Articles Political Tensions in Sierra Leone's Fledgling Democracy By Sheku Putka Kamara REPOSTED

They stood just at the heart of central Freetown, pelting stones and ushering all sorts of invectives against one another. The atmosphere was one of absolute chaos and as if that was not enough, some of them were actually holding cutlasses, threatening to chop off human body parts as if they were referring to some chicken or some other thing similar. These happenings are surely not welcoming for a country like Sierra Leone.

It is not a secret that the political tensions do not seem to be missing in times like these and one needs not be told that the purported supporters of the main opposition the All People’s Congress (APC) and the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) are major persons that are believed to be perpetrators of such violent attacks and thus, the hike in political tensions in Sierra Leone.

With a population of just over seven million inhabitants, one may wonder; what is the big deal that is resulting to all of these tensions? It appears that political parties find pleasure in some of these occurrences.

One is protected to say so because hardly would one see party stalwarts condemning such vices. This sometimes makes perpetrators to gather more zest to cause more havoc in society. If proper modalities are put in place, some of these things would not be happening because defaulters would know that there are stringent laws that negate such practices.

It needs not be overstated that occurrences like these tend to paint a very bad imagery of Sierra Leone. We should have grown past such a state of melancholy.

In fact, it could be argued that these youths tend to make politicians forget their mandates to the electorates in the sense that, issues that are of importance are neglected. This is why politicians do not tend to treat the populace very seriously.

With these tensions, it appears that a section of the masses has been programmed rather irrationally to always sing songs of praises to their political god fathers, whiles some other sectors crumble in abject poverty.

When one takes a look at some of the unfolding events in the country, it could be seen that there are party loyalists that see no wrong in the reigning government and such was also the case in past years. These state of affairs have led us to some unfortunate situations not least because, we still have a whole lot of catching up to do.

Many a time, I pity the under resourced police force that comes under serious bashing anytime there is some unruly behavior somewhere. We need not overemphasize that our police force cannot police the over seven million population of Sierra Leone. So, sometimes we may understand when police response is not always prompt. In all of this though, individualistic responsibility is key. People have to face the reality. We have to accept the fact that government cannot provide all the jobs for the entire population, but we must also be mindful of the fact that governments in and out are not meant to serve their party stalwarts, but the entire citizens of Sierra Leone. When we begin to think proper and act in like manner, better opportunities may begin to come our way.

Again, our youths have to grow up and start something for themselves. Things do not just happen. Some level of serious efforts is needed to make things happen. Sadly, we have a good number of unemployed graduates in Sierra Leone and the situation keeps getting worse. A host of these graduates negate the idea of volunteering so as to gain some rightful experiences. Imagine, if this is the case for some of our graduates, what then is going to be the situation of our not too educated folks or dropouts?

All of these situations will suggest to us that we have a whole lot of fixing to do. An idle mind they say is the devil’s workshop. So, our young people have to shirk the idea of placing political parties above our nation. They have to realize that the country needs concerted efforts so as to achieve progress. Government must also not tolerate indiscipline. There should be stringent laws that frown against lawlessness and defaulters should be brought to book as and when reasonably called for.

We all have a responsibility to be better parents and guardians. We should create platforms where our young ones would look up to us and copy better and brighter examples. That is what we need if Sierra Leone is to grow and achieve an enviable place in today’s competitive global place. Peace is supreme. Stability is of essence. These are things we must do for the good of our country.

Political parties can come and go, but our Sierra Leone will forever remain. That is why we need peace and development at all times and not otherwise.

SHEKU PUTKA KAMARA is a Journalist and a Media and Communications Lecturer and Consultant – Email:

Contacts: +23278-273019/+23299-997089/+23234-723670/+23234-723597

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