Sierra Leone under Security Threat now than ever before
A friend of mine, Nicolas Matatu of the International IDEA once told me that “societies that fought civil war are not likely to go into another war after a period of ten (10) years.” I do believe that. So I am firmly of the support that never again will Sierra Leone fight a bloody civil war.
However, one of the very few mushrooming redress to injustice in societies of recent years are ones we never take into consideration.
The issue of “insurgency” and “terrorist” attacks has ravaged more societies that actual wars can, with most of the bastion revolves around unfair decisions, police brutality, unconstitutional decisions, troubles judiciary and arrogant presidency.
Unlike most societies, my research has revealed, that Sierra Leone is the very first in the world’s community of nation where a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was systematically setup together with a Special Court. The quest to justice after our bloody decade long civil war was done in a two prong approach- the war crimes approach and the reconciliatory approach. Sadly no country has ever used these two approaches. In their clamor for justice, they either chose the reconciliatory approach (as in South Africa after the Apartheid) or the War Crimes Approach (as in International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda after the genocide of 1994).
In our Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report, several factors were highlighted as leading causes of our bloody civil war. Key amongst them are: the issues of tribalism, unfair decision of the Judiciary, politicization of state institutions by the presidency, police brutality, unfair elections amongst many others. However, one don’t need to think a afar to know that all of these factors have been perpetrated in less that eighteen (18) months since President Julius Maada Bio took over as president of this country.
Like I have always stated in all my previous commentaries, Bio has taken over as President of Sierra Leone as a very youngman with all the bright ideas, zest and zeal. Bio has inherited a peaceful and extremely religious tolerant nation. This gives him a very good platform to showcase his ideas and deliver on his manifesto by attracting the very best of investments to a very peaceful nation.
Sadly, however, as if the peace he inherited from Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is not enough for him, Bio has also been a President whose every move has been a cause for alarm. From using the Judiciary to impose a Speaker on the majority party in the House of Parliament; to summarily sacking all politically appointed diplomats through an Executive Order without their complete repatriation costs; then to dissolving all Boards of Parastatals in a single day; with addition to also preside over a government that has manifested blatant disregard for the Rule of Law and the protection of fundamental human rights by letting 9 elected opposition MPs maliciously lose their seats through a troubled judiciary.
Meanwhile, just last Sunday during the Leone Start football match with Lone Stars of Liberia, two (2) female journalists were beaten mercilessly by persons believed to be Presidential guards. Until now, nothing has been heard from the government.
On issue of tribalism, President Bio is the President who made a total of fourteen (14) appointments in a single night with almost all of them being Southeasterners.
In all of these, the police have also not been helping at all. It is like the police under the stewardship of Richard Moigbe have been reduced into a terrorist group which is used to perpetrate force against persons it is supposed to protect. From forcefully ejecting elected MPs from the well of parliament, to killing a innocent man in Mile 91over Marijuana raid, to also laid siege at the opposition APC headquarters where teargas canister were constantly launched into the building, to also using excessive force against poor students in NJALA UNIVERSITY. The instances are countless. Yet here we have a police that cannot issue a single arrest for an election that was fraught with day light violence but can arrest opposition supporters on similar incident done.
In all of these, the trust of the commentary is to draw the attention of the Government that just as the TRC stated that one of the reasons for our civil war was because all state institutions failed to dispense justice without biasness thus leaving citizens with the only option of finding redress through taking up arms. We must not be too complacent with our peace. The writings are very clear!! If a Commission of Inquiry judge’s residence could be broken into, if a magistrate’s chambers could be broken into and files catered away with, then we need to read the signs that Sierra Leone is not fully protected. Not even the Police can protect us from internal strife.
Violation of Human Rights, no matter what, need redress. If we believe we could continue to impede on them with impunity, then we stand the risk of losing our peace, as our very citizens will find it in another way- certainly the way that may cause untold mayhem on the lives of the innocent.
Like earlier stated, Bio wants a legacy worthy of him to be remembered. He will not one that will be let us be a divided nation. But many believe in praise-singing him, even when the peace of the nation is on tenterhooks. As always, I will say in the Holy Bible it is stated: Mark: 11:9-10 “Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
However, in Mark 15: 12 -15, it details: “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
For if Christ himself was crucified by the people whom once hailed him, Mr. President should be very assured that after his presidency, retiring with his young wife and kids, the only friends worthy to be boastful of will be his legacy of love, peace and tranquility, and development which he will inject in Sierra Leone and not the current mood of hate, fluid peace, vindictiveness and ultra disregard for procedures and the Rule of Law manifested by him and his henchmen. Change your ways Sir, or less complete instability may plunge your presidency.