Where is our 51st Independence?
In the events marking last year’s golden jubilee on April 27th, Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad celebrated the golden jubilee Independence Day in an apparent manner.
The calendar of events ran till December in grand style. Many people saw the golden jubilee celebrations as a turning point in the history of this country and its people in terms of development, but now the people have begun thinking otherwise.
It is undeniable that development springs from the top where we have the policy and decision makers and not from the bottom, the seats of the have-nots and downtrodden.
This year’s independence celebrations were climaxed with the Lantern Parade on Thursday Independence eve and Masquerades on Friday 27th, Independence Day.
Apparently it is a traditional thing but mainly organised for the underprivileged. At State House, His Excellency the President Ernest Bai Koroma held a dinner with all political party leaders and the crème de la crème of society. What a clever chess move! This all follows a special ceremony where the president awarded national insignia and the Order of the Rokel to certain deserving Sierra Leoneans for their dedicative services for both country and humanity.
Now take a good look at the faces of ordinary Sierra Leoneans and genuinely tell me what you see — hope, disappointment, frustration, you name the rest… So what did we celebrate this year? Is it worth celebrating our 51st anniversary, when the Nation is reeling under economic and social malaise?
At 51 we are going to the polls faced with election violence anticipation. Can we celebrate over the shortage of water, fuel, electricity, or dance to a city infested with mosquitoes and dirt. or should we celebrate when the citizens are blatantly playing deceit with positions of trusts? No! We fail to get the impression that makes us dance to it, or rather celebrate the ACC failure to retrieve the people’s stolen money or convicting corrupt officials, NO!! WE WON’T.
The saying goes that, the people suffer because of lack of knowledge, but this time around Sierra Leoneans working at the AML Bumbuna mines are seen protesting for their rights, even when it means they are being shot with rubber-bullets and got killed with water-cannons.
The actions of these workers are the beginning of a new dawn in the country as it sends a very positive message to all patriotic citizens as to what should be done when they are dissatisfied.
This is what we should have celebrated at this years 51st anniversary; the action of the workers at AML is a step in the right direction. We wholeheartedly extend our sympathy to the defenceless victims as they are heroes of the 51st Independence Anniversary, kudos!
By E. Awotelli-Cole
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