When Sierra Leone was in dire need of national defense, the international community salvaged the country by deploying the largest number of UN peace keeping force ever in the history of the United Nations. When Sierra Leone needed internal policing, Britain came to the country’s aid by providing police man power. As we move closer to the 2007 parliamentary and presidential elections in Sierra Leone, there is also a dire need for the international community to provide the country with an independent and unbiased electoral commission.
Just last week, the electoral commission of Sierra Leone stalled the registration of a new party called Sierra Leonean Advocates for Progress (SLAP) based on a flimsy excuse that they needed to put their house in order first before they could begin to register any political party beginning in September.
As interim Secretary-General of this newly formed political party, I would like all Sierra Leoneans and indeed the international community to know that this is an unhealthy symptom of electoral bias and partiality. While all other political parties, including the ruling SLPP, are going ahead with their political activities, the electoral commission has indulged in time-buying so that any formidable force will not rise and wrestle power from their employer.
We have protested this despicable act to the electoral commissioner and to other relevant bodies and countries through their representatives in Sierra Leone and we will continue to make the loudest noise to ensure that the electoral commission not only reverse its decision, but that the whole commission be replaced by independent, unbiased and foreign personnel who have no stake whatsoever in the political process in Sierra Leone. It is openly believed that Sierra Leoneans have been very indulgent and docile for so long, but it is a grave mistake to take things for granted and think that all Sierra Leoneans can be fooled all of the time. We believe that Sierra Leone is neither a kleptocracy nor a monarchy as the powers that be have painted the country. The name Sierra Leone has become synonymous with corruption, theft, human rights abuse and malgovernance.
Certain set of people have deceptively believed that they are the only ones destined to be in governance in Sierra Leone. They perpetuate themselves in power through various diabolical schemes and stop at nothing to entrench themselves in strategic positions whereby they can continue to plunder the resources of the country for their personal aggrandizement with impunity. The people of Sierra Leone, at home and abroad, want this message to register in the ears all those connected with this conspiracy to hold the country and its people bondage that “enough is enough” (E DO SO!!!).
Sierra Leonean Advocates for Progress (SLAP) Party is a party that was formed by very patriotic Sierra Leoneans based mainly in Boston, USA, and Sierra Leone. The criteria for founding membership is based on high moral and ethical standards and excludes anyone who is known or perceived to have been corrupt in either the public or private sector. SLAP abhors, detests and prohibits any divisive scheme such as tribal, religious or regional attachment geared towards destroying the unity of purpose of all Sierra Leoneans of good will who, overtly or covertly, want to lift the country from the current quagmire in which it has been plunged. For any Sierra Leonean to believe that the country will take a first step toward progress by allowing any of the two traditional parties to be at the helm of decision making again, is not only deceiving him or herself, but doing great disservice and injustice to the destitute and down-trodden masses who can hardly reconcile the irony of living in a potentially very rich country but with the following record amongst the world community of nations:
1. The poorest country in the world
2. The country with the highest infant mortality in the world
3. The country with the least life expectancy in the world
4. The darkest country in the world
5. The country with one of the dirtiest cities in the world……
Can any Sierra Leonean, in his or her right mind, think that the same people who have sunk this once great nation to this dept for almost half a century, are able or willing or sincere enough make an abrupt about-face-turn and bring about the urgently needed relief and development in the country????
I am ashamed to observe that at this age of globalization and information technology, our university students can study for their final exams under candle light and graduate without ever having to use the computer for anything from typing assignments to doing research on the internet!!! My kinsmen and women, SLAP welcomes every Sierra Leonean and friends of Sierra Leone to join hands together to lift our sinking country up and build it to the level of civilized nations on the face of the earth.
This is not about power or about traditional loyalty or say I belong to this party because I come from this tribe or region or because my father and grandparents belonged to it. This is a bold decision between development and stagnation, light and darkness, good and evil, life and death. This election should be the sole determinant factor in the direction that Sierra Leoneans want this country to go.
If we allow ourselves again to be deceived by “sugar-coated vibes”, our children will hold us responsible for inaction. There is one thing that will be crucial in the forthcoming election and that is the people’s power to take back their country and give it its deserved dignity. Young, old, rich, poor, illiterate and the literate; this is the time to rise up to the challenge. The powers that be are already paranoid. They have realized the great potential of SLAP through the heroic people of Sierra Leone, coming to take back the country and bring it to first-world standard within record time. They know it but since they are enemies to development, they do not want the majority of Sierra Leoneans to ever enjoy the tremendous endowments of their glorious nation.
SIERRA LEONEANS; LET US STAND UP AND BUILD OUR COUNTRY. WE CAN DO IT IN 2007 AND THAT IS WHY WE NEED AN INDEPENDENT, UNBIASED, IMPARTIAL AND SCRUPULOUS ELECTORAL COMMISSION.
Sierra Leoneans Advocates for Progress (SLAP) party