Home Opinion Press Releases Sierra Leone: PDL Marks 38th Anniversary

Sierra Leone: PDL Marks 38th Anniversary

People S Democratic League
People S Democratic League

The People’s Democratic League (PDL) was founded on this day, 7th April, thirty-eight (38) years ago in 1986. On the initiative of (Chief) Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh, Sierra Leoneans from different political and social backgrounds and orientations of different parts of Sierra Leone gathered on a single platform in Wellington, Freetown, to discuss the political, economic, and social problems that were tearing the nation apart.

This political solidarity was later transformed into a Movement, which was named the Sierra Leone People’s Democratic League and later changed to the People’s Democratic League. For most of its history, the PDL has been a grassroots, independent, traditional, and permanent opposition, and serves as the conscience of the ordinary poor Sierra Leonean, in providing a people-focused, people-centered, people-evolved, and people-derived alternative solution to the dysfunctional system, as well as championing Sierra Leone’s multi-ethnic character.

The history of the PDL cannot be measured in terms of dates and events, but recording of events that constitute a whole era. The writing on the wall is clear; even after more than three and half decades of existence the vision and mission of the People’s Democratic League are evergreen.

Yes, the PDL surfaced at a time when Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans were buckling under a one-party dictatorship rule, under the worst effects of political intolerance, political obsession, tenacity, obstinacy, misguided direction, and blatant institutionalised corruption. It was created at a period when the country’s dignity was sold to foreigners for a life of opulence and immorality.

While we celebrate this historic day of the 38th anniversary of the PDL, we can recall the 37th anniversary celebrations. Many changes have happened within this twelve-month (one-year) period. Interestingly, most of our members who were together on our 37th anniversary are not with us in this year’s anniversary celebrations. The reasons cannot be explained here. Suffice it to say that some have taken the wrong path of the political sojourn.

The PDL extends hands of brotherhood to all of them to join with us to build a strong political Movement. Those misled members should understand that politics in Sierra Leone is never practiced anywhere in the information age. That is to say, it is not usual in a decent multiparty democracy for people to be humiliated and made to suffer hatred, malice, and political apartheid, because they want to register a political party.

It comes to say now that, the treatment accorded to PDL cannot but should be seen here as a betrayal of democracy and as an attack on the 1991 multiparty Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone. It is a slap on the face of the civilized international community and by extension undermines peace and stability in the country and the African continent.

On this day therefore, we call upon the PPRC in Freetown to do what is right; to abandon the politics of parties’ dynasties, hate, and discrimination. It would be a disservice to the people of Sierra Leone, Africa, and the world if the PPRC cannot rescind its hatred towards the PDL and its members in and outside Sierra Leone.

We have on several occasions, called on the PPRC to bring out any moral arguments to justify its action against PDL; and, we have already stated that any report by anyone so far related to the PDL registration process at the PPRC should be investigated under the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone. The PDL is ready to extend full cooperation in such an investigation and would accept and comply with any outcome of a competent official probe.

The PDL has seen many ups and downs in its long history of struggle. The PDL is made up of people who thrive on principles, and who are committed to achieving the goal of a New Sierra Leone, and to bringing about an end to the old problem that militates against peace, stability, development, and environmental sustainability in the country.

The PDL is not a proximate and not an apron string to any other political party in Sierra Leone. The PDL will not be forced to forge ahead in speed in its quest to register and become a full-fledged political party for Sierra Leone. It would be a political miscalculation for anyone to assume that continuously trampling upon the rights and democratic freedoms of the PDL will force its members to go on a speedy journey. That is an answer to the enemies of peace, democracy, and freedom.

The pathologists who had pronounced PDL dead after being maligned by the PPRC had to close up shop and retreat from their position. As a political Movement, the PDL has remained resilient. Let no one dream of influencing our stand on national strategic issues that concern the well-being and development of the Sierra Leonean people.

Since its establishment in 1986, the People’s Democratic League (PDL) has never advocated violence; neither supported nor defended dictatorship or illegal overthrow of constitutional order in Sierra Leone. On the contrary, the PDL advocates peace and democratic transformation, and for a change of the decadent system or status quo, which is so corrupt, undemocratic, tribalistic, and dysfunctional. This has reaffirmed the PDL as the leading political force in Sierra Leone.

Every day the renewed trust of the Sierra Leonean citizens is the driving inspiration for the PDL’s activities. We are committed to contesting and winning elections, to deliver on all those issues that matter the most to our people: peace, human rights, the rule of law, democracy and democratic good governance, jobs, and economic stability, social security, justice, gender-balanced, prosperity, and freedom.

The PDL remains fully committed to peace, democracy, and freedom; and as such, we are committed also to working with like-minded forces to develop our country and citizens. Our core belief in restoring the lost dignity of the Sierra Leonean nation still resonates with possibility, if only democracy is allowed to give expression in the governance of our country.

It is obvious that Sierra Leone’s democracy is still at its forming stage, but there is still room to grow from strength to strength. The government of President Julius Maada Bio owes Sierra Leoneans a civic duty to protect our nascent democracy, and so does successive Government. We therefore urge the government at all levels to learn from the challenges we overcame in the late 1990s as a nation, and the progress we have chalked thus far, to rebrand the image of our country.

On this day of 38th-anniversary celebrations, the PDL condemns the system of the politics of ‘monkey work, baboon eat’. We condemn the system whereby some selected few have used politics as a weapon to punish the Sierra Leonean people, through wholesale poverty, greed, and exclusion. This is not just a betrayal of the conscience of the nation, but it is undemocratic but worrisome! We call on our elected few to put the country first before any other parochial interests.

In any democracy, the focal point is the people. That is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In such an environment, the government is expected to concern itself with the well-being and happiness of the people it governs. The government should do everything to work out solutions to reinforce the rule of law, human rights, freedom, and dignity of the people. This will require the adoption of a program based on people’s democracy, and change in policy making.

As stated in previous messages, it is necessary now than ever to build the PDL with a new face with new thoughts and expectations of the Sierra Leonean people. A look at what is happening in the Movement today, one should understand the issues we have to tackle and the problems we have to solve to climb the political ladder.

On this historic day of the 38th anniversary of its founding and formation, the People’s Democratic League is proud of its current leadership. With unshakable resolve, clear direction, and strong intentions in the present circumstances, the PDL is committed to facing the challenges posed by power-intoxicated forces. Our goal here is to adopt policies and programmes that are intended to gain the trust and support of all sections of Sierra Leonean society.

In conclusion, the PDL will never forget those who have paid the ultimate price and given their lives for the views and ideas we share and indeed we will not give up on our poor, impoverished, and downtrodden masses in the country.

Long live Sierra Leone!


(Chief) Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh
Founder and National Leader
The People’s Democratic League
For and on behalf of members of the PDL

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