From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Krios Urged to Shed off Fears and Jump into Political Ring
By
Aug 6, 2012, 12:12

Members of Sierra Leone’s minority Krio grouping have called on each other to become more resilient in the field of politics. The calls were made during a special caucus meeting summoned by former Mayor of Freetown, Winstanley Bankole Johnston at the YWCA Old Hall in Freetown on Saturday August 4th 2012.Despite the relentless rainfall on that day, Krios from all walks of life arrived at the venue to discuss the way forward for their ethnic grouping in the politics of the country.

 

One of the most poignant moments was when Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba urged fellow Krios not to be dissuaded from politics because of fear.

 

 “Some of you might say ‘Look at what happened to Afsatu. I am not going to let that happen to me’ and so you might take a decision not to enter politics out of fear. That is wrong. I urge you not to be intimidated from politics by fear. Fear is a sin,” Haja Kabba appealed.

 

“Politics involve risks and sacrifice. You have to take the risk. There is quality in minority so don’t be afraid that majority will be right. Sometimes a 20% minority can sway an 80% that was against it. Yes, it can happen. Develop endurance and sustain your beliefs. Have solid respect for your values. Even in my predicament, I raise my head high because I know what I am. It is all a part of the challenges of the political arena. Do not be afraid. Come in and join the game,” Haja Kabba motivated.

 

The occasion which was billed as a “Broad based Inter-faith political consciousness and awareness raising platform to evaluate Krio political relevance over the last 15 years” saw many Krios present speak out their minds about repositioning the Krio minority ethnic group for an improved recognition and rewards under any political dispensation with the use of the group’s membership weightings

 

One point that came out clearly is that the Krios want to sustain their groupings relevance even beyond elections no matter the triumphant political structures or changing dispensations. The Krios want to ensure Krio consultations for appointments to key positions just as is currently applicable to larger ethnic groups.

 

Winstanley Johnston said the idea for summoning such a gathering came from Krio youths and adolescents who raised concerns with him about the apparent marginalization of their minority ethnic group and the urgent need to stand up and reverse the trend.

 

The former Mayor gave reasons for marginalization of Krios in successive political dispensations to be possibly as result of population explosion from mass urban migration especially after post-war years causing dilution of the presence of the Krios in Freetown.

 

Also to be condemned was “shameful and relentless grabbing of bonafide Krio lands by outsiders”. The gathering expressed umbrage over this APC Government’s decision that no Krio can hold possession of more than one acre of land. This, they found particularly burning as the current leadership who hail mostly from the provinces, themselves hold hundreds of acres of lands in their various provincial areas.

 

An interesting development gleaned is ace international Krio journalist Winston Ojukutu-Macauley has decided to enter the political arena and will be declaring for the ruling APC party any day from now.



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