• December 22, 2023

Big Sabotage! SLPP GOV’T IGNORES COMMUNIQUE  

Big Sabotage!  SLPP GOV’T IGNORES COMMUNIQUE  
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The Sierra Leone People’s Party-led government of President Julius Maada Bio has deliberately ignored the October 16, 2023 communiqué and rendered the implementation of the document incomplete.

Signed by both SLPP and the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), the agreement paved the road map for the commencement of election probe among other critical problems militating against democratic consolidation, peace, national unity and the stability of the country.

The refusal of government to adhere to the letters of the October 16, 2023 Communique it signed with the opposition has caused delay in the implementation of the agreement for peace and national unity.

RCBANK E-BANKING BASKET/BASKIT

The delaying tactics and neglect of the October 16 Communiqué were never the expectations of Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad, nor were they the anticipation of development partners. It is essential that the ruling SLPP and government try to make themselves available and take part in the process, so that both parties can continue with the dialogue. It would be unwise to put up disappointing behaviour that would take development partners and the public aback.

And no matter the situation, delays in the implementation of the communiqué within the stipulated time frame should not stand as obstacle to peace, development, unity and progress. Thus key players in the process must continue to engage constructively for the general good to restore public trust and confidence, which has long been damaged in the body polity of Sierra Leone.

The APC party’s trust and confidence in the SLPP government have eroded since Bio took up office in 2018 with most opposition partisans expressing fears of unfair play on the part of government. They have begun to  conclude that all the government wanted was to let the APC elected Members of Parliament  and local council representatives go to parliament and their respective councils to work and participate in governance with the ruling SLPP; not for anything good for both parties but for the sole interest of the SLPP. That is certainly not the end of the road, for there is still much to be done by government in ensuring that the communiqué is fully adhered to by both parties; rather that resorting to delaying tactics with flimsy excuses.

The government’s inconsistencies, backed by the refusal of the Bio team, to honour the agreement signed in the full view of the world sounds much disgraceful for the country. Sierra Leoneans deserve better than this.

The government and its development partners including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) must rise to the occasion in Sierra Leone and elsewhere in the region by doing the needful to guard against the destruction of democracy in West Africa.

So the catch-up urge by ECOWAS that the Government of Sierra Leone should fully implement the October 16, 2023 agreement should have come earlier than now if the regional block were to be looked at as a proactive community leadership, which seems not the case with ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS formed part of the elections observer mission of the June 24 polls in Sierra Leone. They saw all the flaws but sadly, though, they ended up endorsing the outcome of the process and by extension warmly congratulated the controversially re-elected president Bio for a second term, after Dr Mohamed Chambas met with the incumbent president behind closed doors.

What a deceit in the first place by ECOWAS to have remained dumb even after witnessing such a flawed election ever in the history of Sierra Leone’s democratic dispensation, a governance system that is rapidly sliding into a military dictatorship under the watch of ECOWAS.

AFRICELL SIERRA LEONE MEGA PROMO
AFRICELL SIERRA LEONE MEGA PROMO

Looking at things as they unfold in the region, ECOWAS should be seen addressing the rampant misuse of democratic rule, not the deployment of ECOMOG forces as a solution to stop military coups. Military coups are only staged where democratic rules and principles are blatantly abused with the illegitimate hold of power by autocratic leaders under the guise of democracy. ECOWAS should therefore up its game and bring such governance styles to a permanent halt in the region rather than always using the maximalist approach of conflict resolution, which is not the best option.Moreover, with the situation in Sierra Leone, much is even expected from ECOWAS to ensure that both the governing SLPP and the opposition APC comply with the election investigation within the stipulated six months’ time as established in the October 16, 2023 communiqué for stability and national unity.

The regional block should also continue to exert authority on President Bio and his administration to ensure the Government of Sierra Leone under his leadership demonstrate the highest level of commitment to the implementation of the communiqué and avoid inclusion of representatives from the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists and civil society organizations, who are not supposed to be part of the committee.

If the signed communiqué is fully respected and adhered to, there will be a way forward in addressing the pending issues.

As we express our beefs about the delaying tactics in this very important issue, it has just been revealed that the Chief Minister’s inconsistency in the international media has not been helpful to the situation.

The minister seems to have the notion that APC is not together in their struggle under the yoke of dictatorship but the latest X of Dr Richard Konteh and Dr Kaifala Marah have shattered that hope of his and supporters of his party to the point of they calling an emergency SLPP-NEC meeting last Saturday and announcing their collective endorsement of the process. Minister Sengeh, who had called on the APC to account for what he claimed as fleeing APC prisoners, lied at the international media that he did not say so. He told the VOA that he called on the opposition to work together. What a surprise and kitten game!

We hang our boots in this piece to come again with other beefs.

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