Mr. President, Nip this Mess in the Bud Now Please!
By Mahmud T. Kargbo, Guest Editor (30/04/18)
"Our President has NO right to summon Parliament as he did in this case last week," many Sierra Leoneans have echoed very loudly.
To those who, under the pretext of partisan or avenge activism, continue to fan the embers of illegality and desecration of the Constitution by denying the fact that our President has NO right to summoned Parliament as he did in this case, bear in mind that when the polity goes up in the flames we are all stoking up, there will be no hiding place for any.
Relying on the following Section as stated below in this case was absolutely wrong as it can only be apply on emergency situations, otherwise one would be tempted to ask where is the separation of powers when the President is cleanly and clearly influencing the activities of the Legislative Arm of government: (1) - The President may at any time summon a meeting of Parliament.
The unruly events played out in the Well of Parliament on Wednesday April 25, 2018, when MPs designate of the All People's Congress in a most unbecoming fashion, scaled the situation of the Well and forcefully tried to disrupt proceedings in our Parliament. If not properly addressed could signal the commencement of a quickened slide down the path of infamy which most observers have long foretold will be Sierra Leone's lost since we have failed to effectively restructure and renegotiate our polity.
Under no circumstance should these MPs designate of the House of Representatives, and whatever determination of unruly actions they might be able to assemble, have been allowed to desecrate the hallowed chambers of our Parliament.
Whilst I congratulate the security officials stationed at the premises of the Parliament for exercising utmost restraint in the face of attempts at forced disruption of Parliamentary proceedings, it behoves on the Inspector General of Police to ensure that the laws are implemented with regards to persons disrespecting lawful orders issued by Police and Security authorities in the dispensation of their duties and people forcefully trying to put an end to Parliamentary proceedings irrespective of whatsoever positions they may hold in society.
I knew we had some dishonourable characters who had infiltrated the membership of our legislative houses; I however never believed in my wildest imaginations that the dishonourable characters were in such huge numbers as was displayed in the shockingly unruly behaviour of so many of them as they forcefully entered the Well of Parliament yesterday - no wonder we are where we are and the rest of the world are where they are forging to.
To gauge the direction the Sierra Leone State is drifting to, it is pertinent that the following queries be clarified by the Presidency:
1. Did the Presidency actually write a letter or ordered the Clerk of Parliament to reconvene the House for MPs designate to take their oath and conduct elections for the Speaker of the House and his Deputy?
2. If yes, considering that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice role is to advice the President on legal matters of such nature, did the President get advice from his Attorney General and Minister of Justice Charles Margai before ordering the Clerk of Parliament to reconvene the House?
3. One SLPP Member of Parliament openly told the House that there was a bad precedent set by the past administration in slamming court injunctions against MPs designate to prevent them from partaking in Speaker Elections. He added they are following the set precedent with only the numbers making the difference from what happened in 2012 where 2 MPs designate got injunctions as compared to the current 16 injunctions for MPs designate in 2018. Was this not a testament that the injunctions were influenced in court by what we often refer to as 'powers from above'?
The Presidency simply has to get its act together and right. Continued prevarications, docility and unwillingness to proactively and effectively exercise the powers vested in the Presidency by the Sierra Leone Constitution to ensure stability will boomerang with horrible effects! There simply must be a limit to the depth we are willing to descend.
Courtesy: By Mahmud Tim Kargbo