Opposition in Sierra Leone sleeps while the country is taken to the cleaners

Abdulai Brima

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 March 2016

president koroma end of the road - 220513“Ernest Bai Koroma is a failed president who has violated our national constitution, again, and again, and again,” says the opposition ADP party’s Mohamed Kamaraimba unequivocally on national radio 98.1FM in Sierra Leone.

So what is the opposition SLPP saying in response, or where does it stand on this nation-shattering subject of constant, flagrant constitutional abuse by president Koroma?

Our healthcare system is gasping desperately through a makeshift life-support programme that depends on the ceaseless flow of foreign cash, which keeps pouring down the ‘langa’ throat of favoured public officials.

Our agricultural sector is sleeping in perpetual darkness, while tired-looking and pitiful propaganda about food security painted on giant billboards, overlook eye-watering slums that are inhabited by people who cannot even afford half a cup of imported Chinese rice.

Our “Athens of Africa” – the University of Sierra Leone, is literally suffocating in its own slurry of administrative incompetence, with just one functioning public toilet for an over- crowded students campus.

This strategy is nothing but a typical Machiavelli trick of a government that is using educated stooges as convenient tools, to drive out students from campus.

African minerals2014The Chinese train and big dumper lorries that specialise in quietly carting our minerals away to distant shores, in endless daring loads, roll down the countryside unchecked, like thieves in the night.

Our fishing shores are out of bounds to our local fishermen, and have become lucrative playgrounds for foreign trawlers willing to “play ball” with you-know-who, using long cheques to hush the “lords of the manor”.

Even on our precious land, people are not safe from the malignant tidal wave. Generational plantations are being bulldozed to make way for queasy “investors” and their dodgy “plans”.

Who dare stand the ravaging wrath of a machine that is “licensed to kill”? Surely, not the poor potato farmer in Pa Panda’s Pujehun.

Soon, we may have to buy our grave plots from “foreign investors” with “connections from above”.

preseident koroma decorating new soldiers1While our young soldiers are routinely shipped thousands of miles to fight the Al-Shaba terrorists in East Africa for a few dollars, our only international airport is left so dangerously unprotected that we are told you could walk with half a dozen carving knives through “security” and board your flight with ease, as long as you have the right answer to the wrong question: “how much you dae lef for we”?

To paint the perennial incompetence in comic colours, a senior airport worker once remarked to my hearing: “It is not what you take out that concerns us. It is that which you bring in”.

As if the emphasis on the “that” did not do enough justice to his intended meaning, the man ended his “lecture on corruption” with a mischievous tweak of the fingers that could kill a cat. Don’t be in any doubt – money is the name of the game here.

And yes, there is a small group of people in Sierra Leone who have been given the “privileged” task of addressing this scourge, and they call themselves public servants. Yet, these are the very people who, by virtue of their “privileged positions” have now accrued so much wealth, they have either lost the capacity to think straight, or the will to act right – or both.

They live in a completely parallel universe to that of the long-abandoned “voters”. Theirs is a poisoned world to which, unfortunately, many good people aspire and are solidly trapped in the gravy sluice.

president koroma - the man from Del MonteAmong this “favoured class” are people who would insult their own mothers and sell their own fathers to be crowned or remain crowned as “ministers”.

For being a minister in this world of ours, puts one on a pedestal – a yard above the raging gods of Ancient Greek mythology.

And so, the farcical show goes on. Time and again, in predictable musical circles, headless hoodlums with no mettle or matter are briskly anointed as “ministers”, in absolute disregard of a God-fearing nation, and in total violation of the tenets of our national constitution.

Why on earth should we expect to harvest sweet corns when all we sow is sour crap?  What a sickening state we have here.

No accountability, no probity, no sobriety. Not even a consideration for public “hakkeh”; Just “halaki upon halaki”, manufactured by a bunch of highly decorated tricksters, seedily presiding over a rising mountain of shame and sadness. Nurturing this “shame and sadness” is the silence of the treasure seekers.

Surely, for a group of palm tree fronds waving “Nar mees” to be respected as “the Opposition”, their activities should involve much more than fighting to be “Flagbearer” and refusing to take that fight to a government that is pulling everything inside out.

Even the intellectually hollow and morally moribund APC horn-blowing “Jelibas” have developed a bold new tune that translates into “crush up the crops of anyone not bowing to the sweeping EBK creed of greed”.

But thank God, hope never dies and goodwill always linger. Surely though, there is a tint of anomaly when an opposition side surrenders its legitimate space to critical voices from within the ruling party.

And by fearlessly championing the cause of truth and fairness, Alieu Iscandri is making reasonable use of that opening. And he is certainly not the only voice among the ruling APC, so fed up with the antics of their party that they want to take over.

slpp musical chairsWhere is the SLPP?

