After what seems like an eternity, plenty of rallying, and thousands of pot comas (lids) sold/stolen in anticipation… it is now official, the land that we love, our sweet Salone, formally known as the people’s Republic of Sierra Leone, has a new PRESIDENT!
In the past year since my first visit back to Sierra Leone, I’ve become so immersed in anything and almost everything to do with my homeland. On the 7th of March 2018, after the polling of the main election had closed, I marched happily to a local Sierra Leonean restaurant to have dinner as I wait the results.
According to my maths, since the UK, with a population of 60 to 70million usually declare their election results by early the next morning, I figured my country with barely 7million population would easily have the results ready by midnight. Boy oh Boy, was I wrong!
To cut a long story short, nearly a week later, election results were announced and as there was no clearly winner of a majority of 55% of the votes, there was to be a presidential run-off between the two leading parties.
Fast-forward to over three weeks later, Sierra Leoneans on all social platforms were in jubilation as it is announce that the new president of the republic will be Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio
The president-elect was hastily sword in after the announcement to massive celebrations all over the country, especially the capital, Freetown, by many people whom I assume were more relieved that this whole ordeal is finally over. An ordeal that has left many businesses and schools closed for multiple weeks over fear of election-related violence, although admittedly, many agree that it has been a relatively peaceful election.
As a young Sierra Leonean in the diaspora, I will not pretend that I know what exactly this spells for my nation but the most striking aspect of the whole process is the fact that the winning party, is not in possession of the majority of seats in parliament. I read once that
a government is only as good as its opposition
so I really hope this is the start of a change to a better and brighter Sierra Leone.