Sierra Leone’s Julius Maada Bio did Africa proud by driving to State House to concede defeat to President Ernest Koroma in the recent presidential elections. He will not only be mentioned as a light in Sierra Leone’s journey to multi-party constitutional democracy, but a military junta leader who handed power to a civilian government in 1996 and a presidential candidate who accepted defeat in 2012. This has spared his nation the destructive fate that beset other African countries where the losers refused to accept defeat.
Such footsteps that were followed by Dr. John Karefa-Smart (1996), Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma (2002) and Mr. Solomon Berewa (2007) ought to be considered by countries such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe and Kenya whose elections are impending.
It should not be forgotten that developed and emerging economies are trooping to the continent as the next frontier of investment and the continent’s middle class is increasing. These gains are bound to be eroded if Africa doesn’t pay attention to development, political and economic inclusion, equity, prevention of conflicts and peaceful resolutions to conflicts. We must ensure that we have credible elections that put the interests of the electorate first and maintain stability even after the elections.