Andrew Kelli's syndicated column, "Ponder My Thoughts" returns with the challenge of Sierra Leonean cohesion, the capacity of Sierra Leonean society, and conflict management.
Our leaders were divided on the eve of independence in 1961. Since then, every change in government has been accompanied by accusations by the new government that it inherited a broken country and economy.
President Kabbah accused the NPRC of emptying the country’s coffers. President Koroma levied the same accusation against President Kabbah’s government. Enter President Bio-ditto.
Accusations apart, what has become apparent over the past 11 years has been the division of the country along party lines and the government sharing the spoils to party supporters in a country where parties are roughly aligned along regional and tribal lines. The winning party would kick most heads of institutions out and in some cases, clear out whole institutions of senior staff and install their own supporters. The res…
It's heartbreaking to see the photos and raw videos again of rushing water flowing like rivers in Freetown’s city streets. I feel terrified just watching hillside streams, fed by the heavy August rain, roaring down--past sturdy brick walls and the thin, defenseless homes of the poor.
If only ordinary people knew just how much power they have to rein in this annual flooding that has killed hundreds over the past 10 years. The poor are the same ones who will most enjoy the benefits of environmental relief.
Seems to me, the nation's politicians and the wealthy don't feel the effects as much their poorer neighbors, and they don't have the power to change much. If it rained more on Friday, August 2, 2019, than it did in the month of July in 2016, the rains aren’t going away.
Alhassan Jalloh, a former student at Fourah Bay College (FBC), graduated in the 1990s. Comparing the level of violence on campus now to his time at FBC, he said it is a "totally new phenomenon." Club initiations were "a bit physical but not in this kind of way,” he said. Alhassan, whose cousin fell victim to (violent hazing) said that when visited his old club during a trip from the United States, he found things were different from the way it used to be. He blamed the present scenario on post-war mentality.
Dr. Edward Nahim, the only Sierra Leonean psychiatrist for years, defined violence as: “infliction of physical or psychological harm on an individual for him or her to feel severe pain or discomfort.”
He said that though student violence is not new, the war and (mind-altering) drugs have accelerated the rates of violence among students. He pointed out that the main reason for students embarking on violence is drug abuse.