Bio Must Unite The Country

 

The issue of a long-standing uneasy calm existing between the South-East and North-West of the country is something many people have said President Bio as Father of the Nation cannot afford to sweep under the carpet.

But for the grace of the Lord God Almighty, we all saw how dangerously close the country came to descending into open war between jubilant victorious SLPP supporters and their defeated APC political rivals in some tense parts of the country.

It took the effort on an intra-parties mediation team commissioned by president bio to pacify jingoistic spirits in those political hotspots where vicious political clashes took place.

After those early tense days of his presidency, we also saw how sharply divided is along political lines with the controversial election of the speaker of parliament and his deputy that resulted in all the APC MPs walking out of the well.

And then quite recently, we saw the titanic struggle that took place in parliament between SLPP and APC over the passage of the three constitutional instruments that set up commissions of inquiry into the performance of key officials of the former government including ex-President Koroma, his Vice President, Ministers their Deputies and heads of MDAs which the APC National Publicity Secretary maintains is a calculated witch hunt by the SLPP government to destabilize and demoralize their party ahead of the 2023 elections.

As Father of the Nation and Commander in Chief, with such acrimonious political tensions simmering just below the surface between Red and Green supporters, it becomes a matter of great urgency for President Bio to assure the nation that he is not president for a sect of people but the entire nation.

Like all out previous leaders, President Bio wants to leave behind a legacy that he will be remembered for long after he leaves office. In which direction, his introduction of the Free Education program is a worthy legacy.

However, given the harrowing experiences that the country has gone through in the past two decades – the RUF war, Ebola, economic collapse, mudslide, flooding, it is very important that in his attempt to drag the country out of its hopelessness into resilience and prosperity, President Bio’s first responsibility to the people must be that of bringing about unity and cohesion; as well as restoring the confidence of the people that government serves everybody, regardless of tribe, region, religion, class or political conviction.

Without this, his administration cannot hope to take the country’s development far as there would be sabotage and reluctance to actively cooperate in pushing forward the country’s development agenda at all governance levels.

The Commission of Inquiry does not divide the nation. In fact, it is one good governance initiative taken by this government that everybody eager to see this country develop welcomes wholeheartedly. What continues to divide the nation is the hostility and suspicion that exists between SLPP and APC that can be traced to the 1960s which unfortunately among other things caused the disastrous rebel war from which we are still as a nation trying to recover from in many ways.

In uniting the people, President Bio needs to be guided by the fundamental principle of democracy as ‘Government of the people, by the people and for the people.’

Charity begins at home. In which light, President Bio should start by uniting the nation by first and foremost uniting his own party. It is he who should take the initiative of extending the olive branch to first of all, all those who opposed him during the contest to take the party into the 2018 elections in the true spirit of the party’s motto of: ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE – NO ONE LEFT BEHIND, NO ONE LEFT OUT.

On the national front, collectively as a nation, the people want to see an improvement in their standard of living. They want to see their Leones buying more goods. They want to see nutritious food on their tables bought at affordable prices. They want to go to hospital and receive good quality treatment at affordable cost – the same for education. The people want to live in decent affordable houses. The people want the police to enforce law and order impartially and without the hassle of paying for one’s right to be established – the same for the law courts.

When the people see President Bio and his government working diligently and honestly in pursuit of these commonly desired quality of life enriching issues, he would have gone a long way towards uniting what is still a fragmented nation sharply divided between rich and poor.