THE CHANGE THAT IS NEEDED IN SIERRA LEONE

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Titus Boye-Thompson  

Contemporary observers of politics and trends have widely reported a downward spiral of peace, security and sevwloent in Sierra Leone and this in part is due to the increasing failure of democracy and the challenges faced by ordinary citizens in rights based activism, a reduction in the political space,  constrained social inclusion and worsening economic prospects for every day existence. As is clearly recalled, the mantra of inenof the key proponents of such rights based activism during the previous administration JJ Saffa used to put it,  “the lack of opportunity to assure citizens of the “bread and butter” issues that is the main cause of this slowdown and eventual lock down of the economy.” in a nutshell, by sheer arrogance and a dearth of macro economic management this government has failed in the  engagement of the country’s diverse population and talent pool to maximize advancement of the country as a whole.

After publication of my last article. I recieved several calls of appreciation, many welcoming the prospect of my return to regular political, social and economic commentary with respect to Sierra Leone. In the event, let me confirm that yes, I am back and hope to make regular contributions to our communities at home and in the diaspora about the trajectory for growth in Sierra Leone, particularly outlining the critical role that the All Peoples Congress (APC) will need to play in this context.

I am unreservedly and unapologetically a member and supporter of the APC- a senior Comrade for that matter. My articles and views would therefore tend to exacerbate the APC position as I see fit. The reason for this is simple, only the APC can deliver the change that is needed in Sierra Leone at this time. No other political party exists that has the credibility, reach and coverage of the issues and spread within the country to match that of the APC, not even the sitting party of government, which is inevitably a regional, tribal and limited perception cabal of opportunists with no intent of governing for the good of all.

On the other hand, I have decided to return to writing after taking time off to allow the APC to undergo its internal reformation of sorts, to decide for itself, the people that will henceforth become the bedrock of our party at local levels and now we are looking to the final election of our flag bearer to taken us to the next elections. Having said this.it is not my intention to campaign for any set of people to be in charge of the Party but rather to ensure that after these lower level elections, that we are no longer hindered by any considerations of political struggle but that we are focused on working together for the good of all.

It is only the APC that can bring the change from a country of a dominant tribe in government to one of national unity, from one of secular and individual needs to that of a common aspirations of its people, from one which has senior people in positions of high office and authority not respecting the human rights and basic dignity of the ordinary citizens to one of a cadre of politicians and officials dedicated to service, growth and development for the people

We are committed to bring changes that would lift the ordinary citizen out of poverty and offer everybody the chance to be prosperous irrespective of tribe or region. We will not discriminate  nor denigrate our fellow citizens becauae we all, together share in the same equal sovereignty of this nation. We accept that not every citizen would be APC and we do not mind that. We will never say that only those who support the APC are true Sierra Leoneans because in our minds we know that we all are true and patriotic Sierra Leoneans.

To present the APC as a party of government, we need to have information that goes out expatiating  APC policies and belief systems in a clear and concise manner that would allow the international community to judge us for what we plan to do and not what we cannot do.

It is only the APC that will bring this country back from the carnage of war and the uselessness of violence that now hangs our us in this nation.

Sierra Leone is critically at risk of state failure because it is presumably already under state capture. For the avoidance of doubt, state capture is a technical term which relates to a situation where institutions fail to function fairly and in the interest of what is right and just, the rights of ordinary citizens are hamstrung by violence and service delivery have been hijacked by rent takers. We witness images of hardened policing, restrictions on citizens rights to demonstrate or voice opposition, increased profiteering, drugs and a banking system that is struggling to maintain money supply as all credible pointers of state capture. These must change otherwise the prospect for state failure and strife is heightened.

To all of these issues, I have once again made it a duty to address. It is not because of being detesting of opposition but being true to the goal of stating the facts of a spiral of decay and decline in public service delivery, constrained economic and social opportunities and a dismal failure in social cohesion is a duty to which we all must adhere.

As to issues relating to party politics, let me hasten to add that the focus for now is to elevate the APC as a political party ready to form the next government. While this may not be ideal because some would say that the APC would still have internal disputes to settle even after the election of its flag bearer, what is important for now is to build a framework for unity in the APC, strengthen its internal frameworks and make its key functionaries understand the core principles of government. Comrades, understand that we are no longer fighting. Very soon, once Dr Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara is elected as flag bearer, the party would further unite as a single force to fight the next election.

As a parting note, those who think there would be space for further discomfort before the elections, plan to regroup as big 6 or “former flag bearers,” should think twice about any such backward move. That is munku politics, according to former President and Chairman Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. We only have winners in the APC. We will open the gates for everyone of our senior comrades to play their full part in getting the APC elected. Once that goal is achieved, then we will all be winners together!

Comrades must remember that the APC in government is better than the APC in opposition, the worst APC government is better than any other and that only the APC can deliver the change that Sierra Leone needs at this time!

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