By Abdul Magba Kamara
Wednesday January 25, 2006
The people of Sierra Leone will owe a heavy gratitude to you and the crew of dedicated editorial staffs, writers and contributors of the Online edition of COCORIOKO. Your paper has provided a forum for the discussion of objective and sound intellectual political, economic and social dialogue that is of paramount importance to our beloved mother land.
Like many Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad, I am very concerned about the future of our country. But, unlike many pessimists, I am optimistic about the future of our country. I have great faith in the people of my country, they have shown to the world their resilience and steadfastness by refocusing their energies away from a senseless and misguided bloody civil conflict, to drafting a National Constitution and electing a democratic government.
My heart and soul goes out to each and every of my countryman, especially, those who were courageous enough to stay in the country during those ten to eleven tumultous years. My heart and prayers goes out to the many children who became orphans, and the many mothers and fathers who lost their children and to the many others who will forever remained mammed for the rest of their natural lives. I can’t think of a single family that that was not affected in one way or the other by that senseless and brutal war.
Now, that is all behind us, and I do pray and hope, that something good, comes out of that senseless, brutal and bloody carnage. As a people, we Sierra Leoneans are very future oriented, we do not have the luxury or the time, to reminiscence about the past. It is imperative, that we think only of brigher days ahead.
I, firmly believe that each one of us, is aspiring to for a stable, peaceful and democratic Sierra Leone. A Sierra Leone, that is economically vibrant, peaceful, strong and at peace with its neighbors. Each one of us has a moral responsibility to make sure, that our beloved country is politically stable, and and frre from foreign economic dependency.
We as people have a right, not to allow Sierra Leone to be a failed state. We should make it our moral duty, to make sure that each and every one of us, contribute in our own small way to the best of our God given abilities, to make sure that our great nation is back on its feet.
Those of our countrymen living abroad and at home, with the financial resources, should endeavor to invest some of their dollars, pound sterlings and euros, at home to help kick start the economy instead of waiting for the Americans and the Europeans to bear the burden.
If we are waiting for foreign investors to jump start our economy, then, my fellow countrymen, we have a long wait ahead of us. We just have to do it ourselves, we should not expect foreign investors to bear the economic burden alone, the price is too great for that type of gamble.
Our National Constitution has guaranteed to us as citizens of the Republic of Sierra Leone, many rights. To each and every Sierra Leonean, the National Constitution has guaranteed security and maximum welfare and freedom of equality of opportunity. To each and every Sierra Leonean, the National Constitution has guaranteed the right to free compulsory basic education; the right and freedom to publish what we want to publish and the freedom to say whatever we want to say in the form of both spoken and written speech; the right to petition our government for redress; and numerous other rights have been guaranteed by the National constitution. But of paramount importance of all rights, is the right to elect those whom we want to represent us in parliament.
But with these numerous rights comes obligations, that we as citizens are expected to fulfill. It is the obligation and paramount duty of each and every Sierra Leoneans to make sure those rights which are guaranteed by our National Constitution are protected. The most sacred of those rights, that we as citizens of Sierra Leone has, is the right to choose whom we think will represent our common interest.
We have a right to reward those in parliament who have done the job we the people of the different constituencies have sent them to Freetown to do by re-electing them to another term in parliament, regardless of what our personal feelings against them are. As long as they have done what we sent them to Freetown to do.
With the same token, we the people, have the right to punish them for doing a poor job in Freetown by not giving them our vote. The right to reward, those candidates that have done the peoples work that they were elected to parliament to do, and the right to punish those who failed in their duty to faithfully represent all of us, is a very sacred right, and must be guarded from being corrupted by greedy and selfish politicians.
The days of factional sentiments are over, it’s a new political awareness. Those politicians that are not equal to the task at hand should not be rewarded, they should be punished by not voting for them. Your sacred right to vote should be guarded for your children, childrens sake. To make Sierra Leone a better place that your childrens, childrens will be proud to call home.
Our conscience and the common good of the nation should be our guarding moral principle, but our tribal, factional of party affiliation. Guard your sacred right to choose those who will secure a better future for you and your children, childrens’ you. God Bless the People of Sierra Leone.