Salone News

NDA struggles for national identity

1 June 2007 at 22:45 | 285 views

By Alpha Jalloh.

Like northerners in Ivory Coast or Tutsis in Rwanda or Bayamulange in DR Congo or Tuaregs in Mali or Blacks in Mauritania , Fullahs have never been recognised as citizens of Sierra Leone, but the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) leader Alhaji Mohamed Boye Jalloh says those days are over.

The NDA is a mainly Fullah dominated but he insists that it aims not only to assert the right of Fullahs to their citizenship in Sierra Leone but to strive for an ideal state for all Sierra Leoneans.

The party held its national convention at the end of May and Alhaji Mohamed Boye Jalloh was re-elecetd as its leader. The party contested in 1996 and 2002 but did not gain any seat. Alhaji Jalloh says he is confident this time even “if the party does not win the presidency, it will gain some seats”.

The party is drawing support mainly from teachers and students. The leader had been a teacher before he entered the diplomatic service during the reign of Siaka Stevens in the eighties.

Among the leading parties in the country, the National Democratic Alliance is the only one that has come out with a philosophical approach towards political predicaments in the country.

The NDA is a utilitarian party. It says it aims to bring the Hegelian philosophy into reality in the coastal West African country. It aims at providing greater good and benefits for the greatest number. It is a party that believes that happiness must be manifested by the human being and that the individual cannot be detached from the social good. Therefore if greater benefit is brought to the nation, then the individual will benefit from it. And the type of development that would be brought is one that would be appreciated by individuals and thus the whole nation will appreciate it. NDA says if the individual and the nation as a whole appreciate what they aim to bring, they know that the appreciation will be manifested in their conduct.

The NDA believes that the only way to transform Sierra Leone in a speedy way is through industrialisation and opening the doors to business investors. “With such an approach we aim to transform Sierra Leone to become the ‘Singapore of Africa”, says Issa Bah.

He adds that majority of those at the forefront of the party are business minded people and therefore know what is good for the economic growth of Sierra Leone. They believe that through such an approach mass unemployment will be reduced and then poverty will be minimised together with the related phenomena. It is a realistic approach, which many politicians have never adopted, he said.

The party believes in pragmatism as political predicaments can only be realistically handled through pragmatic approaches.Issa Bah says the NDA’s policies are structured so as to improve the country’s financial standing and make it compatible with global standards.

It is a sure way of making it achieve the Millennium Development Goals and be abreast with cotemporary trends in the global community and the globalisation process. In addition the party stands for probity, accountability and enforcement of law and order.

NDA has been running for elctions since 1996. among its core supporters are teachers and students. Teachers are currently the poorest paid in the country and high cost of education has made it more of a privilege than a righ. It has deprived poor rural people from sendingt their children to school especially at college level.

The National Democratic Alliance is a contender for the forthcoming July 2007 elections and is now coming into the race with renewed vigour. The party has been contesting over the years and had been a force to reckon with. This time round it is coming with new strategies and widening its support base. The NDA is headed by Alhaji M. B. Jalloh a prominent Sierra Leonean and a one -time public servant. He is a man who adopts a humble approach in politics making him a grass root politician.

The NDA contested in the 1996 elections. Issa Bah is the Public Relations Officer of the NDA. He says, “The NDA has satisfied registration requirements, making it eligible to take part in the political race.”

Alhaji Mohamed Boye Jalloh the NDA presidential candidate has been in politics for the past 25 years. In 1982 he became Sierra Leone’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. He has also worked for the UNDP were he acquired a wealth of experience in human development. He has been a board member of many schools in the country. He has been a chairman of the Scholarship Committee and was a former principal of Mathora Girls Secondary School at Magburaka in the north east of the country. He has had wide support in the Diaspora where presently Sierra Leoneans are amassing funds to support his campaign.

The youths form 70% of the population of Sierra Leone, an indication that Sierra Leone has a growing population. But they are mostly unemployed which indicates a bleak future for the country. The NDA has been putting together realistic policies to make them self- employed and it has gained NDA immense support among the youths.

The illiteracy rate in the country is still high. It is currently 65 % which means only 35 % of the population are literate. NDA believes that one way to improve education is a timely payment of teachers and providing better conditions of service for them.

The NDA aims to boost economic growth in the country. Sierra Leone has vast potentials for business which must be exploited to benefit the nation. NDA believes that the business sector should be encouraged and motivated so as to boost commerce and trade in the country.

NDA dreams of a nation that abides by the rule of law and aims to make the youths self reliant. The aim is to see a society in which each and everyone respects the other.
NDA says all those who aim to see a better Sierra Leone and a pragmatic approach in settling the country’s problems should join it. The party believes now is the ideal opportunity for Sierra Leoneans to put side sentiments and embrace realism.