57 YEARS OF POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE: 57 YEARS OF SOCIOECONOMIC DEPENDANCE

Today, April 27, 2018, is the 57th Anniversary of Sierra Leone’s political Independence. I pray for the Almighty’s mercy on our small nation, which is rich in natural and mineral resources, yet one of the poorest in the world. I also pray that the Almighty forgive us, as a people, whose shortcomings keep us in the dire socioeconomic bondage that is wrecking havoc on the most vulnerable among us.

Photo credit: The Sierra Leone Telegraph

This is not ‘Happy Independence.’ I know some might disagree with me, I respect that, but I believe it is foolhardy to celebrate an anniversary for which we have nothing to show; this is the bitter pill we must ingest, just as we swallowed quinine to cure our malaria in those days when we were children.

  • It is not ”Happy Independence” when, half the population is food insecure, which means over 3 million people do not have sufficient food to eat in Sierra Leone (World food program, 2016).

  • It is not “Happy Independence” when the majority of women in our nation is illiterate and our nation has been labeled the worst place to be a pregnant woman due to the high maternal mortality rate.
Photo credit: Amnesty International

Photo credit: Amnesty International

  • It is not “Happy Independence” when a high number of adolescent girls are dropping out of junior secondary school due to pregnancy, never to return
  • It is not a “Happy Independence” when the majority of the youth are under-educated, unemployed and out of school
  • It is not “Happy Independence” when a good number of our citizens are dying from curable and preventable illnesses, including children and the youth, because we lack the most basic healthcare

This is not the time to celebrate “Independence” when our nation is so heavily dependent on donors for our most basic needs, especially donor aid that come with strings attached.

On this 57th Independence Anniversary, we as a people must do some serious soul-searching. A country does not fall into such decay without the thoughts, actions, and behaviors of its citizens. We must reflect on our role in what has led to our nation being in such a deplorable state.

We can blame the leaders all we want, but that does not change the fact that we the people are a major contributor.

As we gradually inch our way to the next independent anniversary, we need to reflect on what choices we are going to make to be sure positive change is actualized for the next generation.

Please watch the video below, a poignant message from a man who understands his Naga society, a society with which ours has similarities.

What kind of person are you in Salone society?

Are you the,

  • Idiot?
  • Tribesman/tribeswoman? or
  • Ideal Citizen?

please leave a comment below!

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