In the past few days I
have seen a few unscrupulous individuals disseminating gruesome images of our violent
civil war on social media in order to intimidate those who are taking to the
streets to protest a recent government violation of our constitution. I urge those
using such irresponsible fear-mongering to desist not only because the country
cannot afford another war, but also in solemn respect for the memories of those
who were killed, raped, tortured, and traumatized during those years of
The people have the right
to protest their elected government without threats of violence against them.
What we seek after a decade of war is a nation of laws in which all are
governed by law. A protest by the people against the constitutional blunder of
their leader should not be automatically viewed as an attempt to overthrow the
government; it must instead be viewed as a call from the people to their
elected government to uphold the very document that gave it the right to rule.
We the people cannot allow the sort of autocratic leadership that eventually
pushed our country into a decade of conflagration in which brothers and sisters
hunted each other’s lives in vain.
I also urge the
government and security forces to protect their people and their country. As service
members who have taken the oath to defend and protect the country, you are not
vigilantes or stooges of any politician. You, too, are servants and guardians
of the republic. Even in our differences of opinion, we are bound by the love
of our common patrimony, which is Sierra Leone.
Finally, I plead to the
government to take constructive actions to remedy this situation. I am
convinced that you did not do what you did with malicious intent; it was a natural
error probably caused by a hasty reading of the law. It must have been
difficult to go beyond the tempting letters of “supreme leader” and reach the
less grandiose reasoning of a ‘humble servant' in a democracy. Here is a solution, Mr.
President: please reinstate your vice president, fire him constitutionally (as
you may as well have cause and parliamentary backing) or give him a gentlemanly
urging to resign, if you no longer want to work with him, and we shall all
return to fighting ebola.
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