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Page added on February 23, 2012

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Democracy by force?

Democracy by force? thumbnail

Having read a nice book by Dr. Abass Bundu with the title “Democracy By Force”, one would have thought, this nice author would have been a custodian of Peace and Conflict Consultant in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and even Nigeria where evil seems to be winning the war over good. But alas, politics has a way of dealing with some people.  My piece is really not a critique on the book mentioned above but on a subject that gripped Sierra Leoneans in recent times.

Do you know what  Bingu wa Mutharika did to a British Ambassador to Malawi in 2011?  In 2011, the wikileaks cable revealed that the British Ambassador had written nasty and unfounded report about the Malawian President and his government’s handling of corruption cases in the country. The ambassador did not only observe his duties in the country but started meddling into the internal affairs of Malawian politics. Amidst protestations and threat of sanctions from the British government, the ambassador was kicked out of Malawi.

Do you know what the newest state in Africa (South Sudan) did to the Head of South Sudan’s biggest oil company? The Head of the Oil company was asked to leave the country in 48 hours, on the basis that he knew of the South’s oil being stolen by the Khartoum government and fail to inform the appropriate authorities in Juba. These two analogies brings me to the recent hullabaloo about the (sacking, persona non grata, expulsion?) of the United Nation’s Special Representative to Sierra Leone, Michael Schulenberg.

My utter disgust at the All People’s Congress party is the recent rebuttal of the government’s press release indicating that the government did not ask for his withdrawal. What is wrong if the government had even asked for his withdrawal? Will the United Nations stop funding Sierra Leone? Is the government of President not empowered by the constitution to ask for the withdrawal of any person not working in the interest of the country? Why should the government even embark on petty politics of issuing bundles of press releases? Did the sky fall down when former Head of State, Valentine Strasser expel the German Ambassador, Karl Prince  from Sierra Leone?  Do some people know how many times Ethiopia has asked certain countries to recall their diplomatic representatives, especially when such representatives are accused of double politics?  Do some people know that the country is bigger than any individual? (bo wuma lef me ya, bikos nar white man?) Whether President Koroma wrote or asked for his withdrawal, it was a wise decision taken in the interest of the country.

The legacy of colonialism should now be a thing of the past. The onerous responsibility of the All People’s Congress government is to the people of Sierra Leone and not to an individual.  Assuming that the APC asked for his withdrawal, is it not a nice way of informing any diplomat accredited to the country to treat Sierra Leoneans with respect and dignity. Nobody will ever hold the country to ransom anymore. It is a nice way of informing those who may want to cause havoc in Sierra Leone that the law is supreme and no one is above the law.  I can understand when media outlets like the BBC and other press agencies become an unsuspecting accomplice in filing such reports with false alarms. Rumors are central to the propaganda machinery in all volatile settings and the accusations and counter-accusations will not benefit the people of Sierra Leone.

My genuine advice to the APC government is to serve the people of Sierra Leone and not to pay lip service to any individual who is on the pay roll of our taxes at the United Nations. The constitution mandates the President of the republic to take any necessary actions in the interest of the country and its people. The people of Sierra Leone are resilient and Insha Allah, things will be brighter.

May God bless Sierra Leone and its people.

By Ibrahim Sourie Mansaray, Philadelphia, USA

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