This hostile environment is getting worse, not better

Titus Boye-Thompson

The threats to violence, to revenge and to a rendition of former state officials has proved contributory to the present narratives of retribution. The hitherto false equivalency arguments that whatever is being done by this present regime may not be faulted because the previous regime had done the same or similar acts have been easily shot down. The faults of the predecessor must not serve as the foundations for further incivility. The teachings of history is predominantly one of a revolving door context wherein the State retains examples of impracticality and aggression and that such disdain for civility are bound to be repeated and invoked in greater measure until the entire apparatus of governance can no longer withstand the violence that surrounds the aggressive rush to secure rent.

Several events have gone on without check or control and these acts tend to build up to colossal and grave issues that become intractable in the long run. Firstly, it is puerile for the former President to be treated as if he is an enemy of the State or otherwise without due attention to his status. To make provision for appropriate protocol for a former President must be a matter of routine. So in the event that former President Koroma is treated in a dismal manner when travelling in or out of the country debases the essence of the status of the very high office that this man has held. It is also a market of how any future ex-president may be treated and such treatment does in any terms underscore a nation that gives priority to rank or privilege. For that matter, adequate protocol must be a matter of right to a retired or ex-president in all circumstances to send a message that ours is not a country of uncivil people who have no respect for those who have contributed in their own way to the development of our nation.

Additionally, the spate of violence across the country is hitherto being ignored and allowed to continue without check. Such are the makings of a destabilised nation and a very bad ingredient for state fragility. The Police has statutory mandate to ensure the protection of life and property of every citizen and individual within the borders of this country. To allow for any other proscription of persons to undertake violence alongside the Police force is inimical to good governance and indeed spells out a very dangerous precedent for exercising state control. The burning of SLPP Party office at Waterloo signalled events that may have led to the ongoing discomfort in Waterloo and its environs. The standoff between local youths and security forces does nothing but send out a chilling anger against authority and a perception of repression and a regime that can only be seen as being high handed and insensitive to the sufferings of the people.

Not bothering to go into the intricacies of the matter, it is but clear that the eventual outcome of the passport saga would have been a further increase in price that invariably would have been blamed on the unsteady nature and value of the dollar. In the event, the battle that was lost at Parliament and its overspill were everywhere to be read and heard of. The allegations about who gets what and who benefits from what arrangements are nothing that should have disturbed the peace of society when the politicians know very well that this is not the first time the issue of Sierra Leonean passports have come out in a public shamming of its top government officials. Nonetheless, we all have been treated to the threats and counter threats of cancellation and repudiation of control of passports that is supposed to be the function of government in any event. Or is it the case that this government wishes to avoid the responsibility of continuity?

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