Open Letter from Sierra Leone to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Permit us to reach Your Excellency’s esteemed office through the thoughts of peace-loving, law-abiding and humble Sierra Leoneans. We are a group of Sierra Leoneans who have come together with a shared vision and belong to a political Party called the People’s Democratic League (PDL).  

Open Letter to His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, The President and Commander-In-Chief of The Armed Forces of The Republic of Ghana-Jubilee House, Kanda, Accra 

Your Excellency,

We bring you greetings from Sierra Leone, the historical land that nursed civilization in West Africa. We would have been willingly delegate an emissary to Ghana, to meet and discuss with Your Excellency all the issues contained in this letter. But one can imagine the deliberate distortions of the import of such a visit by people who are working against the peace, democracy, development and prosperity of our country, Sierra Leone.

Permit us to reach Your Excellency’s esteemed office through the thoughts of peace-loving, law-abiding and humble Sierra Leoneans. We are a group of Sierra Leoneans who have come together with a shared vision and belong to a political Party called the People’s Democratic League (PDL).  

We write to Your Excellency this humble letter today to draw Your Excellency’s kind attention to the troubling and still unexplained mystery pertaining to the delay by the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) in Freetown, to issue out our final political party registration certificate, for more than six years now. We request Your Excellency’s good Office to take immediate action to prevent our country collapsing into full-blown political and constitutional crisis. We do believe that this act by the PPRC is undemocratic, unjust as it is inconsistent with the provisions of Chapter IV (Sections 34 and 35) of the 1991 multiparty Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone.  

The Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) was created following the end of our country’s brutal civil war in 2002, to register and regulate the activities of political parties in Sierra Leone in a fair, just and honest manner. This important State Institution has parliamentary mandate also to act in an independent way without subjecting its activities to the political whims, caprices and machination of the self-anointed political godfathers of our land. 

We have had series of opportunities to interact with stakeholders in and outside Sierra Leone since 2018 after the PPRC’s wicked decision to exclude us in the election process. Without questioning the PPRC’s impartiality and integrity, we consider the registration of political parties as the bedrock of democracy in any civilized society. Besides, the Sierra Leonean case is different, in as much as we are in a post war reconciliation process and national healing. There is no way, we, members and supporters of the PDL will sit in the corner and be watching our beautiful country sliding into another crisis. Suffice it to say, Your Excellency, that corruption, exclusion, tribalism, regional hegemony, dictatorship and bitter living standards among the masses of our people were the issues identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) reports and the comprehensive Lome Peace Accord as the remote causes of the senseless war in Sierra Leone, in the 1990s.

We believe as Your Excellency may agree with us that, with power comes responsibility, and the power that democracy bestows is one that grants humble citizens like members and supporters of the PDL, the sovereign constitutional rights and democratic freedoms to form and register political parties, to speak on issues that affects our people and to contribute to the peace, development and prosperity of country. Our experience with the PPRC is one of bitter tastes, intimidation, hatreds, malice, grudges and exclusion in a process which every Sierra Leonean, and not just the few and powerful, is called upon by the Constitution to be part of. This is imperiling the integrity of our democracy and threatening to tear our hard-won peace at the seams.

Your Excellency,

History has already recorded Your Excellency’s name in gold for Your Excellency’s handling of political crisis in the ECOWAS sub-region, particularly Your Excellency’s tireless efforts towards resolving the ongoing crisis in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea. We believe peace, stability and democracy are triplets; one cannot give expression without the other. May God Almighty accompany Your Excellency to achieve Your Excellency’s goal in helping sister ECOWAS countries out of turmoil.

Ghana has never relented in helping us in Sierra Leone to put our house in order. This is a fact known to many Sierra Leoneans today. For this, we thank the Government and people of Ghana, through Your Excellency, for your kind and selfless contribution in ending our country’s brutal civil war in 2002.

The case for registering our party into a full-fledged political Party for Sierra Leone is as clean as a piece of white shirting cloth. Many questions are being raised today, both in and outside Sierra Leone, challenging the impartiality and neutrality of the PPRC in our registration process. We believe the PPRC has to redeem itself as a custodian of the most precious commodity in a democracy, by upholding the Sierra Leonean people’s right to freedom of association and exhibit a working environment that is transparent and accountable to the Constitution and the people of Sierra Leone.

We take inspiration from Ghana’s democratic experience, and for Sierra Leone, which is yet to recover fully from the impacts of a brutal civil war, the key to stability, development and prosperity lies in a free, fair, inclusive and credible election. The persistent intimidation, discrimination and exclusion of some parties in our country’s democratic process will do no good to our people, neither Africa nor the wider international community.

With Your Excellency’s permission, we want to place it on record that on August 17, 2016 the PDL submitted an application letter to the PPRC in Freetown requesting for consideration to be registered as a full-fledged political party for Sierra Leone. We indicated in that application letter our intention to participate not only in the 2018 general elections and cease to exist after all.

 

On July 18, 2017 the PPRC issued us a provisional political party registration certificate and on September 8, our Constitution was published in the Sierra Leonean Gazette for sixty (60) as by law. Sixty days lapsed and no objection was raised against any part in our Constitution. In other words, the PDL is already a full-fledged political party for Sierra Leone since November 7th.  2017. The PPRC has not given us our final registration certificate (As by Law), leaving the public to draw its conclusion.  

