Senegal - The Blueprint

By Maurice Kamara, Toronto, Canada. March 8, 2024. 

The other day I commented on how Senegal came about far more superior in football than many Sub-Saharan countries. But the reality is not just about football, Senegal's political and Socioeconomic fabric is unmatched by many Sub-Saharan countries much less my country Sierra Leone. When Mackay Sall tried to dither and played with the constitution by postponing the elections, he was met with a ferocious resolve and backlash from the Senegalese people. Opposition parties, 15 out of 20 candidates including the jailed Ousmane Sonko and notable figures like Bassirou Diomaye Faye and former Dakar mayor Khalifa Sall galvanized their people to strongly oppose the delay of elections and to defend the constitution. 

They fiercely pursue the case to Senegal's constitutional council and then to the supreme court, and they won. This is the success you get when you have independent institutions of a state that are devoid of Executive interference and corruption. The bottom line is this, mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself. Plato a Greek Philosopher once said, "The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." This quote rings true more now than never in my country Sierra Leone where indifference and non-participation of the public in honest political discourse has resulted in us being ruled by undeserving and selfish people. Honest discourse (without fear) is vital to a healthy democracy in any country in the world because it does not matter to belong to the majority or minority when it comes to public service, a fruitful independent idea and honest discourse might foster to get a popular support. 

The people of any country that decide to sit things out, are contributing to the problem. Politics is a decision-making business, and the decisions are going to be made with you or without you. So, get involved. 

In Sierra Leone some of the leaders we have had (past & present) may not be evil at all, but certainly they are suffering from incompetence and that is why the public participation is paramount. To be ruled by incompetent people is an end-product of the nations indifference with regards to political discourse, responsibility for yourself and your own vote and what you care for most in leadership is first, If you fail yourself in that then the end-product is someone incompetent to rule you. 

When I say political discourse, we talking about going up against unfair electoral system, going up against corrupt justice system, going up against a lame duck parliament, going up against the notion and mindset that a president is a deity, he is omnipotent and that he controls anything and everything of the state public institutions. We can do this; we can rise above these challenges if we find the resolve to do. 

It may be difficult to go against in the short term but its doable. Senegal and its public institutions (constitutional council & Supreme court) have just proved it that a president does not own the judiciary nor the constitution. 

We as a country, the people of Sierra Leone should be Ravenous in pursuit of control of our state institutions and in the process, we can eventually fend off the Rapacious leaders we keep electing in our country. 

Check this out regarding Independence dates: Senegal 1960; Ghana 1957 from Britain; Kenya 1963 from Britain; Uganda 1962 from Britain; My country Sierra Leone 1961 from Britain. If you get the means and the chance, please visit any of the other countries named above, you will feel ashamed to be a Sierra Leonean. We are no match for them with respect to Socio-economic fabric, judiciary, strong opposition in parliament, strong public institutions, and Infrastructure despite acquiring independence almost same time with those other countries mentioned above. 

It is time we the people of Sierra Leone critically look into the mirror and ask ourselves if we want our nation to continue to be ruled by Oligarchs

Macky Sall, president of Senegal