From the Editor’s Keyboard

Who are we in Sierra Leone?

15 July 2008 at 21:20 | 482 views

Commentary
By Ahmed Ojulla Bangura, PV Special Correspondent, UK.

The manner in which the inquest of late Alima was done is unsatisfactory and unacceptable in all aspects of life for any patriotic and nationalistic Sierra Leonean.

Justice was totally delayed and denied. The outcome of the inquest demonstrates that our legal and political systems are still under cultural and economic slavery. I would boldy say, the cultural and economic slave masters in Sierra Leone are still the Lebanese and some other foreigners.

Most Lebanese, if not all, look at Sierra Leoneans in particular and Africans in general as ‘lower humans’ who can be abused and dumped without the phrase ‘HUMAN RIGHT and JUSTICE’.

Late Alima is, logically and without any denial, the latest victim of sexual abuse by a Lebanese racist sociopath, who, by virtue of their history of hooliganism in the Middle East and extremism within Islam (Sunni and Shia) and non religious tolerance (Christianity and Jewish) have identified, used and continue to use Sierra Leoneans as ‘sex slaves’ in their ‘sex laboratories’ without dignity and any form of justice.

Unfortunately, when such matters of abuse are reported to the judicial system, the cases become dormant without the requisite attention. Instead, protection is given to Lebanese perpetrators in exchange for a cup of black tea, ovaltine and ‘bulgur’ cake (Kabay). Why should our politicians and judicial system sell us for economic gain? Why should Sierra Leonean perpetrators of similar crimes suffer behind bars whilst Lebanese and other foreign nationals walk freely? What is really wrong with some Africans in this 21st century? What’s wrong with our so-called Attorney Generals and Ministers of Justice?

Lebanese men in particular have not only sexually abused Sierra Leonean teenage girls at will but also collaborated in corrupting our nation with unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans.

For decades, Lebanese business people have shattered the diamond mining industry, hijacked trade and finance, systematically beaten and abused Sierra Leoneans working for them and deliberately failed to provide health and safety measures at their work places. The officials of government departments responsible for looking into the welfare of workers are mostly interested in receiving packages from Lebanese and other employers.

It is becoming unacceptable that the excesses of Lebanese criminals have reached the apex and have to stop now or else they will sooner or later face the wrath of patriotic and concerned Sierra Leoneans. It is the responsibility of the state to protect the lives and property of her citizens. Ironically, our past and present political regimes have protected Lebanese men to exploit the dignity and respect of Sierra Leoneans without being reprimanded.

The chapter of the Lebanese saying that “Sierra Leone and her politicians are in the pocket” is still being written and read on a daily basis. This implies that the Lebanese can do and undo Sierra Leoneans when and how they wish to do it. The simple reason is that some Sierra Leoneans including politicians and judicial officials have sold us for a package of ‘BLACK COFFEE’.

This is an unimaginable shame: something a black guy can not dream of doing in Lebanon is being done in the streets of Sierra Leone by Lebanese individuals almost every day.

Our politicians and judiciary should emancipate themselves from cultural and economic slavery by ignoring the ‘BLACK COFFEE’ and treating our people, the true owners of the land, with the respect and dignity they deserve as humans and first class citizens of our beloved Sierra Leone. Emancipate yourselves from mental, economic and cultural slavery, ladies and gentlemen!

*Ahmed Ojulla Bangura(photo) attended Njala University College (University of Sierra Leone) in 1998 and graduated with a BSc Education (Economics) in 2002 with a dissertation entitled "The effects of Nominal Devaluation in Sierra Leone”.

He attended the University of Bradford in 2003 and graduated in July, 2005 with an MSc in Economic Policy for Developing and Transitional Economies with a project on "The Impact of Economic Regionalism in ECOWAS”.

Thereafter, he developed interest in environmental issues in Sierra Leone and went to the University of Leeds and graduated with an MA in Ecological Economics in 2006 with a project entitled “The socio-economic consequences of Artisanal and Small-Scale diamond mining in Sierra Leone” (Kono district as a case study).

In 2006, Ahmed enrolled at the University of Exeter, UK to pursue a PhD programme in diamond mining and sustainable environment under the supervision of Dr.Stewart Barr.

Ahmed is a proactive and highly motivated individual with skills in mobilizing people and resources for promoting human security and sustainable development. He has worked with community groups and civil society movements in educational, general management and administrative settings (worked at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Freetown) in Sierra Leone.

He has considerable knowledge of Participatory Development Approaches, teaching/training skills (taught for four years at the Government secondary school for Boys, Magburaka in Tonkolili District, Sierra Leone) and experience in problem solving. Like most of the PV team, he is also a devoted Pan-Africanist and radical thinker.

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