Do we need to wait, or stand with folded hands to see the country go down the drains before complaining? Are the political actors unresponsive to the cry of the misery masses? Is the political scenery dominated by perfidious citizens? Is it the new form of political crusade, to explain political supremacy or a political mock session?
The aforesaid questions are demanding answers. After several years of slavery and colonialism, respectively, Sierra Leoneans realized the need to independently exist as a free nation. They saw the need for greater freedom, protested against colonial bullies and misrule, demanded for political autonomy to live as an independent nation, with everyone enjoying a share of the national cake through hard work, time and dedication.
Sierra Leoneans are like the colonial masters who have the same organs irrigated by the same blood. It was time for realization of the Sierra Leoneans ‘ vision that, the black colour of the skin does not represent intellectual deficiency, neither an impediment to self-government, but the capability to withstand difficult situations on the journey to freedom with the aim at utilizing the nation’s endowment for the benefit of every Sierra Leonean. The continuous protest embarrassed the colonial masters, and they were left with no alternative but to grant the protesters’ request for a greater political freedom to decide the destiny of their great nation.
The “Baa baa black sheep, the pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been, Humpty dumpty sat on the wall” were no longer required in the dogmatic intellectual engagement in the tune of colonial prescriptions, which were devoid of reasoning to stimulate rational thinking. The design of a new curriculum was equally important to address the educational needs of the country than to rely on the colonial prescription.
Independence was pronounced on the 27th April, 1961, and in actuality, not granted on the provision of economic freedom! In the cloak of excitement to celebrate freedom, ignorance instead, on the tangible meaning of independence, became the chief celebrant of the occasion. The nation became so excited, failing to realize that a lot to be addressed to maintain the totality of freedom. The freedom we obtained, the unity we discarded and the justice we continue to wait.
The hands have been freed from the shackles of colonialism, leaving the minds on chain with the colonial masters dictating the socio-economic pace of our great Sierra Leone. The nation never tried to understand what independence is all about. The Unity, Freedom and Justice were denied to the very citizens of this nation when Siaka Stevens, Wallace Johnson and others were arrested and spent their independence at the Pa Demba Road Prison. From the very first day of independence, Sierra Leoneans were denied the unity, the freedom and justice.
With an apparent chameleon display, neo colonialism became the modus operandi of the colonialists to consolidate further exploitation. Development packages became the bait to hook the drowning nation on the policy of give and take, making it more subjective to the rhythm of neo-colonialist injunctions.
Government is not a money making enterprise, but operates in a cost recovery beliefs to address poverty alleviation. Before independence Sierra Leone was the bread basket to support colonial rule in Ghana, Nigeria and Gambia. Today, after independence, the nation is struggling to address its socio-economic issues but to rely on the international community.
Neo-colonialist agencies, like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bank of Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) African Development Bank (ADB), are partly responsible for the economic dreadfulness of our nation. Their conditionality to assist the drowning nation does not address the issue of poverty but with the propensity to elevate poverty.
You cannot rescue a starving family of five in the clutches of poverty by the recommendation to kill three in order to receive assistance for the two. Is that poverty alleviation? This is exactly one of the policies of the IMF. It is the recommendation of the IMF, to the government, to remove subsidies from petroleum products and rice, leaving poverty at the mercy of those that cannot afford the cost.
The negative effect of removing the subsidies, on the items, is nothing but a calculated effort to uplift poverty, backwardness and misery on the suffering masses. The IMF and World Bank policies are more subjective, making them the last resort for resuscitation from the economic suffocation of a nation like Sierra Leone.
In principle, Sierra Leone is an independent nation. But how far our political actors have gone to utilize the opportunity to actualize the meaning of independence? Our political actors continue to fight to gain supremacy at the detriment of the nation.
Two traditional parties, the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), have dominated the political landscape since independence in the political musical chair contest. But alas! The nation remains backward because we are backward? We must stop the backwardness now! The need to fight to develop our nation should be the determination of our politicians. We are tired of the political battle and we want to see development in every corner of the society.
Political party issues are considered more important than state issues. The prolonging battles, between the two political giants the APC and the SLPP, must stop now. The fight between the two political goliaths has subjected the nation to the plight of economic asphyxiation, as the concentration is mainly focused on how to utilize opportunities to hold on to power at the impairment of the nation.
The unity, freedom and justice accentuate the independence of our great nation. We need these three elements if we were to make an edge in our development aspiration.
To our darling politicians, it is good to stop the fight and work for the development of the nation.