By Alie Kabba
Fellow Sierra Leoneans and Defenders of Democracy,
A few hours ago, the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Koroma, the man who is supposed to zealously protect the constitution, violated that same constitution by firing his Vice President. The president, in this brazen move, used Section 41b as justification for sacking his Vice President. Whoever advised the president has done irreparable damage to constitutional rule because there is nothing in the constitution that gives Ernest Koroma the right to arrogate for himself powers that he clearly does not have to fire his vice president.
Let me make it clear that this has nothing to do with affection for Sam Sumana, a man who chose to lie down with fleas on the APC mattress and is now suffering its ill effects. This has everything to do with the sanctity of the rule of law, constitutionality, and every patriot’s solemn duty to save our country from the law of the jungle, where men with power can ride roughshod over the supreme law of the land.
If politicians can manipulate the constitution and treat it like confetti, or cheap toilet paper, what hope does Sierra Leone have to rise from the hell of poverty, bad governance and economic hopelessness?
Our country has gone through a lot in its recent history. As Sierra Leoneans, we love our country; we are patriotic, kind and tolerant. We want the very best for our children and want a country that will rise to its God-given potential, with opportunity and justice for all. Our curse, however, has always been that we are saddled with some of the worst leaders in the world. As venal as other leaders have been, Ernest Koroma seems to have decided to win the Gold Medal in terms of his reckless authoritarian bent.
This president has presided, with malevolent incompetence, over the destructive rampage of Ebola and the mortal butchery of our constitution. Whereas Ebola is retreating in neighboring countries, that infernal disease is stubbornly doubling down in Sierra Leone, with millions of dollars meant to battle the disease callously squandered by corrupt officials. What has happened to that audit report on the missing Ebola funds? Not one person has been prosecuted.
As corrupt officials and friends of the president swagger with impunity, mansions and palaces are being built on the backs of our poor and suffering people. Corrupt relatives and friends of the president are getting promoted and they are being rewarded with oil blocks secretively from the country’s exploratory oil reserves in the dead of night. The constitution is being twisted to perpetuate APC misrule, and talented SLPP supporters are being fired left and right for no just cause.
Meanwhile, the promise of democracy, prosperity and the rule of law has withered into poverty and hopelessness for the vast majority of our people. And now, those who have presided over all our country’s anguish are conniving to manipulate the constitution and the electoral process to stay in power by hook or crook in 2018.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, we have nothing to celebrate on April 27th, our Independence Day, this year. Our people are not happy. We are fed up with the authoritarian trait in the APC party. We are fed up with the hopelessness of life today. We are angry that the rule of law is now the rule of the jungle. We are sick and tired of Ebola, incompetence, corruption and greed. We are worried that if we allow APC to get away with this unholy and illegal assault on our constitution, the dark days of dictatorship will blanket the nation again.
We might not have a Sierra Leone we can call home if we allow the greed and corruption of APC leaders to go unchecked. We are tired of the imperial presidency that is threatening our democracy and making a mess of our socioeconomic aspirations.
I am calling on all Sierra Leoneans from all corners of Sierra Leone, and around the world, to plan for April 27th as a day of mass action against bad governance, bankrupt leadership, economic misery, unconstitutional power grabs, and for an affirmation of our unshakable faith in the rule of law and democracy. This is not a call to violence or mob action. Rather, it will be a historic march in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, Port Loko, Kailahun, Kambia, London, Washington, New York, Berlin, Sydney, Paris and the world over, to raise our voices in unison that we will not allow APC to take away our democracy and hope for a better life for our country. We will not allow greedy and corrupt leaders to think that they can rule over us, instead of being loyal servants of the people for the economic progress and development of our country.
I am appealing to all Sierra Leonean organizations at home and abroad as well as political parties to join the nonpartisan coalition of patriotic forces and participate in the April 27th peaceful mass action to protest APC’s subversion of the rule of law and the attendant corruption and decay that threaten to leave Sierra Leone in permanent poverty, and to tell the whole world that Sierra Leone will rise again from the ashes of APC misrule – solidly democratic and economically strong with opportunity and social justice for all.
I call on the the youth of Sierra Leone to mobilize the masses on April 27th to take our country back from anti-democratic and unpatriotic forces.
Together, we will save the soul of the nation and restore our national dignity.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and make Sierra Leone a shining light on the hilltop of Africa!
I remain your humble servant,