BY IBRAHIM SOURIE MANSARAY
As the world prepares for the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, news filtering from Nigeria indicates that the kidnapped Deputy Sierra Leonean High Commissioner, Rtd Gen Nelson Williams has been freed. Though the conditions for his release remain sketchy and patchy, the most important issue is his release. Considering the tremendous contribution Nigeria provided during the brutal rebel war in Sierra Leone, this would have deteriorated the diplomatic relations between the two countries. As I write this piece, there is one striking theme that resonated throughout the social media about the kidnap and that is the issue of patriotism. Indeed, Sierra Leoneans have proven a point to naysayers that we can bury our political differences and uphold nationalistic values.
The sooner the kidnap of Nelson Williams surfaced on the international airwaves, many Sierra Leoneans launched campaigns on different social outlets demanding for his unconditional release. What a proud moment for the country. This is patriotism.
Patriotism denotes positive and supportive attitudes to a fatherland or motherland, by individuals and groups. It can cover attitudes such as pride in its achievement and culture, the desire to preserve its character and the basis of the culture and identification with other members of the nation. This has been manifested by Sierra Leoneans where individuals have placed the interests of the nation above their personal and group interests. As soldiers have demonstrated their archetype of extreme patriotism by dying for the nation during wartimes, so the people have shown Nelson Williams that he is not abandoned.
From the brotherly love city of Philadelphia, the people of this great city including the Think Thank Group of ‘King Jimmy’, we welcome Rtd General Nelson Williams and wish him a speedy recovery from this traumatic experience. The only good thing that stands aloof from his experience is the belief that, with God everything is possible.
We welcome you back to the Sierra Leonean community where we care for everyone regardless political differences.