Sierra Leone today enjoys very good democratic credentials but this is not by accident. It is as a result of deliberate actions undertaken by the current President; actions that are unprecedented in our nation.
Now, what is Democracy? Well the best definition so far was lifted out of a November 1863 speech by America President Abraham Lincoln when he ended with what was to exemplify the meaning of a democratic government: “This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Indeed, a true Democracy is one whose officials are there for the welfare of the people and who were voted in by the people but most importantly, is one OF THE PEOPLE. (i.e: in which the people continuously participate). A true democracy does not have ordinary citizens only voting at elections. Rather, it involves continuous participation of the people.
It is in this vain that President Ernest Bai Koroma stands very tall as one leader who has not only created the avenues for his citizens to participate in the democratic governance but he actually is mobilising ordinary citizens to come on board and help him govern.
“I am highly impressed with the commitment shown by your President towards ensuring his people have a say in the direction your country should take. The current enabling environment in Sierra Leone as allowed by President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma should be seen as a golden opportunity for all Sierra Leoneans to become more involved in matters concerning Sierra Leone,” Gambian Vice President & only female VP in West Africa, Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy told Awareness Times when interviewed as Sierra Leone’s Special Guest for independence celebrations in April 2011.
She was speaking of President Koroma’s Independence Speech calling on his citizens to monitor government Indeed, since then, President Koroma has not relented in his social mobilisation of his citizens to get them to become more involved in monitoring his government. Last weekend was no different when he traversed swathes of the country calling on citizens to monitor government’s Post-Ebola programme.
It is for such and so many other ‘open government’ actions by Ernest Koroma that make World Leaders to first think of Sierra Leone when they want to list down countries in which democracy has taken root.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.