• December 1, 2023


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The hypocritical response of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria continues to expose the regional block’s incompetence in containing bad governance and electoral thieveries in the sub-region that most times result to military coups.


ECOWAS observed the most discredited June 24 general elections and later warmly congratulated the winner President Julius Maada. What does ECOWAS want to tell Sierra Leoneans and the world at large, that they are in Freetown with a new narrative or to hoodwink the people again like they did in June, 2023.


ECOWAS’ games of condoning the militarization of democracies into state-sponsored bad governance in the West African region is certainly not new and it didn’t start in Sierra Leone, where the regional block is on records for observing the most rigged June 24 2023 general elections. They presided it in broad daylight electoral rubbery ever in the history of elections with impunity and disgracefully ended up acknowledging Bio as the winner, despite widespread denouncements and condemnations of the outcome of the electoral process.


ECOWAS should be therefore be basking in regret for imposing democratic thieves on the people of Sierra Leone instead of leading another delegation to the country after November 26 attack. Does ECOWAS want to tell the world that they don’t know the root causes of unrests unfolding in the region? Lies of course!!! They know very well, but they remain absolutely hypocritical. They are in complete refusal to address the problems at member state levels.


Electoral malpractices being one of the major problems associated with instabilities in the region, which ECOWAS continue to preside over  little or no action. Similarly, situations of such nature can hardly exempt Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the likes. After elections in both countries, their government with the help of ECOWAS ended up imposing their hegemonic leaders on the people, and called those particular regimes democracies. Are you being honest with this?


That birds of the same feathers flock together, President Chief Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria became president in like manners of Bio, by mere miracle. Both presidencies continue to spark hot debates in traditional and social media regarding how democratic Bio and Tinubu are, considering the huge doubts being cast over the exact governance system under which Nigeria and Sierra Leone are being ruled. Bio has told his ECOWAS friends in Freetown that his is democratic. Democratic indeed that is so badly riddled with poor human rights records, political intolerant, extra-judicial killing, national disintegration, regional and tribal divide the list is long. Yet he keeps beating his chest for being a democrat. Bio is not a democrat. He is afraid of democratic contests not to talk of upholding its values… We leave the rest of that angle of the debate for subsequent editions.


However, all we know and would continue to caution ECOWAS is that they should not fall for lies from authorities in Sierra Leone especially about the 26 November attack. The truth must be told!!! And as a regional body with binding treaties and protocols, they should be firm in their actions against defaulting member states, especially where they (the ECOWAS delegation) finds itself now as gone are the days of impunity.  ECOWAS and other international system partners should ensure political and leadership accountabilities for lives lost since 2018 to date to end the culture of impunity.


Moreover, ECOWAS should also not just be concerned about West Africa nations electing presidents to offices through whichever undemocratic patterns in their respective member states, but to ensure that member state strictly adhere to the supreme fundamental principles and values of democratic good governance. That seems to be lacking in the region off late considering what is happening in Sierra Leone under the watch of the very ECOWAS.


In Sierra Leone, for instance, ECOWAS appears to be in Freetown again for talks with the Bio government about Sunday incident. That is always the case nothing much.


One wonders what exactly what the ECOWAS delegation is in town for. Why do they always come in the first place, is it to mock Sierra Leoneans? Mockery of the people is exactly why ECOWAS is in Freetown again, after listening to government’s perpetual lies.


It is only hope that ECOWAS is in town this time around to also talk to all sects of government, not just the ruling class. The delegation is even expected to engage the opposition so that they return to Abuja with a balance fact about the situation on the ground in Sierra Leone, irrespective of the regional block’s closed affinity with the failed undemocratic regime. As a fact finding mission about the November 26 2023 incident, ECOWAS should not subject itself to the hoodwinks government. They must encourage Government of Sierra Leone and President Bio to comply fully with the day set aside by the dialogue mediators for inter-governmental talks with state and non-state actors in the best interest of democracy, peace unity and national stability at all levels. That trajectory should not be diverted by the November 26 incident.


As a neutral body on the ground, what ECOWAS should also be mindful of is to question why the Government of Sierra Leone and president Bio should not divert public attentions from the all-important national agenda to the Sunday attack, only to raise doubtful alarms about insurrection and terrorist attacks at military installations, amid thousands of security checkpoints and roadblocks mounted across Freetown if not the country and the world at large.


Nobody expects government’s diversion ploy. Not even for any reason but for the sake of peace, President Bio and his government should have demonstrated a bit of leadership respectability for the spirit of national unity and conform with the dictates of the pacts signed therein rather than they keep misleading ECOWAS with untruth and self cooked-up facts. What a shame!!!


Inform the ECOWAS delegation appropriately with the facts not your cooked fairy tales, though the Government of Sierra Leone has a security sector headed by professionals in their respective disciplines, charged with the constitutional mandates of protecting lives and property. But they failed in providing protections for lives and property on that Sunday. So with that firmly in place and as was expected to be done, one would want to ask why the system failures from the tops of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, the Sierra Leone Police and the Office of National Security?


These agencies that are responsible for the security of the state mistakes and failures that happened on Sunday 26 November should not be eclipsed, but firm actions must be taken against heads of those institutions in question. Heads of the sector must therefore be immediately rolled before the publics start to see the level of seriousness government attach to the probable actions expected to be taken by government and president Bio against defaulters much as efforts are being made to arrest escapees and trouble makers instead of blame shifting.


Amid emerging questions and concerns about who does what on Sunday 26 November 2023, ECOWAS must and should remain neutral and firmly committed to conducting independent investigations into the armoury attack.


So ECOWAS must redeem its image now from duplicities and do the needful.


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