John Baimba Sesay
Our resolve as a nation has been tested again. It has often been tested; a decade long civil war that led to the death of thousands of our people; an Ebola outbreak that saw the demise of our beloved ones and just recently, we have been hit by a disastrous mudslide, killing hundreds of people including women and children. Psychologically, we are broken, emotionally, we are shattered. But by our faith, we shall remain strong and be hopeful that with God, we shall rise again for we are a resilient nation. We fought a civil war for a decade, then came a time to put an end to it. We did that, today becoming a global example on issues of peace keeping and building.
That we were able to fight a deadly virus was also demonstrative of our commitment to work collectively as a nation. The Ebola virus snatched away thousands of our beloved compatriots; we mourned, we screamed but eventually came to the conclusion that it was the Will of God and in Him and only Him should we look forward to, for comfort. Our faith is shaken but we should be firmed. Collectively as a country, we have come a long way. With the astute leadership provided by the President and government, we have made progress in a range of sectors. We have rebuilt our infrastructure; we have positioned our image well, globally. Yes, we have been hit by a plethora of challenges but never have we succumbed to such challenges for we have always stood above them.
I visited the mudslide scene together with the country’s Vice President, Ambassador Bockarie Foh, who, just like his (our) Boss the President, was shaken and heartbroken seeing the level of destruction and lives taken by the mudslide. They, like the entire nation, literally are in tears this moment. So far, the President, ably assisted by his Vice, has provided the needed leadership in terms of general government response. This has been another difficult and challenging period for our country’s leadership. But as we saw in the President’s efforts in handling the Ebola outbreak, I am certain, that we shall live up to expectations. At the highest level, there has been effective coordination of responses both in terms of logistical and human resource support.
We may have our differences yes, but we are a nation that can also be united for a common course and purpose. Our national response to the recent mudslide disaster is just one of several pointers to how united we could be. The intervention of our security forces, including the Military, Police, and Fire Force was timely, same with the role played by our youth. And as we go through the psychological trauma and other challenges left by the recent mudslide we should bear in mind that God’s plan for mankind shall never be challenged. It was touching and tough when the President said “we would” as a nation “bury our beloved ones” but that our hopes will not be buried. His words should give us courage that all is not lost. It also encourages us to continue to demonstrate the resilient nature we are known for.
The response especially from countries like the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China and from our African sister nations like Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Liberia, and others has all been commendable and for which we should be grateful. It is, in my view, a show of how our country’s leadership has positioned itself globally over the years. The arrival today, 19th August, of the Ghanaian Vice President has also been in conformity with the African solidarity and a total show of support and a demonstration of brotherhood. This has been impressive. We say thank you all for standing by us during this difficult period in our history.
May the departed souls Rest in Peace. May God continue to direct our country’s leadership during this challenging period! We shall overcome though we are a nation in tears at the moment!