Bitter-Sweet National Dialogue: Sierra Leone Wins 2023 Polls

The national dialogue between the All People’s Congress (APC) meant to end the stalemate and boycott with the incumbent Sierra Leone Peoples’ party (SLPP) led government, ended yesterday in a bitter-sweet experience with Sierra Leone as the winner. The National commission for Peace headed by Rev. Shodankay Johnson, had a tough work to first bring the two parties together. That huddle was crossed. The dialogue was headed by the Chief Minister, Dr. Moninah Sengeh of the SLPP and the presidential candidate of at the main opposition APC party, Dr. Samura Kamara.

Weeks before the commencement of the national dialogue, hopes were very high within supporters of the main opposition APC that a rerun election was possible especially with the involvement of foreign players and at the publication of the EU EOM reports. While toes and fingers were being pressed by supporters of the SLPP, the USA, the common wealth, the African Union and ECOWAS, bridged the national dialogue which was interpreted for negotiations by many supporters of the opposition.

While the government maintained its position on what will not change before the dialogue, a show of dominance was exuberated through the government’s mouth piece, the Minister of Information. However, back-end squabbles had begun in a quest to save the nation and for meaningful governance to ensue within the country to better the lives of ordinary Sierra Leoneans. Dryai Kobba Shame the libral would say. Whatever nomenclature was given to the dialogue, the engagement was necessary and ripe for national progression.

Every party involved with the dialogue had issues to address. It was a challenge between extremism and compromise which eventually lead to Sierra Leone being the winner. It was a dialogue. No one won it all. Sierra Leone encompasses the APC, the SLPP including other subgroups or political parties holding divergent views on national issues. It was meant for Sierra Leone to be peaceful. The nation had laws to follow and protect. That very law book, called the constitution, also placed responsibility on all for peace, stability and the fight against corruption.

What is actually interesting in all of the discuss is the law to follow on ECSL’s acclaimed blunders for electoral discontentment and the law to fight corruption forming the bridge of the dialogue or negotiation. While electoral laws were not followed by the APC, all pending cases within the court against former government officials of the APC maybe removed out of court (as opined by many) thus raising eye brows on the absence of a complete allegiance to our country’s constitution or National Pledge. Are we mortgaging our laws to suit our circumstances APC and SLPP? Precedence. What is Sierra Leone going to be in successive years if wrongs are written rights to sunken our laws into oblivion on the premise of correcting irregularities and credibility in barter for corruption cases? The law now can be seen as an adjunct to Fambul tok and used at will by those at the helm of affairs to possibly suit their comfort while subtracting ideals of the the ordinary man.

Certainly, The fight against corruption and moral ground is questionable and could rather be seen as fashionable in its implementation to suit all politicians to save the face on questioned credibility or a way out of all cases? “Salone na kontri” en “na ya so na salone”. Meaning, Sierra Leone is a country owned by all and this is how its done here in Sierra Leone, is a local phrase that explains a point of no return on critical happenings.

Whatever the interpretations would be, it is clear sierra Leone won but hanging future relations with the law in balance. Moving forward, the acclaimed care taker is actually the president of Sierra Leone. HE, Maada Bio. Samura Kamara, opposition. There is now a legitimate recognition of the opposition and their role in governance even when they say things that will not be in the incumbent party’s favour. It means cohesion and open competition will be seen in governance to represent and question issues bordering the state theoretically. My question comes. Is this temporal or would it be sustained for national peace? That I think is incumbent on all citizens with Rev. Shodankay Johnson’s Peace Commission mixing the perfect ingredients. I am not sure if it will taste well on all taste buds but it is prepared to say the very least.

Quite frankly, not all will love the outcomes. Blames abound among members of the opposition and liberally minded Sierra Leoneans. That brings us to one recommendation for the president. That is the president to make a national address on dialogue, unity, cohesion and peace. In our opinion, time is of essence especially now that the opposition have rubber stamped his continuity.

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