The true hallmark of a relationship is not in what one says, but what one does. Talk is cheap, as anyone with a voice is prone to making promises. However, doing as promised is a whole different ballgame.
Trust is the foundation of a relationship. Once trust is eroded there is no hope for that relationship, unless genuine repentance is made.
The SLPP government came into power making promises that struck a chord with voters. Long used to, and tired of being governed by successive governments that accuse each other of large scale theft of public finances, the people were hopeful that with the promised New Direction a new day had dawned for accountability and transparency in public service.
But three years down the line, the President Bio led government has so lost its declared war on corruption, financial leakages and lawlessness that it longer refers to it. Now the focus has shifted to the Free Quality Education programme, whose effective execution is, like all of its plans without sound strategies for accomplishing, a pipedream at best. Failing to hand over party members including government ministers accused of graft for prosecution, government continues to toy with the freedom and security of members of the past regime whose names appear on the White Paper by choosing if and when to bring charges against them.
By recycling partisan ministers accused of graft to other positions in government, PAOPA is saying that lack of proof is an indication of innocence. No, far from that it just says that the person is good at concealing evidence. The ACC has lost face with the public, which no longer see it as capable of and having the independence to prosecute all and sundry irrespective of party affiliation. It has been decided that the ACC is here on the orders of the New Direction government, for which it seeks out members of the former regime to prosecute while providing justification for current regime members.
Faith has also been lost in the government’s commitment to the peace and security of the state, as worried members of the public have not only been treated to wonton disregard for the rule of law and public safety by thugs associated with the party, but also by the unresolved killings of unarmed civilians by state security officers across the country. The virtual security lockdown of the state by heavily armed officers on the nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary conveyed a very threatening message to the people of what to expect if they dare attempt to protest against this government.
At the inception of its regime, the ruling SLPP government sent a clear cut message of its disdain for procedure when it not only forced the Speaker on the House and country, but its forceful removal of ten elected lawmakers by law enforcement officers from the Well of Parliament. Litigation to resolve that action is yet to make it to trail. This cavalier approach to accomplishing its plans has become this government’s modus operandi, even when passing laws that are against the best interest of the state. By not considering the people’s objections to such legal instruments, especially as they are geared towards limiting their rights and freedoms, this government is exhibiting the traits of a burgeoning dictatorship.
All of these actions are being seen and witnessed by the international community, who despite such continue to pump money into Sierra Leone, leaving us to ask: what is your agenda here in Sierra Leone? Are you here for the people or the government? By actively involving and engaging their citizens in the democratic process, western democracies have, until the advent of Donald Trump, a marked maturity and are growing much faster and stronger than, say, Sierra Leone’s. A government of, for and by the people is much attractive than a government of, for and by a party, tribe and or region.
Today, there is nothing this government can do or say that will convince the people of its good intentions for the country. By consistently failing to deliver on key campaign promises, this government continues its journey on the road leading out of State House, with only the corruption and violence it is known for the only way it can guarantee success in 2023. We cite here the results of the recently recalled intra SLPP elections – how can one justify having more votes than the number of registered voters? The people’s faith in this government has surely eroded.