Turbulent May 8 passed off quietly in Sierra Leone, but…
As a nation and as a people, we have reason to congratulate ourselves for the resilience and determination we have shown in ensuring that we preserve the peace and tranquility we have suffered to achieve following a decade of civil war. Indeed, peace is here to stay.
It seems to me that not everybody remembers what happened on May 8, 2000 quite so vividly. Even the infamous January 6, 1999, which witnessed the wanton destruction of properties and humans of this country, now passes without much notice; and I must say big up to us all for getting off that age.
For those that could not remember May 8, 2000 clearly, it was the day that Sierra Leoneans of mixed class (students, civil society movements, ordinary citizens and all) chose a war path against the erstwhile Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel leader, Corporal Foday Saybana Sankoh in telling him enough was enough and that he should give peace a chance.
On this day, desperate Sierra Leoneans of different shades of opinion came out in their numbers and marched to the residence of the recalcitrant Foday Sankoh at Spur Road, west of Freetown to demand peace, and for peace to reign supreme in the land.
What took place on that day is now history, but many lives were massacred, including those of women and journalists. Disappointingly, all the political pronouncements made during that historic burial ceremony that the memories of the dead would be kept alive, were kept but never actualised. As a result, more than a decade after that tragic event nothing is known about the victims of that bloody massacre. This portion of our history is deliberately obliterated, no doubt, by our politicians.
However, the fact that peace is here with us, it is incumbent on all Sierra Leoneans to maintain it now more than ever. I must say in that regards that I’m far from being impressed with the way things are happening in Sierra Leone. As far as I’m concerned I meant to say: as a people, we seem not to have taken a clue from the brisk experience the eleven year civil war taught us. Disappointingly, amongst us, some Sierra Leoneans continue to justify that all the untold suffering the people of this country went through were destined to befall us and it so happened that such idea is vibrantly alive even ten years after the war was declared over in 2002 by president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, we continue doing things as if we want to provoke another civil war.
And many will not be surprised if things happen otherwise, which we pray it may never be again.
In a country where there is total disregard for law and order, where justice is hard to come by, where the twin problem of poverty and youth unemployment is so acute and where the gap between the rich and the poor is unimaginably great to a point that any thing can happen, we only hope it doesn’t ignite an uprising or lead us into some stupid situation we are incapable of containing.
With much grace from the Almighty, we thankfully say happy we are it does not occur another May 8 of tongues tied in our mouths as it came and went peacefully.
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