SIERRA LEONE IN 2017

As the New Year approached, nations and people will make new resolutions that they believed they can aspire to and tried at all possible cost to fulfill.

Sierra Leone is not an exception as majority of Sierra Leoneans went to Church on New Year’s Eve, asking the Almighty to help them in their endeavors in the upcoming year. As a nation that never sleeps, already things have started happening, as coming events cast it shadows.

Dixon’s Pen will attempt to discuss the things that have already happening, determining the trends of the year.

MINISTER BEATS UP CHILDREN

At the beginning of the year, Sierra Leoneans were woken up to the cries of children, accusing the controversial Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs, Sylvia Olayinka Blyden that they were beaten up by thugs hired by her.

This generated lots of opinions in the social media concerning the alleged attack, press releases and counter press releases on the issue to the point that one civil society activist said that the children will ensure that they take over the ministry.

Although I know that Sylvia has the penchant to misbehave, I think that the issue must be thoroughly investigated. Also most of the people I have seen on social media purporting to be children are actually not children.

PRESIDENT’S NEW YEAR SPEECH

During the holidays, the President made several speeches and most of them are very interesting as they spoke to the political time bomb his party is sitting on.

His speech in the fundraising dinner of his party in Makeni cautioned will be flag bearers that very soon the party will be setting the criteria for the election of the party’s presidential candidate.

In Kabala, he said that people are saying that he wants to use the de-amalgamation to extend his term and that if he wants to do that he would have done so long ago, forgetting that the constitution is supreme.

In his New Year speech, President Koroma talked about the need for a united country and the fact that the electoral process will begin soon.

Unity of a nation like ours should not just be talks rather the President should have long ago worked the talk by showcasing unity in his government.

Leaders should always ensure that they live what they talk. Another thing the President talked about is the fact that he is aware that things are very hard for the people of Sierra Leone but that he believed that they will get out of this very soon because according to him Sierra Leone is a resilient nation.

For me, this is an acceptance of failing the people, because this is a President who campaigned on the platform of prosperity but today he is making excuses for the huge failures.

FATHER AND MOTHER OF DEMOCRACY

Another thing that happened in the womb of the new year is the discourse about who is and who is not the father or mother of democracy.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Health who also recently resigned as United Nations Secretary General Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Areas to contest for the Presidency of Sierra Leone, Zainab Bangura said that the former flagbearer of the main opposition Sierra Leone People Party is not the father of democracy as many of his supporters are saying.

Zainab said that in fact Maada Bio wanted to thwart the democratic process because he was advocating for peace before election when there had already been agreement for elections to go side by side with the peace process.

She however credited Bio for starting the peace process. The discourse about who is and who is not the father or mother of democracy will continue up to 2018 when we will have the general election.

This is so because the issues around the personality of Julius Maada Bio will come up again if he becomes the Presidential Candidate of the main opposition SLPP.

Whether or not, they will have the same momentum as they did in the 2012 elections remains to be seen.

TWO EXECUTIVES IN SLPP

Another issue which will depict the trends of 2017 is the division which is reaping the main opposition Sierra Leone People Party apart.

There is no longer any central commander as the legitimate chairman of the party was suspended in awkward circumstances and the chairman himself has called in his own NEC meeting suspending those who initially suspended him.

Now there are parallel executives in the SLPP which means that the SLPP is not a serious party and they might end up in court just twelve months to elections.

I will want to use this opportunity on behalf of the management and staff of SALONE TIMES Newspaper to wish the people of Sierra Leone and our numerous subscribers a happy and prosperous new year as we continue to monitor those who wield power and those who want to be in public office. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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