By Prof Sankara Kamara….
As a nationalistic Sierra Leonean, I must communicate the following message. I am not a Maada Bio supporter, but for Sierra Leone’s sake, truth must be recognized. You can criticize Maada Bio without insulting his sacrifice on the battlefield. Maada Bio is a PUBLIC FIGURE. In democratic societies, Maada Bio’s status as a PUBLIC FIGURE means he should tolerate his opponents’ criticisms, even when such aspersions are unfair. As a Sierra Leonean, you have the right to criticize Maada Bio, at any time. Whatever you do, PLEASE do NOT trivialize Maada Bio’s military service. Do not insult Maada Bio’s sacrifice on the battlefield.
You have the right to probe Maada Bio for a variety of reasons. Is he intelligent? What are his policies? If elected, how does Bio plan to achieve his presidential objectives? You can use these kind of questions to critically examine Maada Bio and other presidential aspirants. Do NOT, however, insult Maada Bio’s sacrifice on the battlefield. The man wielded a gun and fought for Sierra Leone on the battlefield. It takes a lot of raw nerves to militarily defend a politically damaged country like Sierra Leone, where NOTHING works.
As a nationalist, I believe in a STRONG and HEAVILY equipped Sierra Leone Army, capable of TOTALLY destroying an external enemy. Tragically, the army in which Maada Bio served as a battlefield operative was damaged by a criminal political class, which rendered Sierra Leone incapable of defending itself against aggression. The men and women who INITIALLY responded to Charles Taylor’s aggression in 1991 were underfed, ill-clothed and poorly armed. Yet, they selflessly confronted the enemy, after the invasion of our country in 1991. It takes a lot of BRAVERY to SERVE as a wartime soldier in APC-ruled Sierra Leone, where every national institution has been willfully undermined.
ALL the national institutions under the useless Joseph Saidu Momoh–from the police, judiciary to the army–were treasonably damaged by the WICKED politicians in power. A soldier who serves such a damaged country on the battlefield, should NEVER be insulted for risking life and limb. You have the right to attack Maada Bio for a multitude of reasons. The virtues of NATIONALISM, however, demand that we recognize and respect Maada Bio’s sacrifice on the battlefield.