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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

President Koroma Had a Dream ďMy Tribe is Development and ProsperityĒ
By Captain Saio S. Marrah (Rtd) Expert in International Relations and Security Studies
Feb 26, 2013, 17:04
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Sierra Leone has sixteen ethnic groups spread across the four regions of the country. Although some bad politicians use the tribal ticket to attain power, yet our homogeneity far surpass our diversity and this is underscored by decades of intermarriage and internal migration. What does this indicate? It suggests that the tribal lines have long been blurred though selfish and deceptive politicians persist to divide us through representational strategies and mental trickery.


From independence to date, one huge contributing factor stimulating our problems in Sierra Leone is conspicuously hinged on tribalism. This vice has weakened both the public and private sectors of our society and it could be argued that it dragged the country to State Failure in the quite recent past. It has incubated hatred and malice ensuring that we pull in different directions despite confronted by a common enemy (poverty and underdevelopment). As a result, Sierra Leone continues to experience slow progress both domestically and internationally.

 

Some Politicians have tribalised the political landscape of Sierra Leone, failing to realize that good politics is epitomized by healthy competition typified by merit, ideology, honesty, and the will to perform. Sierra Leoneans have been floundering in this problem since independence.


Captain Saio S. Marrah (Rtd)

Most of our past leaders have strongly associated themselves with their tribes while fomenting nepotism in every institution.

 

In order bring change to Sierra Leone, President Koroma has realised that Tribalism is the cancer affecting Sierra Leone and must be eliminated. To this end, the President had a dream, the president had a dream that in order to effect meaningful change, we should put tribal sentiments behind us and confront our common enemy poverty and underdevelopment.


Pragmatically, the president is inculcating in us that we as Sierra Leoneans should collapse all the 16 tribes into one tribe called DEVELOPMENT (bringing the number to 17) Ė hence his dream ďI AM 17; MY TRIBE IS DEVELOPMENTĒ.

 

ďI am 17; my tribe is developmentĒ de-emphasise tribalism in the political discourse and emphasize development and prosperity. My tribe is development will enable Sierra Leoneans to identify with President Koromaís Agenda for Prosperity there by debunking tribalism and its devilish surrogates. But in order for us to achieve the prosperity the President have in mind, Sierra Leoneans should come together, think as one and develop Mama Salone.

 

The President is calling on every Sierra Leonean to come together and be welded into a single tribe called Development; which doesnít pay allegiance to tribe or region but only towards development which will change our lives forever. This is important because President Koromaís dream (I am 17; my tribe is development) transcends the huddles of tribe and region and navigates the new path which leads to development and prosperity for all.

 

The President dreams of a Sierra Leone that is cohesive and inclusive. President Koromaís dream contradicts and strongly challenges the notion that the bank of unity, peace and justice is bankrupt. President Koroma reject the idea that there are inadequate funds in the great vaults of prospects of this nation and Sierra Leoneans should be proud that President Koroma is here to cash this cheque that will give us the richest of unity, peace, justice and security through sustained development.

 

We should desist from satisfying our thirst for power.


We shouldnít drink from the cup of bitterness, hatred and tribalism in the name of Politics. Politics must be conducted on moral high ground by putting Sierra Leone and its people first. With the Presidentís dream (I am 17, my tribe is development), we can rise from the dark and desolate valley of tribalism, segregation and stereotyping to become the most unified people on Planet Earth. We must never allow politics to degenerate such that violence reaps our hard-earned peace. As a single tribe, we can face physical force with spiritual force. Because President Koroma has envisioned that our destinies are entwined - so why work separately? President Koroma had a dream ďI am 17 and my tribe is development.Ē

 

President Koromaís dream of unifying Sierra Leone is symptomatic of his newly formed cabinet that is characterised by a government of national character Ė which is an epitome of western governmental systems within the milieu of multi-party system. A government of national character is quite distinct from that of a government of national unity. I vehemently critiqued national unity government in the immediate aftermath of the 2012 Elections because; it sub-consciously leads to autocracy, totalitarianism, authoritarianism and gradually leads to a draconian state of administration.

 

It kills the fabrics of democracy and buries multi-party system.

 

As president Koroma believes in the Rule of Law, Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances, he judiciously rejected a government of National Unity for a government of National Character. Such well-thought-out decision of the President is resonant in his dream Ė ďI am 17 Ė My Tribe is DevelopmentĒ. As the newly nominated/appointed cabinet ministers cut across all the ethnic groups in Sierra Leone, this has effectively underpinned his desire to unify and develop Sierra Leone. The nature and character of President Koromaís new cabinet detribalise, de-ethnisise, deregionalise and has effectively de-emphasise APCís depiction as a Northern Political party. The President had a dream Ė ďI am 17 Ė My Tribe is Development and ProsperityĒ.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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