With due respect to His Excellency President Bio and the ruling SLPP Government, it is high time that they as the government of the day practice to the latter and spirit what he has repeatedly told the nation, that we should have peace and national cohesion by letting bygones be bygones and embrace each other as Sierra Leoneans.
It can be recalled that in the aftermath of the highly contested 2018 elections, the country’s political atmosphere became highly charged as the defeated All People’s Congress accused the winning Sierra Leone People’s Party of intimidating, attacking, brutalizing and even killing their supporters, they said out of malice, grudge and need for revenge.
It was then that the phrase “political tolerance” started to be bandied around and was on the lips of all country’s main political actors; including our concerned international development partners who have stood staunchly behind us since the mid –when a very weakened state and its traumatized people were desperately seeking peace with their rebellious RUF (now RUFP) brothers and sisters, and who up to now continue to assist us generously financially and morally, with the aim of helping us consolidate our hard-won peace and outgrow the causes of the eleven years civil war.
The events of the past one year discouragingly seems to show that Sierra Leoneans – Government, Opposition and many of us partisan Sierra Leoneans – have not learnt anything of our ugly political past – that divided as we continue to be, we can only be of grave harm to each other, and no good to ourselves and the state.
Without intending to draw fire with the ruling SLPP, we want to believe that there are troublesome people within that party that do not want peace and harmony to reign in this country.
This accusation has nothing to do with the ongoing Commissions of Inquiry into the conduct of the former APC Government – truth is, they had the opportunity to set the stage for responsible, accountable governance when they took over power in 2007 by rigorously pursuing the line of action that the SLPP government has now taken to hold past officials accountable for their stewardship of the state, its resources and finances.
Rather, it has to do with allegations that more and more, SLPP is disrespecting the rule of law and behaving towards their political adversaries in the APC as if they are above the law and untouchable.
We however commend APC for controlling their tempers and for strenuously maintain the peace in the interest of the greater good which is the peace, security and development of the country for the betterment of one and all.
This observation is not far-fetched when we consider that few months back, tension between SLPP and APC got so heated, that four Ambassadors of the countries that provide us with development assistance had to against protocol issue out a terse statement calling for peace to prevail.
Truth of the matter is that many people believe that it is not the ruling SLPP that should be provoking any confrontation with APC and the opposition generally. In fact, they maintain that it is SLPP which in the truer Christian sense of turning the other cheek that should let bygones be bygones, forget totally about whatever wrongs they believe APC when in power did to them and show that they are magnanimous enough to extend a genuine brother hand to APC and the opposition generally on the strong belief that no one man, no one party, no one tribe, no one region can alone develop Mama Salone except all of us, in spite of our political and ideological differences, pulling together like the crew on a rowing boat towards the same development destination.
As a nation, divided we stand, united we shall continue to perish as has been happening to us since out independence in the 1960s when if we were united like Botswana, like Singapore, pulling together in the same direction how wealthy, peaceful and admired we would have been in the community of nations.
Let us please learn from our past – united we stand, divided we shall continue to perish as we do now.