SLPP Not Doing Themselves And The Nation Good

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Julius Maada Bio

By Amin Kef Sesay

The Sierra Leone Independence Motto is very central to this discussion on the need for the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party to always go that extra mile to promote UNITY, FREEDOM and JUSTICE for each and every Sierra Leonean, regardless of that person’s tribe, region, religion, socio-economic background of political affiliation.

In which regard, though treading very carefully and very sensitively, the SLPP and its New Direction Government, many people have said, is doing too well in promoting, advancing and securing national cohesion through enhancing on the maintenance of unity, freedom and justice in the country.

What fundamentally the ruling party should always keep in mind is that Sierra Leone is not a homogenous whole. The Sierra Leone community is formed by people from different backgrounds and therefore diverse cultures. It’s therefore important to note that for us to develop in all aspects, we need to first and foremost, appreciate and respect one another.

As President, Ministers, civil servants, teachers, students, community and religious leaders, and as citizens, in fostering unity, freedom and justice, it becomes imperative that we should nurture national cohesion, integration and peaceful coexistence for our own benefit and the benefit of future generations.

It is a process and an outcome of instilling and enabling all citizens in the country to have a sense as well as a feeling that they are members of the same country, engaged in a common enterprise and facing shared challenges. Indeed, National Cohesion goes beyond peace-keeping and conflict management.

National cohesion is based on the fact that societies and individuals can only achieve their potential when living and working together. This is realized through the regulation and reconciliation of differences, competing interests and demands.

National cohesion is strongest when everyone in the country has the opportunity, the resources and the motivation to participate in society as fully as they wish and on an equal basis with others.

In this regard, SLPP, as well as all the other political parties, the education and information systems and civil society should be busy inculcating in us the people a highly developed sense of National Values and Principles of good Governance

National values are beliefs of a nation guiding the actions and behavior of its citizens while principles of good governance oblige the State to perform its functions in a manner that promotes the general well-being of its people.

Cohesion is defined as a conscious desire for diverse groups of people to belong together and affirm the condition of mutual dependence. It entails constructing an integrated citizenry with a sense of belonging amongst members of different groups and regions of a country. This is realized through the regulation and reconciliation of differences, competing interests and demands.

National cohesion encompasses the values of unity, equality, freedom, democracy, peace, social justice and rule of law. Its fundamental underpinnings are: Patriotism, National Unity, Sharing and Devolution of power, The rule of law, Democracy, Participation of the people, Human dignity, Equity, Social justice, Inclusiveness, Equality, Human rights, Non-discrimination, Protection of the marginalized, Good governance, Integrity, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainable development.

It can be clearly seen that the Benefits of a Cohesive and Integrated Nation are: Institutional solidarity – togetherness; Unity and harmony; Unified approach in confronting external threats; Commitment to institutional ideals; Improved performance and well-being; Promotion of equity in the sharing of available resources; and Building of a strong institutional identity.

Indicators of a Cohesive Society are: Common vision and sense of belonging, Peaceful co-existence among all members, Appreciation and value for peoples’ diverse backgrounds and circumstances, Similar life opportunities for those from different backgrounds, Strong and positive relationships developed between people from different backgrounds.

The major challenges to achieving the above as a nation are: Ethnicized politics, Weak respect for the rule of law, and a culture of greed and selfishness.

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