Between a Lame Opposition And a Desperate Government, The Way Forward For Mama Salone
As the political momentum in Sierra Leone heightens amidst pending Local Government Elections, supposedly, this year, 2022 and Presidential and Parliamentary Elections next year, 2023, the vast majority of seriously minded citizens of these country are still pondering about choice of the right options between a lamed duck opposition and a desperate government that is campaigning for a second term.
To the average Sierra Leonean mentality, elections in this country is certainly a contest between the ruling SLPP and the APC. That is to say the idea of a new political front emerging victorious in an elections in this country is far fetched. Indeed events over the years, especially after independence have given credence to this assumption.
The United Democratic Party of Mohamed Sorie Fornah and others formed to contest the elections in 1973 was brutally crushed with the core of its members executed on a treason count.
Others that later emerged never gained sufficient grounds and support and gradually lost momentum. That is the story behind parties like, UNPP, PDP, PMDC, RUFP and most recently C4C, NGC.
These parties are worth mentioning for the very fact that they are, at least, able to win seats in our national legislature. In contrast to the failure of political parties to effectively challenge the two political giants, independent candidates emerged victorious especially in the 2012 and 2018 elections.
The victory of independent candidates, especially in the Southeast is an expression of disenchantment of the voters against the two dominant parties. It is an indication of the expression a desired change at constituency level that need to be replicated at the national front.
So far that level of leadership provided by independent candidates in their respective constituencies is visibly unavailable at the national level.
Over the years, the politics of the country has been inundated with the emergence of splinter political parties that are often a breakaway factions of either the APC and SLPP.
They are parties borne out of power struggle for leadership in their former parties and could not therefore acquire lasting support from the rank an file of populace. They can best be described as “ birds of the same feathers”.
There is therefore no gain in saying that the political leadership of Sierra Leone needs a change of direction. A shift from the old political allegiance that is characterized by a contest of personalities, tribes and regions to a national allegiance that will be completely devoid of the bench marks of these parties. In this quest there is certainly no place for the SLPP, APC and the rest of the splinter parties in the current political dispensation.
It is a simple reasoning that anything that cannot work after more than half a century will definitely not work in five or ten years time. It is this same politicians who, for their personal egos, moved us from multi-party system to a one- party system.
After suiting their convenience, they reintroduced multi-party system following a brutal war that took the lives of several innocent and peace loving Sierra Leoneans.
That is the problem Sierra Leoneans are facing. In other words Sierra Leone cannot progress within the structural framework of these political parties. This is due to the fact that the elements that constitute these parties do not have the country at heart.
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They have been recycling themselves at from one political enclave to the other the expense of the masses. They are a criminal elite that have been ravaging the finances of this country since 1961. You find them in both the APC and the SLPP and disgruntled among them regroup to form splinter political parties to compound the problem of choice for the electorates thereby providing comfortable victory for either APC or the SLPP, at any given elections.
Once one of them regains power they share the loots with their opponents who will remain silent until elections time. This explains the reason for the passing of executive policies in parliament with ease and why parliament in this country has not been up to the task over the years.
The walk-outs, boycotts and abstention by the opposition are all used to give a leeway to the ruling party to do it’s ways in it’s own style. Things that the other party used to criticise in parliament serving as an opposition become the routine as soon as that party takes over governance. The issue of amending the current constitution of this country is a very good example.
The consequences for these all is pointing to the fact that the masses continue to suffer as the criminal political elite and their families continue to live in affluence. Until this political elite is completely sidelined, people in this country will continue to suffer.
Until Sierra Leoneans begin to consider themselves equal to one another and garner love for each other, we will continue to kill one another in an atmosphere of hate and envy. Until public institutions in this country, notably, the courts, the police, execute their duties without fear or favour, the people will continue to complain and agitate for their freedoms.
Until we reposition ourselves in this political dispensation that is dominated and regulated by the existing political elite, clandestinely operating a policy of divide and rule, the worst is yet to happen in Mama Salone.
In all these we have to move forward as a nation. That is what has been missing in all these decades. The political elite have made us to believe that we are better as a tribe than as a nation. We even identify ourselves by our regions as if Sierra Leone is a Federal State.
For the survival of this nation we should discard these negative mentality that was nurtured to us by these political cabals. These ideas only work to maintain them and their political parties in power while the rest of the masses continue to live in abject poverty.
As the country continue to disintegrate, royalty becomes the order of the day and development of private individuals overtakes that of private institutions. As the state continues to get poorer and poorer private individuals are becoming richer and richer.
This has happened and will continue to happen because we have lost our love for this country and love for one another. This is all the more reason we need to readjust our political values for the progress of this country. We have been seriously exploited by these politicians over the years and we must now make a turnaround.
A shift from the old politics of personalities, regions, tribes to a refined and forward looking politics of the country for the purpose of national cohesion and social and economic development. It is indeed a big challenge but can certainly be overcome with the advent of a new breed of political elite.
Let us all work together for the attainment of this desired goal as we progress towards the next local government and the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. Let me say this once more, the existing political elite, that has been ruling this country from 1961 to date, have failed this nation woefully and certainly, the people cannot continue to bestow their trust in them any longer.