Hon Alpha Khan has taken pains to outline the number of northerners and individuals from other ethnic groups in the Bio administration, indicating that the Bio-led government is an all-inclusive governance entity. This is contrary to the recent tribal bigotry statement made by Samura Kamara in Makeni to first-time voters, identifying Mendes as the only employment beneficiary of the SLPP government. Alpha Khan outlined 30 names who are not Mendes yet hold prominent positions in the Bio-led government.

A popular social media (WhatsApp) blogger indicated that Ahmed Saybom Kanu (photo), a northerner from Tonkolili, was not even on Khan’s list. Consequently, he speculated that such a list could be bloated if compiled thoroughly. Alpha Khan’s list is an excellent rebuttal to those social media extremists peddling tribal bigotry and hate messages against the Mendes and the Bio administration.

However, it is sad that our politics has stagnated at the point of defining individuals and their identities in relation to ethnic groups and regions of origin.

One could have expected that political discourse should now be directed at national development, tied around the performance of individuals as merit to hold public offices. Sad that we are gradually eliminating professionalism and educational background as benchmarks for holding public offices, replacing them with tribe and region.

Sierra Leoneans have good reason to put behind them the experience of war and the kind of violence that took place on 10 August 2022. This is the time for a bright future-oriented vocabulary of social harmony, peace and national cohesion to occupy public space with civility. Polluting public space with older memories of the country’s brutal war past and claims of partisan resentments are entirely misplaced and have no place in a thriving post-war country like Sierra Leone.

I want to propose some reflections upon the price paid during the country’s 11-year brutal civil war in various forms. The unique character of this wartime experience is not befitting our good image as Sierra Leoneans and can distort government investment plans and drive away international investors. To this end, I borrow the words of a reputable FBC lecturer who noted: “way game done, nar for pull vest. After elections, let us pipe down”. A word for the wise is sufficient.