Sierra Leone in 2017 – May our road be rough

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 January 2017

In the midst of our economic fog and descent into bleak house in slow motion, I had planned to reflect in absolute silence as 2016 gave way to this New Year.

I mean, we all know that we have a messed-up country and are equally aware that the damage is phenomenal. So the annual charade that surrounds the festive period is for me, very disheartening because of the sheer hypocrisy of it all.

I am sure you are aware that giving a lame man a pair of wedges is not charity, it is sheer wickedness.

And this is exactly what often happens as our politicians and other national predators, carry out their various circus and actions, which this time included the donation of solar power, lavish feasts and flowery speeches.

As their hypocrisy and vulgarity spoke truth to our national folly, it became more glaring that our leaders do not deploy funds for the public good, but for power acquisition.

Because of our seemingly genetically-embedded shallowness and mediocrity, they realise that the masses might sell their loyalty in exchange for crumbs that fall into their hands.

It occurred to me that our shallowness and lack of substance must be total and complete, if we believe that any politician is there for anything other than his pocket or his megalomania. It is why they strive with all intensity to become a colossus – economically or politically.

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Sierra Leone – our problems are man made and our salvation firmly in our hands

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 December 2016

“We rode over what they have called the longest bridge in the world, which is over 40 kilometers and these are all inspirational visits. They have inspired me to work very hard on seeing the commencement of the Mamamah project,” said president Koroma on his recent visit to China.

There you have it. A grand failure to learn to be pragmatic. An illustration of what I mean by money or fantasy projects on its own, neither solving problems nor creating a wealth-building nation.

Aren’t we all complicit in a destructive flight to drive the country to the abyss, by such irrational choices that we make?

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Sierra Leone in decline – a product of a few people and ignorance of the majority

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 December 2016

ebola-sierra-leone

You can’t kill the dead, can you? One of our problems is that having outsourced virtually our very existence to other cultures’ understanding frameworks, our society has now funked, as it slithers down the slope of poverty in both the spiritual and economic kind – a cause and effect syndrome.

However, watching the slow death of critical thinking and public honesty as well as the boldness of the lies politicians tell, and our propensity to accept them unquestioningly, I’ve come to realise that it is our complacency, our acceptance of socio-economic backwardness as the norm, our love of deception which feeds our delusion, that are the true causes of today’s recession.

As I listen to, or read the consistent shrill of government’s explanation as it attempts to absolve itself from our economic plight, I shudder at the thought that because we continue to see politicians as an independent, all powerful scourge of a system which allows our leaders to replicate and self-perpetuate themselves in power, we have contributed to our entering the twilight zone where lies and truth are the two sides of the same coin.

Then as I heard of our leaders go begging for cake crumbs from anyone’s table, it is now clear that this country is being scammed. Life has rarely been more difficult and the heavens above as well as China and any other foreign land, but not our leaders, have become the likely saving grace for the masses.

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Sierra Leone – a country of pain and penury – let us face the real issues

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 November 2016

President koroma launches another strategy

As more and more programmes for the agenda for austerity, oops; sorry, I mean prosperity, are rolled out by the government and my mind wonders to the goings-on in Sierra Leone, I offer my silent prayer to the God that designed us with a thinking box -not the One that deactivates it.

The panic and painful mixing of the proverbial oil and water, after the government had for long disconnected from concrete reality and had instead doubled as the very depth of societal corruption and human corrosion, unveils the hitherto toga of hypocritical and shallow shadow of progress that had been used for so long to create the illusion of dynamism.

The inferiority complex and desperate commitment to any inept and outmoded systems as well as investment, have revealed the failure over the past nine years to inspire and combine the productivity of our people and resources into a potent economic and social force, that will serve as a solid foundation for the future. We kept calling our malnourished puppy – ‘Tiger’.

Yes, we were told that the economy was booming, but not that it was reliant on corruption and prescription that were meant to sedate rather than cure.

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Sierra Leone – a country of pain and penury – busted beyond repairs?

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 November 2016

President koroma and victor foh at APC conference 30 april 2015

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied; ‘I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.’ The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a ‘Thank You’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

The same scenario played out on the second day with a fruit seller, who went on to leave a card and a bag of fresh vegetables outside the barber’s door the next day.

On the third day, a politician came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The politician was very happy and left the shop.

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen politicians lined up, waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my dear readers, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and our political class, especially the leadership. The last political generation promised us a better tomorrow, only to leave us in total darkness. The current one is now at the threshold of quitting the stage, and no doubt its legacy is going to be the same old song that tomorrow will be better.

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The criminalisation of critical thinking in Sierra Leone – Part 2

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 October 2016

President koroma and victor foh at APC conference 30 april 2015

One of the huge elephants in the room of our national existence is the fact that for so long our cockroach (the nation) has been willing to dance in the open market place, but the fowl (the political class) will not allow it.

Notorious for its devouring appetite, the fowl creates nothing and operates independent of the cockroach, feeding off it and yet giving nothing back to society.

Our political class continues to ask us to clap with one hand as it builds on our tolerance and rationalisation of mediocrity and corruption, which have become our national default setting. Stone age special dynamics in a 21st century setting.

Having anaesthetised us with the opium of greed and deception, we have ended up giving our leaders top shelf cheer, amidst the steamy soap-opera of their avarice.

As our socio-economic and political train moves like a tortoise with arthritis, they continue to perpetrate their acts of fraudulence and impunity, while mesmerising us with the aroma of prejudice and cliché propaganda.

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Criminalisation of critical thinking in Sierra Leone

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 October 2016

president-koroma-and-logus-koroma

“Development is a tough process and prosperity does not come on a silver platter. These two things require effective collaboration and perseverance, not layback theoretical prescriptions and half-hearted political grandstanding.” That was President Ernest Koroma speaking at the official launching of the Freetown Containers Terminal Extension Project last week – 14 October 2016.

This was the same President Koroma who said in the course of his nine years in office, that “power is the authority given to you by the people, to improve their lives and develop the country with beneficial expectations.”

The real tragedy of our situation in Sierra Leone today, is the fact that truth has been clobbered into coma; which is why the reality of those who lead us, scam and hustle their way to the top, would have been redefined along the way.

In the light of both contrasting statements above, I guess that we must understand the preacher’s language before decoding his message. I mean, when perceptions become more important than actuality, strange behavioural anomalies usually arise. It causes ‘mistaking the woods for the trees’.

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