Something foul smells here. Something awful is simmering here and I must say this now, as a matter of essential record, that any so-called “Opposition Leader” who remains quiet when our country is suffering this much is an accomplice to the ills being perpetuated by the government

Any SLPP “leader” who is failing to stand up to this APC misrule is technically part of the APC.  Acquiescing to a reigning evil by way of “convenience” is a conniving hypocritical stunt that may end up consuming everyone.

Anyone who sees an only communal house burning down and stands aside and says ‘I don’t care’ does not deserve public trust.

Our people are watching and they are listening. And they know that the timid “shumu shumu” babble of those who would want to rule us, shows that such wannabes are not an inch different from those they are seeking to replace.

Failing to adequately express righteous outrage against the vile practices of this failed government, is an indication that a disturbingly large part of our current crop of SLPP leadership sees nothing, or not much wrong with the ill-conceived manifestations of the status quo.

It is not unfair to presume therefore that such people themselves would be doing the same (if not worse) were they to get to where they crave to be. And votes are never won where such presumptions prevail.

If all that the opposition SLPP is good at is to expend energy bludgeoning each other on the slippery platform of “flagbearership”, while allowing the APC to steal and stitch, then surely a revolutionary change is needed in our entire political system.

4 Comments

  1. Francis Kpaka: Can you please ascertain the veracity and source of the statement below, which the Sierra Leone Government and its US Embassy in Washington DC have heavily debunked by making a Press Release yesterday describing the article you referenced as false.

    Please be careful and avoid additives that have the potential of throwing you off course or base. Thank you for your understanding in this regard.

    “We are even ridiculed by Donald Trump, a front-line Republican Presidential contender, who rightly claims that our country has the best natural resources in the world without us showing anything tangible for them.”

    False Article About Donald Trump’s Alleged Remarks About Sierra Leone: ( Courtesy of Cocorioko.info)

    “The general public is hereby informed that an article making the rounds on social media claiming that Mr. Donald Trump made scathing remarks against Sierra Leone is patently false and misleading.

    Since he started his campaign to become the Standard Bearer for the Republican party in the forthcoming U.S. Presidential elections, Mr. Donald Trump has not mentioned Sierra Leone in any of his campaign statements.

    A State Department official, asked to ascertain the veracity of the article making the rounds on Facebook , said yesterday that he had no record of the statements about Sierra Leone attributed to Mr. Trump …”

  2. The article strikes at the heart of all the ills which have been present in Sierra Leone for decades. They are indeed responsible for the overall retardation of a country which once showed all the signs of a brighter future, with its people living in harmony with each other in an atmosphere of plenty and security.

    Enter Siaka Stevens. Henceforth Sierra Leone lost her balance. Successive leaders have only succeeded in tripping up the country even further, while we helplessly look on like sheep being led to the slaughter house. This brings me to the comments Francis Kpaka.

    Francis’ comments reinforce what I have always said – that unless we, as a people, extricate ourselves from emotional consideration at election time we are doomed – nothing will ever change in the political arena.

    Unless we move away from the tendency to vote for somebody because he is Mende and we are Mende, or because he is Temne and we are Temne, etc, we shall continue to saddle ourselves with accomplished kleptomaniacs, who could not care less if the country continues to be raped and exploited by foreigners.

    They only care about the cut they get to build their mansions to make an already dead country decompose faster.

    Thank you Abdulai and thank you Francis. Our politicians have no conscience. But we, as a people, cannot escape blame either – we continue to vote in the same people repeatedly.

  3. Abdulai you could have made these points any clearer.

    It is the responsibility of the opposition party to get their act together and work constructively as a team. I have said it many a time that until we look beyond personal affiliations, personal glory, the tribal and regional attachments, and the rest of the me me me attitude, the APC will continue roasting the ordinary Sierra Leonean under the sun.

    Watching Children in Need programme on BBC1 the other day brought many Sierra Leoneans to tears; our politicians were ridiculed by the mere sight of the dilapidated state of our country; the filth, the neglect of young children as young as 2 years and of course the entire fabric of the country were exposed in the programme.

    We are even ridiculed by Donald Trump, a front-line Republican Presidential contender, who rightly claims that our country has the best natural resources in the world without us showing anything tangible for them.

    As Sierra Leoneans we should not be blaming the governments. We should be carrying a huge portion of the blame. We blindly support and stand by these rouge politicians who are destabilising our country through embezzlement and other unpalatable attitudes towards the people they rule.

    My take here is let us look at ourselves and say enough is enough. Let us take charge of the affairs of our country by voting out corrupt elements.

  4. Thank you Abdulai Brima for your insights and bravery about the current state of affairs in our beloved Sierra Leone.

    Of the main opposition party in Sierra Leone due to their number of MPs in parliament of Sierra Leone compared to others I can boldly state the zeal and thrusts of Dr Alie Kabba as compared to others of the SLPP Party.

    Legally speaking silence is consent, and we should hold any aspiring presidential candidate responsible for inactively and boldly refraining from speaking out about the realities in the land of Sierra Leone as seen and observed both locally and internationally.

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