From the Editor’s Keyboard

Sierra Leone: Learning from the past

By  | 3 September 2016 at 01:31 | 3497 views

After a brutal civil war that took thousands of lives and maimed both physically and psychologically thousands more, it looks like most Sierra Leoneans have learnt nothing from their History, if we go by what has been happening in that country since the end of the war in 2002.

We still have politicians of different political persuasions inciting and manipulating young people into acts of extreme moral depravity and violence including massive looting, murder and arson.

We still have people writing inflammatory articles in newspapers and magazines and invoking Armageddon on radio and television; usually fat and well fed people calling on the starving semi-educated and their illiterate brethren to rise up against the state, to create anarchy and put in place a season of anomie. Just like in the past.

We have politicians in and out of the country and so-called civil society barons threatening to call out the masses (mostly unemployed and sub-literate young people) into the streets to "fight for their rights" and to resist the police or even the army if necessary. By all means necessary. Just like in the past.

Haven’t we learnt anything from the past?

It’s okay to fight for our rights. It’s okay to demand good governance and true democracy. But we have to know how to go about it. How about:

- Finding solutions for the high unemployment in the country?

- Joining and supporting the government to make sure that all goods and services in the country are paid for in the local currency, the Leone?

- Investing in Agriculture (not only looking up to foreigners to do it for us) so that we Sierra Leoneans are once again producing the food we eat and not importing it or depending on foreigners to feed us. Hunger should be kicked out of the country because a hungry man (young or old) is an angry man. Sierra Leoneans should never be hungry because God gave us beautiful land and lots of water to grow our own food.

- Investing in solar technology to make sure every town and village in the country has electricity like most countries in the world today. This is the 21st century, remember?

These are some of the things we as a people should be doing rather than sitting on our hands waiting for the government to do everything for us and blaming the said government for every little mishap.

It’s better to help find solutions for our huge number of problems rather than inciting young men and women to jump into the streets to confront armed policemen and soldiers.

Please read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on our civil war below as a reminder on how not to do things in our country. It’s a cautionary tale not just for the government but everybody else including young people.