It is high time Sierra Leoneans reflect deeply on some of the challenges facing the country, especially after last week’s presidential order, banning all peaceful protests within the vicinity of State House – the people’s House in the capital Freetown. Aristotle Onassis once said: “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
There is a saying that ‘when a wheelbarrow is empty, it makes more noise than a vuvuzela’. This goes for the APC funded media publishers, who parade themselves as journalists and minister plenipotentiaries, at the expense of the poor tax payers of Sierra Leone.
They see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil of their corrupt paymasters at State House in Freetown; not even when their compatriots are dropping dead like flies, because of poverty and disease.
Labour’s Sadiq Khan has vowed to do all in his power to make London “better”, as he was sworn in as the new mayor. The much-criticised campaign questioned Mr Khan’s alleged links to extremists. Mr Khan said he was disappointed by the “negative and divisive” nature of Mr Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign, which focused on Mr Khan’s alleged links to Islamic extremists.
Whoever has the ears of the President, should please tell him that the dividends of democracy in Sierra Leone, have not reached the door of the common man.
That their hearts ache, because the trust they had in today being the tomorrow, which they thought about yesterday, has been crushed in the unfolding drama of our realities.
Tell him that those institutions that should form the bedrock of our expected change, have suffered utter neglect and even total destruction, and can no longer be the driver of any change in Sierra Leone.
That there is need for deep introspection, because everybody want the prophesied change, but are looking up and wondering why those calling them to follow, are maintaining the state of affairs that has elevated the politics of subservience and fiefdom to criminal level.
Several opposition political activists were arrested and sent to the notorious Mafanta prison where they languished until death.
Many others were declared insane and never saw their loved ones again, whilst a few of those who felt trapped in their own homes – too scared to come out, felt they had no choice but to surrender. They then joined the ranks of the ruling APC.
I read someone referring to president Koroma, who, in a thinly disguised indignation, called agitators that are against the growing socio-economic plight of the people – irritants, as the great footballer Pele.
How sad, because in the desperate scramble for image laundering, political praise-singers often fail to appreciate the semantics of their imagery.
You are obliged to listen to the protests and demands of Sierra Leoneans who elected you democratically to represent them, especially in obvious cases when the protests and demands are relevantly appropriate.
Now, compare the democracy you practice to the international pillars of a veritable democracy: Accepting majority rule; guaranteeing and respecting minority rights; following due process of law; ensure free and fair elections; respecting equality before the law; respecting the sovereignty of the people; guaranteeing of basic human rights; respect for Constitutional limits on government; promote social, economic, and political pluralism; accept that government is based upon consent of the governed; respecting and upholding the values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise.
As the Sierra Leone People Party (SLPP) is bracing up to form an Alliance, four aspirants, Alie Kabba, Francis Lahai, Munda Rogers and John Oponjo Benjamin, have asserted that Alpha Osman Timbo is the right man to lead the party in 2018.
They arrived at this conclusion when making statements at the official declaration of Mr. Timbo’s intention in his home town at Rokulan, Northern Sierra Leone on Saturday 30 April 2016.
The deliberate failure of the central government to pay attention to the issues affecting the Bonthe Sherbro Island has left it to be isolated and forgotten in the country. (Photo: Remains of Paterson Zochonis (P.Z). Can Monuments and relics Commission preserve this?)
At the moment things are no longer at ease for the Island and her inhabitants except if the Good Samaritan could emerge and breathe a relief on them.
The Kono descendants have called for a worldwide demonstration on the 23/04/16 at the offices of Tiffany & Co in London. According to information, Tiffany & Co is sharing a financial partnership with OCTEA; the sole owner of Koidu Holdings Ltd. Koidu holdings is known as the largest mining company in Sierra Leone. The District seems to literally subscribe to the James Bond series that “Diamonds are forever”. It is an undeniable fact that with the exception of a few selfish indigenes, diamonds have rather been a CURSE than a Blessing to its people. You cannot run away from the fact that the discovery of diamonds, since the 1930s in Kono District has not brought its own sunny side to the inhabitants. Try balancing what has been taken out of the land with what the land has received in return.
