When the old year rolls out and the world heralds the advent of a new year at midnight today, the same bells that will usher in the new year will also be ringing in an auspicious year in one nation.
Sierra Leone, a nation that almost self-destruct with a barbaric war that left her in ruins, has come a long way over the past five years . Peace came to the nation at last and since then Sierra Leone has been striving to get back on her feet. Thanks to former colonial master, Britain , the United States, Nigeria , and other nations of goodwill and stakeholders, Sierra Leone has found her way out of the whirlpool of bloodshed and chaos and is striding to consolidate peace, rehabilitate and rebuild .
How much Sierra Leone intends to continue the paths of progress will be determined this year when she goes to the polls to elect a new President to replace Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah , who will complete his constitutionally-mandated two terms of office.
ERNEST BAI KOROMA
The warning shot fired in Regent on the outskirts of the capital on December 8 by U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Mr. Thomas N. Hall, epitomises the importance of the 2007 Presidential and Legislative Elections in Sierra Leone .Speaking during the launching of the Voters Education Program initiated by the National Democratic Institute ( NDI), the representative of the world’s only remaining super power warned political parties not to interfere with the elections . Said Ambassador Hall : “Those elections and campaigns that precede them as well as the transition that follows will be watched closely by the United State, as an indication of Sierra Leone progress in moving to greater democracy,” .Britain and other stakeholders have issued the same warnings.
Following all the impressive strides the nation has made , the country’s forunes will turn ever better in 2007 If the people are allowed to vote in the government of their choice, and the government itself takes over from where the Kabbah government left off with a view to correcting all mistakes and besting the outgoing government in the accelleration of the wheels of socio-economic and political recovery and progress . But the people themselves will not have a passive role in the transition.
Sierra Leoneans in 2007 have a gigantic decision to make, one that will impact on their destiny and the future of the nation. .They will have to decide between Vice-President Solomon Berewa ( SLPP), Ernest Koroma ( APC) and Charles Margai ( PMDC) –The three musketeers aspiring to be their next President. This will be a huge test for the Sierra Leonean people—Their patriotism and commitment to the country’s renaissance will be acidly tested by the choice they make , knowing fully well that their decision will make or unmake everything that had been done so far to get the nation back on its feet.
If they love their nation, Sierra Leoneans will have to rise above their own personal interests, above tribalism, above regionalism and above every form of parochialism to choose whom they consider the most competent candidate among the three . It will be a golden moment to look at the nation’s interest above all others.
2007 will indeed be one of the most important epochs in the chequered history of the nation when Sierra Leoneans will decide whether they have made up their minds for once to get out of the morass of Socio-economic and political sterility.