From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

The Self-Mockery of Sierra Leone's President
By Citizens’ Advocate
Jan 29, 2010, 17:34

Our honored President of the Republic, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is a much loved figure especially in the Northern and Western axis of Sierra Leone. His popularity in these regions that swept him into office is indisputable. However, the President has a trait that is fast proving to be his Achilles heel.

The Achilles heel of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is that he has a tendency of publicly bringing down his own people, subjecting them to sometimes undeserved mockery whilst he might be self-deluding himself that he is escaping the mockery and retaining a gloss of incorruptibility. The reality is that, by sacrificing his people to become subjects of public mockery, Mr. President is actually poking holes right into the fabric of his own credibility. Because if you are the very Leader who sacked virtually everyone you inherited only to proceed to handpick a bunch of Corrupt Folks, what does that say about your ability to discern good, morally-upright character? We cannot forget that birds of the same feathers…

Someone please help!!! My people are so Corrupt!!

To make matters worse was that Tea Break programme over United Nations Radio yesterday morning. It was a comedy of errors! How will any Leader, after two and a half years of shouting ZERO TOLERANCE FOR CORRUPTION, suddenly turn around and have it reported he is making a "Final Appeal" to his sacred cows to stop tiff-man ways?

There was a so-called Spokesman of His Excellency busy responding to Claudia Anthony that this was ‘the very last chance for the sacred cows to stop stealing and cease their corruption’ and then as if that was not enough, the incompetent fool went on to say that the reason why these sacred cows were continuing to ignore the Zero Tolerance Order was because the Attitudinal & Behavioural Change, for which BILLIONS of leones has been expended, was a shameful failure; in other words, the billions of leones spent by the international donors, had all gone down the drain!

I am Fed Up! Those People I handpicked are Tiffmans!!

"The sacred cows are continuing to ignore the zero tolerance order because the attitudinal change effort has failed and so the President has given them all a final appeal to change their ways because now it is just seven more months to go for the 36 months turnaround miracle to happen" was the summary of what the idiot of a Spokesman waxed over the air as poor Sierra Leoneans listened on in dismayed amazement.

According to the State House Press Release which detailed the temper-throwing tantrum of Mr. President at his Ministers, the President was stern and uncompromising as he warned corrupt Government functionaries to stop issuing our passports to potential Al-Qaeda operatives and regional fraudsters. However, in a continuation of the mockery of things that we have all now come to expect from some of Mr. President’s handlers, there was the ‘Spokesman’ telling Claudia Anthony that ‘Yes, it is the final appeal’.

So, how should we term that tantrum-throwing tirade? Was it an APPEAL to the sacred cows or a firm non-compromising ORDER against corruption?

Mr. President must surely have his advisers who he consults before he releases information into the Public Domain. If they all read and endorsed that Release from the Press Secretariat that detailed what could be aptly described as a Presidential Tantrum-Throwing (Childish & Immature Fit of Frustration), then I submit, they should all just get booted out of State House! How could these advisers allow the President to be subjected to such SELF-INFLICTED MOCKERY?

Let us look at the scenario. A gentleman is given a mandate to run the ship of State. The first thing he does is to listen to his mentor who tells the BBC about how she wants him to turn the civil service upside down and bring in his own people and send the other people away from him.

So, the gentleman then listens and sacks and sacks and sacks and sacks almost everyone he met at the helm of various Departments and brings in his own team of actors. (Before you talk about passports to Al-Qaeda, recall how Alice Kamara of Immigration was hounded out!)

Anyway, to continue the narrative.. two years and five months at the helm of the Ship, this man who has sacked and sacked and sacked and sacked now realises he is running a grossly corrupt entity and starts blasting all his own people he brought in as replacements. In a temper tantrum, he says they are all presiding over corrupt entities but that he has the evidence which he then fails to produce.

Anyway, it would appear as if his people are not prepared to take the fall for the corruption. They do not seem to be willing to play ball or roll over and play dead so as to have the President dance on their corpses. No, they are hitting back; albeit subliminally. And this is where the President’s Achilles heel will eventually be his undoing if he does not change his ways. No one likes to be summoned and publicly humiliated like that with unspecified allegations and even less specific evidence offered. The President railed and railed at his people and then he got up and walked out on them in a typical temper tantrum - without producing even a scrap of evidence to justify the Public Railing!

WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? For a start, the President is supposed, according to his ‘Spokesman’, to have engaged in high level intelligence gathering that led to his supposed evidence of this corruption. What one would have expected was the naming and shaming of specific human beings engaged in corruption rather than to bamboozle us with vague charges of global corruption. However, all what we heard was one of the indicted Ministers lamely saying just one person has been sent on leave and no-one else out of all the temper ‘tantrumic’ claims of corruption. What a mockery!

So, I might not be too off the mark if I say that the President’s Achilles heel of subjecting his appointed people to public humiliation has left his people with their backs up against him. It is like they are saying that since the President is the one with the announcement of evidence, let him be the one to produce it. The people are not happy that they were subjected to such public mockery.

Anyway, as I said before, a President publicly confessing that he is leading a bunch of corrupt people is merely subjecting himself to mockery. Because if all the people you handpicked after you kicked out others, are now proving to be so corrupt as to sell us to Al Qaeda operatives, then what does that say about your ability to detect good characters with upstanding moral fibre? What does that say about your ability to be a good leader who can make good choices? See the SELF-MOCKERY at play?

The irony of it all is that if the only charge is one of ‘global’ corruption in the APC Government, then rather than the Ministers and Functionaries being the ones to blame, it is the President who should be blamed for the ‘global’ non-specific corruption all over the place!

Bottom-line, the President has confessed to running a corrupt ship and his ‘Spokesman’ has confessed to the United Nations Radio that the Attitudinal Change efforts have failed. It is not yet 36 months but somehow I do recall a former president making similar sounding pronouncements many years ago. He also had a doctorate like this current President. He was known as H.E. Dr. Joseph Saidu Momoh and back then, he had confessed that he had failed his people after a similar time span in office. This Momoh also had lofty slogans like Constructive Nationalism! and Green Revolution! which ring like Attitudinal Change! and Tractorisation!

My people, a few of the similarities between Koroma and Momoh are eerie. However, I thank God that there is one major difference between them: Our current President is not a hopeless womaniser like President Momoh was.

May God Bless Sierra Leone!


© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.