The lessons of Foday Sankoh’s demise


Sankoh became an eyesore before he died


The lesson to be learned from the death on Tuesday of Sierra Leone’s voluptuosly-greedy and power -conscious rebel leader, Foday Sankoh, is that life is not permanent and all our vainglorious desires on earth are not worth a panfull of dung.

It is quite a sombre lesson to stand and behold the corpse of the man who held our nation hostage for 11 painful years , killed 50,000 innocent men, women and children and destroyed all the country’s infrastructure just to become President of the country .Like Hitler, and the other evil men of the world , Foday Sankoh achieved notoriety , disdain, derision, disfavour , disrepute and curses for turning a once paradisaic nation into a theatre of agonies , only to end up not achieving his grim ambition.

All that Sankoh achieved were shame, infamy and a place in the history books as one of  the most diabolical and evil men to have ever walked this earth . He died like a mongrel in captivity, his human form and appearance reduced to a sublimely suhuman carricature of a real creation of God.

Even if Sankoh had achieved his goal, what could it have profited him now that he is dead and gone to face the judgement that God had probably reserved for him for the way he brought woe on his own country men and women ?

Those with like-minded greed for power and filthy lucre as Foday Sankoh should learn from his disgraceful life and exit from this world that it is not worth it at all. All the extremes to which people go on earth to achieve worldly glories are not worth the salt.

The Bible warns us in 1 Timothy 6 : 6-9 that “Godliness with contentment is get gain,” for “we brought nothing into this world , and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content .” The world is only a tmporary abode for us .This is not our home. This should always be at the back of our minds. Not that it is a sin to aspire for greatness in this earth.God himself loves achievements , but when our whole lives are lived in mad pursuit of worldly things, worldly achievements and worldly glories , we certainly fall into grave spiritual harm that will affect us for eternity. And this is what the Word of God says in the conclusion of the passage quoted above (1 Timothy 6 : 6-9) : “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts , which drown men in destruction and perdition “.

Foday Snkoh wanted to be President of Siera Leone but he knew that he did not have the intellect, charisma and God’s approval for it. This is what blind and naked ambition does to men. It maks them blind to their own limitations. In Sankoh, we saw a man who was not only discontent with what he had..He was so covetuous to extremes he did not know that he lacked what it took to be a President of a nation .

Job , even while suffering tremenduously, makes a poignant and sobering statement when he says : “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither” ( Job 1 : 21). Now for all the war he waged in his country, oblivious of the thousands of lives that were being killed and the thousands more that were being maimed, Foday Sankoh is going to return to his maker naked, in the same manner he left his mother’s womb to come into this world 65 years ago. For all the wealth he accrued , all the diamonds and probably millions of dollars he has stashed away somewhere, what good are they now to him now ? He has returned to his maker the way he came into this world–naked.

Sierra Leoneans in general are a very covetuous people and that is why they find it hard to serve God. LEONENET , the intellectual online forum where most of the country’s intellectuals in the diaspora assemble, could not accomodate the Word Of God. It was of much offence to them. They would prefer all the sultry, steaming and ribald sexual jokes but the Word Of God….no way. It was too offensive. The reason is not the Pastor’s method as they complained. It is that whenever God’s word was preached in the forum,it rebuked their covetuos , avaricious and unspiritual minds attuned only to worldly ambitions and glories. They found that th Word of God was troubling their cnsciences and they did not like that.And yet, God warns us in Luke 12 : 15 : “Take heed and beware of covetuousness ; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things he possesseth “. The Sierra Leonean has destroyed his own country through greed and avaricious desires for wealth and the good things of life

Sankoh himself was used by vicious, greedy and power-conscious men who did not want to wait for their own turn to achieve power in Sierra Leone. They goadd him to fight the APC government , and after causing the demise of the administration , moved from behind him. He too, being so power-conscious changed enemies and began fighting the NPRC and its pet child , the SLPP. It is a pity that most of the men who could have exposed the architects of Sierra Leone’s destruction and those who formed the RUF are dead ( Sankoh, Sam Bockarie and Johnny Paul Koroma.)

It is hoped that the Sankoh demise will help Sierra Leoneans to realise that vanity of vanities, all is vnity. Power-consciousness does not pay. God admonishes in Matthew 6 : 31-33: “Therefore, take no thought ,saying what shall we eat ? What shall we drink ? or wherewithal shall we be clothed ? for after all these things do the Gentiles seek ; for your heavenly father knoweth that ye have need of all these things . BUT SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD , AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.”


Foday Sankoh during his heydays  as Vice-President in charge of Sierra Leone’s mineral resources and likely Presidential candidate for the RUFP. He had started visiting the provinces to campaign subtly .None acted as Presidential as he did then.

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