 

Besides the facts stated above, the Public Relations Officer of the PPRC went to a local radio station in Freetown to announce that the PDL had fulfilled all necessary requirements to receive their final political party registration certificate, either on 7th or 8th November, 2017. These revelations did not stop the PPRC from being subjected to the manipulation mechanism, corruption and political machination of the powers that were. This has left us wondering and asking ourselves whether we are not Sierra Leoneans for the PPRC to treat us that way.

 

The unconstitutional, undemocratic and hatreds of the PPRC towards one particular political Party, became evident at a meeting called and held on 6th December, 2017 at the PPRC conference room in Freetown. The then Chairman of the PPRC, the late Justice Patrick Hamilton intimated us that he did not receive any objection either from the then ruling APC, nor the opposition SLPP or the public against registration of the PDL.  In that tense meeting unfortunately, both the APC and SLPP were invited. The media and representatives from civil society groups were excluded, a situation we believed was at variance with democratic standards and an assault on the Constitution of Sierra Leone. This was never done to any other political party except the PDL.

 

Our understanding of the provisions of the Sierra Leonean Constitution is that even if there was an objection against registration of the PDL, that should only be raised within 60 (sixty) days after publication of our Constitution in the Sierra Leone Gazette (The Sierra Leone Gazette, Vol. CXLVIII No. 56 of Friday, 8th. September, 2017).

 

To all intents and purpose, the PPRC hatred for the PDL was part of a grand conspiracy to mortgage our democracy. That, the PPRC’s hatred for the PDL, our members and supporters violated the United Nations 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, an act which is not practice in any democratic society.  

 

Another element highlighting the PPRC’s deep-seated bureaucracy is the attacks on Sierra Leoneans who seek registration of their political parties, reminding us of the dark days of the one party dictatorship syndrome. From time to time, we have made attempts to meet and discuss with the new Chairman of the PPRC, but turned down without any specific reason. These were simple requests and would have ease tensions in our political life. In fact, at every stage the PPRC has refused to accommodate any such request that could restore the confidence of the Sierra Leonean public towards the Institution.

Only when pulled up by the European Union’s Delegation in the country did the PPRC suddenly discovers its powers, even then exercising them selectively on the small fry and ignoring the more egregious cases of exclusion of Sierra Leoneans in the democratic process. Even the strongest action that it took, viz. the planting of agents against the PDL, was done in a manner to provoke confrontation with our members and supporters, and, as well as the making of hate speeches and bureaucratically loaded statements. It has of recent making communications that constrain the right to free speech and association of organizations and individuals during meetings with stakeholders. These restrictions are inconsistent with recognized international human rights, which are incorporated into the 1991 multiparty Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

Despite all odds and associated hatreds, we are standing all tests, provocations and malicious propaganda being designed and clinically executed against the PDL, our members and supporters. So our call to Your Excellency’s attention on these issues we have highlighted above is a credibility test case for Your Excellency’s quality and role-model leadership role in West Africa.

 

The final element adding to our grievance is the intimidation and misuse of the Sierra Leone Police against peace and law-abiding Sierra Leoneans, who seek registration of political parties. With this antidemocratic ethos, the PPRC keeps persuading the international community that it will arrest the situation. Consequently, members of the international community, including the United Nations, European Union, the Irish, US and British Governments routinely resort to prescribing palliatives that provide temporary relief instead of treating the underlying factors that is causing the ailment in the first place. 

Your Excellency,

We want to make it very clear that the PDL will not accept that a fundamental human right to belong to a political party of one’s choice, to vote and be voted for in national elections is denied to the people of Sierra Leone by those that are supposed to uphold and respect the Constitution of our country. We will not accept a situation where “there is no lawless bureaucracy, there is no lawless public”. We will not pawn our dignity nor succumb to any platform that promotes political or ethnic or regional bigotry, or whipping-up parochial sentiments. We urge Your Excellency to intervene in this matter with the objective of urging the PPRC to do a noble service to Sierra Leone, to democracy and to humanity by upholding the constitutional and democratic rights of the PDL.

 

Finally, Your Excellency, it is not our intention to bother you much about Sierra Leone and the way forward to help consolidate our peace and democracy. The above underscores the gradual erosion of our democracy by people who have been appointed to manage the affairs of our State Institutions but who also dubbed as ruling party card carriers. This must not continue, for the sake of peace, democracy, democratic good governance, sustainable development and prosperity. We believe that Your Excellency have a golden opportunity to boaster Ghana’s leadership in the world. Ghana has made it before when our country was in turmoil. Your Excellency has considerable moral authority you can put to good use. We are calling on Your Excellency to use Your Excellency position to help save our democracy.

May God Almighty bless Your Excellency as we implore Your Excellency to make this letter an emergency issue for the ECOWAS, African Union and the United Nations.

Sincere Yours,

 

(Chief) Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh

Leader and National Chairman

People’s Democratic League (PDL)

For and on behalf of the PDL

 

18TH January, 2023

 

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1 Comment
  1. James Osei says

    Hello,

    Happy New Year ,

    I am the Auditing Director in the Bank of Ghana which is the Apex Bank of Ghana; I direct the auditing of accounting and financial data of various departments within the Bank of Ghana. During the Bank independent examination of financial information, I found out about this dormant account containing a contract balance fund $8.9 Million Dollars, The funds $8.9 Million dollars belongs to Late American Contractor Late Timothy Truax , he executed LNG pipeline contract for Ghana Petroleum commission , i will Tell you how the funds will be transferred to your bank account legitimately immediately i receive your response indicating your readiness to receive the funds and i want 50% of the funds after it is transferred to your bank account nominated by you.
    Reply to private email address : [email protected]

    Warm Regards
    James Osei

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