Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The New Citizen Newspaper received a phone call from an unanimous caller that a good number of residents of Sierra Leone were leaving the country on a daily basis for quieter and greener pastures and asked the New Citizen to investigate the claim by visiting local Airline offices and some western embassies near Freetown.
A team of investigators that went to the US Embassy near IMMAT, to ascertain the vericity of the claim that many residents of Sierra Leone were leaving the country in large numbers at this point in time, the team was not allowed entery into the Embassy premises because we were unable to give any tangible reason for wanting to visit the US Embassy, and that refusal by the Embassy security was understandable. The team left quietly for another diplomatic location at Spur Road.
We however saw a lot of cars at the US Embassy parking lot, an indication that there was some truth in the hint that many people were trying to leave Sierra Leone for a number of inexplicable reasons, before the next general elections.
At the British High Commission, the team noticed a lot of cars belonging to Lebanese businessmen parked at the parking lot and we managed to speak to one of them who disclosed that he was seeking to go to the UK for a short business trip. He preferred to remain anonimous.
Asked when he was expecting to return to Sierra Leone, the anonimous Lebanese national told the New Citizen team that he would be probably back early next year. We underlined the word ‘probably’, as very revealing, for a man who claimed that he was only going on a business trip. His ‘probably’ presupposes the absence of violence in Sierra Leone following the ensuing elections.
We, Sierra Leoneans, hope to put them to shame by the sheer magnitude of our resolve to have peaceful elections, come August 11 2007!
Asked whether he was traveling with his family, he replied in the affirmative, “in fact my family has left last month.”
Realizing the implication of his reply, he stared blankly at the sky for a while and added, “my wife is a Sierra Leonean, she is still here.”
When he responded that his family had already left, he was only referring to his children.
We had an easier time trying to see what was happening in local airline offices, where the covergence of airline passengers was considerably high. It involved mostly travelers who claimed to be on protracted business trips to distant lands where the enjoyment of peace and tranquility was assured under all circumstances.
One foreigner who did not want his name disclosed asked, “why are there no peaceful elections in Africa?”
I answered his question with another question, “is that why you are going on a long business trip?”
A question for a question seemed to have miraculously satisfied his curiosity about his assumed or predicted African election violence.
I took the opportunity to educate him on the many violence-free elections we had conducted in Sierra Leone and ended by assuring him that the next one too would be violence-free.
“Sierra Leoneans have come of age,” I told him even though I did not quite believe what I said about the maturity of Sierra Leoneans at election time, with all this shameless tribalism around.
I hope the thugs who inflicted suffering on fellow Sierra Leoneans during past elections are either dead and gone to meet the justice of God, or are now too old to revert to election violence again on Election Day, August 11 2007, so that the peaceful elections President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and MARWOPNET, ‘Women Of Substance Within The Mano River Union’ are praying for, can be a divine reality before, during and after the August 11 elections.
Secondly, I hope the departed thugs had impressed on their children the uselessness of maiming or killing their brothers and sisters, for no reason at all, at elections times.

Link to The New Citizen Publications