The brutality and savagery of the past 11 years of a destructive war in Sierra Leone will not permit any patriotic and peace- loving Sierra Leonean to wish for a repeat of such a sadistic period of Sierra Leone’s history. Sierra Leoneans would prefer to live with their poverty in peace than live in another devastating war that will destroy them again with their families, relatives and loved ones.
Sierra Leoneans will not afford to surrender or mortgage their lives and the future of their children again to a repeat of the barbaric and vandalistic period that left untold suffering and indelible marks of viciousness on them. Therefore, the poor, innocent and defenseless people of Sierra Leone will not for a million dollars encourage any government, individual or group that will want to lead them into a Hell Fire similar to that of the 11 years of pogrom.
Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans are still nursing their gaping and bleeding wounds. Many Sierra Leoneans who experienced the war from start to finish describe it as the horrific black history of Sierra Leone, more horrific than any event that has ever happened in Sierra Leone. The shadow of that unforgettable dark period still lingers, so that the slightest sound similar to a gun-fire sends fear into the hearts of people.
The mere mention of the word “junta” or “rebel” is like a burning coal thrown into the hearts of innocent and vulnerable Sierra Leoneans, especially those who lost dear relatives in the war and those who were amputated or maimed in one way or the other. This shows that Sierra Leoneans don’t want to be ruled any longer by the barrel of the gun and by machete-wielding junta soldiers.
President Koroma has ushered into Sierra Leone the democracy that had eluded Sierra Leoneans for a very long time and that democracy must be nurtured at all cost by all Sierra Leoneans who love peace, unity and progress. Pseudo-politicians who think they can smash and grab political power by all possible means should think twice and go back into their cowardly shells. Those who stole money from state coffers fled the country and lavished the money in other countries and have returned with the thinking that they will be able to grab more money by becoming the President of Sierra Leone should think twice.
I think Sierra Leoneans should thank Retired Brigadier-General Maada Bio for his endeavour to inform Sierra Leoneans and the international community about the alleged plan of the ruling APC government against the nation. Well, as far as I know, public statements are easy to make and are allowed to be made in a country where the government allows unbridled freedom of speech. What matters most is the reason for making a public statement like the one Maada Bio made. Perhaps he made the statement in order to save Sierra Leone from a pending catastrophe or he made it in order to win sympathy for his own overwhelming ambition for political power. May I ask one thing: can the old junta leader provide proofs of his allegations that the Sierra Leone government was arming and transporting ex-combatants and foreigners into SLPP “strongholds”?
Making assertions without advancing concrete proofs is nothing less than the wrangling of a fool trying to fool the people. In fact are there any SLPP strongholds? What is a Stronghold? Strongholds without development for the people who live there since SLPP was in power for centuries, such as good roads, good health centres or hospitals, good markets, good drinking water and electricity in the said strongholds. Are Sierra Leoneans not allowed to step on the soil of all parts of Sierra Leone irrespective of tribe or political leaning?
The police took the right steps to invite Maada Bio for him to throw more light on his allegations because it is their duty to question individuals who make statements that are seditious and meant to throw fear into peaceful people. If he knows he made the right statements and has supporting proofs, then he should be brave enough to defend his statements at the police station. Statements less dangerous than Maada Bio’s were the reasons why the past SLPP government locked up journalists, opposition politicians and other defenseless people. Those were the days when the wicked hands of a tyrannical government fell mercilessly on the people. I, like all other patriotic Sierra Leoneans, would like nothing more than Maada Bio to meet the police and explain himself to help Sierra Leoneans know the veracity of his statements.
If on the other hand he hesitates to honour the police’s invitation, then he should be described as a coward, a liar and a triple-rated rabble-rouser. He will be like the child who shouts “Wolf! Wolf!” when there is no wolf but only to cause unnecessary panic. Such a person should be prosecuted and be reminded that NO amount of threats by an unpatriotic and tribalistic group can scare Sierra Leoneans from choosing their choice of government. Maada Bio should not think of courting the sympathy of the gullible international community by concocting lies against people who are fighting tooth and nail to bring Sierra Leone back to its lost glory. A soldier-cum-politician who tells lies to win the hearts of the people will also tell lies to betray them.
Meanwhile, as we count the minutes and the hours, we keep waiting for the police to tell the nation about the ownership of the GREEN JEEP that was used in the alleged kidnap case now in court involving some SLPP fanatics. The sad thing about it all is that if the vehicle in question was owned by a poor innocent and defenseless Sierra Leonean, by now he or she would have been languishing in prison but, not surprisingly, there is a law for the poor and defenseless citizens and a law for the rich and powerful citizens.
In conclusion, I am appealing to all good-hearted and patriotic Sierra Leoneans, including civil societies, officials of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC), Sierra Leone Journalist Association (SLAJ), the Sierra Leone Bar Association, the National Union of Sierra Leone Students (NUSS), the various youth organizations in the country, Women’s Groups, association of amputees and/or disabled, Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Drivers Union, Okada Riders Union, Traders’ Union, etc. to stand up and ask the SLPP flag-bearer Maada Bio to produce valid evidence to support his allegations against the APC government to enable Sierra Leoneans to take President Koroma and his APC government to task. But if the ex-combatant fails to provide valid evidence to support his claims, he must face the full force of the law on treasonable charges. Nobody is above the laws of Sierra Leone and he who is brave enough to tell lies should be brave enough to face the consequences.
It is disgraceful and ironical to me to hear that John Benjamin, Chairman and Leader of the opposition SLPP is urging the police to provide evidence for Maada Bio’s allegations against APC government. The ex-combatant junta leader, now SLPP Presidential candidate that made the divide and rule allegations and the police who is to provide valid proofs to the nation and the international community, were the police present when he, Maada Bio was manufacturing the allegations or did they tell him to make such unpatriotic dangerous allegations at the expense of the poor suffering people of Sierra Leone? Who is fooling who?
WHEN GOD SAYS YES WHO WILL SAY NO?