A piece of advice from an elder statesman

31 August 2007 at 12:15 | 609 views

By E.T.Kamara,USA.

A picture paints a thousand words. In analyzing events and recent developments at the ballot box, it is clear that the people of Sierra Leone have expressed their desire for a change, and should therefore be listened to.

A new day has dawned on Sierra Leone, a day when young and old, men as well as women, from all walks and tribes of our beloved nation came together to cast their votes for a change. They decided it was time to lift the country by the boot-straps and give mother Sa Lone a much deserved new chance.

The dream of today is the reality of tomorrow. Robbing the people of the fulfillment of their dreams is a violation of their fundamental human rights, the consequence of which may lead to an unpredictable outcome. After all, not every Sierra Leonean can afford the luxury of fleeing to neighboring Guinea in times of chaos.

While it may be acceptable and regarded as an internal affair to impose a leader over a political party, doing so over the rest of the nation is a national issue, which is not only undemocratic, but requires urgent disapproval.

Even if the presidential runner up were to win all of the 55% required votes of the first round of the presidential race, running a government where the coalition of the APC and new breed PMDC have taken the cake would be an uphill task.

At the end of the day, no one would like to be a conductor of a symphony orchestra the majority of whose players are deaf and blind. Under the prevailing circumstance, rationale dictates that the presidential hopeful concedes defeat and the run-off money used on investment projects that could be more beneficial to the nation.

The chickens have come home to roost, and while awaiting their arrival, I would like to advocate that a national conference across partisan and all tribal lines be convened when the stalemate is over in a bid to discuss reasons for our failures, and come up with strategies to help prevent past mistakes from happening in the future.

A fool at forty is a fool for ever, says the adage. Now is the time to step up to the plate and vie towards building a society that can provide opportunities not only for the vulnerable and weak, but also to those ready to apply themselves to improve their conditions.

A new dawn has come for us to brace ourselves towards a new beginning under the united banner of nation building. Mistakes of the past should be our guiding light as we work towards building a Sa Lone where the rule of law will protect everyone and create an environment where wealth will be generated with fairness and without injustice.

As a nation, we need to put politics in the back seat, work together as a united front and move our country forward. Four years from now, our nation will be celebrating fifty years of independence. What do we have to show when we celebrate half a century of nationhood?

The young men and women of Sierra Leone who form an integral part of our society have the right to expect an improvement in their quality of life and be equipped with prospects of a promising future.

If this does not happen, our nation risks going through another disaster. Ironically, some of the conditions of today replicate the very environment that led to yesterday’s turmoil, and measures need to be taken to adjust the situation. Without this, our nation risks going through another disaster that can be avoided.

In the face of abject neglect, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand why it was such a cake walk for Foday Sankoh to mobilize recruits for his movement. There was a readily available army of unemployed, alienated, and frustrated youths hanging out in ghettoes, drug venues (potes), gambling houses, and city suburbs, just waiting for someone to champion their cause.

When inspired by great purpose or some extraordinary project, thoughts break bonds, minds transcend limitations, consciousness expands in every direction, and all of a sudden people find themselves in a new, great, and wonderful world. This country called Sierra Leone belongs to no particular ethnicity, political, or just one set or group of people.

Sierra Leone is, remains, and will be the property, home, and sanctuary of all Sierra Leoneans irrespective of ethnicity, tribe, religion or social status. At the end of the day, it is the only country that we can call home and really refer to as our own.

It is perhaps time we listened to the high ideals of the best national anthem in the world:

High we exalt thee,
Realm of the free;
Great is the love we have for thee;

Firmly united ever we stand,
Singing thy praise, O native land.
We raise up our hearts and our voices on high,

The hills and the valleys re-echo our cry;
Blessing and peace be ever thine own,
Land that we love, our Sierra Leone.