When a political party presents a mass-murderer and human rights abuser as its candidate for president in an election, it shows it has no respect for the electorate, and that it has run out of all options. It is indeed a grave act of disservice to the Sierra Leonean people when a political party in opposition, expected to call the government to account and be the peoples voice, will engage in a reckless agenda to disrupt the peace and tranquility of the state, as violence and mayhem is perpetuated across the country on the orders of the one man who presided over the brutal killings of outstanding citizens when he took power by force in a palace coup that overthrew his predecessor in the NPRC junta government of the early to mid-nineties.
Sierra Leone as a country, is still recovering from its wounds, suffered at the hands of Julius Maada Bio, when as leader, he connived with others to inflict grievous bodily harm followed by the brutal massacre of innocent men and women, killed in cold-blooded fashion, whose only crime then was their objection to the tyrannical rule of this barracks boy. After the abysmal record of the SLPP in power, its hierarchy knew they cannot face the Sierra Leonean people once more requesting another opportunity in power. They hatched a plan, one with violence at the very center, and selected a man with blood in his hands to lead them to an election of uncertainty, with one clear objective: to bulldoze their way into power, even if it means using violence.
The violence that has characterised the recent election campaign of the SLPP, is not by coincidence at all. When a party has lost its voice because of its reputation, and cannot get the attention of the electorate because of its record of abuse of state resources, it can only resort to force. The SLPP lost its right to ask the electorate for one more shot at power when it chose a brutal dictator as its candidate for president. The outpouring of love by the people for the incumbent president, Ernest Bai Koroma, is not only because they despise the SLPP’s erratic choice, but because they have witnessed first-hand the outstanding performance of a leader who has made it his priority to deliver on his manifesto promises to a people who now feel satisfied with the progress made so far, and believe that he can offer continuity on the solid economic performance they have seen so far.
The history of Sierra Leone does not make provision for another fatal political mistake. And when diplomats assigned to the country, tasked with responsibility to enhance the bilateral relations between home and host country, start engaging in acts of sabotage by making politically sensitive statements at a defining moment in the country’s history, they should be reminded of its brutal past. The American Ambassador has been reckless by predicting the outcome of the pending vote, and claiming that an opposition party so vehemently condemned by his own country when in power, for its inept practices, has the support of the people. The Ambassador may have forgotten to revisit the State Department’s dossier on the NPRC’s blatant abuse of power, and the recent mismanagement of the state’s resources by the SLPP, that left the country gasping for aid when only promissory note was all that could be offered by stakeholders shocked by the activities of a corrupt cabal calling themselves a government. Whether his recent statement was influenced by the nasty fall to his head during a recent function, its really difficult to tell, but recent reports that he was out of the country, may well reveal that he has suffered some mishap, whether by a recall from his handlers at the State Department for questioning, or simply a trip to the health center for medical checkup.
Foreign interference in the domestic affairs of Sierra Leone should not be tolerated. The country is a sovereign state, with a democratically elected government that is more than capable of managing the affairs of state. No machinations of the political process will take hold. No pronouncements of the results of the pending vote will be acceptable, only when its made by the appropriate authorities mandated by law to do so. No international observer mission will determine the outcome, only the voters can do so. And no mass-murderer will ever be president of Sierra Leone, as the will of the people will prevail.
First published on Newstime Africa – November 5 2012
© 2012, Ahmed M Kamara. All rights reserved. Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.