Forget the Campism, Celebrate the History
A FrontPage commentary by Aruna Turay, Editor – AYV Newspaper
With a decision not to comment all through the process, I quietly followed the Fourah Bay College (FBC) Students’ Union elections concluded over the weekend.
Despite there were other as well competent contenders for the Presidency, for some reasons, my heart chose to keenly follow the 2 female presidential candidates, Adama Sillah and Fatmata Binta Jalloh.
No secret, both candidates were from hot rivalry camps in the College with different ideologies.
However, the strange reason(s) for the decisionsfrom both camps to select female candidates to run for the high seat that has now broken a 194 years taboo in the country is what attracted my curiosity.
And for this alone, young people, especially women and their support groups, should by now be seen dancing the streets of Freetown in celebrating a positive start of a thousand miles for women’s development in Sierra Leone.
The first female Students’Union President at Fourah Bah College, University of Sierra Leone? Does this not call for a ‘Million Women March’ celebrating Her Excellency the first female president of FBC, Madam Adama Sillah?
This day, Friday 11th June 2021, history is made, FBC students electedthe ‘First Female President’ in 194 years of the College’s existence.
Adama Sillah,a Year Three student in the Honours Class of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law pursing a Law Degree, emerged as President after a tightly contended election.
After her academic journey in the Mass Communication Department where she acquired her first Bachelor’s degree, she has been working as broadcaster and women’s advocate.
She established an organisation called Media Initiative for Women and Girls Empowerment to inspire and support young women and girls with media literacy and personal empowerment skills through available interactive media platforms.
If I was fortunate to vote in the FBC elections just concluded, whether I voted for Adama or not, I will be celebrating just one thing, that: “I have contributed in broking a huge glass ceiling (TABOO) by being part of students making the first female SU President in our time as students”.
Careless whether President Adama is from my Black or White Camp, I will offload my Blackman / Whiteman campism attire, and celebrate women’s development and positive start of the rise of women’s power in my country.
Listening to her Presidential Acceptance Speech after winning the election, the promising young lady sounds well-packaged with a great pride and humility. If what she said after winning the seat is all good to go by. Then FBC students have made no mistake in giving her their trust.
From her words: “I promise not to rest until our Union is perfected, until our work here is done; your welfare is maximised, and address everyone of those challenges that bothered me so much that I was inspired to run for this office.
Fourabites, we have got so much work to do. Electing me as your President is just the beginning. So I am telling you now that I going to need you to come along with me in this great journey we are about to embark on. I need you, and I mean, every student of this great institution, with me every step of the way. It is the only way we can move and most certainly, the only way we can conquer.
To those of you who voted against me, I respect your decision and I salute you for keeping our democracy alive and thriving. I would work everyday of my Presidency to earn you trust. I assure you, I will be your President too. To my opponents, I extend an invitation for solidarity and collaboration. Please work with me to make this place a better place for all of us and to strengthen our Union. You have shown yourselves as leaders, and I am going to need all of you if I am to succeed. Thank you for your role in solidifying our democracy.
What you have done today is monumental and its significance will reverberate into the future. And this generation of Fourabites shall be remembered as a progressive generation, one that set the progressive bandwagon of Fourah Bay College in motion. It will take us some time to fully comprehend the significance of what we have achieved here today.”