‘Nationalism not tribalism’ Ernest Bai Koroma says
During the nationalist movement in Africa, the freedom fighters against colonial rule focused attention on the welfare of their respective communities irrespective of the tribe they came from.
Nationalism was influenced by the African Leaders in the bid to get rid of the colonial masters with gradual emancipation for self esteem.
In some African countries like Kenya, nationalism was a stepping stone to achieve Independence and self determination through blood bath.
In Sierra Leone, Sir Milton Margai negotiated with the British colonial authorities to attain sovereignty in a peaceful way although there were controversies which were negotiated. In the end Independence was acquired without armed struggle.
In Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta instituted the Mau Mau cult headed by Kinji Kiteli of the Kolelo cult as an instrument that finally wiped out European supremacy in the country.
Sir Milton Margai did not preach war or tribalism but rather preached the preached the concept national unity and it was this unity of country and purpose that saw the British packing from our shores on 27th April, 1961,
In neighboring Guinea, President Ahmed Sekou Toure fought against the French and attained Independence in an aggressive manner in 1958. He was given two options, namely, either to remain under French jurisdiction opt out of it and lose their support.
His message was Guinea for the Guineans and not any alternative government. He did not make any emphasis on Madingo, Fullah, Susu or Kissi and in his heydays, though a confirmed dictator, Guinea’s international relations flourished especially with Eastern Europe in the eyes of his enemies.
What we are doing is trying to draw the attention of our readers to the current administration of President Ernest Bai Koroma’s government which has brought on board people from all tribes in his administration.
It is inimical and a hindrance to national development when Leaders decide to be tribalistic and choosy. To be a patriotic leader one has to go beyond tribal lines as it is being practiced by President Koroma.
I was moved by the stimulating contribution of Honorable Paramount Chief Kanagboro 11 of Massingbi, Tonkolili District in the Well of Parliament last year, when he equated President Koroma’s contribution to the country with that of Joseph Opala of Fourah Bay College who once said that, “As old as Sierra Leone may seem today to those who do not know the country well, Sierra Leone has grown.”
The good wise Chief was very blunt in his contribution by looking at issues of nationalism and threw very significant light on nation building devoid of tribalism.
He appealed to colleague Members of Parliament to imbibe the spirit of working for the building of this nation and not to involve themselves in any activity or utterance that will bring divisions to this country on the lines of tribe, religion or region.
That is the spirit President Koroma is fighting to infuse into Sierra Leoneans. And that is the spirit we must imbibe if we want to push this nation forward into peace, unity, and prosperity.
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