By Alimamy Issa Kamara
In his wayward journey to democracy, Julius Maada proudly wears coupmaking on his sleeve like a Scarlet Letter, rather than express remorse for committing Treason. He is akin to Chester, a character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel, The Scarlet Letter, who was publicly shamed for having committed adultery. She stitched a large scarlet A onto her dress with gold thread, giving the letter an air of elegance and worn with pride.
A veteran of military dictatorship is not the quintessence of a democratic way of life. Now in Murfti, Julius Maada Bio has been volubly subscribing to democracy and pluralism while occasionally boasting that he is proud of having committed Treason. This epiphany – the sudden conversion from military dictatorship to the suchness of delighting in democracy is akin to the Biblical injunction that we beware of wolf in sheep’s clothing: – the figurative for a dangerous person pretending to be harmless. As Jesus our Lord himself said it,
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves ” (Matthew 7:15).
The glib tongued addresses of Julius Maada Bio, at home and abroad, that he is a democrat, further reminds us about another reference to Maada Bio’s current deception that he subscribes to democracy. For we have heard it said that
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” —2nd Corinthians 11:13-15
Julius Maada Bio has seemingly transformed himself into a democrat or is it a demagogue? It is clear, that he is a garden-variety wolf in disguise as he regales his fawning followers that there is “deficit in Democracy” in Sierra Leone under President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. The character of a Democrat, Maada Bio has none.
So, Julius Maada Bio has been regaling Sierra Leoneans too many times that he is the father of democracy on the tenuous grounds of grudgingly handing power to a democratically elected civilian government after been goaded by public sentiment for the military to return to the barracks.
In a restrospective of the NPRC regime among other West African military regimes, Professor Jimmy D. Kandeh at Richmond University has prepared us for a review of the NPRC record of failures and the denuded claim that Julius Maada Bio is the father of democracy in Sierra Leone because he handed power to civilians. Prof Kandeh has written in a widely read journal article stating that:
“Many reasons can be adduced for the NPRC’s decision to hold multi-party elections and retreat from the political scene. In a very real sense, the NPRC’s exit from power was a case of reluctant or induced abdication.”
Prof. Kandeh makes the point clear when he recalls from the (New Citizen, 15 January 1996:2), that the International Community goaded the NPRC to leave power or suffer sanctions:
“The stick wielded by the international community, and pledges of assistance to NPRC members if they delivered on their commitment to hand over power, persuaded it to relinquish power, especially after a EU official threatened that if the elections are not conducted and civilian rule is not put in place … we will use all the instruments available to the European Union to isolate Sierra Leone.”
Apart from the goading from the international community to leave power, Prof. Kandeh tells us that the NPRC also left because the strong forces of civil society pushed them out:
“A resurgent civil society was also a major factor in the NPRC’s decision to transfer power to an elected civilian government. The NPRC’s inability to end the rebel insurgency and the breakdown of law and order throughout much of the country, increased the public’s sense of frustration, alienation and anger. Many saw democratic elections as the least costly way to get rid of the NPRC.”