• January 20, 2024

Lahai Writes Bio

Lahai Writes Bio
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Compliment of the Season sir your Excellency sir.

I have carefully examined the ECOWAS decision of deploying troops in Sierra Leone to help stabilize the security situation before they withdraw. I would like to request your permission to share my humble opinion on the situation, sir.

First, let me briefly review the recent history of the SLPP and President Kabba’s era. President Kabba trusted General Hassan Conteh, who had a troubled working relationship with Defence Minister Mr. Sam Hinga Norma and ignored intelligence reports of a coup plot that led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Kabba.

Thanks to foreign intervention, Kabba’s government was restored. As soon as the government settled, there was a decision to disband the army and train a new set of soldiers, like it happened in Liberia. The Kabba government was inconsistent in that decision. His government changed its mind about disbanding the army, but the government had already provoked the bad blood. So many soldiers were very unhappy with the intention to disband the army. During Kabba’s end of term in office, the APC used that pronouncement, lack of training allowance and other welfare issues as tools to fan hatred for the SLPP in the army. Fast forward, the APC came to power by rogue means, such as sacrificing Hinga Norma and rigging the election, which was endorsed by President Kabba. With the APC in power, they kept General Mboma for six months and retired him and appointed him as Deputy Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was later replaced by General Nelson Williams after two years. With General Mboma as CDS and RY Koroma as JFC, the army experienced a stagnant balance in appointment. With better support from President Kabba’s tenure, the army remained engaged in its regular activities, such as training, operations and administration.

The army started going bad when General RY Koroma got sick. But what kept the APC in touch with the army was that President Koroma kept Palo Conteh, his loyal lieutenant, as Defence Minister. If Palo fell out with any general, the general was removed instead of Palo. Though Palo later became unpopular with some of the other ranks due to the RSLAF losing its deployment space in peacekeeping, he maintained a firm grip over the army as a Defence Minister.

Coming to some of the challenges with your administration, sir, you over-retained the CDS you inherited. As such, he maintained the APC structure in appointment. He even recommended the one who succeeded him. Additionally, he was not sent out of the country as an ambassador, which should have kept his influence away from the defence structure. Worth noting, the APC defence structure you inherited and maintained led to the undermining and dysfunction of Rtd. Col SN Sheriff as DMD. For General Kelly Conteh, he was misled to narrow the space for growth at the top echelon within the army. Besides, I had informed you about the dissatisfaction regarding the huge salary disparity between the generals and the colonels downwards. So, as a matter of fact, sir, these are some of the structural challenges the military is facing, which have made it difficult for your administration to overcome one challenge after another. In my opinion, the day you get a Defence Minister whose loyalty is fixed on his constitutional mandate and who sees you as his only superior and strives to achieve your government’s mission for his ministry as his main effort, you can go to bed and sleep well, sir.

ON THE ISSUE OF ECOWAS DEPLOYMENT UNTIL STABILIZATION RETURNS, IT HAS ITS OWN HUGE RAMIFICATIONS ON YOUR ADMINISTRATION, SIR. TO THIS, I HUMBLY REQUEST THAT YOU ALLOW ME TO SHARE MY OPINION BASED ON ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK FROM THE PUBLIC AND PERSONNEL.

Firstly, your haters will not make it look like the opposition is the problem, they will drive the narrative to justify their lies that you are unpopular with your own constituency which is the Army and driving the message home that the civilian had better leadership skill and application than you. By implications, this will seriously affect the gains you are making as a far much better leader in crisis management than your predecessors.

Your haters may still intensify their havoc even after the deployment of foreign troops by compromising them with women and perhaps even bribing them. The deployment of foreign troops may also serve as a huge criticism against our party with the security forces. They will start spreading rumour that SLPP hate and lack trust in the security forces.

Sir, let me assure you of one thing that the RSLAF you inherited from EBK is far much transformed, balanced and professional than the one President Kabba inherited from you during the war. President Koroma and the APC might have taken some young officers trained under his regime through an extra oath of allegiance to him contrary to that they took on the day of their passing out. But trust me sir, with a better political and military leadership over the RSLAF and with the right support, you can inspired the best out of them sir.

Lastly sir, there has actually been the understanding that ECOWAS will have its logistical deployment in Sierra Leone for its standby force. If a decision is already reached for their deployment in SL with the.view of stabilizing crisis in Sierra Leone, the narrative can be changed by stating that the deployment of the ECOWAS STANDBy force has nothing to do with stabilizing crisis in Sierra Leone which our security forces cannot handle. Let the narrative be directed this way sir: That long before now, there was need for the ECOWAS standby force to deploy it’s logistical branch in Sierra Leone to address security challenges for the entire subregion. Sierra Leone may only attract ECOWAS intervention if Sierra Leone’s security situation warrants the reasons for which ECOWAS can deploy. Let us ensure, that even the RSLAF contributes troops to the ECOWAS. This way sir, our government would have succeeded in diverting the unnecessary and negative propaganda that the SLPP govt under your leadership lack trust in the RSLAF and the security body in Sierra Leone.

Be rest assured sir, that no one political party will succeed in overthrowing a democratically elected government in SL. Not even the APC, except it be the collective will of the RSLAF. The possibility of getting the collective will of the force to go against their constitutional mandate is narrow.

Thank you for your time sir and I hope you find Prudence in my opinion sir.

Have a blessed and peaceful weekend.

L.L. Leema

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