Following the end of the 11 years devastating war, Sierra Leoneans tested their political tolerance in three successive democratic elections from 1996 to2007. Those elections ended peacefully, with minor political hitches without witnessing violent actions.
As a post-conflict country that witnessed one of the world’s brutal rebel wars, the expectation was that those past elections would have provided latent worries about threats of another war. But, with national resolve, the people of Sierra Leone reflected on the wrongs of the past and decided to vote peacefully to step out of engaging in bloodshed to elect a leader of their choice.
|“Pa O Pa”: meaning I must win the election even if the People don’t like me or the international committee sees me as a bone in the flesh.Look at the case of the members of Wounded in Action (WIA) that are agitating for their service benefits. Their demand was put across to the erstwhile SLPP regime led by former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, but nothing came out concretely for them to be paid. It is only now in the regime of President Koroma that they have been promised to be paid. Most Sierra Leoneans are in sympathy with them that their case is genuine. As a result, President Koroma has done everything possible for them to receive the long overdue payment. Even, the most appalling thing was that they caused a serious embarrassment to President Koroma when his mother died by demonstrating and blocking free movement of commuters. In all this, the president still encouraged them that they should exercise restraint that they would be paid.Unfortunately, the recent violent actions perpetrated by members of the WIA against the Minister of Defense are a clear demonstration that instead of payment they want to hold the country to ransom. This is clear also to Sierra Leoneans and the international community that somebody is behind the WIA to cause havoc in the country to expose an unstable political climate for the next democratic elections to be withheld. But what seems like an intriguing political ploy would not work.The signs are written boldly on the wall that this year’s democratic elections pose threats of violent confrontation between the incumbent APC government and the main opposition SLPP as a result of the prolonged inflammatory statements mostly from those harbouring the impression that by hook or crook they should win the elections even if the electorate voted for the leader of their choice.
The United States has always played a pivotal role to support and strengthen democracy through Africa’s political transformation and social-economic growth, citing Ghana as a model of the sub-Saharan Africa for its stability, political gains and sustained economic growth. It is in line with these objectives that Sierra Leone, emerging from a decade-long conflict and instability to borrow a leaf from Ghana’s politic and fledging democratic advancement. And the only way to achieve this outstanding feat is for the United States to set close eyes on this year’s democratic elections, making sure that they are free, fair, transparent and devoid of violence that has the propensity to mar successful elections conducted since 1996 to date as well as the economic gains so far as the ruling APC government is concerned.
Many Sierra Leoneans are also suggesting that the International Criminal Court (ICC) must act as monitors of the November elections to get first-hand information about perpetrators of violence and get them dragged to The Hague. The call for the ICC to become part of the November election monitoring is the fact that some desperate politicians in Sierra Leone are yet to learn their lessons from former Liberia President Charles Gangay Taylor’s indictment and jail sentence. They are bent on threatening war and, what would put fears in them to accept the election results as pronounced by the National Returning Officer of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) is the presence of the International Criminal Court (ICC). We believe that United States of America, the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International, The United Kingdom and a host of democratic Institutions will amply witness the events of the conduct of the November elections in Sierra Leone.
Very soon God Almighty will expose those behind this evil act and at the end of the day they and their assailants will face justice before the international Criminal Court.