World News

Farewell to a patriot

2 February 2010 at 02:48 | 282 views


By Dr. Hassan B. Sisay, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA..

Alimamy Saso Samura died in Boston in late January following a prolonged illness. He was born and raised at Kamakwie in Northern Sierra Leone. Samura is easily one of the most decent human beings I have ever had the opportunity to be acquainted with. I will honor and cherish his friendship and memory forever. Samura arrived in the United States many years ago, obtained a Masters degree in education from the University of Massachusetts, raised a family, and quickly became a familiar figure in Boston’s political and social circles. Samura’s preoccupation was love of family and an unflinching support for the APC party. In good times or bad times, Samura was always trumpeting the real and imaginary achievements of his beloved APC. In his eyes, the party was both infallible and incapable of doing anything wrong. Samura never once doubted or questioned its policies. Next to his family, the APC was Samura’s closest friend. This piece is aimed at shedding more light on his role as an APC activist and an individual of extraordinary qualities.

As one writer noted, “in life the only kind of friend you will have is the kind you are willing to be. True friends are those who remain your friends through the bad times too…and as we all know, while the good times may seem fleeting, the bad times don’t last forever either. But if you abandon ship at the first sign of trouble and refuse to ride it out and support your friend in need until the storm passes, you will miss out on the joy that can only come from a long-term friendship.” Maybe, this explains why Samura became a lifelong and resolute supporter of the APC, and never once compromised his principles or flipped-flopped in his allegiance. Samura was like a postage stamp stuck to one thing – the APC party.

Sadly, unlike Samura, there are many APC supporters today who are merely political opportunists who seem to thrive through sycophancy. They embrace the party when it is in power, and drop it like a hot iron when it is voted out of office. They are often the loudest in their defense of the party, not because they love it, but primarily because they stand to gain from its largesse. They gleefully watch which direction the political wind blows, and are forever ready to jump ship at the slightest approach of adversity. In short, they are consummate political chameleons, bootlickers, and parasites, and deserve no respect from anyone. For the record, corruption in Sierra Leone is a story of bipartisan greed. Both APC and SLPP parties have contributed in promoting this repulsive perpetuation of public corruption. H.E. Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma was right on the mark for recently “naming and shaming “ corrupt government officials and referring to them as “unpatriotic,” and a potential hindrance to the party’s progress. Few of these political “dead woods” seem to put the interest of the country and party first. What matters to them is making more and more money at the expense of the nation.

On the contrary, my friend Samura was never like that. He was as they say in America, the “Real McCoy.” Samura was unassuming, gentlemanly, culturally astute, and an unpaid foot soldier for the APC. Besides, Samura was always ready to convince you of the correctness of his pro APC arguments, even though some points he advanced were often not clearly explicated or logically ordered .When confronted on that, Samura is quick to smile and admit he is wrong, but his support for the party remained unshakable. Beleaguered with health issues and unable to work, this honorable and loyal man would sacrifice his time, limited resources— and yes sometimes his health, for the sake of his beloved Sierra Leone and the APC. We all have friends, some constantly change on us, only a precious few stay with us to the end; and that is the kind of friend Samura was to the APC.

At his funeral, some speakers wondered what the party Samura had faithfully defended for so long intended to do in his honor. Others asked why the party hierarchy in the U.S. and in Sierra Leone was not more visible at helping out or participating at his funeral arrangements. While Samura is no longer with us, it should be noted that true friends do not casually discard each other. As America’s famous civil rights leader and Nobel Peace prize winner Martin Luther King Jr., once stated, “in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Perhaps, some belated acknowledgement of Samura’s contributions from party he faithfully served and defended is in order.

Photo: Dr. Hassan Sisay.