Friday April 29,
2016 - Another year
and another day to remind us of what happens when law
and order becomes clay in the hands of rogue
politicians. Twenty four years ago today, an uncaring
and despotic APC regime was kicked out of power by its
own khaki boys.
Twenty four years ago
today on the Wednesday morning of April 29, 1992 a
section of the war front moved to the gates of State
House in Freetown as soldiers who had been battling
rebels in the east of the country decided that enough
was enough and demanded to meet their
Commander-in-Chief, President Joseph Saidu Momoh.
Curious residents in the capital, finally having picked
up enough courage after the sounds of heavy and
unfamiliar gunfire made their way along State Avenue to
watch the unfolding scene as a twin-barreled
anti-aircraft gun mounted on a truck slowly turned
around and made a spectacle of giving the curious
residents of the sort of weapons in use at the more than
a year old war against rebel forces led by one former
army corporal, Foday Sankoh.
For the first time,
residents in the capital realised that what they thought
was a "phoney war" was something real and that reports of
battles against the rebels carried in
international media outlets must have disturbing rings
of truth in them especially when it came to reverses
suffered by government forces.
By the time the day was
over, a radio announcement by a breathless Captain
Valentine Strasser on the only functional radio station
in the capital, the Aberdeen-based private FM 94 made it
known to the world that the twenty four year despotic
reign of the APC was over.
Thus was formed the National
Provisional Ruling Council, the NPRC which held the
reigns of government until 1996 when largely free and
fair elections ushered in a new civilian administration
led by the SLPP's Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
Back in power in 2007
after elections held that year, fifteen years after
being booted out of power, the APC has learnt nothing
from those lessons as it engages in what is now seen as
a ravenous rape of the country's resources using every
means at hand and throwing law and order regulations under the bus.
Key functionaries of the APC who had been singing
praises of President Momoh to hide their personal
thieving ventures are back in Freetown making observers
wonder just what they had been up to in those fifteen
There are the
interesting cases of one Logus Koroma who having fed fat
on the droppings from the corrupt rat at State House
initiated a campaign to have his master get cemented at
State House by proposing that he tears the Constitution
apart to make him rule for ever.
There's the case of one
Tom Obaleh, who having manipulated President Momoh was
given some post as the country's envoy in the United
States. Stories insisting that he needs to explain the
sale of a chancery still swirl even as he was put in
charge of the new money-spinning National
One Palo Conteh, a relation
of President Momoh and a former top operative of the
human rights-abusing Military Intelligence Branch, MIB,
was back to garner sheaves where he never sowed.
now calling himself Ambassador and one of the architects
in the tearing up of the Constitution seemed to have
forgotten his protocol days at State House where he
showed just how important he was as he displayed his
prowess with the walkie-talkie for visitors to admire.
These were some of the key figures who were believed to
have engineered a treason trial that saw a number of
people executed including the country's Vice President,
one Francis Misheck Minah.
Reports of the various
Commissions of Inquiry set up by the NPRC showed just
how rotten the system had been. There were revelations
that shocked even die-hard APC party supporters who knew
their principals were thieves and nation wreckers but
not to the extent revealed by those reports.
Presidency of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, a number of
institutions aimed at cementing the rule of law and
taking a good hard look at why the country went on a
path of destruction were initiated with Sierra Leone's
Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the TRC, providing
a guide as to how not to govern Sierra Leone.
All is now
forgotten as the feeding frenzy continues unabated. The
cries of the poor and unconnected get drowned in the
engine noise of new vehicles bought at the peoples'
Indeed the feeding frenzy is so great that when
the Ebola Virus Disease hit the country, it was used as
another source of
money-making enterprise never mind the thousands
that died and the many that are traumatised.
survived the disease are neglected as are those health
and other associated workers who put their lives on the
line in combating the disease. Most, if not all, the
shady contracts were directly approved by the rat
himself who in a number of cases is reported to have
been instrumental in who gets what and for what fake
setup as the thieving continued.
