who has been silent. Indeed my I’d card will be use for personal purpose…. Sierra Leoneans will continue to suffer if the mindset is not changed to positive…..

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