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Sensible to Attack Chericoco on Performance, Not on his Fula Ethnicity!

By Alhaji U Njai, Special Commentary (01/11/17)

Since Chernor Bah aka Chericoco was selected APC running mate, he has been attacked for his ethnicity which has angered many Fulas.

The Fulanis have felt indignation and angry because of the constant attacks unleashed on Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah not on the basis of his performance and record over the years but on the basis of his Fula ethnicity.

I support no one and will likely be one of those independent voters voting with one hand and holding my nose with the other. But to de-legitimize Chericoco's candidacy based on ethnic origin is wrong, absurd and extremely retrogressive.

Apart from everyone in Sierra Leone except maybe Limbas, Lokos and maybe few others, came from somewhere, this divisive ethnocentric based politics is bad for our country and doesn't reflect the diversity, powerful mixtures and melting pot of cultures in Sierra Leone.

I mean only in Sierra Leone will you find Pateh Johnson; Mende: Daramy, Sillah, Kandeh; Limba: Kamara, Sesay, Samura, Koroma, Conteh; Temne: Mansaray, Marah, Fofanah, Bah, Timbo, Conteh, and so on (you name them) which we should proud of.

Chernor Bah is as legitimate Sierra Leonean as Krain Krain, Red Palm oil and fish. It will be better to attack him and tie him to fail policies of the administration, rather than attacking, bashing or insulting an entire productive segment of the society.

For those throwing missiles now at Fulas, it is very OK to go to the corner store get bread from the Fula man, ride a taxi, or get some menial task done. But it is not OK for a Fula born in the country, who has worked hard, served his community to vie for political office.

So what message are you sending to young Fula boys and girls in this country? How do you expect them to fully embody this country as a place that values them and recognize them as legitimate beings of the state.

To move Sierra Leone to a progressive state we want, we must all aspire towards social justice, respect diversity, and strive for greater inclusion of all those historical marginalized by our biases and false perceptions.

Nobody questions your Sierra Leoneanness if you have a Nigerian, Ghanaian, Liberia or any of the Mende sounding (Kamara, Konteh, Mansaray, Koroma, etc) last names. By comparison, all hell breaks loose when its a Jalloh, Bah, Barrie, Sow, Shaw, Njai, Jah, Faal, Sall, Jeng, Cham, Diop, and so on sounding names. So next time before you get hyper, all against, and get hooked on ignorance, here is a little primer on Fulas in Sierra Leone.

First, they are diverse in heritage, origins and dialect, and have played significant roles in the history of Sierr Leone. After all, Sir Banja Tejan-Sie, the first Governor General of Sierra Leone is a Fula from the Fouta Toro in Sierra Leone. Momoh Jah and Momoh Kai Kai are huge in islamization of the South and East of Sierra Leone.

Second, they are an economic force and provide a strong middle manpower from the bakeries, corner stores to car mechanics in Sierra Leone.

Third, there is the inter-marriages to the point you may be insulting your half Fula nieces, cousins, brothers by being ignorant. I however agree the Fulas need to integrate more in society by giving their daughters away more frequently to other Sierra Leoneans for marriage purposes than is the case now.

Fourth, they are a huge voting block in Sierra Leone based on demographic shifts. If you take all the Jallohs, Bahs, Barries, Shaws, Talls, Njais, Warnes, Diops, Timbos, Kaikais, Jahs, Wuries, Bundus, Chams, and so on, you are pissing off a large segment of the society.

So discussing Chernor or any other Fula candidate should be devoid of ethnophobia and hate, rather focus on policy differences, transformative ideas that will move this country and uplift society from abject socio economic malaise. Jarama Buii!!


1958 -1980


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