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Sierra Leone: Party Historians writing History

7 September 2016 at 04:39 | 1676 views


By Knana Kanthe, APC-Quebec, Canada.

The genius of Siaka Stevens was that he foresaw the rascality of the protectorate elitist party (SLPP). He was smart to have questioned the legitimacy of the elite group that was desperate to hijack the agenda for indigenous self-rule.

At the Lancaster Conference of 1960, Stevens rejected the independence agreement because of the failure of the SLPP to present itself as a legitimate group that would become a custodian of a post-independent nation-state.

The SLPP was not going to allow election before independence, a position maintained by Stevens at a time when the SLPP was no longer in sync with the rest of the country because it was becoming more of an elite conclave. The independence project was hoped to restore popular trust in an already unpopular party known for causing excruciating pain.

It was only Sir Milton Margai that was covering the wounds of the SLPP. The elites thought that with the attainment of symbolic independence the party would become popular once again. It was a bad calculation. It would have been self-defeating not to get something from the Lancaster conference. Some say it was a hasty deal. The truth of Sierra Leonean’s independence is yet to be told in universities and faculties.

A large part of the facts of our national independence remains at the mercy of party historians. How can party historians write history? It’s more of a scheme where students are cloned with copious notes to memorize. Students are not allowed to dispute or criticize what they are told. As such "The history we read,though based on facts, is, strictly speaking, not factual at all, but a series of accepted judgments"-Professor Barraclough.

Maybe it is because partisans write history and offer lectures on our past. Where are these historians? Haven’t we had enough? Why are students of history held in bondage and slavery with wrong information? Are faculties of History now like labs where students are cloned? What are they doing to our intelligentsia? Why are they doing this to us? Stevens was right. The elites of the SLPP were not going to serve us well. Too sneaky.