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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Sierra Leone: Time for Positive News to Triumph
By Jacob Sax Conteh
Jul 12, 2013, 17:22
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There is a new battle looming in Sierra Leone. It is not the battle between the APC and the SLPP. It is not a battle between the educated and the not so educated.It is not even a battle between the youth and the old. No. It is the battle between those who like the current progress in the country and want it to continue, and those who want life to return to the bad old days. It is the battle between the masters of disinformation who try to paint Sierra Leone in dismal terms for personal and political gains and those who see a vivacious Sierra Leone emerging from poverty and disease to a market economy that takes its rightful place in the world stage. For now, the voices of the naysayers and bearers of negative news about Sierra Leone are drowning the positive message the world needs to know.


Jacob Sax-Conteh


As scripture succinctly puts it, the best way to overcome evil is not to use evil, but good. For Sierra Leone to prosper as a nation, we have to trumpet the positive developments that have taken place in the country in the past six years. It was failure of trumpeting the positive development in Sierra Leone that allowed a group of rag tag military boys with no experience in governance to take over the reign of government and plunge us into years of chaos and mayhem. If the whole world had known and seen that in 1992 Sierra Leone already had a ratified democratic constitution that had high accolades from different sectors of the country; if the world had known that Sierra Leoneans had already formed political parties and that free and fair elections were already scheduled; yes if the government of the day had allowed the media to showcase their good intentions to return the country to multiparty elections, the international community would not have easily welcomed the illegal NPRC government. But the Momoh administration allowed the naysayers to drown the voices of the people for their personal and political gain, and the rest, as they say, is history.


For those who think that now that we have democracy we do not have to worry about anything, think again. Mali had more than two decades of democracy, but fell to chaos recently because the naysayers and voices of evil triumphed. It took French troops and money to dislodge the revisionists who destroyed some of the most valuable historical records Africa ever known with their backward thinking.


Today, the question is simple: On which side do you belong? Like Biblical Joshua, I ask you to choose this day which way you want to go. Do you want to return to the time when I visited Sierra Leone just after the NPRC takeover to build a house for my aging mother in Yele in 1992 and a group of armed unruly sobels descended in the town. They kicked the door to the room I was sleeping open, pointed an AK 47 at me and took all my money after pushing me around just because they wanted to steal, or do you want to be in the camp where I visited recently, stayed at Hill Station in peace and tranquility and travelled all the round the country without harassment? Do you want to return to the days of rape, torture, maiming and killing, when my brother was brutally butchered in our village in 1994 and my fourteen-year old niece was kidnapped by rebels, or do you want this day when one can travel from Falaba to Sulima and from Daru to Freetown at relative ease without menacing check points and unruly soldiers pointing a gun at you? I can go on and on. I do not know about you, but as for me and my house, we choose the present Sierra Leone. A Sierra Leone which is pregnant with hope and vitality; a Sierra Leone which is the envy of many in the international community.

 

For the Koroma administration and all of us who support the current positive developments in the country, the time to get up and act is now. The government has to counter all negative senseless innuendo as they appear. Maybe State House has to model the White House where the Press Secretary faces reporters regularly to decimate information and counter false reporting. There is so much good news from Sierra Leone right now that if we adequately report that news we will easily drown the voices of deception. Last week, NASSIT boss Sam Bangura, and Secretary to the President, Dr. Richard Konteh led a delegation to the United States to meet with a group of Americans who are going to help build decent affordable houses in Sierra Leone. Although the group was here in Washington for almost a week, there was no write-up from any of us, including the special information attach at the US Embassy about this historic trip. I wanted to write an article, but had no pictures to accompany the article. These lapses cannot continue. We have to herald the good news of Sierra Leone. We have to acknowledge the current administration and staff who travel long hours and criss-cross the world to make Sierra Leone better. We have to acknowledge Muckson Sesay who sacrifices his time and efforts out there in Canada to write and maintain an app so we can listen to Star Radio on line.

We have to praise the current Finance Minister who has used his advanced training to almost eliminate Sierra Leone foreign debt and put our nation into a sound financing standing. We have to acknowledge the Tam Bayohs, Dr. Blyden who decimates information daily and of course our own Rev. Kabs-Kanu who works days and nights to give the world news of the positive development in Sierra Leone.


This is not the time to rest on our accolades. This is the time to let the world know that we have changed and are ready for business. This is the time to drown the voices of the revisionists by promoting our accomplishments as a nation. Unless the forces of good stand up and act fast, the world will miss our accomplishments, something we do not want to happen again to us.


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

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