Beyond Parody: “Only Dead Fishes Go With The
Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon
9 June 2010
Is it me or has it become obvious that some
political, opportunistic psychos in the
corridors of, or with links to power in Sierra
Leone, are eccentric arsonists who will start a
fire at a pacifist convention?
Because every time that we think we are taking a
genuine step forward in our political evolution,
they ignite an earthquake that often generates
aftershocks that distract us.
Wow. These unbelievably stupid, crass and
insensitive creatures, who behave like people
who have had an encounter with the falling-over
lotion (especially local alcohol), for whatever
selfish motives, are now ready to raise the
ghosts of the past as a ploy to divert attention
from burning socio-political and economic
malaise afflicting the country right now.
Oh! What a circus. Not only is the idea
tantamount to sabotage when the masses out on
the streets, are the forlorn face of the
nation’s heartache, it also amounts to treating
us collectively as numpties.
Poor President Koroma. Some of his advisers and
lieutenants are pure mischief makers whose daily
obsession is to ensure that they create new and
selfish dynamics in the polity without a hoot
about the aftermath or implications for the man
himself. But the buck stops at his desk and not
with the cabal holding him ‘hostage’.
Because, believe me political power is very,
very illusory and I think the present wielders
should know; since they are the beneficiaries
who ended unexpectedly with the King’s robe.
Power corrupts and absolute power does indeed
Stupid, yes. A backward step, sure. A brilliant
move, definitely not. It is simply a dangerous
precedent that is raising the bar to a level
that oversteps the bounds of discipline and
decency in democratic management.
It has become obvious that some of those leading
us are not only wetter than an august rain but
they have learnt nothing from our chequered
history, especially the one that nearly ruined
us and from which we are yet to recover.
I have always been a believer of the premise
that victimisation of a social minority or the
silent majority, is often engineered by those in
power to distract from fundamental problems of
political, economic and social inequities.
What the recourse to probing the NPRC regime
amounts to, is that, like in the past, the very
forces that made our history a theatre of all
colours and shades of absurdities, are getting
set; through proxies and ageing nincompoops, to
trample on all democratic norms or use every
available underhand tricks, in a bid to have
their way in the ultimate battle for supremacy.
This is why I beg to disagree with those who are
pleading with the ilk that are planning to
embark on the suicidal mission of digging up the
ghost of the NPRC. Tell me why not? If it is
because it might end up a consuming fire, then I
can understand but have you ever seen the wicked
die in the fire they light? No. Because there is
always a flight out of the country; if the
trouble gets out of hand.
Similarly, telling them to forget the classic
idea only hardens the heart. He that the gods
want to destroy they first make mad.
Why can’t those oozing power now, not settle
perceived scores? Why can’t those who chickened
out of probing the last administration, not
still show to a potential spouse that the whip
with which the first wife was beaten to death,
is still very much behind the door? Why can’t
the rest of us realise that anyone who stands in
the way of ‘attitudinal change’ will have
himself to blame?
I mean why can’t we all pretend that we suffer
from dementia? Of all our woes, NPRC becomes an
issue in 2010 that scarce human and financial
resources must be expended to appease
godfathers. What are the courts for? Human
rights my foot.
As far as I am concerned, let the government,
which refused to listen to our cry on the Truth
and Reconciliation Report and about our
Paramount Ruler and Member of Parliament for
Tripoli Constituency, Lungi District, Moamer
Ghadaffi (a total and manipulative stranger), go
ahead and seek for justice for the handful, at
the expense of the nation’s fragile fabric.
Let them raise the ghosts of our past, while
stirring the bees’ nest, and helping the profile
of the very same people they want to crush; all
in pursuit of five minutes of fame. It will be
interesting to see where it will all end.
Because if the threat goes on, then let’s
welcome the ghost of Siaka Stevens, for his
brutal and systematic dismantling of anything
that stood in his way a la 1971 and 1974 coups,
for starters. (Other violations of his can join
How about the families of Francis Minah? Not to
talk of victims as well as families of the
thousands of soldiers sent to the provinces when
rebels decided that Momoh’s joke was now beyond
a laughing matter in 1991.
