For Speaking Truth To President Bio And SLPP…

All Hail APPA

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What the All Political Parties Association has observed about the nation’s politics is the hard fact – nothing but the whole truth – Salone is not peaceful; Salone is not united; Salone is at war with itself politically.
We agree with President Bio that we have a collective responsibility to maintain the peace and stability of our great nation.
However, we do not believe that setting up a Peace and Reconciliation Commission is the answer to the problem. Did former President Koroma not set up an Attitudinal and Behaviorial Change Commission to actualize his vision of a cultured, progressive Salone? What did it achieve?
What is known is that everything starts in the mind. Any move towards bringing peace and unity into the nation has to start with the mind. Totangi’s Commission was set up to be the harbinger of a new thinking Salone. He is yet to get his head around the problem and devise an active well-articulated approach to the problem of getting Sierra Leoneans across the board beyond tribe, region and traditional prejudices about each other talking sincerely and openly about their defects as a nation and how they can go about building a more constructively engaged nation of people that truly believe that they are, indeed, ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE.
Agreed, that as President Bio said in his New Year’s Day message to the Nation: “The aim is to promote cross-community and cross-regional unity, and consensus building for sustainable peace and development.”
Let us be honest: how can we achieve that when both APC and SLPP continue to hold doggedly to their traditional belief that North/West and South/East should never sit at the same table to dine and wine without trading evil looks, “mammy cuss” and blows?
The traditional and religious leaders and the institutions of enculturation, that is the schools, colleges and universities stand to play a vital transformational role in creating a new Sierra Leonean mentality and mindset that will bring us closer together in understanding and sympathy if they too had not become part of the problem by identifying themselves as either pro-APC or pro-SLPP.
Call a spade a spade: there is no true national dialogue going on in this country. We all continue to occupy different sides of the stadium looking menacingly at each other through tribal, regional and political binoculars with no fair independent minded referee watching keenly for fouls and other violations of the rules of the game and willing to punish players accordingly for flagrant violations.
Look for example at what happened in Parliament during the debate for setting up the COIs which one side hypocritically says it supports but fought tooth and nail to prevent it from becoming a reality. How then, for example, can we say that as a nation we are united in the fight against corruption and bad governance when some wholeheartedly believe in its opposite – and at that, a significant proportion of the population as witnessed to be the representation of APC in Parliament.
As such, the first step towards creating the atmosphere for genuine national peace is constructive political engagements among and between all the country’s political Parties with a view to truly identifying what our core values as a nation are.
We do agree that in this quest for true national peace that is the precondition to enhancing national development that benefits every citizen, we must dig deep into our cultural past to discover what our true human and social values are and beyond that communicate it to each and every Sierra Leonean as the Chinese did in the process of discovering themselves and coming together for attaining of the common good of freeing themselves from poverty, illiteracy, etc.
In which light, the search for national peace is not so much about preventing violence; it is most importantly about stopping us seeing ourselves suspiciously and prejudicially. It is about identifying what strong bonds we can share as human beings beyond tribe, race, region and politics – these are the things that make for peace and nationhood. That is what Botswana identified long ago, and what Rwanda identified after the genocide and incorporated into their DNAs and social makeup that make them stand out now today to the rest of the world as beacons of patriotism and progress.

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