By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)
I’m wondering. I’m just wondering what the signature tune of the naysayers will be now. Now that some pretty flowers are sprouting out in the midst of the metaphorical squalor.
The naysayers could still wishful-think of their imminent apocalyptic ‘economic meltdown’ of the Sierra Leone economy; they could wish for a ‘regime change’ in their dreams (‘regime change’ cannot happen to the ruling All People’s Congress’s government because the APC has the numbers which cannot make it to be outvoted in any poll); they could wish that the proposed Mamamah Airport never comes to fruition, and they could dream countless dreams in which the APC government is being embroiled in several ugly messes. But what the naysayers cannot dream of or wishful-think of is the reality.
And that reality is: Positive things had happened; are happening, and will continue to happen to Sierra Leone under the watchful watch of the Koroma-led government. So let the naysayers pretend that the Koroma-led administration is not pursuing programmes to restore electricity to all district headquarter towns through thermal and mini-hydro technologies; they can also feign ignorance that the APC-led government of President Koroma is not rehabilitating some roads and reconstructing others with the aim of connecting villages to the towns and the towns to the cities; they can even dream and wishful-think that the current Justice Sector Strategy and Investment Plans (JSRSIP III) doesn’t have the goal of making justice accessible, efficient, fair and affordable in Sierra Leone. But the point is: There are positive things happening in, and to, Sierra Leone at present. What about the commissioning of electricity to Magburaka town last Sunday after 30 years without electricity? Is this not a positive thing and a sign of more positive things to come?
And now the news that has shocked the naysayers; that has confused them in their confusion; that is now giving them sleepless nights in their troubled nights, and the news that is sounding like a dirge in their ears, is the home truth given by a delegation from the United Nations Peace Building Commission (UNPBC) which was on a two-day visit to Sierra Leone recently. After meeting and having consultations with political parties, Civil Society, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and the National Electoral Commission NEC); the UNPBC team concluded that the 2015 Housing and Population Census was “fair and credible”.
And that’s not all. The naysayers were informed by Mr Macharia Kamau, the team leader of the UNPBC delegation, that, “We come away feeling that this country is on the right path; this country is not where it was ten years ago. Something fundamentally different has happened; this country has experienced great transformation”. Mr Kamau further emphasized that under the leadership of President Koroma, “the people have found their voice and developed self-belief which is something that comes only with strong leadership”. These are commendations which the naysayers do not like to hear. But I will come to that in a jiffy.
And what about the news proclaimed by the 2015 report by the Global Peace Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace that Sierra Leone has beaten Ghana to become the most peaceful country in West Africa? But whenever there are isolated incidences of lawlessness, the naysayers magnify them to paint Sierra Leone as a jungled country. There might be Okada riders’ brushes with law and order; there might be isolated alleged raped and killing incidences at the Lumley Beach; there might be rare “cliques” and gangs clashes here and there; there might be few recorded incidences of football hooliganisms (even in Britain football hooliganisms are commonplace!), and even the perpetual fisticuffs and mammy-cussing amongst supporters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) nationwide. But the overall Report Card of Sierra Leone, under the watchful watch of the Koroma-led government, is that: Sierra Leone is one of the most peaceful countries in the entire world!
If that assessment had come from President Ernest Bai Koroma himself; the naysayers would have accused him of playing politics. If it had come from yours truly One Drop; they would have accused me of being One Dropian because I’m an unrepentant Koromaist. Even if it has come from one of the countless flagbearer aspirants of the SLPP; he would have been accused by his fellow power-thirsty aspirants of taking a bribe from the ruling APC to have said so. But were the data analysts at the Institute for Economics and Peace bribed to come to the conclusion that Sierra Leone is one of the most peaceful countries in the world?
And coming back to the home truth given by the UNPBC that the 2015 Housing and Population Census provisional results were “fair and credible”. For the naysayers, such statement seems heretical when juxtaposed with their fallacious belief that the 2015 Census provisional results were doctored. I can understand the muffled fear by SLPP operatives of being re-thrown into the political wilderness for the next twenty-something-years after the next General Elections. But the fact is: The 2015 Census was the most comprehensive data collection exercise ever undertaken in Sierra Leone’s history since Independence. Because the one done by the SLPP, when they were politically “play-cooking” while in power for eleven years, was sexed-up.
That is why I’m still not surprised that after the UNPBC’s fair and independent comments on the 2015 Census provisional results, SLPP operatives are still screaming green murder (I’m only One Drop-nizing the English idiom of “Blue Murder” here). They are still trying to bring down the heavens with their usual “bonga liba” (please pardon my colloquial Krio) of non-cooperation with all state institutions including themselves.
For the naysayers, everything in Sierra Leone is bleak. But the 2015 report by the Global Peace Index of the Institute for Economics and Peace, and the commendations from the delegation from the United Nations Peace Building Commission (UNPBC) are telling the naysayers that even in their predicted bleakness of Sierra Leone; there are glimmers of hope—after all. So by bad-mouthing or bad-writing (is this a One Dropian dropped word?) Sierra Leone, it means the naysayers are bad-mouthing or bad-writing themselves and their families.