The first Walk to Work protest took place in Uganda on 11 April 2011, and was organised by the pressure group Activists for Change (A4C), which included the Forum for Democratic Change, the party of three-time presidential candidate Kizza Besigye. It was a protest whereby Ugandans denied their right to protest, used innovative thinking to gather in large numbers under the guise of walking to work. The Ugandan security forces could not stop the large numbers of persons bunched together chanting anti government words as they walked to work. The crowd was not loitering or protesting or rioting. It was a huge mass; a moving wall walking to work.
However, unlike Uganda which has very serious opposition parties, Sierra Leone is one where most of our civil society activists and opposition politicians are keenly focused not on offering alternatives but on turning to collaborators and conspirators against the president.
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone is however a living miracle who bounced from the wilderness of opposition parliamentary Minority Leader to the pinnacle of an elected President and has reigned for a period spanning two consecutive terms with his popularity still unshaken.
Recent calls by the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the so called independent Renaissance Movement to go up against government's position on fuel pricing has thus far shown how the people of Sierra Leone still believe in the astute leadership of their President.
Popularity of the President got clearly reinforced on Monday 14th November 2016, when SLPP cohorts asked citizens to take part in a nationwide BLACK MONDAY campaign, in which everyone was advised to wear black dress and march the streets as a protest against the President's decision on fuel pricing subsidy.
Laughably, to the dismay of the organizers, Sierra Leoneans did not heed them. Instead of protesting in black, several people put on RED outfits. Red is colour of ruling APC led by the astute President Koroma.
One of the leaders of the Renaissance Movement got so frustrated with how insignificant they really were in the country that he sent out insulting maternal invectives on social media. He engaged in mental violence.
Indeed, violence of physical and mental nature is hallmark of those working against the popular President Koroma. They turn violent because like happened in 2012 and 2007, they now know citizens will not touch the SLPP even with a ten foot pole. Sierra Leoneans love their President and his APC Party.
I will just end though by saying if the SLPP cannot win a genuine election, except by fanning violence amongst people of Sierra Leone, then this is a cause for alarm. We already have the former Vice President Sam Sumana threatening us that only God knows for how long more he can restrain his fans from bringing back another rebel war. Now, SLPP is reminding us of our bitter history of violence. Therefore I end with a call for a robust stand by government against any orchestrator of violence in our beloved country.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.