I took a trip up Leicester Peak yesterday. I was there to marvel at and pray over Freetown, as we are presently in a state of uncertainty. The people have lost confidence in public leadership. Like shepherd less cattle, they wander through a dearth of transparent, credible and accountable leadership. Their expectations of and hopes for a promised New Direction have been dashed. We have lost the war on corruption, financial leakages, indiscipline and lawlessness.
For the past three years, government have tabled and continue to present plans and actions to the people designed to limit, control and punish them. Critically, they aim to quiet the people who can advocate for the public, with ministers and police officers given magisterial powers. Trust in public leadership is at an all-time low, with the people perceiving the police, Parliament and the Office of the President as the most, second and third most corrupt institutions in the country. Such designations by the public of our leaders should be a cause for concern.
By failing to make the grade on key campaign promises, the New Direction government toyed with the people’s heartfelt governance wishes by telling them what they wanted to hear, but doing exactly as premeditated. The people are struggling under the yoke of violence, fear and intimidation by a government of supposed intellectuals who show gross disregard for due process. The people are living in a virtual state of insecurity, with heavily armed men parading the streets of Freetown during peace time. The security of the state is daily under threat from reports of police using disproportionate force on innocent and armless civilians, with those responsible for the killings at Tombo, Lunsar, Makeni and Pademba Road Prison still on the loose. By repeatedly failing to speak out against corruption and violence by its partisans when they happen and for tabling bad laws, this government is condoning the very same things it supposedly came to remedy.
There is an overreliance on donor funding for which plans are accordingly tailored for their immediate rewards or gains, without consideration for their long term benefits or effects. We are seeing the dominance of the human resource base of this government by one tribe, and the duplicity of roles in the governance space for which the wage bill is being stretched beyond our capacity to foot the bill. There is no unity among our leaders, as the opposition is being stifled by a Parliament whose leadership was forced on the people, and is quickly losing its independence under our tripartite system of government.
The shepherd-less people are in desperate need of a leader to remedy the current situation. We need leadership that does not only keep its word, but listens to the people by designing plans and actions in their interest. We are in urgent need of a leader that is not tainted by the spirit of corruption under whose spell our currently leadership class finds itself. We need a leader who is equally at home with the grassroots as well as the high and mighty. There is such a leader in Sierra Leone.
Chief Alhaji Sahr Sam Sumana is that leader. Having had the privilege of a front row seat in the planning and execution of plans and actions of the most successfully ran government in the history of Sierra Leone under Ernest Bai Koroma, Chief Sam Sumana presents the only credible alternative to not only President Bio but the entire leadership class of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC). He is the only APC leader SLPP strategists are currently losing sleep over. The SLPP has no dirt on Sam Sumana, nothing they can accuse him of that can discredit him. His public leadership record is impeccable, as his successes away from the party when he was unceremoniously manoeuvred out of the APC by the tribal cabal are there for all to see. Sam Sumana has and knows what it takes to win elections.
Sam Sumana is an advocate of working with the people for a successful Sierra Leone, defined by his campaign slogan, ‘Together We Can’. The time has come for a unified opposition under the leadership of Chief Sam Sumana and his team to be given the helm to steer our national development in a win win direction. Those that have tried and failed cannot command the respect and vote of the public that see them in the same light as the current New Direction government. This champion of continuity in national development is the only hope we have of change in the governance space that can reclaim the lost trust and respect for public leadership that continue to define the people’s relationship with leaders in Sierra Leone.