From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Is Sierra Leone's 'Fine Boy' Sleeping?
Nov 9, 2010, 17:00

You've been in power for three years now and you told the nation of Sierra Leone that you should be judged or evaluated after three years in office; this is what I want to do from my own little corner.

The State of Affairs in Sierra Leone and Your Agenda for Change programme has been very popular and well received by the populace in the country and today it is now slang.

You know Sierra Leonean presidents are always good in coming up with different agendas; late president Momoh had Green Revolution, Tejan Kabbah had Poverty Alleviation and today under your regime we have Agenda for Change.

All of these agendas are almost the same in meaning, but none has been able to lift us up from decadence to prosperity, instead we have been buried deeper into poverty and retrogression.

During Green Revolution, a bag of rice was around Le10,000, Kabbah took over from NPRC, a bag of rice was Le16,000 and there comes your comrades in arms AFRC who destroyed the economy thereby shooting inflation to double digits.

Kabbah left after finishing the war and we were looking forward for a better Sierra Leone, so we chose the angel we don¡¯t know (Ernest Koroma) than the devil we knew (Berewa).

You took over an economy that was bad but not worse with no foreign debt plus more than Le500 billion in the Treasury for you to build your own Agenda for Change for a better Sierra Leone.

Well, not all change is positive as well as not all movement is forward. Your Agenda for Change has really changed our lives for the worse, but after three years in office the price of a bag of rice has been doubled from Le60,000 to Le120,000, the single digit inflation is now double digit and the debt free Sierra Leone is now millions of dollars in debt.

As a Sierra Leonean thinking the way a greater majority of concerned and forward-thinking Sierra Leoneans are thinking. I am impelled writing to you feeling rather sad and heavy hearted regarding the state of affairs in Sierra Leone under your Presidency since you assumed the reigns of office three years ago.

During your campaign tour throughout the country, you promised us a better Sierra Leone than what it was under your immediate predecessor Tejan Kabbah. It is presumed that in your comparative analysis, Sierra Leone was relatively good under H E Tejan Kabbah which you promised to up-grade to a higher and indeed better standard.

As a reflection of how incredulous your promise sounded to voters regarding your Party¡¯s previous performance in government, you could only inch out your opponent by pipping him only just at the post with the help of Margai¡¯s PMDC.

With precisely two years more to end your mandate of five, your Agenda for Change promise has always been Agenda for Backwardness and Tribalism. Our lachrymal glands have and continue to over-work hence most Sierra Leoneans are tearful all over. To sum everything up succinctly, Sierra Leone is in a state of anomie with the worst political division reminiscent of the jungle politics of the yesteryears dictatorship regimes of antiquity. It doesn¡¯t appear like there is any President whose authority is felt to be in control in Sierra Leone. Instead of constitutional democracy, organized thuggery and mob rule are prevailing.

Defense Minister travelling all around the country with Land Rovers full of soldiers, beating up and molesting decent people of society even member of his own party. The thugs of the Siaka Stevens era are back again in the country and the increase in armed rubbery once again tells of how the Agenda for Change is prospering the country.

The ¡®regime change¡¯ courtesy of the West, Carlos Venezuela and Christiana Thorpe was instituted to strengthen the various organs and institutions of State but you have chosen to snub them by doing the opposite, i.e. weakening the self same organs meant for strengthening so that you can impocket them. In effect, where Presidential authority seems to act at-all on especially the police, since you and your cabinet zap them from above, such an important State organ can only demonstrate overt discrimination in their duties by favouring one section of the community against the other or show abject incivism.

It may be recalled that there have been three or four bye elections in Sierra Leone since you became President and I can say on very strong authority that you as President have pretermitted your role and duty to protect all citizen of Sierra Leone alike by choosing to shield only a section of the Sierra Leonean society who are of your political persuasion. No wonder when the other side choose to protect themselves you cried foul and invoke MAC-P.

By pretermission anarchy has broken out in various forms of lager loutery by your Party boys against opponents in the presence of your security forces when citizens who owe it as a duty are out to carry out their constitutionally mandated plebiscite exercise. Your Party men and women commit crimes against humanity at your pleasure with impunity.

Many celebrated concerned people like Charles Margai, John Benjamin, Schlenburg and Ban Ki Moon have expressed serious concerns about the security-wise state of affairs in the country. They all univocally surmise that through political activities and particularly during the up-coming 2012 general and Presidential elections Sierra Leone may slip into a similar bloodbath of yester years, yet these concerns appear to fall into your apparent deaf ears presumably because you don¡¯t care.

Here in Sierra Leone under your stewardship we see the reverse of constitutional rule. You and your cabinet apply rule by law to push through policies and proposals, whilst the minority opposition rather apply rule of law and nous to challenge and defeat your government. These are manifested in attempts by your apparatchiks to curb citizens¡¯ freedom of objective expression.

Freedom of expression is a right of all citizens which your immediate predecessor H E Tejan Kabbah cherished and preserved. You prepared the SLBC job for Hallowel because he will dance to the tune for you and your party officials. You have reduced the country to one District ¨C Bombali because there we will find all the educated men and women. You allowed state funds to the tune of Le450 million to be used by your party in propagating and lying to the people of your achievements and almost sending your minster to jail as a sacrificial lamb. Your government is one of the highest spenders in Africa on travelling alone. I¡¯m sure if we can get access to all those documents, it will be devastating and disappointing to the people of Sierra Leone who voted you into office. With all your travellings, don¡¯t you see the urgency of Sierra Leone in infrastructural development?

As to whether you will be re-elected for a second and final term is the business of the Sierra Leonean plebiscite depending on your good work, style and quality of stewardship delivery. We expect to go into elections in the manner just as it was in 2008 under Tejan Kabbah that brought you to power. We don¡¯t know whether the ¡®fine boy¡¯ tactics will work this time as most of the candidates of SLPP are equally or more handsome than you and they seems ready to battle you to their last drop of blood.

Sierra Leoneans appear to have every good reason to regret and be angst for a change hence for the remaining two years to go for your presidency to end, we want you to change with a mutatis mutandis to encompass your upstart killer cabinet and haughty officials who show gross disrespect towards everybody including doctors, journalists, nurses and all workers across the country.

Your regime has registered a whole lot of damages but my concern like that of any other Sierra Leonean has been with your empowered discriminative National security apparatus. All other ravages that have been and may further be caused by you can be repaired at the cost of time with a better administration in place but a single life lost in you and your Party¡¯s planned program will be lost for eternity.

Sierra Leone has been a leader in African democracy and we would want to continue priding ourselves with that hence we want you to at least maintain it at the level you came to meet it. We deserve and expect better not bitter governance. We want a forward-looking political leadership not a leadership with nostomania and neotenic tendencies such that our elders and peers alike would continue talking to us because at age 50, Salone is supposed to have passed talking-to.

The people of Sierra Leone need the police and all other National security apparatus to treat and protect them with equanimity irrespective of our political persuasion. Sierra Leone therefore finally enjoins you to wake up from your deep slumber and demonstrate your ability to protect and defend all of us irrespective of and according as you swore to do on September 2007. Land that we love our Sierra Leone.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.