Now here's something
the rat and his cronies need to read very carefully.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has seen enough on the
continent to warn, years ago that any government that
came to power through a coup should not be recognised
and indeed when the murderous APC-led AFRC of Johnny
Paul Koroma kicked out the barely one year old
government of President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah on May 25,
1997, the world duly obliged - refusing to recognise a
regime that uses murder, rape, arson and abduction as a
means of staying in power against the wishes of the
people - a large majority of them.
Having watched how
governments and party leaders tear apart Constitutions to stay in power,
keynote remarks at
a recent symposium is worth noting. He says in a speech
"As I constantly repeat, you cannot have peace and
security without inclusive development, the rule of law
and the respect for human rights. These are the three
pillars of all successful societies.
It is largely
because these three pillars are quite fragile in parts
of Africa that we are still seeing instability and
violence. The truth is that the economic growth in
Africa over the last fifteen years, though impressive,
has been neither sufficient nor inclusive.
Africa has become the world’s second most unequal
continent, according to the African Development Bank.
Too much of that growth has enriched a narrow elite and
not enough was spent on infrastructure, health or
education, which would have fostered development.
not just that Africa is unequal: it is also unfair. An
African Union report has estimated that up to one
quarter of the continent’s GDP is syphoned off every
year through corruption.
The trafficking of drugs
creates an especially difficult challenge. Drug money is
insidious and invasive. It corrodes political
institutions. We must focus on the money trail. We have
been locking up the minor offenders while the big fish
The fight against
violent rebel movements is necessary, and will require
enhanced inter-African as well as international
cooperation. But this is not enough because the
challenge of security in Africa is often a political
challenge revolving around the acquisition and use of
As a result, elections are a source of tension
and repression rather than an opportunity for the free
expression of political will.
Leaders who hang on to
power indefinitely by gaming elections and suppressing
criticism and opposition are sowing the seeds of
violence and instability.
African leaders, like leaders
everywhere, must remember that they are at the service
of their citizens, and not the other way around. They
have a mandate given to them, in trust, by their people,
who can also take it away from them if they are found
wanting and to have outstayed their welcome.
Elections should be the
vehicle for popular choice in which the winner does not
take all and the losers do not lose all.
Those who win
must recognize that they do not have a licence to rule
without restraint or remain in office in perpetuity.
us not confuse legality with legitimacy. Elections that
meet legal form but fail the test of integrity are only
pyrrhic victories that usually store up trouble for the
And this is for the
head of the police, one Francis Munu who believes that
the security forces under his command must be used to
entrench the undemocratic regime of the rat. An educated
buffoon who believes that the OSD, the former ISU should
remain an APC party paramilitary force.
"Finally, I want to
mention the quality of national security forces.
once said that “freedom would be meaningless without
security in the home and in the streets”. That security
in the home and in the streets depends in good measure
on our security forces. We must invest in them but also
make them fully accountable as part of our democratic
societies. They must be trained to protect the
individual and his or her family and property, to earn
their trust and work with the people.
Later in an interview
on the sidelines of the symposium, Mr Annan made this
point even more forcefully as reported in
one Ghana-based news outlet.
"The renowned international diplomat said that while
unconstitutional changes to government on the continent
had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse
the gains made, the Africa Press Organisation reported
on Tuesday. 'I think Africa has done well, by and large
the coups have more or less ended, generals are
remaining in their barracks, but we are creating
situations, which may bring them back,' the report
quoted the Nobel Laureate, at the 5thTana High-Level
Forum on Security in Africa, held in Addis Ababa,
'If a leader doesn't want to leave office, if
a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen
as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after
term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get
him out is through a coup or people taking to the
'Neither approach can be seen as an alternative
to democracy, to elections or to parliamentary rule.
Constitutions and the rules of the game have to be
Kindly refresh your
memory on the governance issue in Sierra Leone by taking
a look at
this article written in 2012,
twenty years after the historic and successful coup
against the despotic and uncaring APC regime.