From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

FEATURES
TRIBUTE to Sierra Leone's Dr. John A. M. KAREFA-SMART. (MD. MPH)
By Sahid Conteh
Sep 18, 2010, 14:14

Here born in a poor family in a rather small Country a child that was way ahead of his time or for those of us who knew him VERY WELL; rather late for his time.

 

For Doc.; (as we affectionately refer to him) would have been well-suited & comfortable in the Puritanical reigns of Elizabethan 1 England or participated in the great debate for the Reformation in Europe in the 17th. Century, when he would have rub shoulder with the likes of Martin Luther and others.

 

Alas, he found himself in a rather politically & morally Hedonistic Society, and used ALL his Energy to fight this, until now.

 

Because for a Man of such ASTONISHING RECTITUDE, he certainly was the wrong man in the wrong Society at the wrong time and this is the basis of my impression of him for all these 20years plus, that I have Served / Learned from / obeyed him / argued with / and learnt and listened to him an invaluable political encyclopaedia that no book in Sierra Leone will ever match.

 

Dr. John Albert Musselman KAREFA-SMART is someone of indefatigable and incomparable MORAL COMPASS.

 

This is largely due to his upbringing and his experience as a Lay Preacher. Whilst this should have been a GREAT SOURCE OF STRENGHT and accolades in many properly organised Societies, it was scorned upon and infact belittle in Sierra Leone, largely because the Society then and still is, contemptuous and incomprehensible to ASTUTE MORAL CRUSADERS.

 

He once told me that how he wished there is at least another person that will see things and feel things like he did/does.

 

Well, there is or there was and until now have ever been, only two National Figure that DO ACTUALLY LOVE THAT COUNTRY & CARE FOR ITS PEOPLE PASSIONATELY. They are:

 

1.        Sir Milton S. MARGAI called home long time ago and may His Soul continue to rest in Blessed Peace

2.        Dr. John KAREFA-SMART who has now been called home by his Heavenly Father, to join his Mentor & Teacher: Sir. Milton.

 

THEY BREAK THE MOULD WHEN THESE TWO DISTINGUISHED SONS OF SIERRA LEONE WERE MADE. SINCE THEN THE MOULD HAS NOT BEEN REFORMED.

 

IT WAS NO ACCIDENT THEY MET, BUT NOT AT THE RIGHT TIME AND CERTAINLY THE WRONG PLACE/COUNTRY.

 

Since the mistakes that culminated in the events that led to the death of Sir Milton, and after the Death of our GREAT & UNIQUE LEADER; Sir Milton, Sierra Leone went through and has gone through exactly what the First Prime Minister actually whispered to his Aide; Protge & Confidant, who has now joined him.

 

For him, Machiavellianism was not a way of politics and/or social interface.

 

Seemingly, his Friends & Foes alike used this to deceive and indeed con him even until his death now. But they NEVER FOOLED HIM, as they would want to delude themselves. When Deceit; basic Tribalism, Nepotism & Shenanigans overwhelmed politics in Sierra Leone, in the running during and after the death of our First Prime Minister, that was when My Leader/Teacher/Mentor knew his time was almost up, unless he was prepared to fight this evil cancer that was spreading like a wild fire engulfing even some of the then weak but vociferous Moral Gatekeepers of the Realm.

 

But enough is always enough.

 

Fought he did and did very well until he was fondly (and for some jokingly) referred to as the Father of the Nation, partly because at his ripe young age of 80years when he contested and won the 1996 Elections, after just only six (6) months preparations when his pre-eminence and unsurpassed popularity was underscored once again for a new generation to see and respect.

 

I remembered after the meeting at the US Embassy signal hill, that rather chilled summer night in 1996 before the (over-egged/spinned) election results was about to be announced by the so-called Independent Election Authorities, from the UN et al.

 

He lamented in a voice that I have never heard from him since. That once again, the forces of deceit/immorality has won the battle   then he added to me, but NOT THE WAR and I can still picture his back shoulder as he walked past me, gingerly but deeply drained with disappointment to his bedroom. I knew he was going to consult his Heavenly Father for Guidance & Guardian/Strenght, as he always does in times similar.

