Those Fanning The Flame Of Discord!

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Malcolm King

The problem with Sierra Leone is the extreme political divisiveness generally along region and ethnicity. This became very conspicuous following the March, 2018 national elections which the incumbent political party lost the presidential runoff to the main opposition party.

Since then, unscrupulous citizens from both within and without have taken to the social media posting hate speeches, inciting statements, vitriolic remarks against political leaderships, unprintable remarks, indecent cartoons and other disgusting materials that have the propensity to not only ignite upheaval in Sierra Leone, but to also make her ungovernable.

Truth is those fanning the flame of discord to make our beloved country ungovernable must be reminded of what we as a nation went through during the eleven-year-long civil conflict that caused wanton destruction to lives and property.

Because of decades of bad governance prior to the civil conflict, many Sierra Leoneans had openly expressed that Sierra Leone would never prosper without going to war.

This was repeatedly said by many citizens in street corners, ghettoes, rum bars and other social gatherings at a time when our country became a failed state; when we were queuing up for basic necessities like rice and fuel; when we used to get one or two months salaries after we had worked for more than five or six months; when all the vices that characterized a failed state were very conspicuous in our country.

The civil war which many Sierra Leoneans prayed for eventually came, killing tens of thousands of our compatriots, maiming thousands of them and displacing millions of people.

Thousands of Sierra Leoneans became refugees in foreign lands and many of them died in refugee camps and were buried in host countries. But it seems that those posting hate messages, inciting statements and other disgusting stuffs on the social media have easily forgotten about our ugly past as a nation; otherwise, they would not be fanning the flame of discord along regional and tribal line.

If someone who is good at making inciting statements day in, day out and calling for the removal of the democratically elected President of the Republic of Sierra Leone from power could be described as a ‘freedom fighter and the voice of the people,’ then something is fundamentally wrong with unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans who are intent on making our country ungovernable because of selfish reasons.

But where will this lead them to or where will they hide when the war they are craving for finally comes? To go abroad and seek asylum or resettlement like the thousands of our compatriots who benefitted from such privileges during our civil war?

To join hands with the coupists and loot the state like the unpatriotic politicians and civilians did when the AFRC/RUF junta overthrew the late erstwhile President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah?

Whatever it is, war in any way, shape or form is anathema to national development and those wishing for it are not developmental but outright cowards who lack the courage or balls to confront the appropriate authorities on national issues head-on.

A true patriot should always put the country first before any partisan considerations, but unfortunately, most of our compatriots see their political parties as their religions and partisanship as their god with no recourse to nationalism.

These primordial attachments must stop if we truly love Mama Salone and support national development because when the country prospers, all of us will prosper one way or another.

But on the contrary, if the country is in crisis majority of us will definitely suffer and many will even perish in the end, including those wishing for it.

By and large, it is incumbent upon all well-meaning Sierra Leoneans to support national development, irrespective of which ever political party is in power. Whether a President belongs to party A, B or C, for instance, that President takes an oath to serve not his political party but Mama Salone and her citizenry.

So we therefore need to shrug aside our partisan differences and wholeheartedly support the current Bio administration to deliver on its election manifesto promises so that our country will forge ahead in national development.

But the hate speeches, incitements and other disgusting political remarks on the social media, which are aimed at fanning the flame of discord in the country, can only beget chaos and backwardness at a time we should be embracing national development and contributing to it in our own little ways.