Windfall for Government… ‘Patriotic Sierra Leoneans’ launched
As the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party government wrestle underdevelopment in post war Sierra Leone, it became apparent at the launching of a philanthropic organization, the Patriotic Sierra Leoneans (PSL) quite recently in Freetown that true sons and daughters residing in the Diaspora have vowed to complement governments effort to uplift the conditions of community roads, promote patriotism, address the spate of tribalism, instill cultural values, sensitize the electorates on the importance of exercising their franchise and to compel operating companies to honor their corporate social responsibilities. Photo: The Brain Child singing the National Anthem).
The PSL’s intervention by all indications will be materializing President Ernest Bai Koroma’s vision of an ‘Agenda For Change’ which for the past four years has hatched sustainable electricity supply, satisfactory agricultural production, youth empowerment, remarkable press freedom, all out war on corruption, comparative security, free health care for once deprived pregnant women, lactating mothers and under-five children, remarkable infrastructural development, boost in mining sector and fair justice among others.
A New Dawn
Officially launching the PSL on January 5th this all wished for prosperous 2012 at the Maitta Conference Hall in Freetown, the astute Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu described the occasion as a new dawn in the history of the country. IG Munu did not mince his words in informing attendees – which constituted government ministers, civil society activist, students, business tycoons, journalists, civil servants, foreign diplomats and community representatives – that for so long Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora have been frowned upon for failing to meaningfully contribute towards developing their motherland as compare to their counterparts hailing from Nigeria and other African countries. He used the event to make a clarion call on other compatriots staying abroad to emulate the admirable move of the PSL.
In his keynote address IG Munu stressed how unpatriotic behaviors continue to wreck the country and urged on the need to sensitize Sierra Leoneans, especially the younger generation, to inculcate patriotism and other nationalistic virtues.
The police boss said Sierra Leoneans, like members of the PSL have done, ought to realize that with collective patriotism of the citizenry, the postwar country could be empowered to rise from the ashes of underdevelopment to an enviable economic bastion in the sub-region and the world at large.
According to him current global trends demand Sierra Leoneans to be operational in their mind set, because despite foreign assistance the destiny of the country lies in their hands.
He highlighted that the negative perception of most people have limited their ability to contribute to national development.
This he said is overwhelmingly demonstrated in national politics where failure to support developmentally oriented leaders like President Koroma is silhouetted by partisan, tribal and regional tendencies.
He exploited the launching of the reputable and focused organization, PSL, which in less than a year since its inception has become Sierra Leoneans biblical Moses to allay fear that the impending 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections are going to be marred with violence and other forms of malpractices. I G Munu assured that, the police whom he bluffed secured the 1996, 2002, and 2007 elections will stop at nothing to make the 2012 elections own a free and fear one.
Well Determined And Focused!
Addressing his guests at the launch the President of Patriotic Sierra Leoneans, Mr. Mohammed Kamarainba stated that the organization which was founded by him during the heat of Sierra Leone’s 50th Anniversary celebrations is well determined to galvanize efforts and finances from abroad for the maximization of the welfare of their needy compatriots back home.
President Kamarainba stated that PSL which was initiated on the virtue of outright patriotism is made up of a membership that is characterized by apolitical, gender tolerant and determinant individuals. He made it known that the main source of the organization’s finance is the daily US$1.00 membership subscriptions.
The funds which have been pooled and managed transparently he said are what they have directed towards their just showcased community roads construction project. This project which President Kamarainba revealed has commenced on Monday January 2nd 2011 within the Marjay Town in Goderich will not only ease transportation, but immensely revamp the moribund economic activities of the fishing community. He promised that in the not distant time plenty other unconnected communities due to poor roads will also benefit from the project.
The PSL he said is also envisaging rebranding roads with appropriate signs to avoid uncalled for accidents that are wrecking serious mayhem to drivers, commuters and pedestrians.
As an open-minded organization, the PSL Mohammed Kamarainba vowed is poise to evoke political awareness of the electorates both at home and abroad. He observed that it is unfair that the country’s electoral system still lacks provision for Diaspora votes. He assured that the PSL is doing everything possible to ensure that Sierra Leoneans can reside in the Diaspora and exercise their franchises. This he said will be possible in the 2017 elections.
President Kamarainba called on those present to be patriotic since this virtue they in the Diaspora have learnt is the major determinant of development, and continued that apart from collaborative intervention in infrastructural development, the PSL will be working with institutions to instill the spirit of patriotism in Sierra Leonean.
