2012 – Let the revolution begin
Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon
28 December 2010
Before some faces turn angrier than a cobbler’s
thumb at the statement above, let me first wish all
of you a happy new year in advance.
The start of the coming year will as usual be marked
by the customary back-slapping and gratitude for
seeing the commencement of another brand new three
hundred and sixty six days (yes, it’s a leap year)
and rounded off with our leaders telling us to be
grateful for what we have; especially how much they
have made our lives better than they met it.
Traditionally the New Year is also time for
resolutions. I believe that collectively, we as a
people should not only endeavour to make one in the
coming year but to take a decision that will
assiduously be entrenched in every aspect of our
existence and national psyche.
Because today the government has all the appeal of a
Christmas left-over plasas; following what appears
to be its bile and contempt for people’s feelings;
for their rights as fellow citizens and for their
demand for a moral compass and the palliatives for
their head and heart aches.
I believe that it is unfair for the masses to keep
on dying while our leaders carry on lying to us and
playing politics with our future. Their pretentious,
hypocritical and egoistical mask of muttons dressed
as lambs has exposed the leadership character flaws
of most of our ‘heroes’.
As I reflected on the events of the past year and
especially developments in the past few months, one
thing that came to mind was the lone voice crying in
the wilderness of our broken, bruised and battered
society – the LOVE CAMPAIGN by Dr. Tillie Bell.
While his central theme has been the exploitation of
one another in our society, it occurred to me that
the root cause of the absence of love and the
fertiliser for the exploitation, is simply the
culture of impunity that pervades every strata of
our society. (This will be subject of another
We don’t care if our leaders exploit us and they
don’t give a hoot if they do either. We do not even
know that we have a right to certain necessities of
life and therefore it does not matter whether they
are provided by government or not; or whether we are
reminded to be eternally grateful for the crumbs;
even when our eyes are blurred by tears of hunger.
As a people, we simply trudge on and strive to
make the best out of a bad situation. That is why we
do not question the actions of government beyond
feeling occasional discomfort and expressing
fleeting worries at times such as when we have
distractions like the Cocaine Planes that are
becoming a feature of our landscape and Nollywood
blockbusters like ‘Timbergate’.
Years of dehumanising and sub-standard existence
have left us without the will to assess situations
and ask probing questions. We have become a
makeshift people that are easily manipulated by our
leaders and we simply flow with the tide of the day
without abiding standards.
So what do we have? A stalemate. Sierra Leone ends
up suffering for it and progress stalls.
As our leaders display their hide of a rhino to the
growing frustrations among the people, they have
turned the populace into the best looking pig in the
There is a huge canyon separating what we have and
what we as a people, are praying for; as well as a
world of difference between the promises with which
we were lured and the fulfilments we’ve experienced.
Our leaders who have now become deaf and dumb to the
wailings and demands of the oppressed majority and
who see their legitimate clamour for fundamental
change as the rantings of some disgruntled ants; are
the same ones who came on their knees a little over
four years ago to beg for the votes of the people.
Today, they listen more to foreign masters and
opportunistic money bags, who do not know or care
about where the shoes pinches Sierra Leoneans. Their
pockets jangling with twelve pieces of silver like
Judas, those who lead us have been forced to shove
their crude and cruel policies down our cracked
throats, without a care whether it snuffs the life
out of the same people they swore to protect. They
are happy and their benefactors are delighted as
they cart away our heritage and resources.
As they swim in the cesspit of graft, their promise
of heaven on earth consigned to the dustbin, they
insist that it is their will rather than our wants
that must prevail and they won’t be swayed
Assessing the broken vehicle of our aspirations as
the pivotal year of 2012 rolls in, there is a need
to drag our past into the present, for the benefit
of our future.
Right now, we often tend to do nothing about some of
the outrageous statements and behaviours of those
who lead us; about their blatant claims which are
not our own realities and about their profound lack
of shame and their ability to transform our rich
robes into rags while they swap their fig leaves for
tunics of many colours.
I hear so many people recalling the good old days
when things were cheap and life was grand but what
are we willing to give for a revolution that will
transform our lives by tapping into those memories
which are the storehouses of our heritage and the
catalysts for the present; in order to proffer
solutions to the challenges facing us and so that we
can leave a proud legacy for generations unborn?
2012 therefore presents a golden opportunity for the
nation to reflect on its growth and development on
the democracy highway in the last five years.
After the initial bravado fuelled by foreign coins,
our economy has gone under the deadening grip of
inactivity – a tragedy of paralysis. For the entire
amount that we spent on the jamborees of investors’
fora, the intense hammering sounds of construction
and repair works across the length and breadth of
the country are less than the deep snores of our
leaders as they sleep off their revelling and
cavorting with foreign ‘whores’.
From soaring costs of staple foods to the erratic
power supply and the shoddy road works by our
benefactors, the much trumpeted and rare diligence,
commitment and handwork of President Koroma appear
to be lost in the foggy weather above the nation.
The challenges are massive but the stakes are too
high for us to fail and this is why we have to
decide to make 2012 a threshold year – a year of
But calm down. I am not advocating a violent
revolution - it’s the revolution of our thought
process - the revolution of our minds; our society
and our ideas.
Let’s change the way we accept the failings of those
we elected to drive us to the Promised Land. Let’s
change our outlook about giving support for any
faults because those involved come from our tribe,
our religion or even because they are the same sex
or because they brainwashed us.
Let us, for a change, think of the future of the
nation and not the immediate benefits accruing to
us. Let the house rat hear the clarion call and pass
it on to the bush rat that how long shall we
continue this way?
The reality today, if we must call a spade by its
name, is that more Sierra Leoneans are going to bed
on empty stomachs; many have no roofs over their
heads. Even with the government’s much vaunted
health care programme, many are dying like chickens
because they cannot afford the cost. Hopelessness
still rules the land.
Many of our fellow citizens live below fifty cents a
day and there are those who have not held a ten
thousand Leone for a long time now. And this is no
exaggeration. It is simply the truth. Many don’t
even know where and when the next meal will come.
Amidst this hellish living, a few powerful Sierra
Leoneans are erecting so many breath-taking mansions
at once and are gliding in eye-popping
wonders-on-wheel. They flaunt their wealth
everywhere in the face of the majority have-nots,
daring them to go to hell and stay there.
To those who hold the cynical view that a
revolution is impossible to achieve because we are a
docile, lazy, jolly-jolly lot, they underestimate
the capacity of the slave to break his chains of
2012 should be the year that the tears of the
proverbial hewers of wood and drawers of water; who
are experiencing the worst form of existence in a
land that ordinarily should have no business with
poverty if not for the thievery of the elite ruling
class, are wiped away.
That is why we need to start an enduring social
change that will checkmate future foistering of
inept leadership on us and give to the people, the
power that rightly belongs to them.
2012 should be a happy new year indeed - if we all
play our part.
Happy New Year to you all!
May your road in the New Year be ‘rough’ - because
it is only then we will arise to the challenges
facing us. I am not cursing you; I am only praying a
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