6th August 2012 ·
Pa Baimba Sesay
There are these little things that should not be ignored, especially as we move towards elections. Ranging from the urgent need for our MPs to continue talking to our people in their constituencies for the need to ensure the reelection of this government, to the aspect dealing with our state of security-especially in terms of seriously clamp down on indiscipline, among others, these are very little things that should not be forgotten.
If anyone suggests President Koroma has not lived up to expectation, then that person should be referred to what has been happening with the country’s infrastructure, its health sector, the fight against corruption and even the area of electricity provision in the country. Yet, we should not, as I have said, ignore those things that are seen as little but having the ability to take us back to those years of civil carnage. When in 2007, the government was bought into power, it was through the ballot box and it is our expectation, as a people, that we should at all time, stick to those democratic means of attaining power. What we have kept witnessing since this government was elected has not been all that good, when viewed from the perspective of people wanting to undermine the democratic wishes of the people, by directly or indirectly undermining government work, success and plans, just in the name of wanting to attain power.
For, especially those of us out of the country one of the easiest ways of being update with happenings back home is by constantly browsing the internet. The use of social networks like face book, Skype, tweeter amongst others has today added more meaning to the importance of technological advancement, especially in a post war nation like ours, Sierra Leone. The internet for us in Sierra Leone, just as is with the media, can make or destroy our country and from what I have been seeing, those of us in the Diaspora have n not been fair with our country, when it comes to discussing what is happening there, especially from the viewpoint of people’s political orientation.
I submitted, only few days ago, in one of my dozens of articles that the political temperature in Sierra Leone has reached a peak that one could be described as been serious. This conclusion of mine was based on what I have been following online, especially through discussion like ‘Sierra Leone Issues’, ‘Salone Political Wavelength’, among others in face book and the ‘Freedom of Information cyber discussion forum. When you see what is written nowadays about Sierra Leone on some of these social discussion online groups, you wonder what awaits us come November. But again, the point should be made, the country is not in any way even closer to the way those political power seekers have been portraying it. What we used to know of Sierra Leone in terms of her history of civil war, chopping of human hands, blood diamond and even high level of corruption has completely changed today to a country that is moving in line with efforts to reach the apex of development. We are a country that has also made outstanding progress in the fight against corruption. And all of these developments are as a result of the astute leadership that we have in the person of Ernest Bai Koroma. We have indeed gone a long long very long way.
But again, following the trend of political development in Sierra Leone, especially given the fact that we are just less than 14 weeks to the next presidential and Parliamentary elections, slated for November 17th this year, there is the need for us to begin to put into perspective how those of us in the Diaspora have been helping to shape the country’s development path, and above all, whether we have been sincere in our assessment of happenings back home, given the view, that most of us have always looked at things from the viewpoint of our political beliefs. It is high time that those who are outside the country came to the realisation, that there is just one country called Sierra Leone for Sierra Leoneans and that no matter how long one stays out of this country, he should be certain of going home one day. Therefore, even when we often try to portray the country in a negative light, given all what we have been seeing in terms of development, we should know, that, what we do today, will determine our tomorrow.
The role of the media especially as we move towards the election is now as crucial as the need for it to remain vigilant and keep up to its traditional role of informing , educating and at the same time, entertaining them. The media’s crucial role in governance and democracy needs some critical review, taking into account happenings in Sierra Leone. I have argued in some of these online discussion forums, that, the pending November elections will largely be determined along the successes and failures of those contesting for the highest political seat in the country. But given the pace at which we are moving, it is but a matter of time, for us to know that President Koroma’s term has been very productive and fruitful within his first five years in governance.
Respect counts, especially respect for national offices and elected positions, like the Presidency. As a country, we should endeavor to give our utmost respect to the office of the Presidency if for no other reason but the simple fact that those occupying at were elected into those positions. The recent preposterous attack on the Presidency by a Sierra Leonean educational Doctor, by the name of PK Muana on the now famous Monologue program of journalist David Tam Baryoh was, in my view unfortunate and one that calls for some form of apology to the Sierra Leonean society. I have the greatest respect for intellectuals, and it is my expectations, that those of us said to be educated should try to make a difference in society. Education should at least contribute to our productivity towards societal growth. But from what was exhibited last Saturday, (or call it Sunday for us in China) through Monologue was no show of intellectual prowess but show of ‘raray manism’. This is simple and plain. I will for the sake of decency not go that far in repeating what was said of our President and Vice by the Dr. in question, but is is high time we gave our best to society as educated people.
You see, we may have our different political thoughts, beliefs and feelings but what we should make an effort to give the maximum respect to the Presidency. Abusing those occupying the Presidency is logically and implicitly an abuse to Sierra Leoneans. And as a country, we should be seen condemning such an act in its entirety. And the leadership of the main opposition SLPP, on whose behalf the attack and abuse were undertaken, should also not condone such an act for it is very clear that this is the office that they are also asking us to vote them into.
This also brings to mind the recent attack on the Defense Minister by ex-service men. As it happened, I was completely perturbed that Sierra Leoneans, especially those of us having access to social media could support such an act, just in the name of party politics. Devoid of party politics, it is high time we came to know, that power and authority are God given. And when one is appointed to run the affairs of a given ministry, he does so at the behest of the President, who was also elected into office by Sierra Leoneans. What we have been seeing in recent months is an attempt by a selected few to take the law into their hands. Sierra Leone is not a jungle state; rather, it is governed by laws. The courts are there to seek redress. That two journalists were allegedly also attacked by military officer was also, in my view, unacceptable as the attack on the Minister himself.
But in all of these instances, we need not also forget the issue of students protest at Fourah Bay College. We need not lose sight of the fact that Fourah Bay College has always been crucial to the country’s development path. But again, we also should make clear the fact that whatever demonstration or protest that students may want to embark upon, there is a telling effect on the country’s stability and that is why, efforts should be made to get a win-win solution to the current impasse between students and the college administration.
But again, let me also call on students to make a difference in society. I was a student at FBC and I remember, when for months we will not be given electricity to read. We had a lot of challenges during the days of President Kabba (h) when we were pursuing our degrees, but we ensured, we went through the right channel in making our points know. And in fact when we were to demonstrate in 2005, or so, it was after all the alternatives have been exhausted. As tomorrow leaders, let students come to terms with present day realities in the country.
As I started this piece, let me also end by that that the President and team have worked so much to take the country to its present state of development. The level of transformation the country is witnessing in her infrastructure, health sector, fight against corruption and even the provision of electricity could best be described as being phenomenal. But again, it would be disastrous if these gains are not properly sustained. These little incidents have the potential of taking us back. We may try to take politics out of these recent happens but given what is happening and with just few weeks to elections, it definitely will be difficult to accept that some of these happenings have no political undertone.
Mr. President those little things should not be ignored sir. Thank you and may we live in peace and harmony. God bless us all