It is only now the so-called human rights and civil rights organisations including the bar association without any reservation have mustered enough courage to criticise freely the Chief Executive the President and his government. The likes of Marcella Samba of the Campaign for Good Governance in some their boisterous public engagements has even disrespected His Excellency President Bio; the likes of Bashita Michael whose late father Serry Kamal had no good choice words for the SLPP in opposition have today become champions of the people. What a blatant hypocrisy, deceit, insincerity, dishonesty and simply an act of playing to the gallery!
When the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah of the SLPP government came to power, his maiden declaration was that his own government was going to be that of inclusion and of national unity. And true to purpose he went on to form a government that saw many opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party members as cabinet ministers, heads of foreign missions and parastatals as well as heads of the civil service. He did so if only to satisfy the opposition and to ensure national peace and unity. As a result most SLPP members and supporters were left out in the cold and chagrined to the core of their very existence.
Throughout President Kabbah’s administration there was no noise over tribalism, regionalism, and ethnicity; there was no noise over sacking people from their jobs because of their tribe and region; there was no cry over a bastadization of the national constitution by President Kabbah for political advantage, there was no issue of re-demarcation of constituency boundaries for political gains; there was no issue of bastardization of the nation’s statistics for political gains; no spate of violence, lawlessness, indiscipline, no raping of APC opposition women.
Then came the bang: Ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma took over governance of the country under the banner of the APC party in 2007. Instantly he overturned all the great edifice of good governance, constitutional rule, national peace and unity that President Kabbah had put in place, in the interest of his (Koroma’s) own people of the north and some in the western area. For eleven years of President Koroma’s rule, the SLPP supporters of south-eastern origin continued to suffer from the butt of all the unthinking cruelties of the APC party government of ex-president Koroma.
Through it all the so-called civil society and civil rights organisations including the bar association of Sierra Leone chose to pay lip service to the unconstitutional rule of ex-president Koroma, the rampant corruption that was identified with the APC party government, the spate of lawlessness, violence and indiscipline that overwhelmed the nation, the hardship, the sacking of south-easterners from their jobs, and the cry of the SLPP party. The so-called civil society and human rights activists dared not to have been as vocal as they do today under President Bio because of fear of dire consequences. Who knew the likes of Bashita Michael during the APC party government as to become a moral guarantor today?
The most disgusting hypocrisy and insincerity about these so-called moral guarantors today is their blackmailing inclination and disposition that the past evils of ex-president Koroma’s era should not be the doing of the Bio government; even if it means retaining all the former APC party workers in their jobs and leaving the suffering SLPP members and supporters in the cold for another ten years; even if it means proscribing the on-going Commissions of Inquiry as well as the election malpractice litigations before the court of law just to satisfy the opposition APC party and their cohorts; even if it means dropping all Anti-Corruption Commission’s cases against those already caught in the net in the interest of national peace, unity and reconciliation. Who is going to pay for such huge sacrifice, only south-easterners because the APC party claims that they alone own this country and all others should be the sacrificial lambs?
It is interesting that with passion the so-called moral guarantors do not even want to listen to any reference as to how much the APC government under ex-president Koroma destroyed the once commended equilibrium of this country. But how can a nation ever be guided into the future without reference to the past?
The point is why those so-called moral guarantors can’t plead with ex-president Koroma who still believes that he is in power and members of his party to apologise to the people of this country for all the wrongs that they had inflicted on the people during their (mal) administration? Why should anyone in his/her right frame of mind blame President Bio’s government that has been in power for just one year for all the wrongs that the APC party had perpetrated for eleven years in power? Where is the sincerity and honesty?
It remains to advice His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio to thread on the path of his leadership with caution. Beware of some of those who surround you and who advice you on national matters. Ex-president Koroma held his own power with an iron fist. You cannot afford the luxury to handle yours like an egg because everybody has today become expert in good governance and constitutional rule. Go ahead with your mission for national peace and reconciliation but never forget that you have a constituency.