Random musing: Toxic memory versus attitudinal
change - Part 1
Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon
12 September 2011
As Bo signals the start of a long journey, itís that
time again: Time to torture data, until it
confesses. Itís time to throw someone into the water
just to declare the necessity of rescuing him. Itís
time for the volcanic eruption of hurrahs; as
historic hypocrisy and sponsored aggression take the
centre stage of our daily chants.
Itís time for our politicians and their allied
enemies of progress and truth, to revel in their
favourite pastime- the power of indoctrination. Gags
and punch lines delivered, they are ready to shuffle
into the last shafts of twilight as the 2012
political kettle comes to the boil.
The tell tale signs that welcomes you to the
seasonal, pantomime rehearsal of 'poli-tricks' when
everyone wades through raw sewage and expects to
smell of roses.
The continued scramble for the best of gutter
language to use against perceived opponents as well
as the hysteria over the emergence of the 'wrong'
opposition flag bearer on our political landscape
and the subsequent war of attrition, is an
indication of the failure of our system to deviate
from the rigid toga of crudeness, vendetta and the
perpetual cycle of sentimental myopia.
If ever a night at the political theatre left a mild
glow of hope for the future, it was the first two
years of the present administration which initially
indicated and confirmed the imperative of national
Leadership and followership alike realised,
appreciated and embraced a turning point of ethical
values and hope; capable of transforming the society
into a productive entity and the people,
Such opportunities were seen as the Viagra for
transiting from poverty to prosperity and battling
real issues while entrenching the government in the
hearts and minds of the people and fixing the course
for the future.
Not for long though.
Because it didnít take long to realise that despite
the fact that poverty remains the next door
neighbour knocking persistently on the conscience of
a deaf nation, our politicians and their cohorts,
who are entering their season of pantomime, just
cannot do things differently.
As decorative as lace handkerchiefs and with their
verbal boots loaded, they have once again decided
that ethnicity, anger, fear, scaremongering and
intolerance rather than issues should take the
centre stage of our political discourse.
Knowing that the citizenry has been fed on a diet of
parochialism, fear has become the operative word by
a segment that seem to know nothing better than the
politics of intimidation, confrontation, bribery,
rigging and other underhand values.
They have started to hum the music of paranoia
knowing fully well that with their plates full, the
battle-weary voters who just want to focus on things
that will relieve them of the chronic weight on
their shoulders need an equally burdensome
distraction fashioned out of the remnant of our
Indeed, who is it among the political class at
present that can be described as an icon of
democracy and its ideals; or an enduring symbol of
In reality, who can we point to at present as a hero
of the struggle for a better nation; not on the
pages of newspapers or on the lips of chorus
singers; but etched in the lives and minds of the
ordinary man on the streets?
We are currently staring at a lifetime of anonymity
as a nation and all we are being led to do, is to
stare blankly back in a merry-go-round. As if riding
a camel in a space age is not painful enough for us;
personal agenda have suddenly become the dish of the
day in the manic jostle to describe whatís on the
menu for 2012.
But it is the media that should be blamed partly for
this whole faÁade. Its failure to set the agenda for
the political class, rather than being a vehicle for
the manic Ėdepressives who want to sink further into
the black pit of the past, makes national moral high
ground look decidedly shaky.
Despite the fact that millions of our compatriots
continue to trudge on the long journey to their
economic Eldorado; and in a land full of milk and
honey, those who profess to love Sierra Leone and
who claim to be social and political leaders have in
their infinite wisdom, decided that concerns like
the challenge of homelessness, stunted and wobbling
economy, terrible state of infrastructure, energy
crisis and galloping kleptomania should play second
fiddle to the conflict of who killed cock Robin; as
well as exhuming the ghost of the past.
This distraction, when people are expecting
immediate policies and programmes that will touch
their lives positively and alleviate their
suffering, thus become another scenario of the
doctrine of necessity.
Making the polity ever more combustible as a
leverage for political advantage at this time when
the economy craters and the society is being pushed
to breaking point, is indeed a funny kind of
democratic change on display.
I find this development a manifestation of the
illiteracy in our system as those clamouring for a
duly elected flag bearer to be deposed at all costs
or jettisoned through the subversion of the will of
those who chose him are displaying crass
insensitivity to the will and wishes of the same
citizenry they profess to be protecting.
Their crass utterances are the gateway drug to
What the advocates are saying in essence is that
they arenít sure that letting him get to the dance
floor will not be catastrophic for their interests
just as he surprisingly clinched the ticket of his
party against all their odds, political calculations
as well as in defiance of all the obviously glaring
machinations and sponsored destabilisation-incense
The irony is that in all these tiff over the garden
fence, the poor souls that will troop out, come rain
or shine on polling day, are being totally sidelined
by those who are afraid of the masquerade and making
an individual, the paramount issue in our national
They are unwittingly saying that because the
electorate can always inadvertently at times, opt
for candidates of their choice, then something
urgent needed to be done to checkmate a choice of
2007 a la carte?
Consequently, what is now happening is not the
desperately needed defence of a vision but the
exercise of narrow self-interests. The 'acclaimed'
fantasy about advancing democracy and justice by
putting the past on trial is simply the equivalent
of trying to catch a fish by climbing a tree.
In the pantomime and monochromed world of our
leaders and their self-opinionated lip-spittle
suckers, exhuming the theory of equity and justice
from past evils, overrides present predicaments of
our national life.
Iíll take you all back to what I wrote once, when
the government wanted to go for the jugular of the
last administration. The same point still rings true
today. I said that:
"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. To me the probe (issue) is like saying it does
not matter whether the cat is black or white as long
as it catches the rat.
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." (RANDOM
Hiding behind the threadbare veil of personal
vendetta, we are being deafened by the howling of
the wolf pack and forced to dance to the drumbeats
of the jungle salsa while our economy continues its
stunted growth and poverty adjusts its silk robe
like a mayor on parade.
Why are we, or the ruling party and its hurrah
mongers I should say, spending so much time and
effort bloviating about the past misdeeds; the
genesis of which the party is also culpable; and so
little time trying to untangle the immediate
economic, social and political mess that we are in.
If our political class spend as much time as they do
in fighting for and trying to secure re-election, on
tackling national problems, the dream of the people
would be an automatic springboard for them
Perhaps it is no co-incidence that so many of those
yawping and whinnying the loudest about justice for
past injustices are new members of the beneficiary
club as well as those who see themselves as victims
and the ones who can smell an opportunity to rebrand
The same righteous people who have so spectacularly
gone AWOL on the pressing issues of our economic and
social woes have suddenly found the voice to
stimulate our softer side to the injustice of almost
two decades ago.
What are the senior advocates of 'poppy Sunday'
doing about the feral ruling class who are
inflicting cuts by a thousand blades on defenceless,
poverty-stricken masses through their cockamamie
So, why then are we still lighting candles at the
shrine of a cause that is neither beneficial to the
generality of the people who have a million reasons
to be cheerless about whatever outcome is achieved
in digging up the graves of victims of the
pseudo-political monster we created.
After all, if Siaka Stevens had not eventually
ruined our political realm and lumbered us with an
inept Joseph Momoh, there is every possibility that
the domino effect afterwards would never have
occurred. Are we then going to exhume the body of Pa
Shaki for justice? While we are at it, letís not
forget our Nero (Momoh) who fiddled with women while
Salone burnt to ashes.
(To be continued)
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