A Rare Step in the Right Direction

The recently elected President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone has done something that very few African leaders would do.

He has selected Mr. Siddique Wai as his country’s ambassador to the U.S. Mr. Siddique emigrated to the U.S. over thirty years ago. But the length of his sojourn is immaterial to our course.

He’s indubitably one of few contemporary Africans who know the nitty gritty of the U.S. political system. As founder/president of the New York–based United African Congress, he has walked the corridors of political pow- er in the U.S. Congress and the U.N., rubbed shoulders with prominent civil and community activists, dined with the rich, famous, and powerful, and struggled on the streets with those at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

From the notorious shooting of Amadou Diallo in 1999 to the tragic inferno that claimed the lives of six Ghanaians earlier this year, the fearless Mr. Wai is always at ash spots as long as African lives are concerned.

He was appointed by former New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly as an adviser and a liaison between the police and the African community. Mr. Sidique Wai was the rst African to run for a City Council post in Brooklyn in 2001.

In 2013 he ran for the New York City Public Advocate’s position and garnered enough votes to be taken seriously within the political structure of the city.

His extensive writings on Africa and African issues have appeared in both mainstream and community newspapers, including Amandla.

He has been interviewed and served as a panelist on local and inter- national airwaves from Jersey Ghana Radio to the BBC.

Mr. Wai’s appointment is indeed a rare phenomenon, for an indigene who has sojourned in another coun- try for such a long time. But Amandla believes that his vast experiences in the socio-political and economic land- scape of the U.S. fully justify it.

President Bio knows and understands the way to optimize the human resources of his fellow countrymen and women.

Mr. Wai does not need anyone to take him through the land of the U.S., nor does he need anyone to hold his hands to the right places, business, etc.

In the majority of African countries, government apparatchiks and political movers and shakers would have opposed such an appointment by a President.

The appointee would have been branded as an “outsider,” a dual citizenship holder (if and where applicable), or one who plainly had not toiled enough to reap the fruits of labor. On this score President Bio could only be described a visionary leader.

“Welcome” to the U.S., His Excellency Siddique Wai.

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Posted by on Aug 13 2018. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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