By Amin Kef (Ranger)
A video capturing the Resident Minister of North-East, Abu-Abu Abdulai Koroma, has sparked widespread outcry, with many demanding his removal from office. The footage, described as divisive and unacceptable, contains remarks perceived as fostering tribalism, hate, and personal vendettas.
In the video, the Minister proudly stated, “One of the main reasons we chose to build in Bo and not in Makeni is because Temne people are not civilized, whereas when you go to Mende territory, they are civilized.” This statement has been condemned as highly inflammatory and detrimental to the nation’s pursuit of peaceful coexistence based on tribal diversity, unity, and cohesion.
The implications of such words from a political figure governing the territory are significant. Peace campaigners have raised concerns about the potential threat these words pose to national harmony, cultural diversity, and tolerance, further deepening regional and tribal divides.
Furthermore, the Minister’s assertion about feeling under constant threat and deciding to relocate his family to Bo has raised questions about the veracity of his claims and the implications of his remarks. Critics have highlighted contradictions in his portrayal of certain tribes and regions, emphasizing the need for accountability in a government striving for national unity.
Amidst this controversy, the Minister attempted to defend his statements, citing examples within the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) that purportedly demonstrate inclusivity across tribes. However, the public response remains resolute in calling for accountability and immediate action in response to the Minister’s divisive rhetoric.
These statements from the Resident Minister have not only triggered widespread condemnation but have also ignited discussions about the prevalence of tribalism in Sierra Leone’s political landscape. The overarching sentiment among many is a demand for the government to take decisive action to address the issue and uphold national unity.
Calls for an apology or immediate dismissal of the Resident Minister have grown louder as citizens express dismay and concern over the implications of such inflammatory remarks made by a government official. The public awaits a response from the presidency, expecting measures to rectify the situation and reinforce a commitment to a unified, diverse Sierra Leone.