Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone: Mr. President, Resign! Let’s Restructure Sierra Leone!!*
Mr. Julius Maada Bio
President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
Resign Mr. President, Let’s Restructure Sierra Leone!
Deliberately, I had postponed penning an open correspondence to your goodself in the hope that the dire expectations and sufferings the people of Sierra Leone were projected to endure under your government would not materialise. Having delayed for over a year, it is now in the interest of posterity that this letter be written.
In the political campaign seasons prior to the 2018 general elections, I had severally asserted that your being a person who had led your fellow renegade soldiers to overthrown the democratically elected government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh in 29th April 1992 rendered your goodself, technically, a treasonable felon, who was unfit to govern Sierra Leone under a democratic disposition.
I had also emphasised the fact that ever since your sack from the office of Head of State of Sierra Leone March 29, 1996 up-till the time you were contesting for the 2012 presidential elections, you had devoted yourself to two basic causes: championing the interest of your ethnic group (Mende) and championing the cause of Paopa, with the primary purpose of ensuring that the two are enforced throughout the Sierra Leonean nation. This focus of yours made you an unsuitable person to lead a multi-ethnic entity where the various component people’s were already quite sensitive to ethnic nuances.
I had directly also questioned your academic (on account of your lack of requisite academic credentials and observed language defects) and physicality(on account of visible economic depreciation due to current political tension) capacity to govern a multi-ethnic population country with under-35 year olds comprising abou 80% of the population.
Getting to two years into your first term, the worst of our expectations have been surpassed by a wide margin. Sierra Leone has fallen from heights and is turned into a living nightmare, a real-life horror experience that is scaring the daylights out of its citizens, its immediate neighbouring countries and setting the wider international community on edge on account of the unimaginable consequences and humanitarian expectations from any socio-economic explosion or mass uprising.
When it took you less than 3 months to appoint your cabinet Ministers and politicised democratic institutions, and by self-inflicted harms arising from policy summersaults and hurtful pronouncements against the State and people of Sierra Leone, ignorantly pushed the Sierra Leonean economy into a vicious recession, it dawned on even the most optimistic observers that there had indeed, all along, been no plans on your part to govern for the general good – your desperate quest for power had merely been for non-altruistic purposes.
Your pronouncements, mannerisms and deliberately skewed pattern of appointing persons into government positions betrayed a disdain for some specific sections of the Sierra Leonean population and ethnic groups, and thus engendered increased clamour for disintegration of Sierra Leone. It is deplorable to note that throughout the one year you have thus far spent in office, in keeping with your policy thrust that you (your government) cannot be expected to treat those who gave you 5% of their votes during the presidential elections in the same manner you treat people’s who gave you 97% of their votes. Questions have thus rightly been raised as to whether you are a President of Sierra Leone or merely the Sectional President of Sierra Leone.
Under your watch, deception, ethnocentrism, nepotism and unfair/unjust use of state security and prosecutorial powers against perceived opponents and or people of ‘despised’ ethnic groups has been elevated to cardinal principles of governance in Sierra Leone. Your so-called ‘war against corruption’ has, as a result of your unwillingness and or inability to apply the investigatory and prosecutorial powers of your government evenly on your perceived opponents and political allies alike, been exposed as a mere witch-hunting exercise which only serves to embolden some of your associates to perpetuate more brazen and daring acts of corruption and profligacy.
Even in the area of containing the bread and butter which your government has touted as its ‘unique selling point’, the continuing poverty increase in the lives of the majority and the fact that poverty continues to show an ability to attack family formations of the suffering majority with ease, questions the authenticity of such containment.
The suspicious and questionable manners in which the pronouncement and arrangements of the so-called Bintumani 3 Peace Conference were effected, additionally, leaves so much to be desired and questions the integrity, objectivity and good faith of the State.
Can anything good be really said to have been occasioned as a result of your ascension into office? I really did try, really hard, to find one, but unfortunately, nothing good was found worthy of mention, as resulting from your occupying the office of President of the Republic.
In the course of the past few weeks, fuelled by an absence of a President from office and country and a vacuum of leadership, all manners of lawless elements have had a field day in the Sierra Leonean polity issuing ‘open notices’ to entire main opposition party Members of Parliament and threatening massive illegal punishment against them in the land. The ensuing instability has led to a nose-dive in Sierra Leone’s fortunes; economic, social and political stagnation and instability; and palpably diminished quality of life for Sierra Leoneans. Sierra Leoneans have never had it so bad.
Dear President Julius Maada Bio, it is in the light of all the foregoing and acknowledgement of your most unfortunate poor leadership qualities (which has made it increasingly impossible for your goodself to exercise authority and control of affairs of state for positive changes – presuming that you now desire for such in your later days) which makes it impossible for you to either be an agent of or effect positive change in the Sierra Leonean polity, that make it imperative to urge you Sir, to as a matter of urgency, resign from your position as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
As a man who I suspect may still have a desire to leave some positive footprints in the sands of the Sierra Leonean time, it is further hoped that prior to such your resignation from office, you will use the enormous powers at the disposal of your office to put into motion the processes that will lead to a holistic restructuring and the renegotiation of Sierra Leone in such a manner that will abate the perennial threats of violence from various quarters within Sierra Leone and ensure equity and justice amongst the various people of Sierra Leone.
It is projected that sequel to or contemporaneous with your resignation from Office, the nationalising units and component people of the Sierra Leonean state will in keeping with the several agitations and clamour for restructuring, justice, equity and ‘true nationalism’ and situate in the platform of the Recommendations of the National Conference convoked by your immediate predecessor-regime, converge to peacefully formalise the basis of a new Sierra Leone.
Arguably, entities who believe they are benefiting from the current fluid and tenuous situation may want to rely on legalese to question the ‘constitutionality’ of the process of realignment suggested above. Faced with unfolding realities and the fact that the Constitution which serves as Sierra Leone’s grundnorm is itself of very dubious origins and foundations, the congregation of nationalising units and component people to dialogue over the future of Sierra Leone remains the one option to diffuse tension and chart a path forward. And even this option is fast ebbing away.
Mr. President, Sir, as I wish you recovery from your current confused actions, do the right things: set in process the machinery for sovereign national dialogue and Resign from Office, and perhaps posterity may yet treat you kindly when assessing your stewardship as ruler of the Sierra Leonean state.
Wishing you Happy Eid celebrations in advance.
Mahmud Tim Kargbo