‘Bad Heart’ Will Not Help Sierra Leone

By sheik sesay

Former President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of blessed memory who as head of state did his level best to return Sierra Leone to peace and normalcy from the destructive rebel war of the 1990s, after carefully studying and analyzing the Sierra Leone personality commented despondently towards the end of his two terms as head of state that “Salone man get bad heart.”

Pa Kabbah meant that Sierra Leoneans generally do not love to see their fellow Sierra Leoneans doing well, living happily and prospering in their endeavors. And true to our nature, the latest and most bizarre expression of such bad heart is the social media disinformation campaign embarked on by a bunch of reckless mischief makers about the country’s current Head of State’s state of health.

Conjuring up the best of their creative imagination, these haters wishing that the gates of hell and all its ills would pour down on President Bio’s head had the temerity and impetuousness to post audio clips and texts on social media stating that President Bio has within the space of two weeks suffered stroke attacks that was concealed from the public. The last seizure the Bio haters said was so severe that he became paralyzed and was flown through Guinea to France.

The propagandists suggested that Sierra Leone is now in a political crisis and looking for a successor to President Bio who they suggest is now physically unfit to rule the country. Whilst the story is ridiculous to the point of hilarity because it is purely a figment of the imagination of its bad minded authors, the nation has to grapple with the wider ramifications of such hate by certain people for the country’s democratically elected head of state.

Firstly, let us as a nation understand that after God Almighty, the leader is God’s appointed deputy on earth among his creations. Just as the Bible and the Quran say to honor our fathers and mothers that our days on earth will be long and prosperous, equally so, if we want Sierra Leone to be a good, peaceful, harmonious prosperous place for all of us, it has to start with us respecting and honoring our leaders.

Let it be known that our real problem as Sierra Leoneans is not politics but the bitter fact that we do not love each other. The admonition to respect our leaders and to wish at all times the best for them and each other has nothing to do with belonging to APC, SLPP, NGC, C4C, PMDC or being Mende, Themne, Krio or coming from the North, East, West or South. It must be understood that it is only on this basis that we can truly come together as one to move the country’s development forward.

How can we say we love Mama Salone if we do not respect and honor the leader as the representation of the nation, both at home and abroad? In spite of whatever political and ideological differences that we have, we must not forget that respect, love and regard for our leader is the foundation of patriotism and nationalism. In actual fact whilst his haters were wishing the worst for him, a hale, hearty, plump, energetic President Bio fit as a fiddle was seen in Togo attending the ECOWAS Heads of State Summit. What can be malicious and mischievous than that – wishing a fellow human being who God Almighty has blessed with good health to become incapacitated and incapable of movement and speech?

Do unto others as you would like them to do to you. Would you like it if your fellow human beings at every twist and turn wish you harm or illness or bad luck? What would you think of them if you know that they think ill towards you? Do the Bio foes not have any humanitarian feelings? Take Bio first as human being, just like you and tell me honestly how would you feel to see your father, brother, uncle; loved one becomes paralyzed with stroke? Would you feel happy and jump up and down joyfully in celebration?

Almighty God who created us human beings loves us all indiscriminately. If he wished evil for any of us, which one of us would be on this earth – sinful as we are? Yet He has great compassion for our weaknesses and sufferings and to ameliorate them advised us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If you love somebody, would you like that person to suffer any distressing human condition?

Sierra Leoneans, if we truly want out country to develop like the other countries that we admire and want to run away to if we have the opportunity, please let us put away ‘bad heart’ for one another. After all, what we went through in the 1990s which should have shown us the stupidity and futility of hating one another. Is it not time now that we realized that together we prosper, divided we continue to perish like fools?

Let us make a clear distinction between belonging to different political parties and the requirement for us all to think and behave patriotically and nationally. Mind you, Sierra Leone is the only place in this whole wide earth that we can truly call home. The things which we enjoy here which most of us seem to take for granted cannot be found anywhere else where you navel is not planted.

Strangely and uncharacteristically, Sierra Leone is the only country in the world where we the people pray for God to send us ‘algbalao.’ Instead of praying to live together peacefully and happily, we are always at each other’s throat and in the process we suffer collectively like God’s forsaken people.

If Sierra Leone has to be a pleasing place for all of us to live in happily, we must not forget that it is when we are united and working in each other’s best interest that that dream can become reality. It is on a fundamental understanding of oneness in diversity that the great United States of America, its neighbor Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, France, China and other nations that are seen today as wealthy and prosperous stand firmly on.

Love of leader is the root of patriotism, the lack of which led us into a costly, destructive unwanted eleven years civil war. What more can we wish for worse than those years? It was because Foday Sankoh and his band of infidels chose to disrespect the leader that they extended the same disrespect to their country and its people, killing people mercilessly like flies and destroying wantonly all what we had struggled for generations to acquire. The Bio haters are consciously or unconsciously praying that Sierra Leoneans once more revert to that kind of self-destructive mentality. God help this nation!

Both Christians and Muslims are enjoined by their prophets to subject themselves to their leaders because all authority comes from God. The Bio foes who by extension want to incite us as a nation to start hating each other must sit down and take a careful look at themselves. Do they love themselves? Do they love their fellow Sierra Leoneans? Do they love our leader?

Being disloyal, disobedient and disrespectful of the leader clearly shows that the Bio haters are rebels and by law should be treated as such as what they wish is destruction of the state and its people for their own selfish gains; just as Foday Sankoh and his RUF rebels did. As a nation that went through hell and back in the 1990s we should not be too quick to forget that what these Bio haters want to do is to sow the seeds of discord amongst us. It would be foolhardy of us to water and weed those seeds to take root among us and to bear fruits.

Let us not forget what happened to Rwanda in the 1990s.  Love Sierra Leone. Love the leader. Pray for our collective unity and prosperity. That is the highest duty you and I can perform as citizens for the survival and betterment of this land that we love so much.