From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

ABC doing well, but can do better, if
By Patricia Koroma
Sep 17, 2012, 12:10

Without flattery, the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat is one of the most influential and beneficial institutions in Sierra Leone in recent time. Hundreds of people have described the work of the present ABC Executives as not only impacting on the lives of the general populace, but also creating positives change in the attitudes and behaviours of Sierra Leoneans across every spectrum in our society.


It can be recalled that there was a period in our history when corruption was accepted as a way of life. It is also a fact that corruption had been so deep-rooted in our society to the extent that not being corrupt was seen as a misnomer or an act of sabotage.Thankfully however, H.E President Ernest Bai Koroma when he assumed power in 2007 has brought a drastic change to all of that.

Without any doubt, it is clear that the former ABC Secretariat was not only riddled with corruption, but it became evident with the investigation, arrest, detention and prosecution of certain individuals that were at the helm of the ABC in days gone by. The ABC Secretariat needs financial support from other institutions and the present ABC Secretariat Executives should not suffer because of the negative behaviour demonstrated by the former Executives.  They should not be blacklisted because Mr. P and Mr. A failed the country woefully.


It would be of no use to go back into that sordid history because the present ABC Secretariat is a far cry from what the ABC used to be. The present ABC led by capable, honest and focused individuals in the persons of Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas and Madam Nanette Thomas (who are generally referred to as the two Thomases), is a testament to the fact that a bad situation can be changed to good and a good situation changed to better. The two Thomases have not only revived the meaning and mission of the ABC but they have also ensured that the message of the ABC does not fall on deaf ears and does not go unheeded.


Since President Ernest Bai Koroma appointed the two Thomases, they have consistently made not only President Koroma proud but they are also being admired and complimented by hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans who had lost hope in the future of this country.


Apart from preaching the ABC message to ABC staff, the two Thomases have taken the fight to the field and to every sector, entity, slum, ghetto, government institution, home, educational institution among other places and have even spread their messages to church and mosque congregations.


It should also be noted that the ABC under the two Thomases has accomplished so much in so little time that their achievements cannot be anything but commendable, patriotic, far-reaching and all inclusive.


We should stop at this moment and ask ourselves whether the former ABC Secretariat ever crossed the boundaries of Freetown to convey the ABC message to people as far away as Bo, Makeni, Kenema, Kono Pujehun, Kailahun, Kabala and other distant areas.The answer to this question can be seen when a closer look at the work of the two Thomases is taken into perspective.


It is no hidden fact that the two Thomases have redefined the meaning of attitude and behavior and have taken their positive mind-changing messages to far away provincial areas. They have not only addressed civil servants, soldiers, police personnel, nurses, primary and secondary school pupils, university students, prisoner officers, market women and a vast array of other people in society, but they ensured that at all those respective meetings they came down to unbelievable levels in an effort to create an impact on the mind set of their audiences.


It is little wonder therefore that the two Thomases are being praised for taking the ABC from concept to implementation. Do they not deserve accolades?  It is an undeniable fact that the two Thomases changed the face of the ABC within a very short period. They are all over the country almost at the same time. They hardly ever come off the minds of Sierra Leoneans in urban areas and even in the remotest of places in the country. They are daily on radio, television, offices, newspapers, and everywhere.


Another good mode of the ABC is that they have succeeded to impress the public with the fact that they are not politically motivated or influenced by any politician but are working with the intention to change the mindset of all Sierra Leoneans irrespective of their respective political backgrounds.


However, there is no institution or human being for that matter that can survive without funding. The ABC is no exception. Even though the government has been the major financier of the ABC, it would also be necessary for other players who mean well and want to help President Koroma in his attitude change agenda to come onboard the ABC train by way of assisting in cash or kind, to move the work of the ABC forward faster.


We hope these words do not fall on deaf ears!

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.