• August 20, 2023

US AMBASSADOR ACCENTUATES THE FRAGILITY OF SIERRA LEONE

US AMBASSADOR ACCENTUATES THE FRAGILITY OF SIERRA LEONE
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Titus Boye-Thompson. Accra, Ghana

Political events like social outbursts die out of their own like fashion but style remains through time. It is style that defines a period and accentuate the level of modernity of an age. So with political events, the actions or inactions of key players tell you about the degree of corruption and degradation in any society, the incidence of rent taking and electoral fraud all combine to manifest the fragile state context of the current dispensation.

The APC ‘s current position is a valid one, there should be no mistake a bout that in the minds of APC members. Those who query the position openly are only marginally better off than Mohamed Bangura and that other person who carries my much high profile Thompson nomenclature but the fact that he is not Creole may have accounted for his own misdeamenour but as the Creole adage goes, “even if you are not ashamed of your works, those who bear your name have to put up with the disgrace you bring to it. ”

Having no need to stress on the APC position at this point, it would be good to highlight the umbrage that got us to where we are and also to identify whether there are any other tangible ternagibwa that would have secured this much attention.

A consideration of the above issues bring me to two political events that are now out in the media. One is the interview of the outgoing American Ambassador to Sierra Leone and the other is the article of Cornelius Deveaux, erstwhile APC senior politician now in forced exile.

As the two events are inextricably  linked, this treatment of the issues have to be taken as congenital to the position that the APC has taken. The origin of the problem is emblematic of a single attempt to steal the mandate of the people, a most heinous crime against democracy.

To fault the APC as Cornelius Deveaux seem to aver would be a mistake and also a misreading of the US Ambassador’s pointed caution to the APC. Nor is it acceptable to inure that the APC has diminished it’s hand by not going to court. In this game, the impetus is with the global perception that what has just transpired in Sierra Leone is now a conspiracy to defraud the nation done to it by the intelligentsia and the plan is to brazen the act by doing the ostrich method of handling a crisis. To hold on to an entrenched position without dealing with the root cause of the crime makes a mockery of the circumstances that have arisen from it. So to state that a court system that is intrinsically biased and under state capture would provide a better option at redress is just like as Deveaux puts it that not going to court intrinsically legitimised the SLPP’s theft of the people’s votes.

The American Ambassador’s interview was tacit in admitting that Bio is currently President and that this fact is due in part that there has not been a legal challenge to the announcement of the results but in a game where the referee is playing for the other side, fouls are to be expected inocuously.

The APC are in no doubt of the herculean task they face but still find comfort in the regularity of their action and the fact that the entire party is behind the decision, notwithstanding the opportuned acts of reneging by Bangura and Thompson. The situation remains a deadlock and a quagmire for constitutionality.

Another point of the US Ambassador’s interview goes to the credibility of the results and ultimately the legitimacy of the Presidency and government. The fact that the Americans have now vetoed a financial benefit to Sierra Leone is a measure of the seriousness of the discomfort of the Western partners. Same goes for the UK and Europe whose representatives  are also markedly discomfitted with the extended arguments over the disaggregated data and their repeated calls for an independent review. On these points, it would be foolhardy to dismiss the US Ambassador’s interview as compromising in any way the official position of his government. The change of Ambassadors to Sierra Leone at this time may be tangential to an expectation of a return to civil conflict brought about by this flagrant abuse of the process of representation of the people, much more than as a result of any disparagement of his views.

 

The Sierra Leone Government would be well advised to deal with the APC position and their refusal to engage on any governance activity at this time. The ongoing outcomes of ad hoc meetings would only pave the way for a more cogent handling of discussions on ways forward that would more evidently be the solution, one of which is tending towards a government of national unity. We need to hit the reset button, to solve the constitutional issues caused by this attack on our democracy and to strengthen our institutions to ensure that this wholesale theft of the peoples’ mandate is never again attempted by any set of people aiming to thwart our hard won peace or to foster any such putrid atmosphere of tribalism and regionalism that now permeate our society.

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