Take a look at Sierra Leone, a country that has been independent from colonial rule for the past 55 years, and classed as one of the poorest nations in the world – a country in 1961 with much promise, hope and the resource potential to become one of the best in Africa.
How and where did it all go so horribly wrong? Is it because of poor leadership – heads of state that cared less about democracy, good governance, civil liberty and the rule of law, rather than their own narrow self-interests?
Youth constitutes the greater majority of Sierra Leone's population and the labour force. Youth have suffered the worst injustice and neglect but any attempt to abandon them would be disastrous to the growth and development of the country. Despite efforts by authorities to rearrange their sufferings, youth have introduced a new form of engaging in violent activities: these days, youths form themselves into different groups they name as cliques that perpetrate violence in different communities. Names like Soso Blue, G-unit, CCC, MOB and the like are groups comprising hooligans who gang up to engage in all forms of violence. They carry machetes they refer to as 'chappers', and knives to stab one another.
For the past four years, if not longer, the main opposition party in Sierra Leone – the Sierra Leone People’s party (SLPP) has been tearing itself apart, as various factions within the party fight to take over its leadership.
This internecine war has led to costly and length court battles, prompting questions about the party’s ability to defeat the ruling APC at the polls in 2018, and their preparedness and seriousness to govern the country.
But as the bitter struggle for power moved from the party headquarters in Freetown to the court house, all sides have realised that, whilst preoccupied with destroying each other, president Koroma and his ruling party are busy carving up the country in advance of the 2018 elections.
In the greater scheme of things, when faced with the big picture as to what matters most to an opposition political party, petty constitutional squabbles about who makes the cup of tea and who drinks from which cup, pales into insignificance.
An opposition party must look and sound like a government in waiting. And if it cannot do just that, then its relevance to the people of Sierra Leone, 80% of whom are living in abject poverty – with no water and electricity, must be questioned.
Recent squabbles about who is a member of the party and who is not – and how long they have been a member before having the temerity to want to lead the party, is nothing but a village mentality that should have no place in a modern political institution.
Attempt by party bosses to bar members that are living and working abroad from contesting leadership elections, whilst accepting their hard earned cash, which keeps the party afloat, is nothing short of self-destructiveness.
The need for the country’s Party Political Registration Commission (PPRC) to step in as an arbitrator, to help resolve dispute about constitutional changes aimed at creating an apartheid system within the party, could easily and sensibly have been avoided, had the party bosses and their warring factions focused on what mattered most.
If I was a lexicographer (a person who compiles dictionaries) I would have inserted a new a name in the dictionary for a government which suffers from credibility deficit - All Peoples Congress. But maybe if I put a lexicography degree on my CV and I am facing a parliamentary committee I would have four ways to defend it courtesy of APC presidential nominees.
Sir Michael Albert was born on October 10, 1910, at Gbangbatoke in Banta Chiefdom (now Moyamba District) and went to St. Edward's Secondary School, Freetown.
He first worked as a nurse from 1931 to 1944, then proceeded to Britain to study law at the Inner Temple Inns of Court where he qualified as a lawyer in 1948 and returned to Sierra Leone and enrolled as a solicitor and advocate in the Supreme Court and later went into private practice.
The first phase of President Koroma’s Post-Ebola Recovery and Transition Programme will end March 31 followed by the second phase of 10-24 months which is expected to kick off in April 2016. By all indications, the 6-9 months recovery efforts have seen significant improvements in the key priority areas of health, education, social protection and private sector across all fourteen districts in the country.
Head of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation which visited Freetown from 15-29 March, 2016 to conduct the fifth review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), John Wakeman-Linn, has stated that Sierra Leone’s economic momentum was building again, while GDP was expected to grow by 4.3 percent this year from a contraction of 21 percent in 2015.
“Sierra Leone’s economy is recovering from the twin shocks of the Ebola virus epidemic and the halt in iron-ore mining. Economic momentum was building again, and GDP was expected to grow by 4.3 percent this year from a contraction of 21 percent in 2015.The improvement reflects the pick-up in economic activities following the end of Ebola, and the resumption of iron ore mining early this year. Inflation remained stable at 8.5 percent in 2015, but a small up-tick is expected in 2016 due to the depreciation of the Leone,” he said, after the visit, which also included the 2016 Article IV consultation discussions.