From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Letter to Awareness Times from America: Too Much APC-SLPP Partisanship is Eating up Fabric of Society!!
Oct 17, 2011, 12:46

Hello Mr Editor,

I am an avid reader of your newspaper because of your non partisan posture. I read your editorial of Friday 14th October 2011 titled “Let share the good and bad times together”, and I wholeheartedly concur with you.

Postwar Sierra Leone politics is full of gimmicks and shenanigans. It is all about political party, tribe, region, and not about nationalism. It all started during the last SLPP regime of former President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. The current APC government of President Ernest Bai Koroma has never acknowledged some of the achievements of the former government.

All they do is spew vitriol, flaying the former with slick campaign in order to score political points. I will give some examples: the establishment of NASSIT scheme in2002, the re-emergence of local governments in 2004 which became defunct in 1971, the setting up of Anti Corruption Commission albeit without teeth to bite and the strengthening of the democratic institutions namely: Police, Military, Judiciary, and the National Electoral Commission. Sierra Leone was not a bed of roses though neither is it now, but it was not also a crown of thorns. Some people think that development is an event, it is a process.

Mr Editor if you see the members of the opposition SLPP not giving accolade to the developments programmes of President Koroma, it is a tit for tat affair. They are also paying APC in their own coin, by pouring scorn on their achievements of which the APC should not really be surprised.

I believe this whole shenanigan should have been resolved since 2009 when the Clock Tower was renovated by the Mayor Herbert George Williams. Instead of inviting members of the opposition parties, civil servants, inter religious council, civil society organisations namely: Sierra Leone Teachers Union, Dock Workers, Motor Drivers Association etc, it was just the pro-APC agitators who graced the occasion and the whole issue became a circus.

All the organisations should have been invited to make a statement so that they can appeal to their constituents to pay the local tax for the development of the Freetown municipality. The Mayor failed to realise that it is not only supporters of APC that pay taxes but people from all walks of life who are in the majority.

Something that is a national issue should be addressed nationally and what are pure party affairs should be confined within the boundaries of the party. Although you cannot divorce party from government in Africa but it is too conspicuous in Sierra Leone. Let us replicate some culture of western democracy.

The commissioning of the “Bumbuna Dam” too was a circus. Granted, everybody needs energy of which Sierra Leoneans are grateful to the current government of President Ernest Koroma for some modicum of electricity. The President in his wisdom should have invited the former President Ahmed Tejan Kabba, former Vice President Solomon Berewa, former ministers and other opposition functionaries in order for it to have that national flavour. As I mentioned earlier, development is a process and not an event. Bumbuna construction was not started by President Koroma. He only “completed it”. So also some projects he started during his reign will be completed by his successors.

I was astounded that no mention was made of past SLPP Ministers of Energy for their numerous contributions towards the construction of this massive Bumbuna Hydro-Electric Project. But on the other hand, I was not surprised as the country’s politics is full of lies and deceptions.

Now, I must commend the government on two occasions for behaving maturely. One was the turning of the sod for the construction of low income houses by NASSIT in Waterloo in 2008 when the former president was invited to do the turning with the current president. This is statesmanship behaviour and that is what we want to see prevailing in Sierra Leone, and that is what we want to bequeath for our children and grand children. The game of politics is like a play in a theatre where the actors play their parts then exit the stage. Your legacy will last for posterity if you play the game according to the rules while you were on stage.

Secondly, the former President was invited during the formal opening of the mosque built by the former Libyan leader Col Moumar Gadaffi at Potee in 2009. He did it together with the Vice President Sam Sumana. The government acknowledged that the construction started during Tejan Kabbah’s regime.

Politics is not war as President Koroma always says, but a friendly contest. Let us acknowledge what somebody else did as long as it for the good of the country. Blame Games and Character Assassinations will not take us anywhere as a nation. Even though there is unity in diversity, let it be done with sincerity and truth devoid of recriminations or resentment. Dieu vous benisse. Au Revoir!

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.