 

Doc., was & still is, UNDOUBTEDLY THE MOST POPULAR POLITICIAN IN THE HISTORY OF SIERRA LEONE and I mean he never indulge this virtue & blessings to populism which is a dangerous form of political counter-play. There has never been any doubt about his UNDERSTANDING; CARE & LOVE of his People and Country and I say that conservatively. Some school of thoughts would let you believe that he was not a good judge of character.

 

Well as I started out, the Sincere & Honest Person mirrors himself in everyone he/she deals with or comes across IN OTHER WORDS HE SEES GOOD IN EVERY SOUL. WHILE THE SAME CANNOT BE SAID OF THE OTHER PERSON.

 

Karefa-Smart, had an almost childlike fantasy of how he hoped and prayed that the people of Sierra Leone, will one day changed and rejects the ills that are stoking the developments & liberation of the soul of that country. This includes:

 

         Tribalism / Nepotism / Favouritism

         Corruption

         Immorality

 

For some of us, who actually worked VERY CLOSELY and LOVED HIM UNCONDITIONALLY BECAUSE OF WHAT HE REPRESENTS, we will endeavour & strive to carry on his legacy and beliefs and trust that there will be no army in the world, who will stand in the way of an idea whose time has come.

 

A staunch and deep believer in Pan-Africanism and one of the Mentors to the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his student days, plus a True Democrat, who believes in the non-violence or coercion of ones will, we will soldier on his message

 

Malcolm X (RIP) , said: A man who stands for NOTHING can fall for ANYTHING. Doc., was a direct antithesis to this maxim, but found himself in Africa; West Africa, (sub-Saharan) for that matter and therefore for him to be misunderstood / miscomprehend and misinterpreted was as sure to happen as the sun to come out in summer.

 

THIS GIANT OF A MAN THAT HAS WALKED THE CORRIDORS AND PALACES OF POWER / WEALTH AND INFLUENCE AROUND THE WORLD, HAS PASSED ON.

 

THIS GIANT OF A MAN WHO WAS BORN HUMBLY AND ACHIEVED INCOMPARABLE SUCCESS & FULFILMENT HAS PASSED ON.

 

THIS GIANT OF A MAN WHO WAS DESTINED TO UPHOLD THE TRUTH AND SOLDIER THE MORAL PRINCIPLES THAT HIS HEAVENLY FATHER WISHES HIS CHILDREN TO EXHIBIT, HAS PASSED ON.

 

THIS GIANT OF A MAN WITH EXTRA-ORDINARY GIFTS AND PROWESS, WHO WOULD HAVE TAKEN POWER BY ANY UNDEMOCRATIC MEANS, SHOULD HE WISH AND STILL RULED FOR LIFE, IF HE HAD PREFERRED. BUT REFUSED REPEATEDLY. BECAUSE HE IS NOT MADE THAT WAY, HAS PASSED ON.

 

ALAS!!! ALAS!!! MY FRIENDS & COUNTRY MEN, THE HEAVENLY LORD HAS FINALLY CALLED UPON HIS HUMBLE / FAITHFUL SERVANT HOME!!!, SO DON,T DESPAIR ALL YOU MORAL & DECENCY SEEKERS

 

SO LEST WE WEEP FOR HIM.LET US CRY FOR OUR COUNTRY & THOSE THAT SEEK TO DWELL AMONGST US.

 

MAY HIS PERFECT SOUL CONTINUE TO BE BLESSED AND REST IN BLISSFUL HEAVENLY PEACE!!!

 

Rest in blissful & perfect peace my President & chief, you shall NEVER be forgotten.

 

 

Compiled by:

 

Sahid CONTEH

 

Most Trusted Aide

Private Secretary & Special Adviser

First Chairman UNPP in the UK

Executive Member of the UNPP

Media Campaign Director 1966 Elections

Life long Personal Friend & Confidant

 

London , UK

 

 

I THANK YOU ALL!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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