Patriotism All The Way
Patriotism formed the thrust of the glamorous PSL launching all the way. With the theme “What It Takes To Be A Patriotic Sierra Leonean”, the launching ceremony opportune several speakers from diverse background to expound on the all important phenomenon.
In her crowd thrilling lecture, a vital member of PSL who also serves as the National Coordinator and Second-in-Command of the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change Secretariat, Madam Nanette Thomas defined patriotism as the demonstration of unconditional love for one’s country and putting her interest above personal interest. This she pointed out entails remarkable sacrifice since the country should be defended at all times. This show of loyalty, if practiced, Madam Thomas said, will allow Sierra Leoneans to perceive themselves as one people with a common passport rather than different personalities as a result of their cultural, tribal, religious, regional, economical, educational and political backgrounds.
Madam Thomas further educated that, the negative views most Sierra Leoneans hold for their ethnicities and cultures is undermining their civic responsibility to be patriotic. She admonished that the hue of the country’s flag, symbolism imbedded in the coat of arm and soul moving stanzas of the national anthem and pledge are sufficient to entreat citizens’ conscience that, they have a sacred and common identity for which they should be ready, willing and prepared to die at all times.
President Koroma Hailed!
Various objective contributors in their presentations on the theme of programme hailed President Koroma as real exhibitor of the spirit of unquestionable nationalism and patriotism.
Commencing this commendation was the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Francis Dove Edwin, who while welcoming participants disclosed that, if the PSL is in full gear as at present to help the needy is because of President Koroma’s foresight to establish an Office of Diaspora immediately he assumed power in 2007. This unique stride of President Koroma Chairman Dove Edwin said amplified the desire of the PSL President, Mr. Mohammed Kamararainba to converge Sierra Leoneans residing in America to start the organization.
In recognition of President Koroma’s style of governance Mr. Kamarainba pointed out that he stands at a par with the likes of President Barrack Obama and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron who put their parties’ interest at bay for national progress. He advised Sierra Leoneans to begin assessing leaders on their developmental performances instead of partisan, tribal and regional associations. The PSL President warned that until such political culture is exhibited by the gullible electorates the country will not develop as intended.” To show patriotism we should stop trading our votes for pittance and tribal pettiness”, Kamarainba stressed.
While lamenting on the cultural decadence especially in the mode of dressing, the Director of Freetown Players, Charlie Haffner said had Sierra Leoneans heeded to President Koroma’s clarion call to value the wearing of cultural dresses the spate of nude dressing should not have occurred.
On her part, the representative of the Women’s Forum eulogize President Koroma for empowering women especially in the areas of decision making, provision of free health facilities and the curbing of domestic violence.
Complementing the above speakers Madam Nanette Thomas spoke of President Koroma’s initiated Attitudinal and Behavioural Change Secretariat on the grounds that the major problem hindering the country’s uplifting is the ubiquitous bad deeds and manners among the citizenry. She surmised that the lack of patriotism is a mere reflection of bad attitudes and behaviours which previous leaders noted, but deliberately failed instituting measures to address the problem. She continued that bad attitudes and behaviours have transcended socio-economic sectors to politics where subjective criticism, crude tribalism and violence have become the order of the day.
Madam Thomas said due to this, Sierra Leoneans share different views in which direction the ‘Land-That-We-Love’ should be lead. In her view, politics is a turn by turn game which houses no angels but angles. ”Only those who do not understand how it is played look at it from puritanical sense. In 2002 the angle in Sierra Leone politics was ex-President Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Today the political angle in Sierra Leone is His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma”, she said and added although he might be disliked by members of opposing parties, his Agenda for Change should be supported to make Sierra Leone a better place to live.
PSL: A Rainbow Generation
The President of the Patriotic Sierra Leoneans, Mr. Kamarainba did expose that in a bid to give the organization a rainbow generation outlook, its membership currently concentrated in the United States of America, are presently on the ploy to incorporate new members from Asia, Europe and other parts of the world. He extended an invitation to such individuals whom he said a heartily welcome to join the PSL so that Diaspora can collectively breathe hope in the country’s development.
“No matter where we are staying, much finances and experiences would have been earned than most of our compatriots back home. There is a pressing obligation on us to show patriotism by chipping in however little to make them live as human beings. If foreign tax payers’ monies are doing so, why not ours?” he reprimanded.
Mr. Foday Mansary a member of PSL gave the vote of thanks. Whilst thanking the attendees he spoke of the organizations determination to work with diver’s grassroots associations and professional bodies in realizing the organization’s objectives and welcomed partnership with like-minded organizations
By Momoja Lappia
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