Everyone is crying out for peace in Sierra Leone, but no one is crying out for social justice and equity, which is fundamental for creating and maintaining peace. Crying out for peace, when that peace is based on your neighbours oppression will not bear good fruits or lead to a healthy progressive peaceful society.

Telling people to move on after an incident without healing is simply telling them to accept wrongful acts in society and normalizing those behaviors. In Sierra Leone, from Independence, war, Ebola, Landslide to our present debacle, we seem to normalize wrongful acts with “how for do, nah for biya” mentality. In effect, at each time we have an opportunity to make things right, nothing is done, we move on without addressing the problem or root cause analysis, no deep healing occurs, and lessons remain unlearnt. Hence, we keep developing a society with deep wounds and emotional mental scars or trauma with no support, healing mechanisms or therapy in place. We simply left to cope with the mental or psychological trauma of our social ills, with substance abuse becoming a favorite mechanism for a large segment of society.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Unfortunately, our Sierra Leonean society is now one of too many compromised people and no statesmen or institutions serving as moral guarantors. When we do the right things with integrity, fairness and transparency, peace will be assured at all times in your society.

As the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) post-war found injustices, human rights abuses, greed, corruption, bad governance, lack of accountability and transparency, and leadership failures as the roots of the war. We must never forget the things that led us to years of brutal war. The lessons of the war must serve as our daily reminder to work assiduously towards developing a thriving, socially just, and equitable Sierra Leone. Upholding the truth, fairness, integrity and transparency at all times, thus matters.

Alhaji Umar N’jai is a PhD Senior Scientist, Associate Professor, Panafrican Scholar, Founder & Chief Strategist of Project 1808, Inc., and Freelance writer ‘Roaming in the Mountains of Kabala Republic’. #Jata #Meejoh #ThePeoplesScientist