By Numeh Sesay :
Just over a decade ago, our dear country Sierra Leone was regarded as a pariah state. Sierra Leoneans around the World were ashamed to identify with their beloved country. It took the resolve of a British officer to persuade his country, Britain and by extension the United Nations to restore normality to Sierra Leone.
Fast foward, Sierra Leone under the auspices of the blue helmets conducted two free, fair and transparent elections. That in itself, was progress for a country that has been beset by years of brutal conflict which ravaged every social and economy fabric of society.
Last week, the country held it first post war elections with out the support of the UN blue helmets. The watching World is eyeing us, and so far they have noted that the elections passed on freely with the little problem of polling precints opening late; a regular tale in South Saharan Africa due mainly in part to poor road networks.
The road to recovery is hard, it is littered with litanies, as a former Liberian journalist the late Stanton Peobody noted, “We live in a World of galloping variables,” nothing remains the same. Streets sellers are on the beat, waiting to grill the police on why they should leave the thoroughfare and return to the markets.
Amidst all of these, the governments of Sierra Leone have formulated the laws, policies and strategies for growth and development. Our growth rate which stands at 25% is not only the envy of the World but our immediate noisy neighbor; Liberia; which has an 8% growth rate.
This statistic should give us something to smile about and most importantly, it should be a rally point for nation building which begins with all party respecting the verdict of NEC. Of late, there is alarming and menacing signals being triggered by some politicians even as wait on the NEC to announce the results.
Fellow Sa-Leoneans, let not be fooled, let nobody instigate us to multiny and protest and war. We as people have tasted the bitter lesson of civil war. The war was a source of humiliation and anarchy for us. Let reject the idea of violence because even as we quiver over the elections results which is yet to be announced, other countries in the region are leaving us behind in education, health and a host of other things.
Even us that find ourselves in far away land, things are tough, government have ignored our plight as foreign students, yet, We preserve and hope for a peaceful Sierra Leone. We know in a peaceful Sierra Leone there is always chance for improvement. While it is true that government should provide the avenue for growth and development, it also true that ordinary people are the bed-rock of the Sierra Leone economy. Their greatest wish is an amicable society where in they can be able to take their goods from farm to market.
It is in this vain, that I am appealing to the politicians to end the political diatribes which have the propensity to drag us back to the bad old days.
APC and SLPP should honorably accept the final results when they are annouced because it will re-affirm our commitment to democracy and will also send a strong signal that Sierra Leone is post war success story. Peace cannot be achieved through violence it can only be attained through understanding, so let’s pray for God to send the Spirit of peace and unity into our country. Love you Mama Salone!