While at it, let’s remember as well, all those
military and civilian men that took action,
rightly or wrongly; in the course of our
history. I am thinking here of Juxton-Smith,
David Lansana and even the Students’ Union of
FBC in 1977 whose actions led to the death of
Please join the queue; Foday Sankoh, Johnny Paul
Koroma, even Kabbah; because there are several
who suffered injustice or did not receive the
kind of verdict that they wanted as a result of
your action or inaction.
Of course, not forgetting those who have either
directly saw to the end of their opponents or
contributed indirectly to whatever misfortune or
otherwise may have befallen other unfortunate
Come back home those who have been driven into
exile and who seek justice. The wind of change
is blowing. Are the families of Hinga Norman and
the Kamajors asleep? Let them wake up. Justice
is on the way.
In fact, let’s all revisit our past from
independence, looking for the sleeping volcano
to stir. Each and everyone who has lost a
relative in any incident and/or is aggrieved,
should head for the courts or the tribunal and
let the social, political and tribal war start.
Sadly, when it comes to looking at the bigger
picture, most of us are thicker than a ‘tight’
pot of plasas garnished with assorted creatures.
So I won’t be surprised if this is labelled as a
key component of attitudinal change and those
who disagree as opponents of progress.
Obviously we often evaluate effective governance
differently depending on our ideological,
political and socio-economic background and
belief. Because, to stir the ashes of the NPRC
regime, looking for the slain dragon of the past
at this point in time, is actually to say that
the present regime is just another exploitative
bunch of ‘elitist and desperate’ pool that will
stop at nothing to cling on to power.
Unlike those who are now shouting themselves
hoarse, I am not surprised that this is the
latest from the messy and morally complex
political world of ours.
Has the pronouncement, by that ageing
(mis)Information Minister, got anything to do
with the emphatic statement by the President,
around the same time, in Brussels, that: “Since
the day I was sworn into office as President of
Sierra Leone, I had an agenda ….. I know what I
want to achieve. And I’m happy to state that I
am on track……I have a focus and no one has the
capacity to distract me. They themselves know
that very well. My resolve…. is a challenge
which I am determined to pursue throughout my
two term tenure.”
Hello? Does that mean that we have no say in
judging whether Mr. President is entitled to an
encore? Is it to say that the second term is a
foregone conclusion? No doubt he has done enough
to justify consideration for the office but for
It will be unbelievably stupid therefore if this
crass utterance of crying more than the bereaved
is a reflection of the government’s thinking in
the countdown to 2012. Is this the sound of an
incoming train? I shudder.
What the government has done by letting slip the
subtle warning to an opposition potential, who
is not even guaranteed to be his party’s flag
bearer, is not to pacify a few aggrieved party
supporters and families; nor is it to scare
potential opponents; but to give an indication
that the next election may be an unending
I’ll take you all back to what I wrote once,
when the government went for the jugular of the
last administration. The same point still rings
true today. “Democracy is founded on
transparency and accountability. Trying to drag
those perceived to be responsible for the rot in
the society and their incredible scandalous and
obscene display of the past, before the court of
public opinion, is one, doing it with equity and
justice is another ball game.
Unless the government is deliberately choosing
to ignore the unmistakable signal of the can of
worms at the depth of the political
establishment, the whole probe issue will be
drowned in the clangs and fangs of intrigues and
endless legal battles. To me the probe is like
saying it does not matter whether the cat is
black or white as long as it catches the rats.
How does the government plan to dispel
speculations that some people are targets and
that the probe is a score-settling charade? As
it is, there are no clear moral theme and
uplifting lessons to be learnt, and the probe
will only open up the inherent division within
the fabric of our fragile society. The ludicrous
decision for one, lacked clarity and its timing,
casts a sinister shadow over the motive and its
Let me tell you; only dead fishes go with the
flow. See you later. It’s almost three years
without my lot changing so I’m going to seek
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