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Wake up and smell the coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee

The recently concluded general elections in Sierra Leone demonstrate that, despite all odds, our country having risen up from the ashes of civil war, is again blazing the trail for democracy in the continent of Africa. I also have this sinking feeling that the defeated party – the SLPP – is taking all the wrong lessons from this election, which in the long-run may pose a problem for the country, and democracy at large.

They should be listening to reasonable voices such as those of the international observers, who witnessed it all and made public their observations, even to things as minute as the inequality of air-time for political parties on the national Radio/TV – the SLBC. For the sake of peace and prosperity, they “need to stop, take a deep breath, learn and move on.”

The question SLPP ‘big wigs’ should be asking themselves at this time should be, “what do we need to do to better understand Sierra Leoneans or vice versa,” and the voices the party should be ignoring are those pushing for a radical agenda, which by all intent and purposes would be counter-productive.

If the SLPP is really this obtuse, the APC may win the next few elections without having to break a sweat, which for their party’s sake could be very disastrous to their political ambition – a danger I hope they will try by all means to avoid.

Do not get me wrong, I truly want progressive parties to win elections; but parties without meaningful competition and agenda that addresses the needs of the people, become lazy, lethargic and unresponsive. Election candidates should not win by default, and neither should progressive ideas. Smart, creative, and down-to-earth movements are always ultimately good for the country – any country at that.

The President won by a very wide margin; he has been given another mandate by the electorate to complete much needed development projects seen all around the country. He has demonstrated to the entire populace during his first term that he is the President for the entire country, not just some regions, and voters preferred his policies.

Wake up and smell the coffee, SLPP, there is a whole country out there, and its people have been trying to tell you something. For the sake of your party, and the entire nation of Sierra Leone, try listening.

by: Gabriel A. Johnson, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

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