Tuesday April 11, 2006
When one takes his mind back to the political dynamics in Sierra Leone three decades back, one cannot help but breathe a sigh of relief that the nation is heading towards a bright political future .The jubilant scenes that almost crippled life in sections of the city yesterday after the People’s Movement For Democratic Change ( PMDC) got their final registration papers , paid glowing and remarkable tribute to the political renaissance that has swept Sierra Leone.
CHARLES MARGAI – LEADER OF THE PMDC
Three decades ago, it was virtually a crime to form an opposition political party in Sierra Leone. The octogerian politician , Dr. John Karefa -Smart, will never forget his ordeal at the hands of the then ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) when he decided to form another political party to challenge the Siaka Stevens oligarchy.
This paper will waste all available space on this website cataloguing all the travails and perils patriots suffered when they tried to form political parties or spoke their minds against the deceptive politics, corruption and shamefully inept performance of the government. The Editor of this paper was jailed at the same Pademba Road Prison for blowing his mind to his students about political thuggery and economic malfeasance . Forming another political party was a calculated fatal risk , a life-threatening exercise that imperilled not only the lives of the leader but his family and friends.
We must thank God that today we are free to form alternative political parties. We must thank God that today, we can mount the rooftops and damn this government without any fear of violent reprisals. Much of the credit go to the international stakeholders who have almost outlawed one-party states and political dictatorship in countries that depend on them for economic bail-outs. Democratization of the body-politic of the nation is now a precondition for the acquisition of loans and foreign assistance from donor countries and Britton-Woods institutes they control.
However, we think the SLPP government too deserves to be commended for cooperating with international stakeholders and donor agencies to democratize Sierra Leone. A Chronically self-indulgent government would have preferred to fall out with stakeholdes and donor agencies than play ball with them and change the country.
We want to congratulate the PMDC for their huge victory today .We hope the party will seek to embellish and nurture responsible and democratic politics in Sierra Leone by depending on the ballot box to fight its rivals .Conversely, we hope the Elections Commission and the SLPP will give the PMDC a level playing field to prove its mettle in Sierra Leone politics.
It is a new day in Sierra Leone and we all deserve a pat on our backs.In the not-too-distant future , we will all feel proud to be Sierra Leoneans once again, by the Grace of God.