By Alpha Bedoh Kamara
National politicking in Sierra Leone is growing hot and names are surfacing for the flagbearer of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC)political party in the country.
One thing that is worth noting is that some of the names are not new in the country’s political history and could be traced back to the days of the one-party rule, the Junta government, to post-war democratically elected governments.
These same people have represented their constituencies in parliament and as ambassadors and ministers of governments; unfortunately, many of these individuals cannot personally point at any meaningful sustainable development they’ve influenced in the country. Yet they continue to hold onto power because of the people’s ignorance, made possible by high level of illiteracy, poverty, and regional and tribal divide.
This is why the independent media is vital in creating a balance in the operations of the state by making sure the people are informed on issues of national and international concern that influence their livelihood. This brings me to the news regarding the desperation of some old APC members resigning national duties to contest for the flag bearer, and supposedly, to contest against younger folks like John Bonoh Sesay, a businessman and public figure committed to improving the economic and social outcomes of Sierra Leone.
Sadly, though, the propaganda media, paid for by people who believe running the country is a family business, are desperately portraying the president, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, as trying to dictate the choice of the party’s flag bearer.
Sesay recently states, “The Presidency is a very serious business, you will be dealing with the lives of millions of people and this means you will be assessed and graded from different angles. If you are not a serious person, the entire nation will suffer.”
Let it be known by every Sierra Leonean that we own an answer to our generations yet unborn for our failures in ensuring they are provided with a robust, sustainable, secure, and peaceful country. Let it be known that putting personal gains before country is reasons for our country’s deplorable state and continued exploitation of human and natural resources.
It is time Sierra Leoneans think out of the box and face our fears and once and for all take responsibility for our inaction in doing the right thing.
There are other Sierra Leoneans with positive intentions for the country but struggling to break through the barriers created by old-school politicians and their cronies, and I mentioned John Bonoh Sesay as an individual of interest for the flag bearer of the APC, and people may want to know why.
With him, at the helm of government, most of the pragmatic good intentioned Sierra Leoneans skeptical about the political environment and sitting on the edge will be hopeful and be part of the economic process of making the country a better place.
Unlike the white-elephant projects often trumpeted by the propaganda media as a landmark of some of the politicians in Sierra Leone, John Bonoh Sesay prioritizes education, is creating a difference in education and reaching out to youths in schools and colleges, and motivating young people to be progressive Sierra Leoneans.
He is using his time, energy and money to engage local people in various communities throughout the country and giving millions of Leones in micro credits to empower women and girls in businesses and millions of scholarship to chiefdoms in the country.
Sisay is passionate about improving the lives of all Sierra Leoneans and spearheaded a peoples’ movement within Sierra Leone; the ‘Join 4 Betteh Salone” aimed at fostering community engagement through civic participation.
These sessions are the first of their kind in Sierra Leone and encourage all community members regardless of age or gender to participate in conversations about how to improve Sierra Leone.
Also unlike the others, Sesay’s most priority in the various engagements is education to develop the potential of young people and his actions are echoing across the country, providing hope for the millions of women and girls, who believe with education, they can be better stakeholders in society.
Sesay wants young people to improve their educational skills for them to become expatriate working all over the world because they too need to be exporting human resources and not always importing into the country.
Unlike the others, Sesay does not make bogus promises or bringing together groups of thugs to fly his flag, but using his engagements to promote civic awareness and education. His actions, so far, are indicative of a man with a focus to create the positive change every Sierra Leonean wanted.
Sierra Leone on February 2018 will be holding the fifth post-war democratically elected government to again choose a president and Government to once again guide the country to the pathway of socio-economic progress, sustainability, and better opportunities for the people.
Expectations are high amongst the predominantly youthful population, who want better education opportunities, sustainable job opportunities, better healthcare, and transparency and accountability in governance. But wrong choices over the years have contributed in electing people into offices who performed poorly and ended up pilfering or mismanaged public funds meant for the establishment of infrastructures to address the looming economic needs.
Poor accountability and transparency of activities in the public sector, local and central government positions are destroying the future of our country’s development and the only way to address that is by putting into office one with the temerity and nerve to take the bull by the horns.
John Bonoh Sesay has proved a worthy Sierra Leonean in the private sector and promoting a ‘civic and education campaign’ that is the sure-ball for Sierra Leone to once again stand on its feet stands him top amongst the others.