Feathers will be in short supply at State House today as President Ernest Bai Koroma and the seat of power in Sierra Leone celebrate the massive victory the President won in international politics and diplomacy –The accolade coming once again from the Leader of the Free World, U.S. President Barack Obama, who yesterday named Sierra Leone as one of the short-list of countries in Africa where democracy has taken roots.
PRESIDENT KOROMA : MORE FEATHERS TO HIS CAP
The cynics would be quick to point out that Sierra Leone is a sovereign nation and supporters of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) need not celebrate every word that pours forth from the mouths of world leaders and international organizations as if we need authentication from them to make ourselves feel good that we are doing a marvelous job in governance.
They may be right. We do not need any affirmation from any world leader for us to feel good about ourselves but the fact , dear cynic, is not that Obama authenticated EBK. The fact indeed is that President Obama’s commendation, which reflects honorably on President Koroma , will not come as a surprise to any right-thinking Sierra Leonean because the evidence has always been there to show that President Koroma is one of the most democratic leaders not only of Africa but the world. It is not surprising news. But when you have a country where there there are hard-hearted opposition politicians and supporters , as well as unpatriotic elements and perpetual complainers and grumblers , who , despite all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary , want to project a different national and international image of their President , Government and country, patriotic Sierra Leoneans cannot help but amplify these accolades whenever we receive them from world leaders and international monitoring institutions . That is the crux of the matter.President Obama”s statement overthrew all those who have been lying about President Koroma not being a democratic leader and how he violated the constitution when the Vice-President lost his job.
And again, let the point not be missed . It would not entirely be correct to say we do not need such affirmation of our democratic credentials by no less a man than the Leader of the Free world because, come to think of it, we live in a globalized world where governance has been globalized with the world becoming one common global village and what happens anywhere is very central to the peace, well-being and prosperity of other nations in general. In this globalized governance architecture where what happens in Sierra Leone affects other countries , what Americans and international organizations feel about Sierra Leone is very important . Vise versa. Therefore, if we get commended for being democratic, it is a massive victory because it shows that we are contributing our quota well to make the world a better governed and peaceful place.
President Obama is the Leader of the Free World and the U.S. sets the pace and standard for the advancement of world governance and the principles, structures and actions that underpin lofty ideals like good governance, respect for democratic principles , the rule of law and human rights. Let us not be hypocritical and unreal. What the Leader of the Free World and America says about any country is very important and significant.
The commendation of Sierra Leone as one of the countries where democracy is gaining roots is a big boost for President Koroma .It is another victory for the President as it authenticates what the President himself, the pro-government media and reasonable Sierra Leoneans have been articulating that President Koroma is a model of democracy in Sierra Leone, Africa and the world. It is also a big victory because it lands a crushing blow on the phony group, the so-called Concerned Sierra Leoneans, who have been demonstrating and trying to lobby international opinion and goodwill against President Koroma.
What is most impressive is that in the same speech in which he praised Sierra Leone President Obama delivered some devastating attacks on African leaders for their tendencies to overstay their welcome, corruption and undemocratic governance. To then go ahead and single out Sierra Leone as one of the few countries where democracy is holding roots is a momentous victory for our Presidet and our nation.
The question that Sierra Leoneans would love to ask is, ‘What happened to the rude demonstrations the self-styled Concerned Sierra Leoneans staged at the White House, the World Bank and the UN to make the world feel that our President is not democratic and is a dictator ?’ Did these unruly demonstrators achieve their objectives against President Koroma ? Did they strike any chord with the international community and world leaders as was intended ? Were they believed ? The answers are a big NO ! ! ! Nobody apparently heard their message and nobody took them seriously. The evidence is compelling.
The British Government has been reiterating its commitment to continue working with President Koroma and the APC Government. The U.S. Government and other nations constituting the international community , our traditional development partners and stakeholders last month pledged MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR SIERRA LEONE and renewed their commitment to the country at the International Post-Ebola Conference at the UN . And to crown it all, U.S. President Obama has publicly commended Sierra Leone as one of the nations where democracy is taking roots. The world rather believed that President Koroma is democratic and in addition he is a transparent and accountable leader as many speakers said during last month’s UN Conference.
If you do not see anything worth celebrating here, with the kind of destructive elements we have calling themselves Sierra Leoneans , you need to see a shrink.
Hats off to President Koroma for another great victory over your detractors .
Hats off to Sierra Leone. We are getting there.