Sierra Leone is steadily sinking into a bottomless ditch of youth violence and political unrest as a result of either rising youth unemployment across the country or political divide among party supporters.
Semblance of this problem is not a novelty in Africa, but Sierra Leone, a country that has just been recorded by the Global Peace Index of the Institute of Economics and Peace – an international think tank based in Australia – as the most peaceful country in the sub-region, is like a tickling time-bomb ready to explode.
The irony is that both Ghana and Sierra Leone are in the second quintile of the most peaceful countries around the world, but Ghana was ranked 46th of 162 countries in 2015, while Sierra Leone was ranked 50th. Ghana has been leapfrogged by Sierra Leone and is now the sixth most peaceful country on the continent and the second in West Africa.
SIMILAR PERENNIAL PROBLEM OF OUR YOUTH IN AFRICA
Most young people who are employable remain hopeless due to joblessness. The high wave of illiteracy, poverty, ignorance, gullibility, and disease is even posing serious challenge to regional peace, economic stability, and political coherence across Africa.
The socio-economic destiny of Africa remains visibly wretched as most energetic youth become choiceless. They are embattled with series of prevailing adversities every day. In some cases, our youth are used as scapegoats by greedy politicians to fuel violence and political unrest as a result of unemployment. Among these challenges undermining genuine development, youth unemployment stands out as the root cause of violence and high rate of civil unrest.
In every proactive society, young people are very important to deriving a new paradigm. It is unarguably evident that young Africans have been and continue to be active vehicles of violence and civil unrest in Africa as a result of increasing dissatisfaction and economic misery.
The struggle for survival in Africa, especially among youngsters, is a way of life as corruption undermines key governance structures across all 54 sovereign States of the continent. Africa stands to risk a lot if policy-drivers, political architects, and business tycoons fail to engender a holistic agenda to elevate millions of African youth out of poverty. The creation of youth employment and empowerment opportunities is fundamental to the Continent’s future.
Even after centuries of existence, Africa remains a dark continent, because youth employment has not been a practical priority for most governments. Public discontent as a result of massive unemployment is pushing African youth at the extreme of violence and civil unrest. Hopelessness has taken precedence and regional stakeholders must act now to rescue this dying continent and redeem its people.
THE SIERRA LEONEAN STORY
The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans are mostly bemused at the alarming rate of political intolerance. Some have kept sealed lips because they are enjoying from the current status quo and others have decided to condemn and resist the current trend because they are not directly benefiting from the country’s meagre bread and butter. Could we attribute the aforesaid problems to being the cause of the rampant violence among our youth?
The horror stories of violence among our youth is worrisome – hence reflects our memories on the decade civil war which left untold sorrow to all Sierra Leoneans. Interesting to note that some are blaming it on the war, which badly cultivated the minds of our youth towards violence and a hostile act of terror.
It could also be recalled that over the years, some officers of the Operational Support Division (OSD) have not been able to handle the issue with professionalism rather with grudge. They were also killing innocent civilians with impunity all over the country, from Kono in the East, to Bo in the South, Lunsar in the North and of course Wellington in the East, Earl Street, off Circular Road, Aberdeen, Goderich and Lumley in the West.
The only case of all the unwarranted killings that was prosecuted is that of ‘Police Killing Police’. One OSD Officer, Kristopher Kamara, allegedly killing a security officer assigned to Alhaji I.B. Kargbo, who was one of the Advisers to President Ernest Bai Koroma, now a Member of Parliament.
With this precarious situation, one wonders why anyone would have the gumption to issue statements about the secured state of the nation amidst a fragile security situation.
KAILAHUN BYE ELCTION AND THE “ISM” IN THE SLPP
The opposition SLPP has outlived its usefulness and still not recovered from the political tsunami. Unity they say is strength, but the SLPP’s division is more of a menace and part of the reason for political violence in the country.
The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans know that some people will hugely disagree with the aforesaid assertion based on sentiment and political loyalty. If this is untrue, the South-East will not be always on fire when the Pao-Pa, KKY and JOB clash. Look at the unfortunate death of Daddy George, an alleged JOB supporter who was reportedly murdered by ‘Abacha’ Fonnie, an alleged security guard of Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. There was a reported clash between the Pao-Pa supporters and JOB’s supporters during the wedding of Alex J.K.Bonapha. This happened before the thought of any Bye election. The question is, who is the cancer destroying the SLPP as a formidable opposition in order to deepen our nascent democracy?
PRESIDENT KOROMA’S ACTION
What has President Koroma done in the face of all the multiplicity of senseless destruction of life and property? The President must act now to avoid such embarrassment meted out to him at State House where a deceased ‘Okada’ rider was wrapped in white shroud soaked with blood lying in front of him (President Koroma). Thank God State House is no longer a Court Barry where every Jack and Jill used to take their complaints.
The President should ensure that the police act professionally to provide security for all Sierra Leoneans and impartially combat the violence among our youth. I am sure the Courts’ responsibility is to provide a remedial action for our indiscipline and lawless youth.
THE TRUTH IS, SIERRA LEONE IS NOT SINKING BUT THE YOUTHS HAVE BEEN WRONGLY USED TO SINK THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY. The question is, who is the duty bearer to give a better future for our disgruntled youth? Is President Koroma still listening to his treasured youths?
This is the Pen of The Voiceless with Elkass Sannoh.