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We Must Unite Our Nation

We Must Unite Our Nation

When the majority of Sierra Leoneans proudly begin to define their purpose of being good citizens and making giant strides towards national progress, so will our enduring flag continue to fly so high amid the turbulent wind of socio-economic challenges that are blowing across our sovereign nation. When Sierra Leoneans learn about the culture of self-reliance, so will  our patriotic instincts mean building the strong chemistry of  social activism to eliminate our undesirable human circumstances. When Sierra Leoneans understand that government alone is not the solution to national problems, so will our determination to organize and make government work for us begin to take a strong footing. The voices of the hungry children and the tireless mothers will continue to echo in our valleys of freedom, until Sierra Leoneans take the high moral ground of becoming stewards of justice, fairness and accountability. If we fail to create a future of equitable progress, where everyone become stake holders and beneficiaries, we are inevitably exposing ourselves to the harsh condition of  poverty and the lack of access to new opportunities. But we as a people of a rich history of perseverance and self-determination have the option to make a change. And that is building the bridge of national unity. (Photo: M C Bah, Author)


The great philosopher John Friederick Von Schiller once said: “even the weak become stronger when they are united.” Unity is the thread line that holds the fabric of any progressive society. It is a pillar of every structure in the human relationship that has the greatest strength and value. Nations that have ignored the “principles of unity” have been history’s biggest victims through wars and political upheavals. Unity has been the source of growth and development for many people and nations around the world. Sierra Leone must learn this doctrine or else the cycle of abject poverty will painfully continue to affect so many generations to come. The value of our young democracy was founded on the principles of unity which we must be pursue, practice and exercise on every national level. For it is the lack of unity that we are so closely apart in the same territory we occupy and the same offices or institutions we share for so long. For it is the absent of unity that we see so much what makes us different than what brings us together. Through the blind eyes of bitterness and rancor, we have turned against one another and become less compassionate to the needs of the very people we took our allegiance to serve and represent. We have been misguided by the philosopher of dishonoring others to make us look good and strong. And in the process, we are losing the bigger challenges of making life better for Sierra Leoneans. Only the mighty forces of unity can break down the barriers of our division and discord. This is the road we must walk, if we are serious about nation building.


Too often, we have a toxic relationships with people who oppose our views and disagree with our political parties. Many times, we see each other as enemies rather than fellow citizens working side by side under the same national flag of unity, freedom and justice. We have lost many opportunities to transform our nation into a hub of national development because we are strangled by the dark ominous clouds of suspicion, paralyzed by a phobia of political victimization and consumed by the culture of “me, myself and my family” syndrome. Instead of a genuine focus on sailing the ship of  our nation’s future into the steady waters of prosperity, we have slowly drifted away by the distraction of institutionalized corruptions, poor governance and economic stagnation. Those who enrich themselves from our national treasury leave behind a shameful legacy and deny generations the opportunities to fulfill their dreams. We have failed to build and maintain the institutions that should regulate and control the apparatus of our democratic government. Yet, we spin our political system around personalities and people who possesses individual dreams and not the strong desire to lay the bricks and foundations of progress for succeeding generations.


Indeed, we are forever one people, who have a shared history and culture, so inextricably bound by a common destiny to live together in peace and prosperity. At no time in our world of imagination do we have the luxury of living apart and work against the tide of national progress without facing the consequences of political transgressions and the destruction of God’s perpetual gifts to our homeland. The choices we face as Sierra Leoneans today are not the tribal languages we speak or the regions where we came from, but what can we do to make Sierra Leone a more vibrant, progressive and prosperous nation. If our national leaders cannot value the highest honor their fellow citizens bestow upon them by working on principles over personal preferences, by choosing righteousness over miscalculated deeds, by working for Sierra Leonean’s future over personal interests, then we have a serious leadership crisis in our generation. This may go beyond to define a moment  in our history that was an interlude period and what Dr King called  “a  time of lost opportunity.”


We took the dangerous path almost two decades ago by using “guns and bullets” to settle political discords. We saw the painful tears, the spill of innocent blood and wanton destructions such ill-fated effort did to the conscience of our nation. Nobody won that brutal war and our nation was suffocated by the long culture of hate over our strong tradition of human compassion. Thus, our past must today force us to build an everlasting bridge of national unity, where every tribe and religion, every political party and citizen, walk together side by side for a more democratic and prosperous Sierra Leone. The option we have now is not whether we can solve our problems by one political party exclusively “going-it-alone” or an opposition determine to obstruct the process of nation building, we are deeply interwoven by the catalyst of mutual belonging and a sense of common nationality. We have no alternative but to work together on the door steps of unity, if we want to enter into the monumental gateway of economic freedom. Embracing unity is the new bridge of hope that will guide us into a new era of accountability, friendship and open national dialogue. Unity must be the “new tribal and political party” that should renew our character of good citizens.


That is our new hope which must shine across the galaxy of our nation. We are searching for the kind of hope that will bring economic relieve and social progress to millions of our struggling citizens. Our commitment to solving national challenges must be communal, and objectively nationalistic. It is not easy for a nation to be constantly in peril with the common enemies of hunger, malnutrition, low graded medical services, high infant mortality rate, a broken educational system and demoralized teachers and educators, deteriorating infrastructures with inadequate basic public utilities, scarce jobs to create income to support families and revenues for governments. The growing problems of finding the resources and expertise to adequately manage our governmental institutions are the daunting task we face today as a nation. But we have to accept that our government, be it the APC or SLPP leadership have played some vital roles in the nation building of Sierra Leone. Despite the slow pace and incremental results we see, some of these gallant patriots deserve our admiration for their tireless service and dedication to improving the welfare of our people. What majority of our people need is a strong sense of unity with the common purpose of making our country the best nation it ought to be. With national unity, we can set a new course of building a healthier nation, creating jobs and income for families, teaching  our children how to read and write and providing the basic human needs to our people.


We can only achieve the freedom and justice our constitution envisioned if we choose the road to national unity. That means, putting personal discords aside and working together as Sierra Leoneans, not as APC, SLPP or PMDC. That means, doing what is right for Sierra Leone, not what is good for a political party. That means, managing the available resources for developmental purpose not for personal gains. That means, enforcing the laws that promote transparency, accountability and responsibility not ignoring them to patronize supporters, friends and families. That means, interpreting the instruments of justice for all, not compromising the integrity of the court for political purpose. That means, looking at problems and conditions that causes poverty and creating a trusted partnership with one another. For Sierra Leone to be a great nation, the enshrined words of our 1991constitution  must be uphold: “ that the State shall promote national integration and unity” and the social order of the state must be founded on the principles of  “Freedom, Equality and Justice.”

By Mohamed C. Bah Guest Writer and EX-President Sierra Leone Community Atlanta, USA

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